There are 2 types of New Yorkers: those who are here for life and those who finally make the break and leave. It feels like there’s been a lot of chatter about moving amongst my real-life and online friends lately. Sometimes New York can feel like a transitional kind of town because people constantly come and go – it’s not unusual to say good bye to a few friends every year. Look, I won’t lie. Even as a hard core, native New Yorker you have periods where you question yourself and your sanity. Taxes slay us and health insurance premiums are criminal. Now we have this stupid MTA commuter tax for freelancers even though Mark and I don’t take the train very often. Then there’s all the other stuff. It’s endless. The truth is, neither Mark nor I have be here since we’re not tied to offices or jobs. We could move somewhere cheaper. Maybe I wouldn’t be able to find as much work, but maybe I wouldn’t have to. Maybe I wouldn’t be as stressed financially. It’s not so much the lifestyle or a need for a calmer space. No, I’ve realized long ago that I feed off of that friction and energy. I want and need it. I love it here, just the way it is. It’s just the expense of feeding this need that makes me reconsider, every so often, whether it’s worth it.
I’ll admit to having a hard time coming back from Seattle in August and readjusting to life back in the city. It wasn’t just the city, it was also the daily routine. Felt like I was in a daze for 2 weeks and couldn’t snap back into myself. For the first time since I moved back home, I felt like I could really live there. Like now. I didn’t think that I could love another city in that way. I found myself thinking that if it weren’t for my parents I’d seriously consider moving to Seattle. We have family there, we have friends, we’d know what to expect and it’s familiar. I know Mark would jump at the chance to go back home. I even told my mom all of this, in which she replied “it’s your life, you could do whatever you want”. I saw her noble bluff and just retorted back, “yeah, right. You’d be devastated if we moved to the other side of the country and moved the kids”.
But you know…time passes, the memories of vacation and summer fade, and you do eventually snap back into your life. You become reacquainted with all the reasons why you love New York and you remember that vacation is not reality, it’s escapism. And I know myself too well. I know that if I were to move right now, I’d fall to pieces at the first sight of a New York City photograph. I wouldn’t be able to go on The Sartorialist, watch any Woody Allen or Spike Lee movies. I wouldn’t be able to turn on the TV. A mere glance at a random NYC street shot would stab me in the heart. Every bagel and pizza would make me shake my head and sigh. I know this because I’ve been through it before.
When we were in Portland and Seattle this summer, Mia kept saying, “we’re the only kids here!”. She wasn’t exaggerating either. Most times we wouldn’t see any other kids on the streets. I never understood why visitors who came to our neighborhood would completely freak out at all the kids around here, but now I get it. To us it’s completely normal, but I can see now that it’s really not. Despite what it may seem, the city is a kid-friendly place. I appreciate how there are lots of kids where we live, in the playgrounds, walking home from school, drawing hopscotch on the sidewalks (if you’re kid-less here, it might suck for you). I appreciate that we live in a place that is diverse and have friends of all different backgrounds, and I will never take this for granted, especially after our trip out west. This was, in fact, one of the reasons why I moved back. I like hearing different languages everyday. I like that there are so many, and I mean SO MANY, families of mixed races here. I don’t have enough fingers on my hands to count all the multi-racial friends that the girls have. It’s important that they are surrounded by this.
And so…New York…here we are again. I won’t make any promises that I’m a lifer. I don’t know if that’s true anymore, but I am here. Sometimes I don’t know why. You don’t deserve the love after the horrible summer you made us suffer through, but you are making up for it in the Fall. You take, suck our souls and test us at every turn, but we can’t seem to quit you. Maybe we are suckers and fools, but you must be doing something right.
(um…ok, I really hate driving. where else can I live where I don’t have to drive? Please don’t make me drive. damn. Oh, and also the seasons. I need them. Yeah, it was too hot here, but that was also a freak summer. I don’t like being cold in the summer. Or wet in the winter. Also, I need sun. hmmm.)