I have been to New York City about a million times in my life. Okay, maybe not a million, but definitely quite a few. When I was little I used to go there with my mom for weekend trips regularly. Needless to say, I got to know Chinatown pretty well. As I got older, I was able to convince her to go to Manhattan on a couple of occasions, but the trips got more infrequent until at some point they just stopped. These days I've reduced my visits to a handful of times a year despite having more than a few friends living there. Pretty much every time I go though, I think to myself, why don't I live here?? And every time, I had a reason: I'm settled in Boston, I'm too scared to start somewhere else, my career and my connections are in Boston. I even thought that having a hairstylist that I liked in Boston was a good enough reason to stay!
However, when I went to New York this weekend with my friend Erika, I had a bit of a transformative experience. Looking back, I'm not entirely sure when it happened, but somewhere between Friday Night Live, the live demonstration of Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy at the Albert Ellis Institute and being out in the Village until 5am meeting a bunch of random new people, I had a realization: I am doing okay. Yes, I realize it's not incredibly profound, but it means something. It means that for the first time in many, many, many years, perhaps even my entire lifetime, that I have felt like I am in a good place. Sure I am busting my ass and working a million hours a day, but it feels like I am getting somewhere, like I am working towards a goal and feeling pretty good about it. And yes, the dating process is a complete pain in the ass, but suddenly for some reason, I don't know that I care anymore. I'm not completely in denial. I can recognize that I'd like a relationship at some point, but I think I may have stopped obsessing about boys (for the time being.) What it comes down to though is that I have wonderful friends and a career that I like. I have fun when I'm not working, and I have two amazingly sweet and funny pups that still manage to love me unconditionally even though I don't take them for long enough walks. I live in a great city in an amazing location with a fantastic roommate and I'm in a good place financially. And if there is one thing that I have figured out in the last year and a half, it's that I'm a strong and capable and resilient person who has been through some really shitty stuff, but has managed to make it through somehow. For those of you out there who know me, I'm guessing you think that I have totally lost my mind. And for those of you who don't, I imagine you're thinking I sound awfully obnoxious right now, but believe me, it's taken me a hell of a long time to get here and I'm still not %100 sure about it all.
So basically the long-winded version of what I'm saying is that my reasons for staying in Boston now feel completely invalid but I now know I wasn't ready back then. Maybe it was fear, maybe it was a feeling of being stuck, but whatever it was, I think a shift may be in the process of occurring. Perhaps my time is done in Boston and I'm ready to move on. If I stay or go is yet to be seen (and largely dependent on whether or not I find a job out there) but I'm officially open to whatever comes my way...
Me and Erika at the beginning of the night at the Brooklyneer:
Me and our new friends at the end of the night at a random but delicious falafel stand: