Tuesday, April 8, 2008

What the F (train) am I thinking!!?!?!

I think it's only fitting that my first post is about how much I love New York. Ever since my leave date was finalized, I've been revisiting my favorite places in New York in order to memorize exactly how they look, feel, sound, smell (ew, F train), and taste (yum, Choice Bakery). And of course, I'm feeling like I'm making the worst decision of my life. How can I leave this city? My hairdresser is here, my heritage is here, my best friends are all here... BAGELS are here. C'mon – my subway ride to work every morning includes picture-perfect views of the Statue of Liberty, South Street Seaport, and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Everyone keeps telling me that moving to London is the biggest and best adventure I'll ever have, and, well, yes that's true, but New York is my home. I know this city like the back of my hand, and everything about it comforts me. I feel like the minute I board the plane in Newark the flight attendant is going to take my security blanket away and I will WAIL. I've lived in New York since 2003, with a 2 year leave of absence to try out Philadelphia; while I was there, I'd visit New York monthly via Greyhound; as the bus approached the Lincoln Tunnel and the New York skyline appeared over the trees, I'd unconsciously whisper "Hello friend!" in greeting. New York City is like the best friend you love to hate but can't live without – one minute sharing special secrets with you, the next minute not returning your calls and being infuriatingly stupid and petty. Frank was right when he sang in "New York New York" that if you can make it here you can make it anywhere, because learning to live well in New York means learning to stand on your own two feet, trusting yourself completely, taking everything you can get, and then passing it on.

When I took my detour down I-95 to live in Philly, I really thought I was leaving home and going out on my own. That was not moving away from home – it was simply me not having spent enough time in New York to understand that I was still a child who needed just a little more time to grow up. I'm so glad I realized it, and came back to finish the job in the place I love the most. I hope I know myself well enough by now to trust my instincts with this move. So here it goes – I'm holding my nose and jumping in – no toe test.

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