I compiled many pro and con lists in the two years it took me to decide whether or not to leave New York City. The pro's list always had things like no more sitting in traffic on the FDR at 6:30 in the morning or no more being woken up by unbearably loud music at 3:30am on a school night. Things that had really begun to wear away at my sanity and things that I had no control over. But the con list, although considerably shorter, always made my heart tug. See, after seven years of living there, it was where my people were. By 'my people' I mean the folks who became a part of who I am. The people that I connected with. I loved the diversity of who these people were to me. I loved how frequently I would come away from time spent with them feeling surprised by how much they filled me up. But those relationships couldn't compete with how miserable the actual place of NYC was making me. And so I had to leave. It was the right thing for me to do. And although I miss them terribly, sometimes horribly, I don't ever regret the decision that I made.
But I do long for the connections. See, in NYC I didn't have to look far to make them. Somehow, I landed a job at a school where I met many of the people I am talking about. And those folks were the added bonus, I already had a great group of friends to begin with. Lucky, right? I mean who really gets to work with people that they call their friends? The people who share the same passions, fight the same day-to-day battles, and experience the same victories. Well, I did. And I think, subconsciously more than anything, I realized what a big loss that was going to be. (One day I will tell you all about how I always oversleep on last days of important events. Like high school)
Last night, after a weekend of feeling disconnected, I met a friend up in Maine for some dinner. I got to the restaurant first and ordered myself a Maine Lemonade from the Irish bartender. (One day I will tell you all about how amazing that cocktail was) S and I have been friends for almost ten years now after meeting in Boston. My visits up to her place in Wells were my respite from NYC for many, many years. And she is the kind of friend who asks how your doing and you say, "Fine, how are you?" and she responds with "Crummy, but are we being honest? 'Cause if not, I can be fine too." And that was the kind of night I needed. The kind of night were we can laugh and cry and problem solve over cocktails, chowder, and a brownie sundae (this is Maine after all.) And I left feeling connected again, and sometimes that is all I need to make things feel right again.