I miss my home.
When I moved away from NYC in early 2017, I didn’t actually feel homesick. I had a few moments, in May and June, where I was a bit at a loss of what to do with myself – that didn’t happen often when I was back in New York – but I saw those moments as an opportunity to get to know myself better, to get comfortable with being alone in my own presence.
That time was a gift. (Also, I didn’t miss New York).
The truth is, I still don’t miss New York. I still don’t particularly like New York. I made plans to see my friends this morning, in the city, to hit the gym and then watch the Saints game together. Traffic on a Sunday morning should be non-existent, and I didn’t see a lick of it as I headed in Manhattan via the Midtown Tunnel.
And then it fell apart. How, on a Sunday morning, did I end up in the middle of what was effectively a traffic jam at 11am on a Sunday? Here’s how:
- Most of 5th Avenue was shut down for the Veteran’s Day Parade
- Most of Lexington Avenue was shut down for a street festival
- Part of 3rd Avenue was blocked due to construction
- Random parking areas on side streets blocked for temporary construction zones
And on, and on, and on … and so, 40 minutes for me to go less than two avenues and four blocks, and in that moment, I got so, so angry and frustrated.
I ended up cancelling with my friends because it felt impossible to meet up with them, as I was stuck in traffic, couldn’t find parking, and we were on a schedule, so–
I ended up leaving. I drove into Manhattan to drive out of it, and from the moment I got onto the Queensboro Bridge to pulling into the driveway at my sister’s house took 21 minutes.
As I let all of it marinate over me, as I tried to sort out why, in the last few days, I’d been so irritable and on edge – everything, everything has been setting me off, leaving me hot and bothered and mad – it hit me.
I miss my home.
I miss my main grocery store, which I could walk to if I wanted, but also only took 5 minutes to drive to and had all of of the products that I liked and wanted. I miss my backup grocery store that was on my way to work, to which I could always pop in and pick up my seltzer of preference (Perrier, Pink Grapefruit). I miss my apartment and being surrounded by my things. I miss being a 10 minute walk away from a main strip with at least one or two restaurants that I like and never needing to wait 30 minutes to get into it. I miss being able to make reservations at a really good spot in almost any area of the city (of which was never more than 20-30 minutes away from me and didn’t cost $50+ to get to via Uber / Lyft) on almost any day.
I miss my small town.
I miss the rhythm of the life that I built.
I don’t miss The District, though, and it’s important for me to point that out. I don’t tie my identity to a specific city, which is why I find it so irritating when people feel like a city defines them. It doesn’t; that’s the story you tell yourself to put up with things.
(It’s okay. It’s a good story. Keep telling it, just not to me.)
I also haven’t missed NYC. This is a necessary evil and as long as I put it in that context, I can find the grace to enjoy being closer to many, many friends, and being closer to my family. I will find the will and way to carve back out the space and the place that will make it home for me.
Just, today, I don’t have it in me. I’m so very tired of it, right now, and I’m looking forward to my trip in 6 days that will give me a break from all the noise and mess of this place.
I just need a break. I just need a day. I just need some time to grieve my loss.