Friday, August 22, 2008

One Year Down

I have lived in New York for a full year. The terror of that very first super shuttle ride has not left me. Our apartment feels more like home now, but still annoys me that the there is more room vertically than horizontally. Reuben is a completely different person. Justin has a completely different hair do. As for me, I can't tell how I've changed.

I still have a tightening of the chest, and an uncontrollable urge to grit my teeth and clench my fists when I am out alone, especially at night. I still expect Justin to go the extra mile because he forced me here. I still find regular life things way to difficult. I still find the fancy New York things pretty fancy, but way to expensive to make the difficult regular life worth it.

I was told it would take a year for New York to grow on me. Unfortunately, they didn't know me when they were telling me this, I bet for most people it only takes a year, but they never saw Grand Rapids, it took Provo 5 years to grow on me. I still yearn for my own space, a comfortable pace, a clear sky, friendly wild life, a discount store, the freedom that a car allows, and oh, so much more.

But, to try to convince everyone (including myself) that I have been trying to get used to New York my list of things I like about New York.

1. The sense of community at the playgrounds. Whether or not you know the other mothers or nannies at the park they are aware of your child and will protect him as their own. They will not hesitate to share the food they brought, they will encourage their child to play with your super friendly child.

2. There are LOTS of cool things to do: Concerts, Museums, Plays, Zoos, Botanical Gardens, Yacht Cruises, Tourist Attractions. I do not have to cram everything into a week. I do not have to pick and choose. I can just keep doing stuff.

3. It is okay to have hippie leanings, even let them show to ward members. No one thinks you are crazy, or apostate, they just find it endearing that you balance your sentiments so gingerly, or completely agree with you.

4. We have made some good friends.

5. Riverside park, especially that part that is just a walk way with trees and a view of the Hudson and not the city. It would be perfect if you couldn't hear the traffic, I miss the sound of nature.

6. Anywhere we live after this will be shockingly affordable.

7. New York is nothing like what it is rumored to be. Its not as glamorous. Its not as violent. Its not as awe inspiring. Its not as terrifying. The people aren't as rude. New York is mostly the things people don't tell you about. It does smell. It is over-crowded. It does have a little of everything except for regular things.

8. I am getting better at understanding thick accents, and I have no worries that my son will be ignorant or disrespectful of other cultures.

9. Any kind of restaurant delivers.

10. I only have one year and nine months left.


Talyn said...

I met a man at the park today who had a little girl the same age as Alena. He had just moved from Queens, because he didn't want to raise his daughter there. I told him my sister was having trouble getting used to the big city, and he said that you never would get used to it.

Tammy Lorna said...

AND you get to invite friends to come and see you :)

Can't wait till I finally get things together and do THAT! Missing you heaps and heaps!

xo Tammy

Michael and Natalie said...

I am so proud of you!!! I have totally come full circle and don't mind the city anywhere near what I did last year. However, I think that has a lot to do with the fact that I left for 2.5 months. I was in Oregon, my absolute favorite place in the world. But being away from home just makes you so grateful to be back in your own place. If I hadn't have left I think I'd still hate it now. You're list, btw, is much better than mine. I think I only had four things on mine.

Lisa Brown said...

It looks like even though it has been hard, you have been making the most of it. I think I would love to experience something like that, but you never really know until you are there.

I have a great blogging friend who just moved with her husband to NYC for his schooling, and reading her post about arriving there made me think about what you must have gone through. Her blog is under Emily Kate on mine, if you want to check it out.

charrette said...

I love that you pointed out #3 on your list of likes. It is probably what I miss most about life in the big city. That, and #4. Oh, yeah, and #2. So envious of all the fun stuff you're doing there. Okay, I have to agree with them all, I guess. Way to list the positives. Hang in there. I guarantee you, someday way off in the future you'll look back and miss your time in New York.