I’ve been in D.C. for 8 months now and people often ask me if I miss New York City. My answer: hell yes! I miss it every day. I miss the beat, the relentless creativity, and the constant push to reinvent. I came of age in New York City and my many years of living there got inside my bones. It will be with me always, everywhere I go. And once I realized that, I was free to go. I carry New York City with me, and that confidence allowed me to stretch my wings, take everything I learned there, and head out on a new adventure in a new city. I love going back to the motherland. I’ll always love going back there. The place is insane, and I accept it exactly as it is and exactly as it will be, flaws and glories and all. New York made me tough, and it also made me extraordinarily curious, empathic, and hopeful. Those are gifts that keep on giving.
I can close my eyes and go back to New York in an instant. I can sit down at my computer, drop a character into the middle of it all, and watch with rapture to see what unfolds in my writing. From my new home in D.C., I can be there in about 3 hours on a comfy Amtrak train. It’s not so far away, and it’s not going anywhere. Sure, it’s different every time I go back and each trip is filled with discovery and learning. That’s the point of New York. It’s meant to break you out of your routine. It means to throw you off-balance and help you understand that you’re strong and that you can recover from anything, literally anything. It’ll break you, and then show you that being broken has its benefits and rewards. Being broken, and broke, isn’t the worst thing in the world. Just keep looking up. There’s a will and a way and if you keep looking for it, you’ll find it. After all, you can find anything at any time in New York – and that includes healing, dreams, and a sense of purpose.
New York is a rabbit hole to the extreme, and I’m happy to tumble down it every chance I get. I don’t have to live in Wonderland to love it. I know I can pop in for my fix, let it go, and know that it will welcome me back any time that I want to be there. It’s a perpetual open door that doesn’t require an invitation. That’s what a home is and what a home does, and New York will always be home for me in the truest sense of the word.