When I was in NYC the first time in 2010, my grandmother had just died. I wasn't really in a good place, and I didn't connect with the city the way I usually am able to when I travel. I was still new at being sober and it was my first trip where I wasn't drinking. I wasn't sure how to handle myself yet. I just didn't fall in love with New York, because I still didn't know myself.
This time, I was there for two days by myself before my travel companion arrived.
I went to the MOMA and geeked out on modern art. I swear my whole being gets recharged by spending a few hours in a museum.
|Douglas Gordon, Play Dead Real Time|
Charles Atlas, Venus in Furs
|Robert Rauschenberg, Rebus, 1955|
I rode the subway. I ate a gyro from The Halal Guys. I walked from my Lower East Side apartment to Webster Hall to see my super faves, The Boxer Rebellion, WHICH WAS AMAZEBALLS.
Then I walked home through the East Village, past Venieros, which I came back to later that weekend and ate three desserts because NEW YORK CITY.
|Eat all the desserts. I dare you.|
I FEEL COMPLETE.
When I was 10 years old, I wrote in my diary, "Someday, I want to live in New York City." I immediately thought of that little girl, dreaming of a big life in a big city. And for a few days, I pretended I did live there. EO came in from Philly and we ate everything and bought all the shoes and went to see a Broadway show from the front row that kind of blew my stupid mind. God I love Scotsmen who perform Shakespeare. It's a weakness.
|Alan Cumming's one man MacBeth. OHMYGOD.|
I have loved to travel since as long as I can remember. And each time I'm in a city that's not my own, I usually find something special about it that makes me think I could have a different kind of life there. San Francisco, London, Seattle, Portland. Then I come home, and things go back to normal, and I forget how badly it was that I wanted to live somewhere else. And time goes on and I grow older and days pass and I'm still in the same place. I've seen recently that it is possible to move across the country. My bestie EO has been living in Philly for three months and she loves it. She stopped thinking about making a change and made it.
Now don't get me wrong, Austin is a wonderful city to call home. But we are getting super crowded and really expensive and there's not sixteen art museums and naked Alan Cumming doing Shakespeare and all of Brooklyn to make up for that.
I ask myself, "how will I know this is the right place for me if I never live anywhere else?" I don't have a person here or a job I love. I've got lots of great friends, and I keep myself entertained and occupied and time ticks by. And I go on trips and think, "What if?"
I identified that feeling of completeness, that contentment, now, because I know myself better than I ever have before. I am more confident and secure and independent than I ever thought I could be. I'm healthy and strong and there's nothing holding me back from doing whatever I want to do, wherever I want to do it. I never thought I could move somewhere else before. Now, I know it would be a challenge, but shit, I am READY for a challenge. I'm ready to get the shit kicked out of me by love. And hell if I don't stupidly love New York City and its dirty, loud, crowded romantic promise of everything life has to offer.
I want a life free from regret. I don't want to look back in ten years and say, I wish I had lived in San Francisco or New York or London.
The question isn't "Why would you pick up and move your life across the country?"
It's WHY NOT?
And so the gears are turning, and I'm planning and researching and those dreams are coming back to me in a flood. I'll need about a year to figure it out, more or less. But I think the time has finally come to see what's out there. Because WHY NOT?
And I understand. It's never too late to live the life you dream of.