I don't know what it is about New York that brings out the introspective aspect of my personality- maybe its the sense of longing I get while I'm here- being that I miss it. I miss the life I had, and part of me (yes, I admit it) is scared for YET ANOTHER new phase... Maybe I just have too much time to think while I'm here. Or maybe it's because my time is limited- it's impermanent- so I'm forced to cram everything in, meanwhile- thinking about what came before and everything that is coming after...who I was then and who I am now and who I may be when I come back the next time- if and when I do come back.
As always, I've loved every second of being here. It's rainy and grey and the only boots I brought are ruined but I wake up happy. I wonder if I'll feel this at peace during the next chapter of my life- if I will wake up in Barcelona, surrounded by friends who challenge me and make me laugh, ready for whatever the day will bring. I hope so. I hope that Barcelona becomes my home and not just a city that I'll live in. I think it's rare to find a home. I've lived in many cities and few have actually felt as good to me as New York did...and still does.
Last night I caught up with an old friend of mine- over excessive wine and backgammon.
At one point during the ebb and flow of our conversation, the question was raised as to why I do the things I do. I mean, there I was- with a great friend- engrossed in fabulous conversation in a fabulous apartment in a fabulous city- and I left! I left all of this- one of my first true homes, New York, and the life I had made for myself here. And now? Well, now I'm leaving again- heading off into more unfamiliar territory...doing an MBA in Spain of all places. My friend brought up a great point. He said that I never make it easy for myself. And he was right.
My reply was; I only do the things I'm most terrified of, their return is always the greatest. The more I have thought about this statement of mine, the more I realize how true it is. I know it's been said before- and I'm not claiming to be any wiser than I am- but I do seem to consistently choose the more formidable routes...never making it easy.
I know (very well) what it feels like to get off of a plane in a new country, with overweight luggage and only a smudged address scrawled on a scrap piece of paper. It feels like it was only yesterday that I went through it- and it's hard. It's lonely and its scary but It's worth it. VERY WORTH IT. I just have to remind myself of this when my heart starts beating fast in the departures terminal as I am going over the few phrases I can pronounce in Catalan. I'll think back to New York and when I moved here at 23- And then two years later- sad to leave because it HAD become my home and I loved it here and knew it like the back of my hand. And now, almost four years later- coming back just to visit- and still knowing it like the back of my hand- as if New York has become a piece of me.
I can only hope that four years from now, I will go back to Barcelona- to visit- and walk the streets I'll know well, eat at the restaurants that will have become my regular haunts- meeting up with friends that although strangers today, will one day remind me of who I was, keeping me grounded, and recalling the priceless moments we shared.
So enough introspection for one day- I'm off to dodge rogue taxi drivers, ruin another pair of shoes on the damp streets, shop in overpriced boutiques for new ones I don't need, and eat my favorite lunch in my favorite SOHO restaurant while planning a massive party for Saturday night...
See? I NEVER make it easy!