Sometimes, I feel like my decision to leave NYC was the result of a handful of temporary grievances and circumstances that I allowed to build up in to a huge black-and-white mountain. In hindsight - as I sit here typing this in Los Angeles - were those "things" intense enough to prompt an out-of-state move? No way! But...here I am.
It's taken me almost 9-months to finally be able to talk to you about leaving Manhattan. Hell, I am barely able to watch NYC-based TV shows and movies! The subject is bittersweet and strewn with confusion and self doubt. Aside from 10 years' worth of friendships, priceless experiences, adventures, heart breaks, invaluable life lessons...I walked away from this blog (temporarily, as I thought that starting a brand new, California-centric website would be a brilliant idea) and my grad school program at NYU. That's a lot.
I moved to Los Angeles with three notions, give or take: A) My sister and I would finally live within a 45-minute drive of each other. B) I would be working within a fascinating sector of an incredibly amazing company. C) A romance would continue to bloom with a local fellow whom I met in December 2013. Drum roll please...Exhibit "B" is the only notion of the three that has truly worked out. Things with "Mr. Local" fizzled at the end of August and, just last month, my brother-in-law accepted a fabulous job in Florida that will commence in July. Whew!
Although there have been a lot of hard and jagged pills to swallow, life in Los Angeles has been unexpectedly great. I've met amazing new pals and rekindled old friendships - I get to spend much more time with my beloved family - I regularly indulge in Mexican food and sushi that would put anywhere in NYC to shame - I've traded my indoor spin classes for outdoor hikes (OK, I've actually only done that once, but it was super pretty and I should totally hike more often.) - and, twice/day, I get to revel in that priceless expression on my pup's face when I tell her that we're going for a "walk." Outdoors. Surrounded by warmth and sunshine, grass, squirrels, and more smells than she could ever ask for.
This post is titled "Homecoming 2015" because, last Friday, I went back home (NYC) for the first time since I moved out west. Originally, I was supposed to celebrate my homecoming last November, but I had to cancel last-minute; in hindsight, going back so soon after my move would have probably been too new and raw. Plus, with the February 8th nuptials of a dear friend, this month's visit made much more sense.
I was in NYC from February 6th - February 10th (last weekend). The range of emotions that I experienced from the time I landed until the moment I departed - happy, sad, nostalgic, scared, ecstatic, angry, heart broken - were almost too overwhelming. Aside from a noticeably huge increase in graffiti and the typical restaurant openings/closures, it was as if time had stood still. NYC was still its fabulous, dirty, cold, mysterious, unforgiving, sexy, and dangerous self. My friends looked even more beautiful than I had remembered - the food tasted so much more flavorful, pungent, and delicious - walking from one place to the next, even taking the subway, felt thrilling and riveting. I had butterflies in my stomach! For the first time in so many months, I felt alive. Amidst all of this, reality set in and my proverbial bubble burst when my ATM card was stolen and I had to spend Monday afternoon filing a police report at the 1st precinct instead of visiting my old colleagues in Tribeca. But it wouldn't be NYC without a little drama, now would it?
Stay tuned for my "homecoming roundup" which will include, among other things, a photo collage of all that I ate, drank, celebrated, the streetart that I captured, and my makeover!
Until we eat again,
The Lunch Belle