on loving and leaving.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

the night i arrived in new york city my driver thought i was a movie star.

gina martini he read aloud as i climbed into the back of the big, black suv. he paused, glaring down at his paperwork as if it would reveal any hint of who this wide-eyed girl with six oversized pieces of luggage really was, because she most certainly was no one he recognized as famous. assumed it was a stage name, he mumbled from the front seat.

i soon found out that this nice man happened to be the same driver that was in the movie devil wears prada {mere minutes after landing and the adventure had already begun}. it was royremember him? it took me a second, too. he has a small cameo with anne hathaway... roy, i'm sorry, can you go any faster? flashes to him. i'm sure nate will understand. i didn't even learn his real name that night, so roy it will always be. now who's the celebrity? i thought to myself

well, roy and i became fast friends. he loved to talk. mostly about food. he talked and talked about all of his favorite restaurants in new york city. and i have to say, the notes i jotted down that first night still come in handy today. he indulged me in my questions about hidden gems and where to go on weekend trips outside of the city because, well, i guess i was subconsciously trying to leave this place before i even got here. and, i was so eager to take advantage of living on the east coast and travel to all the places east coasters go.

you know how certain songs evoke emotions when they're played during key moments in your life? like how i can't hear a dashboard confessional song without thinking of my first love or how rascal flatts puts me right back in my hometown with the windows down driving home from high school or how a certain lil jon song transports me to a party in the basement of a frat house. key moments in life, really.

well, the next day it felt right to start playing alicia keys girl on fire on repeat. i even set it as my alarm clock. so every frigid february morning i'd wake up in my very stark corporate apartment on thirty second and sixth avenue, where roy dropped me off and helped me to unload my larger than life suitcases, and heard 'she's just a girl and she's on fire.' i would then play it three or four more times on the way to work depending on how long i had to wait for the n or r train from herald square. so that's the song. the one that will forever make me think of moving to new york.

all of this is pretty pointless information for you, isn't it? the stories don't even really go together in one post, they are just two small details i've been wanting to tell you for a while. and also, they are things i might someday write in my very own goodbye to all that. a dear and incredibly wise-for-her-age-friend {and also fellow blogger!} got me hooked on this book, a compilation of essays from writers who have lived in new york city.

i've learned people come to new york for the same reasons - opportunity, experience, and freedom to name a few - they just articulate it in their own way, but there is a universal theme that pulls us here. at the same time, people also leave this place for the same few reasons, but mostly, in my opinion, because they are tired. tired of it all. in the book, my favorite cheryl strayed says it perfectly in her final essay...
in the end, i had to realize it was never meant to be. it wasn't new york. it was me. i'd entered the city the way one enters any grand love affair: with no exit plan. i went willing to live there forever, to become one of the women clad in slim pants and killer shoes and interesting coats. i was ready for the city to sweep me into its arms, but instead it held me at a cool distance. and so i left new york the way one leaves a love affair too: because as much as i loved it, i wasn't truly in love. i had no compelling reason to stay. 
so it's all happening, my friends. the whole love but not in love part... the ready to leave thing. i get it. i get the cycle of this place. but more than anything i'm just grateful for the ride.

*more thoughts coming your way soon. xx
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