Friday, November 26, 2010

Home is where the heart is

I was talking with a friend the other day when she asked me what being homesick means to me.  This seems like there would be a very simple answer but for me this question has more depth and intricacy than most.  We all know the saying "Home is where the heart is" and so automatically my answer should be Colorado because that is where my family lives but my childhood memories are all from California. 

My heart has been split for the better part of the past 9 years and in all honestly this exact question has been what has caused me so much confusion and strife.  If you know me then you already know I move around A LOT! Not necessarily around but more like back and forth, back and forth, and ONE more time...back and forth.  I know it was all about of my growing process but I have gained a reputation. I am a runner and NO not the healthy kind of running.  When things got too difficult to handle, I moved. When I was too homesick I moved.  When I felt bored, I moved.  Get the picture?

So, now back to my one year plan to New York City. Of course I was playing it safe by limiting my time here. I ultimately gave myself an out whenever I needed it.  I had not thought about how my actions might affect the people around me until now. The people I meet while living here. The people I care about and the ones I increasingly care about.

As I was trying to explain my answer to this friend I knew K was not judging me but others might.  How can someone trust a future with me if all they ever hear is how I have no long term goals when it comes to putting down roots? I tried to explain how I was so excited to complete my year here and now exceed it but I know that in the back of every ones head there will always be a curiosity of when I might wake up and bail.  I did not think anything of it until I was called a vagabond. 
a person, usually without a permanent home, who wanders from place to place; nomad
I know C was being silly and not malicious but it stung.  I know I had just claimed to move to Europe for a year and not leave Barcelona but I guess I never really realized how I came across to other people.  Especially people who did not know me when I was "wandering" around the west side of this country. Is it that obvious? Do people really think I just will drop everything and move again? Reality is people probably believe me when I say those types of flippant remarks. I did once say that about NYC.  
I do not want to have this reputation. I want to put down roots.  I want a home of my own. I want a life of my own. But, how can anyone be sure where that is? I have fallen more in love with New York City in the past 3 months than I knew possible but I do miss my family.  I also miss California. But isn't that normal?
Is it OK to miss your past while still living in the present?  I always thought so but now I am not so sure.  I never thought I was still living in the past but I have started to realize I am not allowing myself to enjoy and love the present.  It is not healthy to constantly compare everything to the past.  My past is part of me and will always be who I was to get me where I needed to be to become who I am now. I am afraid I am going to miss out on some amazing things here out of fear.  I cannot allow that to happen.  I do not want anyone to fear taking a risk with me because of my past.  I am here in New York City.  I am a New Yorker. I flew home yesterday and felt my heart fill with joy as the skyline neared.  This is home.  Home is where your heart is but it is OK to have bits of your heart spread all over.  My heart is with them all but my life is here.
"I said, to be a New Yorker you have to live here for six months, and if at the end of the six months you find you walk faster, talk faster, think faster, you're a New Yorker."
Ed Koch

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Sometimes your dreams just aren't what life planned.  You know the saying life is what happens when you are busy making plans? I have never felt the truth in this until now. I think it has to be the fact that I am now nearing the end of the biggest life dream I have ever made and I am feeling quite poetic about it. I really do not know what I had in mind when I decided to move to NYC for a year of my life. At the time I was 12 and I came home from a week long East Coast trip with classmates.  I barged into my parents room and announced my move to the city. My mother smiled and nodded. I really do believe she knew I was serious. Flash forward 13 years when I made the phone call to my mom telling her I had quit my dream job in Pasadena and I was ready to head east. I think she always knew this day would come.

Like I said I really have no idea what I thought would come out of this year.  I have heard people say that they moved to NYC for a year and have been here for over 15 years.  Actually I have heard this same story more often than not but I am stubborn.  I wanted ONE year in New York; no more no less.  In fact for more than 50% of my first year here I couldn't wait for it to end.  I was ready to finish this adventure. I was having fun but this was not a life long choice.  I was ready to call it quits early.  My dear friend K and I were talking about this the other night and I think she is 100% right in what she said. I pushed on, I pushed further than I ever have before and now I see what life has planned for me.  I see why I am here in this place right now. Sometimes it is really in the fight. If I gave up I would have missed all of what I have now.

I am exactly 6 weeks away from completing this year and to tell the truth I am not done.  I cannot walk away from this experience on January 4th, 2011 feeling I had completed my task here.  So the stubborn girl who was waiting for this year to end is in no way shape or form ready to leave this city. I have no expectations for the next year or even the one following that. I may continue  east and live in Europe, I could easily end up back in California, or NYC may be home forever. I have no idea and I have no desire to know until life happens.   I will, however feel proud of what I have accomplished.  I feel grateful to have emerged into someone I am proud to be.  Sometimes when you live life without expectations the end result is so much more rewarding.  New York has filled me with emotion, self confidence, pride, strength, determination, hard work, love, and so so much more. I have lived, worked, and successfully survived in the most stressful and expensive city in the United States. I have traveled, paid off debt, set goals and achieved them all while healing a broken heart and tattered soul.  I actually feel like the Lindsay I used to admire. The Lindsay I will continue to admire.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Rules in the City

New York has changed me. I believe in rules, manners, guidelines, and morals to live by.  Of course as individuals we  set most of these for ourselves.  I always liked who I was.  I loved my rules and following them always seemed to work.  I have had  my heart  broken a couple times, a few emotional and physical breakdowns, and several moves, but everyone experiences that, right?  I mean my emotional roller coaster could not be directly attributed to my neurotic way of thinking? 

 There are no rules in this city.  People cross the street without waiting for the walk sign, they drive outside of the intended lanes, strangers shout on the street and occasional forget to put clothes on in public. New York has taken this rigid rule obsessing individual and forced me to choke on my words.

Of course in dating I have some pretty strict rules.  Every girl has her list of deal breakers and such.   Mine just might be a little longer than most.  Yes, I am 26 and still single while 85% of my friends are either married or in a long term relationship.  Yes, my rules may have something to do with my relationship status but why settle?  Why change what you want just for some awkward company? The answer to this is now more than ever so simple. 

I do not consider myself someone to play it safe but that is exactly what I have been doing.  Throwing out the rules is the first way to leap without a safety net. I have never met anyone worth throwing all the rules away for. Not until now.  Call it karma but every darn rule in my book (silly or semi-important) seems to present itself at this point.  I have two options here. I can walk away and let my fear win or leap. Well the rules can take a hike because I cannot walk away.  He opens my door, he is consistent, he is kind, he is honest, he holds my hand, he is a gentleman, he makes me feel beautiful, he laughs at me, he takes my breath away .  For the first time in my life I do not have to try. So what if his last name is not higher in the alphabet than mine or he is a Yankee fan? 

I cannot predict the future but what I can say is that my life will never be the same.  I now know how it should be. I know that rules are meant to be broken.  Life is constantly taking my plans and shaking them like a soda can about to explode. It is messy, sticky, but oh so fun.  

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


See, I have never been one to really over analyze the weather.  When you grow up in Southern California there is not much to discuss about this topic. Imagine the conversation about how sunny and warm it feels over and over again.  Facebook is a good example of this.  Whenever the weather drastically changes anywhere in the country people post about it.  In California, I read a lot about how it is either the perfect beach day, too hot, or on occasion raining and people cannot drive. 

A few years ago I moved to Colorado and experienced weather like I had never before.  A favorite saying amongst the Coloradoans is if you do not like the weather, wait 10 minutes.  In a matter of an hour I have experienced sun and warmth, extreme wind that leads to thunder clouds that produce hail and tornadoes when all the sudden the weather drops and it is snowing. Now, this is temperamental weather. The bitch cannot make up her mind. 

 As I continued my journey East I discovered a much worse behaved Mother Nature.  She is ornery, sad, over-indulgent, and at times beloved.  I moved here in the dead of winter.  I had no choice but to quickly adjust to a constant, wet 20 degrees. In Colorado, due to the elevation, it is a very dry climate and no matter the temperature it never really feels THAT cold.  Of course I cannot ignore that no matter what, you always have a vehicle as shelter.  It took me all of one week to realize I was in a much colder climate in New York and that I really had no escape out of the weather between point A to point B. Welcome to East Coast winters. It may have been the combination between the excitement of fulfilling a dream and a new winter wardrobe but the frigid weather never really bothered me as I had expected it to.  

Spring in New York is really non existent.  I have always felt like Spring  is highly over rated and not needed and now I eat my own words. By the end of May I truly longed for a few short months of transitional weather that fell between the frigid and the humid.  Before I knew it I was living in hell, literally.  

I am actually very self conscious but I will admit to fully desiring to be naked at all times from the end of May to the beginning of September. I have no other way to describe this time period then to use one verb; to sweat.  I am actually surprised I did not sweat off several pounds in the summer. Imagine hot and thick air so hard to breath in.  Imagine there is no wind to break the heat.  Now take the weather outside and imagine walking two stories underground to catch the subway with both the morning and afternoon rush.

I have never been one to enjoy checking out the sauna or steam room at my local spa.  The steamy room filled with sweaty bodies all breathing heavily has always made me gag.  I should have known NYC summers were not for me.  The subway platform is exactly that of the sauna.  As I waited for the train to approach everyone day in my skinny pencil skirt and fashionable top I realize my back was drenched in sweat.  When the train pulled in I realized I had no choice but to board a fully occupied subway car.  This is where my height comes in handy. It was the only thing that saved me this summer.  My head is a full 6" above most people so when they lift their arms to hold on at least my nose was not shoved in a sweaty armpit.  Disgusting! Oh thank goodness summer is over.

Fall everywhere is usually glorious.  The weather, the smells,and  the holidays are all amazing.  New York is no different.  Before I knew it the weather was 74 degrees and the wind was blowing my hair like a photo shoot.  I was walking down the street feeling like a model in a flattering outfit with straightened hair.  No longer was I sporting the sweaty pulled back bun that I grew so accustomed to.  I know that this season is again too short lived like that of spring  but I have fallen in love. I am so deeply in love with New York now.  Fall has given me this gift.

Now don't get me wrong,  Mother Nature is still the same temperamental bitch as before but at least the humidity is gone. As I round out the end of my first 4 seasons in New York City I am reminded of something my Gaga used to say. ( for the record this is NOT Lady Gaga!)  Gaga always had the best advice and she used to say never marry a man you do not know for at least all 4 seasons.  I feel that way about New York. You cannot truly know someone without experiencing the good, the bad, and even sometimes the ugly. I have loved this city, tolerated this city, hated this city, and back to love again all while the earth makes it's  yearly journey around the sun.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Doormen and the City

What is it about window shopping that makes a heart race a little faster? Can we imagine how the item of clothing will fit, look, or feel on us?  Is it that there is pure fantasy in your thoughts rather than risking walking into the store and trying it on to just be disappointed. What if you lived somewhere you can walk down the streets and window shop for men? Well, I do.

Imagine it is like walking down Colorado Blvd in Pasadena, California with all the stores with big windows displaying all different styles. Feeling fancy; look: heels! Feeling comfy; OMG did you just see those jeans? Now, every block or avenue for the most part of the Upper East Side will contain a doorman building.  Much like the shops with big windows to lure you into the store, these buildings have men standing at the door just baiting you to look. Men just standing there every 20 feet or so. Do not get me wrong it is not like male models are employed as doormen like at Abercrombie and Fitch but you never know when you see something you just HAVE to HAVE! Something for your imagination to play with and do what ever you please.  It is window shopping for men. Imagine how he would feel, look, or fit with you all without actually having to try him on and risk disappointment AGAIN. 

When I first moved to New York I lived with my cousin.  She lives in a doorman building.  I like to flirt and there were several nights or rather early mornings when you could find me sitting in the lobby flirting with the overnight doorman.  This is when my love for these men first developed. Why had I not thought about this before? Men who practice chivalry all day long. Grated they are paid and employed to display their chivalry but it is always appreciated and helps play the part while I imagine our lives together for the next 10 blocks.  Who wouldn't like a man to open your door, hail you a cab, hold an umbrella for you until you are inside the building, carry your boxes to the cab,  smile and ask about your day?  The list goes on and on and on and on.

 I will admit that I have my favorites.  I will chose a street based on my mood for the day. If I am feeling spunky there is the guy on Park Avenue that always smiles and winks when I walk by.  Oh does he have the most amazing eyes.  If I just need to see some serious eye candy there is the block between 74th and 75th where all three building have tall, beautiful men standing at the door.  If I get "lucky" they are all working at the same time like every Thursday around 3:00PM ;)

So, ladies if you are ever feeling a need for some retail therapy leave your wallets at home and come out with me and let the windows do all the work.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Smells and the City

I realize I am now exactly 10 months too late to create a blog that follows my adventures living in the big apple. Oops! But nonetheless here I am; October 1st.  Although late, this may be a way to provide a more entertaining blog considering all I have already experienced.

My first blog subject came to me this morning as I was leaving the gym. I was crossing the street and I experienced a whiff of something amazing.  It was a street cart cooking somethin' up for breakfast.  Most likely it was something I could never partake in if I have any interest in fitting in my jeans this fall but it did smell amazing.  Way to shock the starving stomach after an intense work out and the last month of starvation.

 As I continued my walk headed to my cousin's house I walked south. Only about half a  block later the delightful scent was gone and all I could smell was urine. All I could see was urine.  Did 20 dogs just relieve themselves in this exact spot? Probably, that's New York.  My stomach quickly transformed from a growling hunger to something I'd rather not remember. At this point I have no choice but to take a giant step and trek on. 

As soon as the smell had turned toxic it dissipated.  The rain came down like the heavens were angry and my senses were overwhelmed with the smell of wet concrete.  This is my ultimate favorite smell.  I love to smell the rain before it actually falls. Of course I am umbrella"less." As I looked around I quickly realized that no one around me seems to even notice the rain.  In fact no one around me had even noticed the repulsive smells from before. Is it just me? Am I the only one that find the smells in the city so intriguing?

Ten months into this adventure I am fascinated with new experiences.  Like my walk this morning, my time here has been just that.  There are moments of pure bliss that are quickly masked by something unpleasant all before I experience moments that take my breath away like the smell of the rain.