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.