I sit here on a small patio writing with the constant noise of traffic below. I’m in a much smaller place than I was three months ago as I prepare to make a move. By the time the dust settles, we will have moved four times in less than four months.
This one involves leaving behind the place where many vagabond shoes have come to. Instead mine will be leaving here, New York, New York!!
The ending of this part of my life signifies a beginning of what my life will be. When I arrive at that other place. As I reflect back on the past year, I know that soon my life will thankfully (hopefully?) settle down, but not quite yet.
So, I’ve had to step back and gather some strength, make some sense of all these stressors that have taken hold of me for a long time now. Hubby’s job is taking us South. I feel some kind of relief — a bittersweet one, but one that I feel may bring us to a place where I can exhale a little bit.
So Long, But Not Goodbye
A few weeks ago I went into the city and met with my writing group. Three beautiful, intelligent women — all writers with diverse occupations; a lawyer from the Bronx, a schoolteacher in Queens and a business professional from New Jersey. These women are the best and they’ll be my friends, whether through Skype, email or our visiting each other, I know I’ll stay in touch with them.
We three clicked from the time we met at a Gotham Writing Class in Manhattan. We’ve shared our writing, our personal trials, tribulations, joys and sorrows over the past two years. We met at our usual place, the Tick Tock Diner. Although none of us had any writing to share, we shared what had been happening in our lives. We talked, laughed and more than a few times, I cried.
It’s so nice meeting with people who see you, know you, care about what happens to you. Even our waiter, Steve signed the card that my friends brought to me with warm words and a picture of all of us on it. He took it with him to the back, all of us wondering if he’d return it. He did and he became very personal and lovely and jovial. Maybe he was just waiting for someone to see him.
Before we left, he said to me, “I’ll come to your book-signing when you come back.” I’d like to think that’s a foreshadowing from Steve, a New York waiter at the Tick-Tock. You just never know, right?
I have mixed feelings about leaving here. When I arrived here over three years ago, I was enamored of New York — the city — the people, everything. We’d go into the city nearly every weekend. I had the opportunity to meet people in the city, do some writing for them. The energy was and is incredible. I’ll miss that. I’ll miss all that is Manhattan. This place made me grow, thrive as a person and as a writer.
But that raging storm that I and many of us went through last year changed something in me. Made me gain a different perspective. It made me afraid, anxious for a very long time. I still am sometimes, but it’s getting better. Soon after, my Dad left this world. I left New York for a awhile to tend to all that, then came back. Then another move, word of a transfer and well, you know, change as much as we dread it, it’s the one thing we can all be sure of.
So Long and Hello…
Endings and beginnings. I remember a song in the late 90s I loved called Closing Time by Semisonic. I know that the meaning of it was much deeper than we all thought then. It sounds as if it’s about strangers/friends meeting in a bar or a gathering place, but one line in it struck me as so profound that I painted an ethereal painting on an old round tabletop. I painted a woman up in the clouds — yeah, I know but I was going through a thing then — and I painted the words around her:
Every new beginning comes from some other’s beginning’s end.
That tabletop is in storage somewhere, waiting for me to unpack it.
Allegedly, one of the the band’s members wrote it about fatherhood but disguised it in a form that people could relate to. I think that phrase can relate to most anything in life really. What I’m going through, what you’re going through. And, there’s something very comforting about that.
Life, for all its ups and downs and things we don’t understand, is LIFE, the good and the messy. We learn, accept and go forward, knowing that the ending of something just means the beginning of something else.
So I’m ready and despite the fact that I’m saying goodbye, for now, to familiar places and faces, I’m embracing what’s ahead with a grateful heart and a bittersweet mood of moving forward. I’ve lived where I’m going to before so it’s like saying hello again to an old friend.
The next few weeks will be busy for me. Maybe I’ll take some pics along the way to the new place. Once we do settle in, maybe I’ll be blogging or writing from here or maybe here. I can drive to each of them and the atmosphere is calm, serene. I’m ready for some of that.
And know that whatever you’re going through, there is someone who is going through the same kind of thing, and if you think no one understands or is listening, there is always someone who will and someone who gets YOU.
Happy Monday and I’m leaving you with two songs (there’s two tracks there!) that I hope you’ll take the time to listen to — about endings, beginnings and friends. See ya soon, friends.
Much love and peace,