No Easy Choice

We’re driving towards the mountains, and my brain is going off in ten trillion directions.

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We’re going to miss the sunrise — it’s already a fiery globe in the sky — but it doesn’t really matter. There will be another one tomorrow, and another one the day after that. Arizona is good like that.

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But in two more days, I’ll be back in New York. Back in a place where I can’t depend on a relentlessly blue sky to cheer me up.

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Back in a place where I often look around and think what on earth am I doing here.

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I am a girl who likes 10 hours of sleep a night, and I moved to the city that never sleeps. I am a girl who owns a dozen pairs of running shoes, and only one pair of heels. I am a girl who loves to head out for a hike before breakfast.

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I am a girl who needs to relax, on about 90 different levels. I am a girl who would rather live in the middle of nowhere, with a bed and a table and a chair and a little bit of spending money every month. I am a girl who is tired of feeling so alone. I am a girl who is much happier away from all the action, in a shady spot with a garden.

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I am a girl who can’t stop writing. I am a girl who brings a camera wherever she goes. I am a girl who wants space — all of this wide-open space. I am a girl who loves beautiful things.

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I am a girl who is just remembering how nice it is to laugh. I am a girl who wants to meet someone again, someday. I am a girl who wants her job to just be one part of who she is. I am a girl who chooses orange juice at brunch.

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New York said you are allowed to be somebody different. New York said I will teach you how to busy yourself and not miss a thing. New York said you won’t want for anything. New York said this is the place to be.

And it’s true — if I want to do something in the food and writing world, I probably do need to make my headquarters there. And I have more than half a chance now. It could even be a real chance, to follow that dream. It would be silly to turn it down.

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And so I will at least look at cheaper places to live. But I know I won’t find what I’ve found out west, in a tiny town south of the Grand Canyon, or on a mountain peak overlooking all of Scottsdale.

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My heart’s out here. Not necessarily in Arizona, but somewhere out here. Seattle and Portland both sound good. Great, even. Even though I have even fewer friends on this side of the country. Even though most of my family is in New England. Even though I have less than zero connections here. Even though I would have to go through being unemployed all over again.

There is no easy choice.

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