We’re driving towards the mountains, and my brain is going off in ten trillion directions.
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.
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.
Back in a place where I often look around and think what on earth am I doing here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.