I used to live in New York.
New York, New York. Which I still can’t help but think of as The Real Deal, New York.
Real Deal New York involved a third floor walk-up, a studio without a stove, a bodega down below, and a crazy couple up above. This place — the twelve-month period in this place — was set to the scintillating soundtrack of oh-my-god-I-am-going-to-run-out-of-money. Like actually, run out of money.
If you’ve been coming here for a while, you know already know that my real deal New York also involved a lot of eggs.
A lot of eggs, I mean. Eggs every day. Eggs for lunch and eggs for dinner. I really tried to avoid eggs for breakfast. Still try, actually. For obvious reasons.
Anyway: all those eggs, times 365. Let’s not do that math.
It will come as no surprise, then, when I say that my New York smelled an awful lot like hard-boiled eggs. Also, like cherry blossoms, for one glorious week of year. (To be fair.)
If you asked me what New York sounded like: I would say like somebody swearing. (Before jamming their foot in the door, and elbowing their way in. Unless it was over 90 degrees, in which case an ordinary expletive and accompanying jab in the ribs would not do.)
And if you asked me how it looked: I would say New York looked like a stack of black shirts, folded on the floor. I remember that stack — I liked to think of it in the bottom drawer of the dresser I didn’t have, in the closet only my broker was ever creative enough to conjure up.
And if you ask me how it felt? I would say New York felt like go, go, go — going to make it! — nope, kidding, two seconds too late. Door slam. Over and over and over again.
You probably get the point by now, but I’m really on a roll.
New York felt like a stomachache a day, an anxiety attack a week. New York felt like One New Email, every one second.
New York felt like the beautiful brunching person I would never become. (I am a breakfast-or-lunch person. A sneaker person. I reserve my high heels exclusively for first dates with boys I have really high hopes for.)
How did I ever live in New York.
I’ve been in Oregon for a week and a half, and this is what I wake up thinking, walk around thinking, and go to bed thinking.
This bodes well, I think. This is a good sign.
Is it all completely perfect, out here? No. Of course it isn’t. But the Oregon filter is pretty good.
I love my view. The view from here.
I didn’t come out here for the spectacular summer, though. I came out here because I never hung anything on the walls in New York. I came out here because my LOOKING FOR and my ENJOYS are here, and not there.
But mostly I came out here because I wanted a better shot at balance. At living a balanced life. And it’s working — the Pacific Northwest is working.
But now I’m about to start working, and I’m so afraid I’m going to end up in New York, New York, all over again. Because maybe it wasn’t fair to blame all of the stress and strain and sleepless nights on New York. Maybe it really wasn’t fair.