Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Autumn (okay, still technically Summer) in New York

I thought writing about my first trip to New York would be easy.  The whole time I was there, I filed memories and moments away specifically for this very purpose.

But now I sit here in front of the computer, and I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed and at a loss for words. (Which, for a writer, is a terrible feeling.)

But let’s just see where this goes, shall we?  I’m just going to start writing with the hope that the right words come pouring out eventually.  Like a bout of constipation finally dislodged from the gut. 
Speaking of which, I’ve discovered that my body is odd when it comes to traveling.  I didn’t take a shit the entire time I was in NY.  I guess the change of routine really threw off my regularity.  So weird.  So gross.  So true.

I had anxiously awaited September 16, 2011.  I mean more than I anticipate my birthday, which as some of you may know, I begin counting down to sometime in July or August.

But this was a trip.  And actual trip on a plane.  Not to mention my first trip with Laughs.  So, I mean, lots of cool stuff going on all around, am I right?  I over packed, of course.  My bag weighed 34 flipping pounds.  And because I’m terrible about knowing what I want to wear in advance, I even ended up buying an outfit in Brooklyn.  

I could go through all of the details, moment by moment, but I think you’d get bored reading it all.  So I think the best course of action would be to summarize. 

I had a wonderful time.  I laughed a lot.  I smiled a lot.  I ate…A LOT.  I saw things I honestly never thought I’d have the opportunity to see.  (Like, well…New York, for example.)  I think before this whole trip came about, I had convinced myself that I was not allowed to experience things that other people get to experience.  Like traveling or vacations.  For some reason, I’d fallen into this pattern that my life is still on hold in the same capacity it was on hold when my son was an infant. 
(I mean, for Pete’s sake, I have a child, but I just realized I will no longer be shopping in the children’s section of a store.  He’s in men’s sizes now.  It’s a SUPER WEIRD thing to wrap your head around.  I have a man-child.  Holy balls.  HOLY BALLS.  It’s absolutely nuts to think about…so anyways…)

But the truth is, it’s not.  Sure, I can’t up and leave for 2 weeks straight without some massive planning and prep.  And true, I can’t just keep planning vacation after vacation or leave on a whim.  But I can visit places.  I can take airplanes to places.  I’ve started to gain a little more freedom in that respect.  And the coolest part?  There is so much I have yet to see that as time goes on, my options remain pretty much endless. 
New York: There's a lot of walking.
The other thing I noticed is that I have this deep appreciation and awe for places and things I’ve never experienced.  I felt like a child in some respects: wide-eyed and eager to take it all in.  I didn’t take a single sight, sound---or smell---for granted.   It was incredible.  It also didn’t hurt that I had a rather funny and knowledgeable tour guide with me. 
I even learned how to use the subway.  And being that the station near our hotel was closed and the trains weren’t running for THAT WEEKEND ONLY, I was pretty proud of myself and Laughs for owning the shit out of the MTA despite the odds being mildly stacked against us. 
I couldn’t have asked for a better experience—in all respects.  Between seeing NY, hanging out with some of the best people around, eating the most awesome food, and having so many moments that will forever be etched in my mind and heart, it was truly unbelievable. 
Moreover, it changed my perspective.  Like I said, I realized that I’m reaching a point in my life where I’m slowly getting a little more freedom to explore this life.  Sure, they’re just small bites, but they’re small, delicious bites. 
Admittedly, I’ve gotten a bit emotional about the whole trip since coming home.  Part of it might be a mild case of post vacation blues, but there’s another part of it is that I'm just so incredibly grateful to have had the experience that I can’t help but get a little teary thinking about it. 
Like I said, until this point, I’d never really considered visiting NYC (or anywhere really) an option.  I’d basically just kind of filed those dreams away somewhere in the recesses of my very busy brain, and didn’t think much of them.  I’d gotten so used to just believing that my path didn’t have those types of beautiful detours.

So when I realized that I had just conquered my first weekend in NY, and my first actual trip since 2007, it was like I had taken my very first breath.  I went to bed the Thursday before one person, and woke up Monday morning a different one.  A more energized one.  A more confident one.  One who realized that it might have taken many, many years, but I’m slowly taking my life and making it all of the things that it has the potential to be. 

Of course, finally seeing Max again after 4 days I also realized that part of that is being a good mom.  And it’s finding that balance that’s been a challenge.  This trip showed me that I can have that balance.  That I DO have that balance.

I feel like I absolutely need to end this post by abundantly thanking Laughs for making this trip more than just a trip to New York.  You made it an experience.  You made it fun.  You made my face hurt from laughing.  You made it a memory that I will never forget.  You made something I didn’t think I’d ever possibly do in the foreseeable future, absolutely possible.  So thank you, Laughs – it means so incredibly much to me.  More than I can even express. 
Additionally, you also made me want to get closet doors for a closet-sized bathroom. 

Something happened, Hoyt-Schermerhorn.  Something happened.

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