That sounds weird to say because, obviously, I had a first boyfriend. But that boyfriend was Joey, and we always dated a little more seriously, with a little more direction. What I mean to say is, New York is the first boyfriend I would have had if I had been a high schooler in a movie in 1997.
We met through friends while I was in school, and my crush was immediate. After a couple years of long-distance flirting, we made things official. The drama was almost immediate (“You make it so hard to be with you sometimes! I mean, have you seen these broker fees??”), but New York always made it up to me.
New York took me on some of the best dates of my life. New York made me cry. Like all best relationships, New York introduced me to some of the best people now in my life.
I fell in love here. I got married and had a baby here. My daughter’s birth certificate will forever read “New York City.”
But, like most first relationships, I always knew it wouldn’t last forever.
I’ve always said I would give New York ten years. It has been almost eight, but, honestly, New York years are like dog years, and I feel like I’ve been here 20.
And as the years went on, the flaws in our tenuous love affair became more and more glaring. I found myself using the word “hate” more often. “I hate how hard it is to get your laundry done!” “I hate how hard it is to find parking!” “I hate how everything is a little bit more challenging here!”
“I hate it here.”
The words fell from my lips so easily, but they still came with a pang of guilt.
Because I’ll always love New York. The way you always think fondly of your first love, maybe not in the same way, but always.
Eventually, I became that girl who knew it was over but was still holding on. I held on because there were still occasional good times, there were still reasons to stay, but in my heart I knew New York would never commit to me.
Because at the end of the day, that’s what it came down to. I wanted commitment. I wanted consistency. I had aged out of New York, and I was fully okay with that.
I’ve been thinking a lot about New York and me because, well, we’re leaving. After eight years (as of May 23rd), I’m officially packing my bags and getting out of Dodge. I’m not going to lie, I’m super excited about having a new state and new home on the horizon, but, like any good first boyfriend, nostalgia still beckons. New York will always have eight of some of the most important years of my life. And (once I no longer have to deal with the traffic, the people, the schleps to the laundromat) I know I’ll always think of it fondly. I’m proud of each one of those eight years.
But I’m ready for a new adventure.
Also! As blog readers (if you’ve stuck through these numerous dry spells of posting when I was waiting, waiting, waiting to have something to tell you guys), this is actually great news for you. Because a move and a new house are sure to be rife with blog post ideas. I know, I can smell your relief from here. So stay tuned, friends!