Bye Bye New York

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a favorite view from our many runs around the reservoir

I cannot lie. Leaving New York was more difficult than I had expected. Having been on the road so long, the distinct memories of the city I love had softened. Had we gone from Las Vegas straight to Sydney, somehow it would have been easier, my memories would not have had the same crispness they do now.  I know the tincture of time will soften their edges again soon, but at this moment, as I write from an LA hotel room and look into the future of a life down under the planet, the memories of the town that has given me more than my heart can hold are sharp enough to keep poking me in the ribs every time I move too quickly.

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g’s birth announcement is still up at the pediatrician’s

Our recent time in New York was surreal, lovely, rushed, harried, frustrating, wonderful and other adjectives as well. Each day I felt I experienced a new emotion and its complete opposite at the same time.

I can’t believe we’re leaving, I can’t wait to go.

I can’t have coffee with one more person, I want to have coffee with as many people as possible.

I can’t go to shake shack one more time, I just need to go to shake shack one more time.

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I told Michael I felt the similar sense of dissatisfaction I had felt when our beloved land lady, Deborah passed away.

Maybe some dinner will make me feel better…no.

Maybe a cup of tea is what I need…not quite.

A champagne toast might help?  No, that didn’t do it either.

Time?

the bethesda
the bethesda fountain

Yes.

Time does it every time.

We were in town for close to five weeks, just enough time to begin to feel like we either needed to move back in or just pack it up already.  A good friend even asked, ‘so how does it feel to be a visitor in your own life?’

The night before we left we had dinner with G’s God family. His Godmother and I held hands in the back of the cab like two twelve year old girls in a Jane Austen novel about to be wrenched away from each other.  We’d be forced to grow up on our own, she at Pemberly and myself in a colony in the antipodes. I hadn’t felt that way since I left home to go to college. The funny thing about life is the desire to keep those kinds of bizarre and epic feelings at bay, to not have to experience those grand emotions if we don’t really need to.

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But here I am a day later in an adorable hotel in LA of all places reconnecting with old friends I once had a difficult time saying goodbye to as well. And while my heart still hurts for our life in New York, the home where I spent all of my adult life, once I pushed through all those feelings and fears and actually left, I found a new feeling waiting for me.  I found a new glimmer of excitement and possibility that makes me think of a famous quote from Helen Keller…

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.

How lucky I am to be old enough now to know better than to stare at closed doors.

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crossing the delaware at the met

When this post publishes we will be somewhere over the Pacific Ocean where Monday October 7th doesn’t exist.

8 comments

  • All the best in Sydney, leaving NYC had to be hard but will welcome you back, it’s difficult to leave I am sure but has to be exciting at the same time. All the best!

  • Missing you guys SO much already! It will be such a wonderful adventure-and ELizabeth, what a lovely post! You are extremely talented my sweet sister! Love you very much-many kisses and hugs to my most adorable nephew-maybe the mice will turn into koalas now!

  • So beautifully put! It reminds me of the first time I left New York for London. Doesn’t sound so bad, right? It was gut wrenching. London, a place I’d wanted to live all my life, awaited me with friends and a job, but….it just wasn’t New York. The good news, New York’ll be here, waiting faithfully. We just moved back…for the third time. Go out and enjoy the “world beyond New York” (thank you NY1), love the difference—the outdoorsy life, the weather, the upbeat attitude—and report back to us. We’ll hold down the fort until you return. We just can’t promise to keep it just the way you left it —RIP Big Nick’s!

    • RIP Big Nick’s! I can’t tell you how much this comment helped me weather the storm of NYC separation anxiety. Michael and I burst out in relief at your London experience. Happy to know we were not alone in our devastation by what was, for all intents and purposes, an amazing opportunity abroad. It’s taken 2 full weeks and suddenly, I’m finding Sydney to be just delightful. New York, always so dramatic! Enjoy the fall, post some photos…it does my heart good.

  • I could almost feel the lump in your throat as you tried to to express your mixed emotions about leaving your beloved NYC, friends and family, BUT, I know it wont be long until we will be getting more and more happy blogs about the wonders of “downunder”and all the fun things you are experiencing. Can hardly wait for the pictures.Especially of Gray with a Koala Bear near by.
    May this be a journey of success for Michael, A joy for Betsy’s writing that she does so well and open up a whole new world for sweet little Gray to explore and learn from. God Bless you all the way.
    Love always, GG

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