Sigh. A deep sigh that comes from several places--making a decision; making a move; knowing you can't go back; knowing there's excitement and adventure ahead; and the sigh that comes from joints and muscles you didn't know you had creaking in protest over your hoisting of giant televisions, pieces of furniture and mattresses and placing them on the sidewalk in the rain, donating them to the citizens of New York or maybe giving them back to the universe.
My apartment is no longer mine. I took down the personal touches, and noticed that through the years, dust or dirt has collected in outline around the picture frames and refrigerator poems, leaving an impression in surfaces, a ghost of my occupancy, an intimation that I was there.
I moved furniture by myself. I sold what I could and put all my belongings in boxes. When the boxes ran out, there were bags. And then the bags ran out. And I got more. (Because really, there are always more bags.) I swept, and tried not to sink into the metaphor of clearing out dusty boxes of memories. (Is there anything more evocative than discovering a cassette titled "Esther's Graduation Mix: Here We Are Now, Entertain Us!")
I had friends over one last time, new Twitter friends in an old space, the last time I'll have my own space until...no one knows. Maybe that's good. Maybe it's a good lesson to remember how to live and balance work and social life. And it's also a good omen that there were new people to help me transition into a future of other new connections and opportunities.
There were also others, not new friends, but some renewed friendships and others whose enthusiasm and creativity inspire me toward renewal. Again, the temptation is there to overanalyze: is the new year bringing new opportunity, or is noticing or craving renewal at New Year's just a coincidence? I suppose it doesn't matter.
Today's been a blur, and not always a good one. But now begins my process of redefinition as I move ahead into my future, away from the New York I loved, and into a journey into something different. New York is forever, and will stay with me at least that long. But as the days go by, and I miss being there, I'll also remember that I'm not the New Yorker I used to be, and that I chose to leave for a reason (or reasons), and let that be my motivation. (Same Kvetch, different "urb.")
Here's to renewal: of friendships, of creativity, of place and spirit. Wishing all blogreaders everywhere a happy, healthy, creative and inspiring 5769. שנה טובה ומתוקה!
(And in case you're wondering about the family that raised a blogger like me--before they even knew what they were doing--check out this year's Rosh Hashanah edition of the Kustanowitz Kronikle.)