November 9, 2011

good days, bad days

There are good days, and then there are bad days. I know that's true for everyone, everywhere.

There are days that I marvel at the ease of a grocery store around the corner, or bus and subways stops right down the street that will whisk me off to the far flung, or close at hand, sights that the city has to offer. But there are also days when the bus is thirty minutes late and when it comes someone yells at your for bringing your groceries on with you. On those days, I am done living here.

I hear people say, all the time, "You either love New York, or you hate New York, there are no in betweens." I think that that is 100% true. I'm just not sure which camp I fall in. I love the weather here. It's perfect for me. But I hate the fact that no one knows how to stand in a line here. They jostle and shove and sometimes yell. I love the parks. Parks, parks, everywhere. No lawn mowing every week. No weeding. Just big beautiful landscaped parks with gated playgrounds that I can sit in for hours while my kids play. But I hate not having a garden. I dreamed about digging the other night. Digging.Not planting or growing things, digging. And it was such a nice dream. I love that sometimes, you will sit on a bench in a park or a seat on the subway and chat with the most remarkable people but I hate that while people are friendly, it is very hard to make real friends.

I realized this week that the simple fact that New York is temporary for us, makes it all the more difficult to settle into a normal lifestyle. The clock is ticking. We have six months left. And with such a short time here, it makes it difficult to build the support network, neighbors, friends, teachers, that you can rely on. For a chat or a glass of wine or a shoulder to cry on.

Briton told me the other day that he missed his friends in Virginia because he had just finally found a group that he really fit in with. "We had the same kind of personality, mom. And that's hard to find!" I reminded him, as I am trying to remind myself, that it is hard to find, and it takes time, but those friendships, they will be found again. It's not a connection you make overnight. You have to give it a chance to grow. But at the same time I was explaining this to him (and to myself) I was also thinking "I know. It sucks."

We have reached a strange place in this adventure of ours. The city is no longer so awe inspiring. Of course there are still a million things to see and do, but we've passed that vacation stage and have moved onto just living life. Living life with Broadway shows and museums and storytime at the Nordic Center on a sunny Saturday morning, but still living life. And the things that are normally a big part of my life, cooking, sewing, canning, gardening, shooting the shit with my friends in the back yard, they are not so easy here. Space, cost, time, they tend to get in the way of the things that I have always thought made me, me. So do I just hold my breath and wait out the six months? Try to slip in a little sewing here, a few cans of jam there? Or do I try to be a different me, with city interests (or at least city interests that fit a very tight budget). Do I invest in the time it takes to make friends. Not just acquaintances but call and talk, meet for drinks, vent our frustrations friends, knowing that I will just have to leave it behind again? I don't know.

Like I said, there are good days, and there are bad days. Some days I don't care. I'm just having fun heading off to a tour or a show or just another new playground. And some days I care a lot.

And today? Well, as with my feelings about New York, I'm not sure which camp today will fall into. But the sun is shining and my boy is ready to go out and find something cool, so I'm hoping for a good one.