For the first time in history, I visited New York and felt...nostalgic. Even though it felt like I was only there two weeks ago, I realized as I stepped outside and then into the subway that New York had since become part of my past. It was a different feeling from my last (stressful) business trip there in December of 2010. Despite feeling very 'at-home' there, I was filled with emotion as the train made it's way into the city from Brooklyn. I was back on the same train line I used to take to work each day. I was suddenly able to articulate what I was feeling because it was as clear as day and so intense:
New York (to me) had become like that ex-boyfriend who completely broke my heart once. New York is the man I'm still in love with and still want – but I know exactly why it didn't work out between us back then. I couldn't get over the feeling – it was the best way I could descibe it. I choked back tears as I made my way into the West Village. Apparently, I'm not the first person to ever feel this way about New York. I guess I shouldn't be so surprised.
My hectic but amazing week there was filled with quality time with friends, a great wedding party, great food and fantastic art, fashion and film. It also revealed a lot. For one, some (not all) of my friends who still live there tend to forget how to appreciate the city. It's easy to be caught up in the stresses of life, I suppose. New York can be unkind after all. I realized how unhappy I was before I left. The reasons behind this had little to do with the city itself but more to do with my circumstances at the time. I realized that I never forgot how to love it even when I lived there – and that NO ONE can ever belittle how difficult it was for me to leave. Second, I appreciated even more the friendships I had built during my nearly 12 years there. I was reminded that forging new friendships in a new city will take time. I also realized I had actually become a much stronger person in the midst of the huge challenges I faced in the past year. It was good to get some perspective and to be reminded that New York will always be there. The future still lies ahead and there's no telling where it will take me.