Friday, June 7, 2013

Goodbye New York City!

Oh my gosh, I can't believe this day is here already. After spending the first part of the week in the sweltering heat, and feeling sad, angry and on edge, a sense of peace and calm finally washed over me yesterday morning while I said goodbye to one of my favorite beaches.

Now, the rain is pouring down, leaving puddles on the streets and the sidewalks.  With a front row seat to the parade of colorful umbrellas waltzing past my window, I enjoy my breakfast of a coffee and bagel from the corner deli, and I browse The New York Times, feeding, feasting, soaking up "my city".

Just now, a small bird hopped along the length of windowsill, peering in momentarily while pecking at the glass.

I am eight days behind in posting my 10 Days Mission images and look forward to catching up in reverse order when I'm at the airport and eager to hold on to this experience.

My time here has been amazing.  I am not the same person that I was when I arrived on September 15th last year.  I have much to write and to share on my thoughts and my feelings, but for now, I will try to close the zipper on my stuffed-to-the-gills suitcase as I venture with my bags through the house, down the stairs, out the front door, off the stoop, down the sidewalk, across the street, down two more flights of stairs, swipe my metro card for the final time, down another set of stairs, and await the F train to Penn Station, where I'll take the air train to Newark.

Writing this now, I can feel my chest tightening as tears run down my cheeks and on to my lap.  How do I say goodbye to a city whose people have touched my heart so deeply, whose sights have moved my spirit in such profound ways, whose energy has inspired boundless creativity in me, and who welcomed me so graciously and so easily?

It was just under nine months ago that I first walked through the doors of my little room, feeling myself a stranger here, and wondering if and how I would: make friends, not feel alone, cope with the noise and the crowds, find peaceful places to rest my soul, leap out of my comfort zone, and mostly, feel connected and at home.

I could not have imagined all of the uplifting, awakening, inspiring and fun times I've had.  Thank you to my spectacular boyfriend Taz for his caring, his understanding, his visits and his support in so many ways, to my family for their winter visit which allowed me to show off my 'hood, to my friends at home for their care packages, phone calls, letters and emails that nurtured me, and, of course, thank you, thank you, thank you to the New Yorkers who were once strangers, but who are now friends, for their openness and their sharing, their laughter, tears and hugs, and for their generosity of spirit and time. Your friendship has been the greatest blessing of all, and I look forward to continuing our connection across the miles.

If home is where the heart is, then New York City has become as much of a home for me as Homer, Alaska!  How great is that?  I'll miss you New York City!