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We’re broke in New York City
The F train takes us home
Our wide-eyed ways may look like
A wreck where we’re from

It’s harder than we thought it’d be
We’re losing blood with every beat
Our song is not a dying dream
You’re not alone, you’re not alone

Well, now that all of our close friends (I hope??) and employers know, it’s time to formally announce…

My husband and I are leaving New York for now. As of June 1, we will be official residents of my parents’ house and a world of uncertainty. So fun!

For real, the past year and a half living and working in New York City has been incredibly eye opening, trying, exciting, sanctifying, sweet and a lot of other things.

I think it took a little while to admit to myself that my dream of the past 6 years wasn’t going as I thought it would. New York has always been my safety net. The idea of living somewhere else seemed so foreign. It seemed like failure. But it isn’t. It’s just something new. I know that now. I’m really scared of the unknown and I hinted before that the unknown was coming… Well, this is it.

We have a lot of reasons for taking a break from Brooklyn. We LOVE Brooklyn. I love Brooklyn. With my entire heart and soul, I love this city. But I haven’t been doing a great job at loving it. Some friends have told me I’m being too hard on myself and they’re probably right, but I wrote these words a few months ago after seeing a friend visit the Empire State Building…

(March 4, notes from my phone)

Every time a visiting friend posts a picture from the top of a building, I smile. I think, “Wow! Look at my city.” But on the ground level, that’s not where I am. I hate the ground. The ground is confrontation. The ground is where my cynicism lies and where there’s no grass or dirt to bury it. Of course, I love the city from the sky! But I can’t always look at it from the sky. I’m on the ground, on my feet.

That’s why I have to leave. Because I can better love the city from afar, at least for right now.

You may ask, if you love the city so much, why leave? Why not try to stay and love it there? A few reasons, as I already said. But it wasn’t a reality until I asked a friend, “You love Brooklyn more than I do. Why did you move?” My friend replied, “It felt like it would be disobedient (to God) to stay.” That’s the main thing. My faith isn’t thriving here and I need it to. Maybe we can come back and it will be okay, but right now? I have to leave. I have to address all the darkness that has overcome my heart.

So there. We’re spending our last several weeks doing activities. Spending money like we haven’t in the past year. Eating foods of the world, watching baseball games, splurging on orchestra seats (back row, but still) for Broadway shows. Being with the people we love. It’s a really exciting time, actually.

The cool thing is, maybe we’ll come back. I like certainty. But I’m learning how to love the temporary. That’s what most things are anyway. Temporary.

I’m excited to have the world at my finger tips. I’m sad to leave. I’m happy to spend a few months with my family because I’ve missed them so much. My heart hurts when I think about leaving my friends here. It hurts worse to think about the kids I’ve been nannying and knowing I have to watch them grow up with pictures instead of in person. Life is weird, isn’t it? Everything feels so bittersweet. It’s an okay place to be.

One thing is for sure. I have family in this city. I have a home here. It will always be here and it will always be a part of me. Once you’re a New Yorker, I don’t think there’s any sort of reversal process. Just like I’ve learned to love my southern identity since living in the north, it will be nice to be able to appreciate the person the city has helped me become.

I don’t love everything the city exposed about me, but some of it is really cool. I feel a sort of confidence since living here that I’ve never felt before. I’ve established my home as open to friends and gatherings and I love being a host. I’ve learned how to cook! I used to bake a lot, but I know how to cook now and have been able to try so many different foods. I feel inspired by all the creatives I’ve met here. Most of my friends are actors, writers, artists, poets. Everything I’ve written since moving here has been a little dark, but I’ve written some of my best work in the past year. I can’t wait to share it soon. I’ve learned that I really really suck at making sure my home is always clean, but I also don’t care. I’ve learned to prioritize quality time with my husband and friends over chores. I’ve learned to be okay with a sink full of dishes because sometimes I just want to watch tv. I’ve learned that we use too much plastic and trash as a society and it’s disgusting and I’m excited to take steps to reduce my impact. Oh, how I’ve learned to take a deep breath when I get frustrated. This city sure is frustrating. I’ve learned to own my identity as a woman and I know it’s completely okay to feel angry when I’m catcalled. I’ve gained a diverse group of friends. This was so new to me after living in the south and I have it now and it’s wonderful and I never want to go back to all being the same.

That paragraph is long enough. This post is long enough. Carolina, I’ll see ya soon. New York, ditto.

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