Goodbye, Hello, Goodbye…
I said I was done with New York.
Over the weather, the small spaces, the hard living.
Said I didn’t want to have children there.
So, after 10 years of nomadic Manhattan living, my husband and I picked up and moved to Los Angeles. And, after a tough transition, I fell in love with the sunshine, reveled in the quality of life, discovered a challenging, fulfilling and fun new career, made some fantastic friends and finally started to put down some roots.
Confident my family would be raised here, we recently put an offer on a charming three bedroom home complete with guest house and the outdoor area of my dreams. As any homeowners — or home contenders — can attest, the process was a roller coaster of emotions. Traipsing through a plethora of places, debating whether each was for us or not — and having to do so under a time constraint — surveying and staring down other potential buyers, and, ultimately, deciding to plunk down our life savings on a leap and a dream, then waiting all the while envisioning our lives there: decorating our little girl’s nursery, walking to the quaint bakery ‘round the corner and hosting weekly cookouts at our new urban utopia. Did I mention the outdoor space?
A week went by. As we frantically hit refresh on our email and checked the volume on our phones, we finally got word. The sellers were taking it off the market. Perhaps my hand-written note conveying how much we loved their home, how we envisioned starting our family there just as they had years before, celebrating birthdays and holidays, making traditions, creating a life, their house soon ours made them realize how special it was and that they weren’t ready to part with it. Whatever the case, one thing was clear: It wasn’t meant to be. The dream of our first family home would have to wait.
Licking our wounds, we decided we’d give it a few weeks until we got back out there. Rebound romance is one thing, homeownership is quite another.
Several days later, I got a call from my husband who was on a business trip in New York. His boss resigned. They wanted him to fill the role. I immediately knew what this meant. So did he. We were moving back to New York.
We always said for the right opportunity, we’d be open to moving anywhere. This was exactly that, the kind of life-changing situation you don’t turn down. Unless of course you, say, live across the country, just moved there two short years ago from the same place they were asking you to move back to, the place you’d always love and miss but swore you were done with, the place your husband had already moved back to once, making this his third time there. Unless you waited for, took a chance on and started a new career you are thriving at that’s only six months in and not as easy to come by back east. Unless you are seven and a half months pregnant with your first child, found doctors you feel comfortable with, a lifestyle you love and are this close to the dream of your little girl’s toes in the sand.
But I knew it was something I had to do: For him, for her, for our family. And, so, within a week’s time, we were saying yes. Yes to New York. Again.
It’s a hard place to say no to. There’s an undeniable energy percolating the air, a vibrant heartbeat pulsing the streets. There’s something that shines within you when you’re there, hell, when you even think about being there, a light that had been, unwittingly, dimmed for two years. The mere notion of returning ignited it again.
So, overall I’m excited. Excited to return to the longest home I’ve known, to experience that magic again with a fresh mindset and new set of eyes, to call my daughter a New Yorker — and a native one at that.
All the while, I’ll greatly miss my adopted home of sunny, Southern California and mourn for the interrupted dream of a life well lived here.
But, much like marriage, I vow to focus on the positives, work on my relationship (with NYC) and make the most of it. So the weather isn’t perfect year round, where is it (Don’t say L.A.!)? Sure space may be limited and at a premium but the backyard is the world’s greatest playground. And, yeah, the living may be hard at times but it sure is fun.
You never know what life’s going to throw at you — or how you’ll react. So I’m learning to stop the planning, stop the proclamations. Instead, I’m going along for the ride, baby and all.