New York City – A Dream Come True
Growing up, I always knew I wanted to live in New York City one day. From the very first time I visited, I fell madly and inexplicably in love with the city lights and fast paced life.
When Dave got an opportunity to work in NYC, just a little over 3 years ago, we jumped at it. I remember the moment we found out we are actually going to be moving – I just couldn’t believe my dream of living in the Big Apple was actually going to come true. Cue all the goosebumps.
For as much as I imagined what living in New York would be like, I never could have imagined just how much the city would change me.
I remember sitting in our apartment on the corner of West 72nd & Broadway with Ob & Marley while Dave returned the moving truck 3 years ago and crying because I was so scared. I was pregnant and living in this city that I had visited countless times, but it all of a sudden felt so incredibly foreign.
I had to figure out public transportation, which made my dream-come-true feel like a bit of a nightmare. The first time I rode the train by myself I memorized all the subway stops from our apartment to downtown, just in case something happened to my phone, I would know what stop was next. I seriously sat on the couch that morning repeating all the stops out loud over and over again. I got off the train that day soaked with sweat. Partly because I was pregnant. Mostly because I was terrified. I got lost on the subway once with Atlas when he was an infant. I took the wrong train and ended up in Harlem. I cried. But I also figured out how to get back home. And with each train ride and mishap, my confidence grew. Now, I jet all over the city with relative ease (with 2 kids in tow, I might add), often giving directions to the poor lost tourist I see underground.
I learned that things like washing machines, dishwashers and ‘spare bedrooms’ are luxuries reserved for only the fanciest of New Yorkers. Dining rooms converted to 2nd bedrooms are the norm. I developed the skill of successfully carrying a laundry basket, Tide & a baby up and down 14 flights of stairs just to get to our building’s laundry room. And I was lucky because our building actually had a laundry room.
I learned what ‘winter’ is in NYC. I’ll never forget walking the dogs through Central Park with Atlas in the Baby Bjorn one morning and thinking that my face hurt because it was so cold. My face had never hurt from cold air before.
In the last 3 years, I’ve had some of the happiest and most surreal moments of my life in NYC. Memories I’ll cherish forever. I’ve watched the Macy’s Day Parade. Pranced around 5th Ave on the regular like I owned the place (even though I can’t even afford socks from Bergdorfs). We had so many great play-dates at FAO Schwarz. We ate at some of the best restaurants and lounged at some of the coolest rooftop bars (those rooftop moments were rare, but they did happen). I know Central Park like the back of my hand. I’ve talked with celebrities on street corners and in sandboxes.
But more than all that, I learned what I was made of in NYC. I learned how weak I was and conversely, I learned how strong I can be. I became courageous here. I’m bolder now. Some of that may just be motherhood and age, but I like to think a good bit of it is some New Yorker in me. My marriage was strengthened because of NYC. Dave & I became a solid team real fast when we had to do life together in the Concrete Jungle. We needed each other to survive and we have such a unique bond now because of all the experiences shared in this crazy city.
I birthed my babies here – we actually caught a taxi to the hospital when I went into labor with Atlas. My kids’ birth certificates say ‘Manhattan.’ I’m not too cool to totally geek out over that. That’s awesome!
I survived blizzards here.
I met some of the most interesting and amazing people here. We’ve made friends that I know we will keep in touch with forever.
I found out what I was made of here. I found out how much I needed Jesus here.
New York will always have a special place in my heart. Not like it did years ago, when I was just a tourist who dreamed of life in the city, but now as someone who calls this place ‘home.’
So, it is incredibly bittersweet for me to write that our journey in NYC is coming to an end. I’ve got a beautiful mixture of happy and sad tears streaming down my face as I write this post.
Dave has been blessed with a wonderful new job – a true answer to prayer – and now our family is on to the next stop in our journey. We are so excited and grateful for all God is doing and how He is leading our family into this next chapter of our lives. He has proved so faithful in this huge transition and while we are sad to leave the life we’ve built here, we have such high hopes for where we are going next and the roots we plan to put down for Atlas & Andi.
But before I disclose where we are off to next, I just have to say…
New York – you were everything I dreamed of and so much more. I sure hope we meet again.
*Tune in next week to find out where we are moving! 🙂