Rain showers remind me of sleepy afternoons in the fall and hot apple cider with cinnamon sticks. They remind me of New York. Because I do love New York, even when I yearn to leave. I get nostalgic over fall days. There’s just something about fall in New York that I adore.
Walking to my secret spot alone in Dryden, NY. Surrounded by brightly colored leaves and the rolling hills, I felt inner happiness in those moments of solitude. Cinnamon donuts and acting classes in Ithaca, NY, and exploring the commons near Cornell. Early morning breakfast hangs in NYC and spending way too much money at Sarabeth’s because I didn’t think to look at the prices first. That chilly October weekend near Hunter College when I didn’t bring rain boots and regretted it. Heading to the city in October was a beloved ritual during college. Getting faded for the first (and last) time, romanticizing take-out (because it hits differently in NYC). Pizza nights on street corners and falling in love with Brooklyn.
I’m back in Western NY for a little longer. It’s been a quiet time for reflection and looking at the path ahead. Seeing the world from an outsider’s point of view humbles me. While I’ve been healing, I’m still allowing myself the grace to miss you. Too much of my happiness still comes from outside validation. I’m working on becoming more secure in my image of myself. Because for a long time, I’ve been associating my worth with the company I keep.
I was thinking about community today. About how sometimes groups work out and other times, they don’t. I’ve concluded that the reason some communities fall apart or stop growing is related to ego and a hunger for power. If one person begins to feel superior to the rest, then obviously, the community will falter. No person should be on a pedestal. I think that was my first mistake. I worked to see people for who they were and nothing more than that. But some engagements became draining and too self-focused. As a result, I’ve had to distance myself. In some ways my time in Los Angeles feels like my rise and fall from grace.
It’s been a little heartbreaking. Because while not everyone is playing the same game, enough people are. To the point where I don’t know who I can trust right now. My heart’s too sensitive for a rocky foundation built on a deck of cards. Many are okay with this. Heck, I was for a long time. But at the same time, I think my heart always knew it wasn’t for me.
Despite everything, I’m shifting energetically, as I think a lot of us are. I’ve been using the word “friend” more sparingly. Because the truth is, while I have many acquaintances, friendship is a whole other level. In all honesty, my growth hasn’t left much room for certain relationships any longer. I get tired, and I’d rather spend time alone if it means the alternative is depletion. Now that I’m no longer a part of the world I was in, I’m not “needed” and therefore not sought out. But what kind of friendship is built on contingency? Not a very healthy one.
With knowledge comes better boundaries. I’ve allowed myself to move along in life without certain people. It’s refreshing being in this space of peace. As I heal, I know that I’m attracting and continuously building more stable relationships. It doesn’t mean that what’s gone doesn’t still hit me like a ton of bricks. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss them.
It’s been challenging finding my footing. When opinions of others have affected me so greatly, and I resolved to beliving them. Why did I ever think it was okay for someone to judge me so harshly when they didn’t even know my story? They didn’t even take the time to get to know me. It was all based on judgment and an assumption. Ironically enough, the very thing I was accused of when I approached them about my concerns. I didn’t know then how greatly I was giving my power away.
I sometimes wish I had been more attuned to what was happening. Maybe I could’ve avoided some of the heartaches that occurred. Even while knowing that this pain made me who I am today. It was hard pulling my car over because I couldn’t see past the tears. I didn’t tell anyone how deep it went. How certain songs left me in a heaping mess behind the steering wheel. I’d pretend that what I was feeling wasn’t as significant as it was.
I knew I had healed that hurt when I could look at the passenger seat and not break down anymore. It took a long time for that pain to begin to fade.
It’s becoming rainy in New York again. I didn’t think I’d be back here as long as I have been, but life has a funny way of switching things up. I’m staying private about the next steps until they officially happen. I’ve learned from experience that moving in silence has perks. Some have wondered if I’d go back to Los Angeles. And yes, I would love to live there again. But while I miss the west coast greatly, it’s not the same place I left. And why would it be? All I know for sure is that I don’t want to start over in SoCal again. At least not right now. Let’s see what life looks like in a few years.
So for now I’m an East Coast girl again. Falling in love with New York and herself.
picture by me. circa 2015 or 16′.