I’m sitting here in downtown Manhattan in the middle of a crowded DMV. I’ve lived here for more than 2 years now. I’ve had 3 home addresses. I’ve had 2 jobs. But for some reason renewing and changing my license from California to New York feels more permanent.
It’s as if I’m committing to New York all over again. This time my glasses aren’t rose colored, they’re slightly foggy and vision isn’t clear.
This time there are no expectations. There is only reality.
Frankly, I don’t quite think I’m in the right headspace for this emotional endeavor. I guess I didn’t think it would be such a big deal.
But alas, this is where I find myself. I’m sitting here and a part of me feels like my identity is being stripped from me. I don’t know how to describe it but it’s unsettling.
I am well aware I made the choice to move to New York. And I’m also aware I made it happily. and willingly. and on my own.
So much has happened since I first touched down in New York that hot July day in 2014. So much.
I am still me. But maybe I’m a more refined me. I’ve shed some parts of me while bringing in new layers of skin to help serve as protection and defense against New York’s sometimes harsh, yet (if you can see it) beautiful realities.
I can’t help thinking I may have also lost a little bit of me that I loved. I’m struggling to understand what that may be. I haven’t quite put my finger on it. Could it be the blind optimism I outwardly projected in every circumstance? Maybe it’s the knowing there was an unknown I had yet to discover. I don’t know..
I’ve been told a lot that I carry myself like a New Yorker and people can’t tell I’ve only been here for a mere 2 years. In response I have mentioned that I’ve toned down the Cali pleasantries. (It’s a real thing.) But it’s more than that. I’m still well mannered and friendly and I still smile at strangers. But maybe a little bit of me has hardened and closed itself off. Maybe the naïveté and beginners luck has worn itself non existent.
I feel like I’m saying goodbye to something I now want desperately to hold on to. My identity is changing here in New York. I’m saying goodbye to California and the life I used to have. I already feel out of the loop with my best friends back “home”. And I know, vice versa. A lot of them don’t even know how I live out here or what a day looks like for me. It makes me a bit sad. I’m disconnected.
This is a goodbye to California. It’s real. And it feels more real since I already have a life here. I’m not starting over this time as I say goodbye. My life here is established. I’m just moving on this time. It’s hard. I wasn’t prepared for this.
I’m at an impasse. My heart is in stalemate and I’m not ready to say goodbye.