I'm a bit isolated this week as I spend most of my time at home, digging out the mess and creating a cozy, comfy, functional home for us both. (This is one of those times that not working in an office is very much a blessing.) Since our friends and family aren't exactly across the street from our new place (though our proximity to the subway, thankfully, brings us much closer than we could appear), I hoped you guys would join me for a coffee date today. When you can't have the face-to-face, the blog version is the next best thing.
If we were sitting down to coffee, I'd first ask you to tell me your news—I can talk about myself and what's going on, uninterrupted, for...too long. I'm working on it, but I do get wrapped up in sharing all the little details before I come up for air. So before I get going, tell me—what's new in your life?
If you insist, okay. So...we moved in together! And I moved out of New Jersey! I have never lived anywhere but the New Jersey suburbs, and at face value, moving to New York City is a massive change. I'm happy that we picked the neighborhood we did though (especially as opposed to the very busy, very loud, very traffic-y Midtown West neighborhood David used to live in) because I feel like it eases the transition. We are steps from Riverside Park, which isn't quite the green expanse that Central Park is, but it still has grass, views, and a bit of separation from the city streets. And the neighborhood itself is much quieter than Midtown and, in my humble opinion, so much prettier.
If we were sitting down to coffee, we'd probably talk about the idea of house to home. I'd tell you that unpacking was...a big job. I got the kitchen and bathroom done done first thing on Sunday, and the rest just fell into place over the next day or two, luckily. Tuesday I learned that not all heroes wear capes—some wear the USPS uniform, and others wear UPS attire. We made a massive Amazon order Sunday night and got all our goodies—including a new vacuum, a crock pot, new dishes, a tub mat, a step ladder, and some cleaning supplies—on Tuesday. You would have thought there were boxes full of calorie-free chocolate strawberries being delivered to my door, so ridiculous was my excitement level.
I'd add that I haven't had nail polish on in weeks, as I knew my nails and hands would be a disaster what with all the packing, moving, and unpacking. I'm going running soon, and afterward I can't wait to treat myself to a self-mani, one of my favorite small gestures of self care.
After another sip of coffee, I'd mention how much I love our giant, south-facing window that fills the bedroom with light in the mornings. Our first wake-up together here was Monday, and it was the best Monday morning I have had in ages. It'll take us some time to perfect our routine, but we're off to a pretty great start.
I've started exploring the neighborhood more now—on foot this time, as opposed to on Google Maps as I'd been doing for the past three pre-move weeks. It's not quite the bustle that Midtown is up here, but we have everything we need within blocks—including a sushi restaurant across the street; ramen, pizza, Indian, Italian, a biergarten, and coffee shops around the corner; a Starbucks 10 feet away, and a Fairway just a 5-minute walk. My first run through Riverside Park and the Upper West Side was Tuesday, during a gentle snowfall, and it felt like absolute magic. It felt like home.
If we were sitting down for coffee, I imagine you'd ask me how it all feels. I'd tell you that it just feels right. I expected to be a bit of a nutcase when leaving my old apartment for the last time. I was there for two and a half years, and it was the first place I ever lived alone, without roommates. But I wasn't sad to go. I felt grateful for the chapter of my life that occurred there, but so ready to turn the page. And moving out of NJ and into a new place didn't, doesn't feel scary. Moving in with David didn't, doesn't feel scary. It just feels like...this is where we live now. This is home. This is where I'm supposed to be. (Though, I will admit, we did have a few sappy moments of just repeating to each other, stars in our eyes, "This is where we live now. We live together.")
And, truthfully, if we were sitting down to coffee, I doubt we'd be able to get up from the table without me slipping into a discussion of everything that has happened to America since January 20. I'd try to keep our conversation light, though, because sometimes you just need to withdraw from the oppressive news of the day and enjoy a light-hearted catch-up with friends. But I would assure you that I'm staying active, aggressive, educated, and informed, and I would hope that you are too. I would encourage you to sign up for emails about 10 actions in 100 days, The Skimm if you don't already subscribe, and share some of my favorite places to donate—like Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, the NRDC, and GLSEN. I would tell you that I'll be first in line to sign a Muslim registry if it comes to that, and that I'm researching ways to get involved in registering voters and raising awareness about mid-term elections. (Especially if you're one of my friends from home, because New Jersey is voting on a lot of people in 2017, including governor and assembly.) I'd ask how you feel about what's going on in Washington, and create a space for us to talk openly, ask each other questions, and share concerns.
I'd want us to leave from our coffee date on a cheerful note, so I'd ask you what's happening in your life in the next couple weeks. When it's my turn, I'd tell you I'm looking forward to a running a partner yoga workshop in February, watching my dear friend marry the love of her life, and settling deeper into life as a new New Yorker.
Linking up with Kristen
Linking up with Joey