“I’m home”, I tell myself as I make my way down the jetway. I’m not sure of my intonation. Was it stated as a question? Disbelief, dread, excitement?
It had been three months and three days since I had been to JFK. As I saw the airport come into view my stomach started fluttering. I wasn’t going to see my immediate family, but I was going to get to spend time with my new family, I was going to get to hang out in the grass (Yakima, Washington had no snow yet) and I was going to go SKIING!!! Freedom! I was finally getting out of the city. I was finally going to be able to workout outside and feel like I was in nature again, something I was sorely missing. Then something strange happened – after the rush and excitement of Christmas I started to miss my new home. But what parts was I missing? That I wasn’t sure about.
You see, I have been getting the question, ‘oh my gosh, don’t you just LOVE New York!?’ My first reaction is a sideways glance and the immediate thought of, ‘you must not have ever lived in the city before’. So what could I possibly be missing if this was my gut reaction to that question?
We returned briefly to the city for New Years. I had been told by numerous people (including those who live in NYC) that after our first year we are going to want to spend New Years elsewhere. Not many people I know get to say they were in Manhattan for NYE, so I figured we needed to do it. We had some friends over, watched fireworks while dancing to music in Central Park (I wasn’t standing in Time Square for 13+ hours), and watched Sharknado until the wee hours of the morning (now there’s a movie to ring in 2014). But we were only back for a couple days before making our way to Park City (the fantastic, amazing Christmas present from my husband). Returning from there was when ‘coming home’ really hit me.
Getting off the plane my husband looked at me and said, ‘we’re home’. Meh, I don’t know about that. But as we got closer and closer to our apartment I got more and more excited. Walking through the doors of our apartment I realized what I missed. It wasn’t the big city, the bright lights or the towering skyscrapers that I wanted to see. It was the comfort of a home that I had finally made our own that I missed. Through countless hours of painting and decorating, making sure every picture was in place, every dish organized, I had made a place that felt a little like being tucked away in the mountains while being 18 stories high.
While I have not reached a ‘love’ stage for the city, it is home. I have made my happy place. It’s one small step outside the snow globe into this wild adventure that is now my life.