NYC and NJ have been really good for me so far. I'm quite nostalgic for our life here, much more so now that I'm back visiting, because I see what I had, what I took for granted.
I didn't realize how much of a NY'er in my heart I really am. I love this city so much, it breathes into my soul and I feel so comfortable here. I walk the streets and ride the subway and it feels normal; so much so that I don't feel like its been 14 months since I was last here.
Being in the company of good friends has allowed me to get out the words and feelings that have been stifling me; processing, taking the sting out of what I'm feeling, holding space so I can brain dump and knowing that they'll still love me.
I've let go of the armor that I've worn for months now; shedding the prickly skin that I've become so accustomed to, remembering how much there is to laugh and smile about.
It's hot and humid here but I don't even care. I wear cotton layers that are soaked and then dry again. Most places offer an air-conditioned respite and with so many cafes and restaurants, there's an abundance of choices and places to cool down.
The streets are kinetic; the energy is palpable and I feel like myself again as I navigate the crowds and tourists. (and there are a lot of tourists!)
I've carried a bag full of camera equipment up and down the corridors of streets; heavy and unused. It's not that the city isn't photogenic, the views and rush of what's happening is such that I could spend my entire visit behind glass and that's not what I want, or apparently need.
I think the walking and the talking is how I'm healing. I'm remembering my way around a city I love, following the imprints that have left their impression in a way that I'd forgotten. This is how I feel most comfortable navigating the world. This walking and talking will give me tools to better live my life in Los Angeles.
Finding the part of myself that resonates so profoundly with NYC has been good. I feel stronger, clearer and more sure of my boundaries and I feel more gentle than I have in months. Here amongst the grit and grime, (because NYC in August is an entity unto itself), I've found a place to shed some of the grief and anger I've been carrying because NY is tough like that and can carry a lot of shit. I've been able to acknowledge how much I've been through, without having to justify or defend, without having to worry how it will be received.
Miss A has been in NJ with her friends, allowing M and I alone time, (4 days!!), that we haven't had since she was born. It feels normal for us to be just us here, maybe because this is where it all began and just about 10 city blocks from where I sit writing. The next two days are the story of us. We have lunch and dinner plans and that's it. M's work is done, (the reason he had to be here), and now we can really vacation and get our groove back. It's been a rough six months for everyone and now we're all finding our way back to home.