I don’t compartmentalize well, in my mind or tangibly. Everything moves along together down the stream and I travel with it, keeping the flow as well as I can.
The last month has proven rather difficult for me to follow the rhythm and tide of the hours and days, but I’ve remained afloat and even paddled right in sync when I needed to. Anyone that’s ever been caught in an undertow knows that it’s very, very difficult to fight the natural current. I let down my resistance and urge to control every last thing, and everything fell into place just as it was supposed to.
My last days in New York City were emotional. We built a raft in that little apartment piece by piece over those four years, and even when I thought the leaks would surely give way to floods, we managed to duct tape the areas that felt so precarious and thinly worn and sailed that baby to the shore.
I walked through the streets alone one last time while the kids were with my mother. My purpose was to finally grab a highly coveted cronut from Dominique Ansel’s bakery in SoHo before I lost my chance. I arrived three hours after opening, three hours too late and they had sold out, but my walk back home was the real reason I went out. I needed to say goodbye and thank the city that changed me forever, and somewhere around Union Square I finally found a bit of closure. (One of my first Instagram videos was this particular walk. You can see it here.)
JayZ’s Empire State of Mind came through my headphones, a song that became my soundtrack when we first arrived in Manhattan. The words of that song carried me during many moments of fear and uncertainty.
In New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made
There’s nothing you can’t do, now you’re in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you, let’s hear it for New York
I walked back to our building, taped up a few last boxes and watched as my husband, his father and a dear friend perfectly tetrised our belongings into a 16 foot Penske truck. I took one last photo of Jack and Zoe in our “back yard” and jumped into the black Cadillac with my mom, the kids, and our cat, bound for JFK airport.
And the same photo, four years earlier:
> > > > < < < <
My parents divorced the summer before I began the second grade. My mom, my sister and I moved from Ohio to California, and while I don’t remember disliking our new home, the adjustment to the shift in our family was far more to process. I’m still processing it well into my thirties, as I watch my own family change and grow.
Part of me is consumed with anxiety that taking the kids away from their friends will inevitably affect them, although they have become used to their friends and peers moving away often. It’s a daily conversation, they miss their buddies and I allow them to send emoji riddled texts from my phone to their mother’s phones.
I miss you Jade, Love Jack. *heart fireworks balloon sunshine taxi*
> > > > < < < <
The first few weeks in Santa Cruz have been busy, as a move generally goes. A few days after Justin and his dad arrived in the truck and we began the process of moving into our new home, we took the kids to pick up our cable and WiFi hookups. One of our first family adventures in our new town proved to be the ultimate moment of clarity for me. In the dank Comcast parking lot, I sat with the kids in our loaner SUV waiting for what felt like forever for Justin to emerge.
When he finally did, instinctually I counted: Jack, Zoe, Beau, mom, daddy.
We are whole.
No matter where we are or how our life physically changes, we have eachother and we are… Wow. We are so lucky.
The haze and frayed edges that had surrounded my mind in the past few weeks had finally calmed and smoothed. Thousands of miles between homes, yet we have each other and we are going to be just fine.