Sunday, August 2, 2009

Shutting off the lights

I will admit, there were tears this morning. I arise before the sun, and in the pouring rain go for a walk around my neighborhood. Taking in the familiar sights and smells, and seeing many familiar faces out on the streets and in the cafes, I can't help but wonder if I have gone mad. Why am I doing this? Why am I leaving all this, everything I know so well, behind? Why am I rendering myself without a home?

A tearful phone call to a cherished friend reminds me: I am making things happen. I am inviting change and experience into my life. I am beginning a new chapter, and it is an exciting, pivotal moment. I should feel proud of having made this decision, proud of what I am now doing.

I try to believe her.

There is life beyond New York! she assures me. A life of quality, fun times, interesting people, exciting experiences... and without all the financial stress that comes with living in this very expensive city.

A fulfilling life with much lower expenses... that sounds pretty great. I guess I have some rather smart friends.

And, I apparently have some amazing people in my life. A selfless brother-in-law and a generous neighbor (again, someone I barely knew before today... why is it always the strangers that come through for us?) take to the stairs, up and down, over and over again, soaked to the bone from both sweat and rain water, and expertly load all my furniture and essential belongings into the van. Miraculously, everything fits, even the gigantic couch.

Exhausted and finally ready to head out, I shut off the lights, glance around my now empty apartment, and say a quiet farewell to that which was home and abode for nearly 5 years. With one last load of possessions in hand, and maybe for the last time, I descend those rickety old stairs. And wouldn't you know, the tears come again.

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