When I met New York City at age 18, it was pretty much love at first sight.
Sure I'd met her before. On field trips, weekend excursions with my family, for Broadway shows at the holidays, and for shopping trips with my friends as teenagers. After all, I grew up a mere 1 hour and 15 minutes away on NJ transit. And when I decided to move to NYC for college for all of the cliché reasons (to leave behind those boring suburbs, to venture into a world of unknowns where no one knew my name and where adventure was peeking out from behind each street corner, to soak in the culture and the arts, to have opportunities knocking at my door...my life would, of course, be very chic and sophisticated and my wardrobe would bare a striking resemblance to that of Carrie Bradshaw), I imagined I would love it. But once I really soaked it all in and accepted that most of my delusions about city life were in fact delusions, I surprisingly loved it even more than I had imagined. I thought it was true love. And I did indeed think New York loved me back.
That is until I met Paris...
I had different delusions about Paris than I had when I was moving to New York. But those cliches about Paris are really just true. Everything is just painfully adorable, the women are strikingly chic and enviably thin, the wine practically does flow down the Seine and the bread is really that damn good. Life was simple and wonderful and refreshingly slower and I had forgotten my old girl New York in a flash.
Now I may be a bit biased in my undying love for the City of Light. After all, it was there that I fell in love. You may be thinking that I fall in love an awful lot and that I'm throwing that word around a little loosely. But this time it was for real. And with a human being. The best human being I've met yet.
So after successfully fulfilling the ultimate Parisian cliché of falling in love and kissing below the Tour Eiffel, and skipping along the Seine, etc. I returned tearfully to NY for my last year of school. We, of course, quickly made up. I remembered why I'd loved her so much in the first place and she forgave me for the affair with the European. But NY was lacking one very important thing (besides the baguettes). My new love.
Now this wonderful specimen of human who came into my life like a whirlwind and changed everything in a week (talk about Tourbillon de la Vie), he is from neither Paris nor New York. Nope, he's from that other east coast ville known not for it's bright lights and big culture but rather for it's...clam chowder...beans... and over zealous sports fans--none of which are exactly my cup of tea. After about a year of traveling back and forth between NY and Boston, I slowly convinced myself that I could love Boston, too...maybe. It was cute and there were a lot of bricks and pubs and, of course, my boy who had a whole other year of school left to complete. With my diploma in the mail and no real plans for the future except being with him forever, I decided I'd pack up my life and leave my first love behind. It was just a year, I told myself, and besides it'll be a new adventure, a change of scenery. I'm going to love it, aren't I?
It's 5 months in. There's snow everywhere. I need about 10 layers on before I venture into the tundra that is this poorly planned city and get on the slowest moving subway in the world. I miss New York. I miss my friends. (I work from home and thus have made no new ones here.) And I never thought I'd say this, but I miss the NY subway. It's not that I have anything in particular against Boston except, of course, the snow. Oh, and that it's neither Paris nor New York. But it's just not the place for me. And I can't help but ask myself sometimes if this was a big mistake. Love does make people do crazy things. So I'm counting the days until the lease is up on our apartment, looking on Craig's List occasionally at Brooklyn abodes (I know- it's way too soon, but it's a compulsion), and most of all I'm hoping that when I come crawling back this fall, that NY will take me back once again.
Now, the other side of the coin is that I love waking up each morning next to the guy I have every intention of waking up next to everyday for the rest of my life. I love cooking dinner with him in our little apartment's littler kitchen. I love tucking my cold feet in the nook behind his knees every night when we're falling asleep in our drafty bedroom. I love how we coach each other to be better writers and put our work out there. I love everything about living with him. But I don't really love anything about where we live. But I guess the thing is that in real relationships with real human beings, you have to sacrifice sometimes and compromise all the time. And truth be told, as much as I whine about Boston, as long as he's here, there's nowhere else I'd rather be.