On January 30, we will leave New York.
I didn't know how else to begin this, so I decided to just say it.
2015 was such an interesting year. In a way, I feel like I did a tremendous amount of growing up. I actually, physically, felt a new shift into adulthood, the part where you let things go and start craving something that looks totally different from what you wanted before. In other ways, 2015 was such a pure year. It was a time of getting in touch with very real parts of myself, of checking dreams off my bucket list. It was like rediscovering youth.
When you experience life in extremes--which is how I'm wired, without question--there is also a lot of life lived in tension. A person like me moves from highs to lows, but so rarely tastes the middle. So when forced to rest in it, like a child, I don't see it as restful at all. I wear the in-betweens like I'm held in suspension, gravity forcing me equally from one end and the other. In retrospect, I always recognize the sweetness of the middle, like the creme in an Oreo cookie; but it is practically painful for me to actually be in it.
I spent 2015 in between. I laid to rest some of the things I've wanted to do since I was young, either by accomplishing them or by deciding to be done. And in doing so, I was able to embrace some of the parts of the older, hopefully wiser me. This older lady isn't such a stranger; really just a side of me more fully realized. She's tried on different kinds of lives and she's more confident which ones fit.
And she is fully aware that she is not alone. Even in the middle. Not alone. In 2015, I learned to embrace the belief in a greater Plan. I learned to embrace it, even when I'm wrecked with doubt. I learned that the Plan is not just for me: it's for all of the ones that touch me and that I touch. Though it's uncertain or different from a so-called vision, a life lived within the Plan always comes with peace--a promise that can soften even the staunchest control freaks. We all want to feel at peace.
Let it be known that I have that now. It doesn't mean that I'm not uncertain and it doesn't mean that I'm not sad. Living in New York might be a great idol in my life, something that I will always be tempted to cling to. But after two years, I am willing to say that romantic notions and day-to-day life are two very different things, and I cannot for the life of me marry them. Day-to-day life in Brooklyn does not look like the simpler things I do long for, the things I think are best for my family. [But now is not yet the time for reflecting on life in New York.]
Also in 2015, we traveled more than we ever have; we went practically to the top of the world and back. We learned that our wandering souls are no more contained by a great, big city than they are any other place, which seriously put something else into perspective for me: home. I have missed the silliest little things that were completely invisible to me when they were a part of my daily rhythm. Now they seem like monumental details of the sort of life I want my family to live, and so I want them back. I want to keep setting out to see the world, to learn and grow and be changed together; and then I want to come home, to our own nooks and crannies and traditions and routines. I want a home where the clothes dry on the line out back and I have the space to bake bread after sending my children outside where they'll sneak tomatoes off the vine.
When we leave on January 30, I'm saying yes to a test of faith. I'm rising to the challenge that's been presented to me: Do you believe that the Plan is even richer than what you thought you wanted? Honestly, I have struggled to say yes. But I can feel that something in my spirit believes, and so I let that something speak for me. I let my spirit speak up, and when she did, possibilities that I never would have considered before flooded my mind with excitement and anticipation and, even in the midst of the uncertainty, peace.
So on January 30, we will leave New York.
There is and will be more to the story, but that's enough for now.
Photo by DIA NEW YORK.