I'm home in New York right now and it seems like old times. I've gone shopping (oh, there's been a lot of shopping), seen friends from high school, had uninterrupted conversations with people, and just had time to think, explore and reconnect with myself (Sweet Jesus that sounds hokey).
My kids haven't really spent much time in New York yet. On the few occasions they've been here, they were both so young they can't possibly remember anything. As a result, I don't really associate New York--or the person I am here--with them. Which means I have to keep reminding myself as I walk around and feel totally at home that I have two kids waiting for me. In Canada. Weird.
And while this week has been totally energizing, it's made me realize how small my world has become. Home, playground, school pick-up, grocery shopping, playdates, a little writing when I have some quiet time and clear mind. My life, I'm now feeling, lacks in culture... and I'm not referring to the symphony or world-class museums. (Both of those things make me sleepy). I'm talking about pop culture and exposure to cultural elements in my daily life, like random crazy people on the subway. Like a million different languages. Like yummy food and edgy music and varied accents.
Am I allowed to say that I feel more like myself here? That it's so great here, I don't ever want to leave? Now if I could just figure out how to be this person back in my current daily real life...
A whole week away.
What a gift.
I didn't sleep or exercise nearly as much as I wanted to. I didn't get to half of the destinations and stores that I planned. But I spent 8 days wandering around, reabsorbing NYC, seeing friends, connecting with professional colleagues, attending a great writers' conference...and finding myself.
Right now, I feel whole. Like I know about things worth talking about. Like I have ideas worth sharing. Like I've been someplace where something is happening. Its not that I haven't missed my kids. I have. I've loved hearing about their days on the phone--the funny things they've said and done. But I've also missed me. My interests and intellectual pursuits. And I'm happy (plus unbelievably lucky) that I got to get back to some of that this week.
So thank you Chris for letting me go and Libby for taking such excellent care of the kids. And to the kids for behaving and not melting down without me. (They did great!). And to all the friends and colleagues who made time to see me. It all meant more to me than I can express.