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March 31st, 2010

April 1, 2010

Today I walked East on 26th street instead of West.  Then I walked North to 28th street instead of North to 32nd street.  I took the Subway, swiping my Metrocard on the last day I could use it.  I went right to my usual spot, I entered the train in my usual way, I got out at 42nd street and rushed to get on a 5 train.  I got off at 86th street and exited the station like I have for 3 years.  Then, I was in my neighborhood, my old neighborhood.  They’re putting in a Le Pain Quitoden where an over priced clothing store was.  Nothing else was changed.  I had to buy a shirt at a running shop near the apartment because I had only brought a long sleeve shirt with me and knew I’d be too hot.  I thought, “If I still lived here I wouldn’t have to spend $25 on this shirt.”  It is a nice shirt.  I saw a woman sitting outside a bagel shop crying and wanted to cry with her.  Wanted to walk up to her and see if she understood how I was feeling, she probably did.

I turned on my block, my old block, and saw a Cherry Tree in bloom.  I sighed.  I remembered the Park in Spring and sighed again.  I buzzed myself in and kind of expected it not to work, even though today is the last day of our lease.  I walked up to the 4th floor and felt out of place, and yet in the right place.

I didn’t want to go.  I arranged to meet a friend here so we could run together in the Park.  When she canceled I wanted to curl up in a ball under my desk and hide from the last chores.  I wanted to make excuses about why it wouldn’t work.  I had to do it.  I wanted to run away from it, I couldn’t.  Here I was.  I felt awkward going there to go for a run in the Park by myself.  But I had to do it, I really had no choice.

I walked in to my apartment, in to a cloud of brick dust and floor dust.  Wow.  They stripped the drywall from the back wall of the living room to reveal the brick underneath.  “It looks great!” I exclaimed to the contractor who was there.  I went in to the bedroom and changed in to my running clothes, donning my new shirt.

It was weird.

I ran in to the Park.

It was right.

I had set out to do 4 or 5.  As I started running, I committed myself to do the Harlem Hills, I need the hill work.  When I entered the Park and saw the Cherry Blossoms I’d been missing and felt the warmth and welcoming of my old running grounds I knew I’d do the whole thing.  Go big on my last night running here as a neighborhood resident, and then go home- our home.

This post isn’t about my run though, you can find one later here:

The sadness I’d been holding since exiting the train station fell away and I thought, “It is just me and the Park.”  I’d even left my iPod at home, no music to drown out my thoughts.  It was time to process.  I thought about what today was, what it meant and why it was affecting me so much.

We moved 2 weeks ago, but my state of mind hadn’t shifted yet.  The last 2 weeks have been about adjustments and settling, they haven’t been about closure and change and moving on.  Handing in the keys to the apartment we built our lives together in is moving on.  It is growing up and changing.  I knew this night would come, I knew we’d have to close the door for the final time the last of our belongings with us.  I’d actually been avoiding it if I’m honest with myself.  I’m a doer and yet, this was the one easy thing I hadn’t pushed us to just do.  I wasn’t ready.  I’m not ready to say goodbye to that life.  To being 30 minutes from work, to being 2 minutes from Central Park, to being so close together all the time, to being cozy and comfortable, to being a City girl.

I need to hold on to those pieces of that life that work for me, that can be held on to.  I will still run in Central Park, I will still visit Central Park.  We won’t let bigger living space mean we don’t spend time close together in a cozy and warm room.  I’m still a City girl.

We couldn’t start a family in that apartment, we couldn’t have a dog, we didn’t have outdoor space, we didn’t have room to keep growing.  We didn’t have privacy or heat most of the Winter.  None of that matters to me now though, now that I have to really say goodbye.

I remember, early on in the house buying process, after we’d put in an offer but no paperwork had been signed yet, feeling like I wanted to forget it all.  I wanted to just lay on our bed in our tiny bedroom and gaze out at the City outside my window and feel that it was enough.  I wanted safe and easy.  It is enough, but it isn’t what was right for us.

Tonight I pushed myself to suck it up and close up our apartment.  I pushed myself to set out to run the Park, the whole Park, alone.  I stepped out of safe and easy and was happy, was fulfilled and excited at the end.

I’m sad closing this chapter of my life.

I’m open to what is to come.

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