I believe that the search for happiness is, mostly, an internal pursuit. It’s less about the world around you and more about the way you see yourself inside that world. But that belief was challenged mightily this week.
This week, I woke up every morning across the river from New York City, and somehow knowing that made me happy. More than happy, I felt lighter and more alive than I have upon waking up in any other place.
It makes no sense. Before I’d stepped one foot into Manhattan, my cells were already humming from the energy; my pieces all clicked into place perfectly the moment I did. I kept waiting for the novelty to wear off, for reality and sensibility to resurface. My girlhood love affair with the idea of New York City should have faded long ago, and yet this geographical place completes me as much as any person or purpose ever has.
I don’t get it, but I know it’s true.
This week was the first time I got to share the city I love with the people I love. Jared and I have visited together twice before, but this was the first time the kids had been in New York City. I was unprepared for how blissful it would be to see them all on those busy streets. I have taken shamefully few photos, but I can’t stop looking at my family and my city long enough to lift my camera to my eye. I can’t stop soaking it up, breathing it in, and marveling at how every part of me sings when I – when we – are here.
We’re scheduled to be here until the 23rd of August, and I am already reluctant to leave. I am working to focus on the now instead of the inevitable departure, and we remind each other daily that we have a whole lot of country left to see before we choose the next adventure. But oh how I am tempted to skim apartment listings online. It’s as if a mighty ship has been slowly righting its course and the new horizon can finally be seen across the rail. But there is still much sailing and rerouting to be done, I tell myself.
I have to constantly temper my happiness here, a statement I am loathe to write because it stinks of wrongness. But it would be so easy for me to lose myself in it completely and lose sight of reality entirely. Perhaps I am just not ready to trust that kind of happy yet. Perhaps it’s just not time.
Regardless, this week has been one overflowing with joy. I worked in a Starbucks one afternoon and met my family in Central Park afterwards.
I worked in a Starbucks one afternoon and met my family in Central Park afterwards.
That reality dazzles me.
This week will, no doubt, be filled with more happiness. And I will not think about the impending departure. Not yet.
Are you in New York City? (Lucky!) I’m getting together Wednesday night at 7pm with friends in the area and would happily welcome you to the table. Contact me if you’d like details.