My life began in New York from very humble beginnings. When people I meet find out where I’m from most of them say, “Oh everything makes sense now.” New York does not sound like humble beginnings because usually you think of the big city, traffic and high fashion. Really, while the city holds a lot of the population the majority of the state is the country side.
I left New York with my family in 2005 and never came back. After a while I considered Arizona to be my home and the life I had in New York was full of awkward teen years and rain. Mostly rain. Which I tried my hardest to avoid. But, one thing I could never avoid was my best friend, Jillian. We had been inseparable since kindergarten and spent most of our days running around on my parents 125 acre farm. Ten or eleven years later happened before I knew it and my avoidance of the state that raised me could no longer continue. My baby Jillian was getting married to an Englishman she met when she was wondering around London. Since, you know, she’s a classically trained opera singer and that’s just what people touring London do.
And so, my adventure from Arizona, my new home, to New York, my old home, began. Thankfully I was not without evidence my awkwardness had dwindled because I now had my very cool boyfriend to come with me.
Upon landing in Albany, the water works started and never really stopped. Not when my childhood friend picked us up, not when I literally saw my best friend Jillian after 6 years, not when I tried to get through the wedding ceremony and give my speech(that was the worst) and definitely not when we traveled to my childhood house and property.
But really the lesson here was that New York was nothing like I remembered. I mean, it was partly how I remembered, everything was old and forest-y, but I remembered the rurality as being frustrating. I always wanted to be in the city and have the convenience of a grocery store being down the street instead of 45 minutes away. But as an adult, it was charming. I loved that I had absolutely no cell phone service and that the internet was still dial up and only a few gigs allowed per month. I loved that the only sound you could hear outside was either animals, water, trees or absolute stillness. I loved learning that the country girl still existed in my soul in more than just a memory.