The time has come for me to say goodbye to New York City - my home for the past 3 months. Although it was a short stint, it was long enough for me to explore the city the way I wanted to. Living in the cutest little apartment in a historic lower east side neighborhood next to Chinatown and Little Italy, I found myself a charming local coffee shop at 88 Orchard where I’d spend hours reading or writing my blog while sipping on chai. I tried out countless amazing restaurants, enjoyed Sunday brunches, attended a fashion show, concerts, and various events, visited museums, saw a couple Broadway shows, learned how to salsa and how to walk at lightning speed (or you'll get trampled by the stampede of Manhattanites), reconnected with old friends and met new ones. Although New York was never on the top of my list of cities to live in, it was a pleasant surprise that turned out to be a fantastic way to spend my spring. The only thing I didn't get to do was perfect my New York accent for Benny my Aussie pal: GIT DA FOCK OUT DA HEEYA!
Just over a year ago, I never would have imagined my life the way it has turned out. This past May, May 8th to be exact, marked what would have been my 3rd wedding anniversary. I was once married to someone I’ve been with since I was a child – well, I had just turned legal when we first met. Although it was not happily ever after, my marriage was not a mistake by any means. It was more like a practice or starter marriage. When you have dated someone for half your life, you become so comfortable in the relationship that you don’t dare question whether it really is right for you (or at least you don’t verbalize it even to yourself.) So you live through your 20’s unsure of who you are and what you want. And the next thing you know, you are walking down the aisle marrying who you thought or wanted desperately to be the love of your life. It took moving to the other side of the world (Tokyo last year) to give me the courage to face the truth and do something about it. The truth was: no matter how much we loved each other and what a great husband he might have been, we weren't right for each other. Staying true to my zodiac horse sign, I was born a free spirit where the world is my home. I needed to be set free from my 2500 sq. ft. cage in the zoo of suburbia. And along the way, I was also setting him free – allowing him to devote his love to someone else to settle down with who can provide the life and family he so desires, someone else who truly deserves his love, someone else who is not me.
The day I took off my wedding band, platinum entwined with diamond pave rose gold, and gingerly placed on his dresser, I felt as if a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. This sense of newfound freedom – that I could now live the life I’ve always wanted to live but was too afraid to even dream of before – I would never trade for all the Dior shoes in Manhattan. And since then, I’ve quit my job in Tokyo, happily added to the statistics of the other 50% of marriages, fell in love with someone who may have seemed too different from me but turned out to be perfect for me, lived a month in India where drug experimenting was not optional but required, learned how to cross country ski and almost skied right into a half frozen stream at 4 in the morning, did a road trip from Tahoe to Utah to Colorado, and snagged a short-term contract in NYC.
I feel like I’ve crammed and lived a lifetime in the past year and it’s only just begun. Now I'm off to spend the rest of the summer in Colorado where my boyfriend lives. Our only agenda is to go fishing, rafting, hiking, biking, and camping. Yea camping... I’m sure my friends who’ve known me for years must be asking incredulously, “Are you for real?” YES I AM. We're renting llamas for a 6-day camping trip on the Wind River Range in Wyoming. Being with Justin, a real mountain boy, brings out a whole new side of me that may have always been there but suppressed for way too long. Being with someone who shows me there’s so much more to life than Gucci bags and a luxury brownstone in suburban MD allows me to finally live. After the summer ends, we plan to spend the rest of the year living in Southeast Asia where the most beautiful women were once men.
This is where I sign off and retire my blog. But I will be back with my next adventure. So long and GIT DA FOCK OUT DA HEEYA!
Pictures: 1-2: My Neighborhood. 3: Barbie dollhouse in Times Square Toys R Us. 4: My Karaoke Goodbye Party. 5: Justin and me in India.