You’re curious, I know, about what’s making me “homesick”. Or
maybe you’re not curious. I don’t really care; being that this
whole blog realm is rather self-indulgent, I’m gonna tell you
anyway. You get to choose whether or not to continue
reading.

First off, let me say how much I love New York. I love living
here. I love all that this city has to offer. I’ll risk
being clichĂ© and trite. I NY, it’s true. (Did you know that I know one of the women that created the original I NY ad campaign? Yeah, cool points for me. Ha ha.) I
being able to walk almost anywhere I want to go. Though it drives
me crazy, I our hundred-year-old subway system. I the
Flatiron Building more than most people will ever understand. I
my little house with my little yard near Astoria Park, all for a
nice little rent. I the availability of Mamoun’s falafel and
shawarma, grilled cheap hotdogs, and Ukrainian comfort food at
2am. I sparkling sidewalks, Hummus Place, the South Street
Seaport, and hundreds of other memory-filled spots all over this crazy
metropolis. This is the city where I first found my independence;
where I spent my entire roller-coaster collegiate career; where I went
completely crazy; where I watched history happen as landmarks fell and
my anger rose; where I’ve shopped at Macy’s and dug through the trash;
where I said “YES!” and found true love; where I walked through a sea
of millions, bawling like a baby; where I’ve given a million tours from
my perspective; where I’ve kissed, thrown snowballs, screamed, danced
in the rain, fallen into the middle of the street, and felt like a
beautiful princess and an insignificant peon all at the same time.

I am who I am because I have lived in this beautiful, horrible,
constant, morphing, hateful, empowering, frenetic City. I am
fulfilling a dream. Everyone, at some point in his or her
lifetime, should visit New York City, if only just once. Just to
see this, the Greatest City on Earth. And if you’ve lived here
your entire life, GET OUT! Go see something ELSE! You won’t
appreciate it fully othewise.

And what have I sacrificed to be here? Ah, now we get to
homesick, my friends. I never got to drive home from college for
a relaxing weekend at home, or just to do laundry and eat Mom’s
cooking. The smell of freshly mown grass is a treasured rarity
for me. I can’t jump in my car and just drive to clear my
head. My college didn’t have a campus, or a football team, or
even a clearly defined mascot. Moving back and forth to college
year after year was a hassle most of you who just loaded the car will
never understand. At my school, you were often considered less
intelligent or competent if you were Southern, a Christian, not
radically liberal, drug-free, and/or abstinent. I was constantly
challenged. Thank God for it, because I am who I am because of
those challenges. I nearly quit, my friends. I nearly gave
it up halfway through and came home. And then I came back, and
said I wouldn’t quit. I found love and support like I’d never
known before, and a lot of it didn’t come from those I’d thought loved
me. I lost plenty of people I thought loved me But I came
back anyway, even though some said I shouldn’t, and I kept going, and I
kept scratching away toward a goal. And then,
again, I thought I’d come home. But I didn’t. I
stayed. And I gave up that life that so many my age from my area
seem to be choosing; I gave up all the things Alabama sings about
in “Hometown Honeymoon”; I gave up an entire life, the physical
remnants of which live in a small box under my bed, and the emotional
remnants of which entangle my heart like a beautiful melody that, try
as you might, you can’t get out of your head, because even if you
distract yourself for a little while with another song, your soul
eventually reverts back to that same haunting harmony. I
materialized the song. I wrote it into chords and lyrics.

And yet, it isn’t that song that draws me away from the city. I
wrote it, I put it out there, and it lives in my heart as part of my
art, my creation.

What pulls me is the feeling that there is something more for me to do
in this life. I am far from over. I have a purpose. God wants something from me, and I feel him whispering to me and
pulling me to the next map dot. He has grown me here. He
plugged me into a church where I could thrive; He let me be challenged
and tried and tempted and helped me weather heartache and soul sickness
and did not desert me even when I cursed Him and turned as far away as
I thought I could go. Now I know He wants more of me. Hopefully He will tell me; I grow impatient with a year’s worth
of wondering.

Who knows where I am going. If it is time for me to leave this
great place, I pray that the next destination will be as wonderful and
as horrible and as life-affirming and as challenging as my life in New
York has been.

God loves me. I’m gonna be ok. I can do anything He wants me to do, no matter where he puts me, because if I can make it here, I can make it anywhere.

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