Exactly One Year Ago Today, I Left New York City For Good

Adam, Rita, and Gao Di saying goodbye to me over falafels and soup dumplings. I’ll have to say goodbye to them this summer.

Or, something like that. June 4, 2011 was the day that I would leave New York to begin what some people might call a “new chapter in my life.”

Three nights earlier, I went out for “goodbye drinks” with some former (and now current, again) co-workers. That same night, I went out for more “goodbye drinks” with a friend. The following night, there was a more formal “goodbye drinks” gathering with some more friends. (Tell your friends you’re leaving forever and you’ll get a bunch of free drinks. Who knew?)

Come June 3rd, I only had 10% of my stuff packed away and I had until 6 am the next day to take care of the remaining 90%. Easy, I thought. All I have to do is throw everything in some boxes and toss it in the car.

But what about the cat? How am I gonna catch her and put her in a cat carrier thing? And how the hell do you transport a live betta fish across the country? And what about all my food and ice cream left in the freezer? No way am I leaving that ice cream behind.

I quickly realized that I had severely overestimated my packing abilities and spatial reasoning. I stayed up all night packing, taping, lifting, and fitting all my stuff into the car. No sleep whatsoever on the night before a 24-hour cross country road trip.

Once I hit the road, I took one last look at the city from the Verrazano Bridge. There’s no way I’m not coming back, I thought – or, hoped, really.

Sure enough, I came back. Eight months later, I moved back into the city. To my surprise, none of my friends were mad that they bought me drinks and shed some tears only to see me again months later as if nothing had changed.

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