Friday, June 19, 2015

I've Wanted to Be Here My Whole Life

The view from our apartment.

We arrived in our new town of Union City around 6 o’clock on June 5, exactly two weeks ago. After checking out (for the first time!) our new digs and unloading the car, we decided to take the dogs out for a much-needed long walk since they had spent the bulk of three days in a cramped backseat. Plus, we wanted to get a lay of the land and see what our new neighborhood was all about. 

We ended up running into a couple other dog owners, all friendly, who offered their knowledge of the area, including (upon my asking) exactly where to take our pups to relieve themselves in this concrete jungle. As I told one guy who called Union City the ‘burbs, this is a very urban suburbia to us native Southern Californians. No manicured sidewalks with miles of grass here. (I won’t even get into all the honking and the sirens and the general perpetual noise.) Anyway, both the couple and the man we spoke to insisted that we stroll a couple blocks thataway to JFK Boulevard East “to see what (we) moved here for.” We listened. And once we got to the Weekhawken waterfront, we were greeted with the most spectacular view of the New York City skyline, just beginning to light up the sky as the sun was setting. 

We continued walking along the path and gawking at the incredible scene just across the Hudson River, which until then I had really only seen on TV and in movies. The view seemed to get better and better as we went along, and I took another photo every couple steps. When we decided to turn back and head home—and in search of dinner—I stopped my husband first for one last look.

NYC at night, the illuminated Empire State Building taking center stage.

“Come here,” I said, motioning him to my side. “Let’s have a moment.”

I put my arm around G as we looked across the Hudson at the twinkling city lights. Moving is tough, military life can be tough, but I wanted us to have a moment where we just felt happiness and all the possibility before us.

“That’s New York City,” I said. “I’ve wanted to be here my whole life.”

And then I got all watery-eyed. I’m a sap like that. 

“My whole life” is an exaggeration to be sure, “since high school” might be more accurate, but it sure feels like I’ve waited forever. And now I’m finally here.


When I wrote this post a week or so ago, before we had internet, the next sentence was an optimistic plea: "Let's make the most of it!" Even when I typed it the first time it didn't feel quite right, but I tried to trick myself into a mood of hopefulness and positivity by tapping into the feeling I had our first night in Jersey.

The truth is, our transition has not gone smoothly, and that's putting it mildly. The hubs has been in Rhode Island for 12 days and we're both still not sure when he'll be back. Each day some new problem pops up, delaying his return. And all our stuff from Florida has yet to be delivered. All our boxes hadn't even been weighed or placed on a moving truck on Monday, the estimated move-in date. So I'm still living in a mostly-empty apartment, sitting on the hardwood floor, sleeping on an air mattress, cooking with few kitchen utensils (I bought a couple cheap items at the store the other day) and growing increasingly tired of the limited clothing options I packed when we left St. Pete.

I'm actually starting to get used to the whole set-up and having my husband gone. But that doesn't make it feel any better. Except for two crazy mutts, I'm all alone in an unfamiliar place. Nevertheless, I am trying my best to regain that excited, the-world-is-your-oyster feeling, to find joy in small things and to know that there must be a light at the end of this tunnel—even if I can't quite see it yet.

Because once we're on the other side, I'm going to want to make the most of it.

View from Hamilton Park, a frequent stop on our morning and afternoon walks.

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