That’s the Way It Is

7 Nov

Photo by DMT

I’m a slow mover.

Admittedly, I love to dream big – about everything – but the impulse and the action are two very separate things in my world.  Most of the time, I am able to identify my dreams very clearly, but I have to sit with them for a while before I find the courage to turn them into reality, and lately I’ve felt the urge to turn my New York City plan into something more than just a dream.

I think what’s made me hesitant about moving forward is that I view moving to the city the same way I view entering into a long-term committed relationship.  I fell hard and fast for the city, but settling down with it makes me nervous.  What if I’ve over-romanticized this city?  What if I don’t know what I need to know, and I find out I’ve made a huge mistake?  What if the city isn’t all that it appears to be and I end up disappointed in it?  What if we’re a bad fit, and I feel obligated to stay because I’ve made such a big deal out of it?  What if the city breaks my heart?

I know I’m anthropomorphizing this city, but that’s me – the pragmatic dreamer.

I don’t have a good track record when it comes to relationships, and this plays a large part in my thinking.  In the past, I’ve idealized things and as a result, I’ve jumped in too far, too fast, and lived to regret my decisions.  Why?  Because I’m stubborn and because I feel guilty for letting people down.  This is what makes me nervous about New York City, and why it’s taking me so long to put the wheels in motion.  I know I love the city, but I don’t want to make another mistake.

Yet I know that mistakes are the only way I ever learn anything, and that I can’t spend my life trying to amass enough evidence in order to avoid making mistakes.  Sometimes I have to let go and just make the leap – but it’s so difficult and scary.

Lately I’ve been recalling something D. said to me a very long time ago.  We were deep into a philosophical discussion of the nature of love and how love works, and I spun out a million theories on how love might work.  I think, for D., the solution was simple and self-evident, but he patiently fielded my million and one questions until he finally said, “Mary, it’s not love if you don’t throw yourself into it 100%.”  I didn’t disagree with him, but I wanted to know how I could maintain my individuality and autonomy without compromising myself.  I wanted evidence that I could throw myself in 100% and not lose who I was.  D. chuckled as he responded, “You don’t have to “give up” anything, but when you’re really in love there will be things you want to let go of in order to compromise.”

I can see this now as I start to plan my move.  I love New York City.  I love its beauty and its grittiness.  I love the possibility of adventure and excitement just as much as I love the inevitability of the challenges that will cause me to struggle. I love that I will never completely know – or even understand – it, and that that will be what keeps me interested and excited about it.

I want to leap in and trust that everything will work out exactly the way it’s supposed to work out.  So,  I will approach my relationship with New York City as openly, honestly, and optimistically as possible.  I will learn to compromise, and I will love this city for better and for worse.  I will choose to believe that we can learn to live happily ever after.

After all, love – in any form – comes to those who believe it.

One Year to Move Blog Music

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