I am in the process of boxing up the place that I have called home for the past three years. I am leaving New York in a mere two weeks after living here for six years. It's a sad departure, even though I never actually thought that I would live here. But, here I am getting ready to leave this fair city. And I have to admit, I'm a little excited. I'm excited to see grass that I don't have to traverse miles of concrete to discover. I can't begin to explain my excitement.
And yet, it seems that I have to find some way to explain this excitement. I have had two phone interviews already where I have been asked how I feel about not being in New York. It's funny to hear this question. I don't think about myself as a New Yorker. I am. I know I am. But, I don't feel like a New Yorker. Perhaps because I'm so excited to leave.
I am excited to leave behind the weird sense of community in New York. It's a city with wonderful cultural resources and tremendous diversity. But, theater tickets are more expensive than museum entry fees. And we don't really relish in the wonder of our own diversity. We live in compartments where neighbors don't know each other by name or face. We travel underground together but become annoyed when anyone crowds our space. We don't want to touch anyone in this city. We want to live without connections while complaining about our lack of community. We forget to realize the fantastic wealth around us.
I'm ready to leave this behind. I'm ready to engage in real community where I bump into neighbors while grocery shopping or down the street. I don't really know what this will look like. But, I know that I am very ready to leave New York.