I just realised that today is the seven month anniversary of the day that I arrived in New York City. Happy anniversary Me. Some facts: in the past 213 days I’ve had five jobs, moved to four different houses, had the greatest meal of my life three times and twice gone to pet a small dog before realising that it was a rat. I’ve cried just once.
I have a photo of that day on the boat from New Jersey. I am gripping the rail on the top deck, knuckles whitened against the onslaught of air thrown off the New York bay. My hair is gale-whipped into a Tintin quiff; my windward eye shut tight, not quite able to take it all in. The hood I’m wearing has filled like a sail, tugging me back home to safety. But there’s a proud figure embodying hope and freedom in that photograph; the Statue of Liberty is in the background as well.
I started out with March 7th in mind: “Six months and then we’ll see” was the cry of comfort last September, as much as to myself as to friends and family. This seemed a manageable amount of time both to experience and to reassess. I was wrong on both counts. Even now, I am still not settled, I am still not stable, I am still not satisfied.
Even without my trusty sidekick, I can’t possibly consider the thought of going back now. The adventure, opportunity and possibility I smelt over the salty Atlantic air when I booked my plane ticket last March is still there; but the scent is stronger now and it’s everywhere. I can taste it in the roof of my mouth, and it forces it’s way into my lungs as much on April 7th as it did on September 7th. Despite this, there’s only so long that I can go on living here without Steph, so I’m doing everything I can to bring her back.