The highway is crowded. It seems everyone is in transit, getting ready for the holidays. We have passed at least 20 Toys R' Us stores and Wal-Marts and I feel the monotony of America grating on me. The drive between New York City and Boston is only supposed to be four and a half hours, but the Christmas traffic and the recent snow are slowing things down. I can see red taillights for miles ahead of us, and even though we're moving I am less and less hopeful that we will reach Boston before the subway shuts down for the night.
As I sit here, watching strip mall after strip mall pass slowly by my window, I realize that I miss my family more than I thought I would. Thanksgiving was easy enough, though there were a few pangs of homesickness involved. Tonight, though, as I'm headed to visit some very good friends of mine, I can't help but feel a little sad that this bus is heading north instead of south. The snow on the ground is less comforting than the warm Florida sun. The promise of an impromptu bed less inviting than the thought of crawling into the one I left behind six months ago. I suppose that this is what growing up is all about. As we get older we have to break with our old traditions and form new ones, or at the very least modify them. The only constant in life is change, right?
Despite missing home more than I ever thought that I would, I love where I am. I feel completely content with my life. Moving to New York City was exactly what I needed. I had come to a complete standstill in Jacksonville. I was miserable, even though I was surrounded with almost all of the people that I love. Now, so far away from them, I've found somewhere that I really think I belong. From my first day in New York City I have felt at ease. I have been lost and stressed the fuck out and completely baffled by many things, but never have I felt so at home. I feel like it's my city.
The cold and the snow present me with a new challenge. I have never lived somewhere with actual seasons. The cities I have lived in have all been considered to be subtropical in climate, so when I found myself standing in a snowstorm last weekend, I freaked out. I twirled in circles and giggled like a little girl and threw my arms up in the air and almost fell down on my ass as I played with the gorgeous white powder that fell around me. I took in the glory of Central Park coated in a fresh coat of snow and cursed the misery that is wearing tennis shoes through the slush. Two days later I did fall on my ass thanks to those same tennis shoes and a slippery staircase. I have a massive bruise to prove it.
Despite the shortcomings of the weather, I am enjoying feeling cold. It thrills me a little bit and while I am certain that I will be so sick of piling on clothes and trudging through the snow by the end of the winter - I still find myself giggling in excitement when I breath out and I can see it hang in the air. It's no longer something to call home about or run inside and tell everyone, "It's so cold you can see your breath!" but I think it will continue to make me smile for at least this winter.
I hope you all are happy and healthy and I wish you a very Merry Christmas (whether you celebrate it or not) and a fantastic New Year.
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