June 6th 2014
Story originally written and experienced: May 17th, 2013
“I really wish you wouldn’t leave.”
I said this to her as she walked over and handed me a beer. >> It was ice cold. And condensating quite nicely. It was humid and hot outside. That’s why. But it all felt pretty perfect. Especially when she said.
“I know…to be honest, I’m not completely sure I want to leave either.”
“…But you’re going to anyway?”
“I’m going to anyway.”
We were standing on her roof top.
Precisely at 8:13 pm. It was May 2013 And we were just in time to watch the sunset as it kissed the Hudson River and ducked behind the horizon.
We had cold hands due to cold beers.
And we took in a view we knew we wouldn’t share again.
Because Leah was moving away.
For a reason that was brave.
“Are you excited to start your new job?”
“I am. I think.”
“You picked the perfect night for your going away party.”
“I know. People are going to get here soon. It’s going to be really weird to say goodbye.”
“To the people, or New York City?”
“Both. My office. My romances. My desires. My mistakes. But. I’m going to do it. I’m going to go. And I am excited. And hey, if I’m meant to be back in the city. Then…I’ll be back in the city. I think this is just what I need right now. And if not now…when?”
II We paused for a long time II
And then I said.
“You know what’s strange?”
“Before I had a job. Before I went to college. Hell, even when I was in college. I always told myself I’d always always choose love over my career. I really thought I would. I thought I knew myself well enough to say that. I had this notion that genuine care or passion was only ever meant to be used in one way.”
“Yeah. And friends. And family too.”
“Are you still thinking about the incident?”
“…To an extent.”
“Are you having regrets about it?”
“No. No regrets. It’s just…strange to think about is all.”
“You know…if you went through with it…you wouldn’t even be here right now. Professionally writing in the city, and running your blog too.”
“I know. That’s the strangest part of all. I had been here for less than a year when he asked me to “leave New York and move in with him!”
And I said yes.
And then I said no.
And then I wasn’t sure.
And then things didn’t work out. Because I wanted to pursue dreams. And I wanted to pursue adventure. And so.
I didn’t go.
But I thought about it. Just…not as long as I imagined I would.”
“Does it weird you out that the decision was so easy?”
“It wasn’t easy. Definitely not easy, just…less hard than I anticipated. Mostly because the romance was dwindling… and mostly because, I thought back to a year ago. I remember I was holding a pen to resign the lease on my apartment while sitting in this dingy real estate office at 8 a.m. I didn’t have much money. And I definitely didn’t have a genuine clue about what I wanted or where I was going. And I paused before I signed that paper.
And then I signed it.
Because I realized that…I was choosing what I thought I would choose. Genuine passion. Care. My career. My dream. It’s what I’m in love with. For now at least. And it sounds so selfish. And it sounds so wrong. But it’s true.”
“Sounds like one hell of a contract to sign…but I guess I’m kind of doing the same thing aren’t I? Leaving. No guarantees. Which is almost the most interesting part…do you ever feel crazy for doing it? Taking a chance?”
“You know, in a really weird way. It makes me feel incredibly sane. I do this thing every time I go on vacation and I fly back into New York City. Every time I land I ask myself “Does it feel good to be back?” “Are you happy that you’re here?” And so far. Every time. It does. So far. Every time. It’s exactly where I want to land. I’ve got a lot of shit to figure out in my life. But I guess knowing the answer to at least two questions—where I want to be and why—feels pretty damn nice.”
“Even if it doesn’t work out?”
“It’ll work out. If not the way I planned it to…some other way. But. I guess I get scared of falling too hard for it. Getting obsessed with the idea of adventure and enamored with anticipated success. I guess I worry that I’ll get sucked into this love affair with something that’s probably temporary and that’s meant to feel one sided.”
“Do you think you’ll ever find anyone, or anything that tears you away from this crazy place?”
“I hope so. Hell, maybe I’ve already met them. But I guess being here kind of made me realize that the only thing more rare than finding a damn good love, is finding something else that feels just as nice. It’s kind of cool to care about anything or any place in that way.”
People began t r i c k l i n g into the party. And Leah handed out >> more beers and more conversation.
The night was perfect.
Dancing. A good turn out. Pizza.
And the next day after waking up from a lofty recovery and a nap that can only be labeled as Jesus pt.2. I got to thinking about the conversation I had with Leah, and I thought about it a lot. About my friends. All of them. And how most of them wonder about this too.
How they feel like they should deciding everything right now but…
They want to travel.
They want to pursue a dream.
They want to pursue a place.
They want to be rogue.
But they second guess it. Because.
They have to give up something to make it happen.
That’s just not easy.
They worry it won’t be all worth it in the end.
Even though it always will be.
In some way.
Sort of like my friend’s parents who used to be engaged to other people. And 4 days before the wedding she realized she was in love with someone else instead. And they lived happily ever after.
Arianna Huffington. Who left a perfectly comfortable life and romance in UK to try and make it as a writer in New York City. And then she created the Huffington Post. And it seemed to work out—rather well.
The people who realize what they have. And want exactly that. So they keep it. And it’s all the damn adventure they need. Because they took a chance hoping it would be worth it.
It just damn was.
The thing about having a theoretical love affair is—they’re often unexpected, but they’re always what you want.
Whether you fell in love with whatever it was 5 years ago or you’re just discovering it now, we’re all all fueled, anchored and driven by things that just seem a little better than the rest. It’s how we get what we want, tRiP into what we want, end up with what we want.
If you ask me.
Might just be the greatest contract you ever sign.