Sundays in the Park

October 15th, 2012

Yesterday was probably a near-perfect Sunday in New York. Warm, sunny, beautifully nostalgically autumnal. In Riverside Park, there were dog walkers, baby walkers, soccer players, volleyball teams, bikers and bench sitters. For the first time since I arrived in the city, I felt like I almost fit here. I flew here straight from my father’s funeral in Kentucky, and the first week was hard, so hard. I cried at night. I was lonely and dislocated in time and space. I was uncomfortable in my own skin — trying to get used to living out of suitcases in a tiny, tiny apartment, feeling stupid because I couldn’t grasp how the subway works, feeling battered by too many conflicting emotions. I felt I was being dragged around at warp speed without any time to make sense of what was happening to and around me. I worried I would never catch up with my body before it was time to leave again, but the worst part was feeling so dumb and slow compared to everyone around me. After all, the only thing I know about living in New York is based on Seinfeld, and that has proven to be very inadequate preparation for the reality of it. (Although I love being able to buzz someone into the building like Jerry was always doing!) I’m frustrated about how long it’s taking me to adjust to Big World and how much of my own passivity and inertia I’ve had to overcome just to be here. Soon I will head back to Charleston, and although in the first week I couldn’t have imagined it, I think I will miss New York and continue to think about it and be drawn to it for a long time to come. I’m not returning with any sure sense of where I belong in the world, and given how rootless my life has been since I left home at 17, maybe that’s a certainty that’s always going to elude me. Maybe I had to leave home to realize that I can make one anywhere. Or maybe all I can hope for is finding a perfect Sunday in the park somewhere in this world — and maybe that is enough.

2 Responses to “Sundays in the Park”

  1. stephanie says:

    This post made me cry and want to reach out and hug you, even though it is virtual, it is heartfelt. And I do believe all any of us can hope for is to feel that feeling of belonging, every once in a while, home in the universe, not any one place, just wherever we are at the moment. xoxo

  2. nikki says:

    Stephanie, thank you so much for reading and understanding!

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