the old apartment

March 17th, 2014


In August, while I was in New York for a project, I found myself staying in a hotel that was about five blocks from our old apartment in the West Village. Since I was in the mood for ice cream and knew the best spot in the neighborhood (L’Arte del Gelato, since renamed Dolce Gelateria, on Bleeker Street), I figured I’d take a walk past our old door on my way there.

And it’s funny: you know how muscle memory kicks in when something is so completely familiar to you, even if it’s been a long time? As I walked past my old subway stop, I didn’t need to think about where I was going. My hand was on the doorknob before I even realized I’d made the turn.

(It was locked, obviously. This is New York we’re talking about. But I couldn’t resist texting Chad a picture of our old doorway before I kept going.)

When we left Manhattan, I had extremely mixed feelings about it. My rational mind knew it was the “right” decision and it made the most sense for our lives… but that didn’t mean that I was ready to go.

I sometimes describe it to friends as the “one more year” syndrome. I knew that New York wasn’t our long term plan, but I wanted one more year before we left.

But the thing about “one more year” is that it’s not a decision — it’s the postponing of a decision. A tiny part of me knew that if we stayed another year, I’d want one more, and then one more.

I loved New York. And while I liked the idea of Texas and all that it had to offer (warm winters, the chance to buy a house, the possibility of kids), I wasn’t sure that I wanted all of that right now. Next year, maybe. But right at that moment, I liked my life the way it was.

And on the eve of another huge change, two years later, I find myself thinking about that decision almost every day. For a long time, I felt the same way about having a baby as I did about leaving New York — sure, I knew that I wanted to do it someday, but not quite yet. When Chad and I bought our house, we agreed that we’d spend a year getting adjusted to it before trying to have kids. Our timing turned out to be impeccable — I found out I was pregnant a year and three weeks after we moved in.

I’m very glad we took that year — this was one of those cases where “one more year” made all the difference. But even when you’re ready for them, life changes are huge and exciting and wonderful — and they’re also terrifying. No matter how excited you are for the next step, you’re still giving something up.

So I look at our old apartment kind of the same way I look at our pre-baby life. It’s full of wonderful memories. There are things about it that I miss terribly (gelato being one of them). And while I’m happy to be moving forward, there’s also a little ache that comes with thinking about the many things we’ll be giving up in a few weeks — sleeping in on the weekends, long, leisurely dinners without babysitters, quiet time to myself.

But here’s how our New York move worked out: now that the dust has settled, I find myself constantly grateful that it all happened the way it did. Change isn’t always easy, but it makes room for wonderful, exciting new things in your life — things that couldn’t have fit if everything had just stayed the way it was.

Sure, I miss walking around the West Village on Saturday afternoons, and I miss the noise and excitement and energy of living in Manhattan. But I also love our new life here in Texas. I love our little neighborhood, and my job, and our house, and the many new and wonderful friends we’ve made in the last two years. And most of all, I love this little baby boy who’s going to be officially joining us in five more weeks.

So this weekend, I took a moment to be uncomfortable with all the changes that are heading our way. I let myself be nervous and terrified and overwhelmed by just how much our life is about to be completely different.

And then, I let it go. Because two years from now, I’ll probably look back at this post the same way I now look at our New York apartment. It was a wonderful moment to be in, but it was also followed by other wonderful, different moments.

Everything changes.

And that’s not so bad.

22c89f3a02d611e3a07e22000a1f9a28_7{Yes, at the end of all that, I got my gelato. And it was just as amazing as I remembered it.}

Tags: baby · life

16 responses so far ↓

  • 1 alicia // Mar 17, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    this was expertly said and i needed this more than you know!  here’s to the old and the new!

  • 2 Stacy Dill // Mar 18, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    Best Gelato in Texas in Houston or College Station, Texas. We have vibrant Italian/Greek-American communities here. Great Gelato next to Cenares on University in College Station. Check out the Federation of Italian-American Organizations of Greater Houston, Inc. Also the Italian and Cultural Community Center 1101 Milford in Houston’s Museum District. There’s a festival and debutante-type ball every year.

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