Well, we finally did it. We stopped traveling (somewhat) and finally moved to NYC. We moved into an apartment for the first time, at least one in the United States, and more importantly, somewhere I actually want to be in the United States. I’ve had anxiety about getting an apartment for a long time, but ultimately, most of my fears haven’t come to pass. Sure, the consistent fear of not being able to maintain the life we’ve built will always be there, but I think that moving to NYC is more than worth the trade-off.
Our life is so good here. I don’t mean that in a temporal sense; we live within our means, and I don’t feel the need to spend more than I have or take on more than I need. But I do love having a life, being in a consistent space, falling back into established relationships that were always there (even when we were gone), and starting to build a routine. Having a regular pattern of thought, I’m hoping, will help me to focus more on my writing and feel less depressed about it, to change the way it impacts me.
That sounds a little pretentious (and probably is) but not travelling and having this apartment is, I think, the best decision we’ve made in a long time. It will allow us to focus on being us, moreso than anything. Being here, we don’t have to try to be anyone except for ourselves, we don’t have to set expectations of who we are and what we need to do be doing. If anything, it’s just the opposite. We finally have the freedom to work more on the things that matter to us, spend time with people that matter to us, and, most importantly, feel that we impact our little corner of the universe, even if it isn’t global.
We haven’t been everywhere, but we’ve traveled a ton, and being a world traveler is something that has just become a part of my identity. Like being Jewish, or being a writer, or being from Long Island, that aspect of who I am is compartmentalized, but also omnipresent. It’s not something I ever don’t think about; it’s just who I am.
But I think, at least for the foreseeable future, slowing down and really focusing on what we want our lives to look like, what direction we want to be heading in, is the most important thing. Moving into an apartment for the first time was a big step for us, but one I’m ultimately really proud and happy that we were able to take.
The world will always be there. But our impact on it won’t. And while we can’t change the world, we can discover it more, be more aware of the circumstances that make it the way it is.
When we went to India, we saw rampant poverty in a way that I had never seen before, even in the rest of Asia. It was hard to see sometimes, and in ways it felt like a physical assault on my senses. But there’s also hope there, there’s relationships people build with each other, the impact they make on each other’s lives. One of the greatest things of moving back to New York is getting to experience that for the first time in a longtime, to really feel the relationships in my life impact me in a very real and very personal way.
And for that, it’s all worth it.