I got back from my NYC trip with my girlfriends just a day or so ago and i’ve been recovering ever since. New York was many things. Ama said this trip would be emotional and her intuition was right. It was a flood of memories and emotions. It was falling in love with their personalities all over again while remembering that I’m different than I was when we all last saw each other.
New York was Ama’s laughter that I had forgotten was so sweet. It was Maya’s gigantic personality that filled my heart with comfort and honesty. It was Clare being Momma Clare, always saying the right thing and bringing me back to my senses when I was feeling conflicted. It was Karen’s excitability, her ADD, and her dreaming out loud about her plans to move to nyc. It was little heather being her fun, unique self, always up for dancing, colorful & sparkling eye makeup, and making new friends of everyone she meets. It was Ali Masters making her signature hot tea within 30 minutes of walking in the door and reminding me of just how cool, gentle, and nonjudgemental she is. I learned on this trip that I don’t want as much time to pass anymore before I pick up the phone and call them. I need to be better at that.
New York was great conversation, honest, sometimes heartbreaking conversation of our individual joys and stuggles. Then it was full-on sillyness, dancing, girl talk. It was staying up until 4am every day and sleeping in sleeping bags on the floor. It was seeing an old boyfriend and feeling the pain of that relationship all over again…and being surprised by that. My friend Dawnie asked on the last evening of the trip if it was all that I had expected. And if i’m being honest, it was much more. I was surprised at how emotional I was. I don’t think there was a day of the trip that I didn’t cry. My goodness, I even cried when landing in nyc and on the plane returning to portland. And I was crying for a range of reasons. Karen would say something like “we should all record our laughter for those days when we’re feeling blue” and then I would think about all of their individual laughters and how much I loved them all and then I would cry. It was me feeling, very intensely how lucky I am to have these friendships. But it was also me feeling very far away from my current self and my current life in portland, if that makes any sense. My friend Ali says that whenever she goes home to her mom’s home that she somehow emotionally returns to how she was when she was 13. For me, this trip was returning, in some way, to how I felt when I was in my early 20s, which was complete internal chaos. It was very unsettling and it was with me the entire trip.
When I returned to Portland, I felt as if I had been gone a really long time. And in some way, I had been gone a long time. I had taken an unexpected emotional journey back to feelings that I had had years ago. I tried to pinpoint when exactly I stopped feeling so much internal chaos and the only thing I can think of was when I met john. Love was my answer. Although I will always have questions, and i’m ok with that, the big questions of my early 20’s are over. And meeting John, finding Love, was my answer. It always is.