The Christmas season is officially here (though I kicked off my own Christmas season somewhere around the second week of October), so it's only fitting that I spent the last week feeling a lot like Jimmy Stewart in "It's a Wonderful Life" as well as Ebenezer Scrooge. No, I didn't revisit regrets while being tour guided around my life by oddly dressed angels, but I did indeed visit my life, in a sort of surreal, feeling under-water kind of way. I went back to New York for Thanksgiving, for the first time since being carted away in a traumatic flurry of hospitals, oxygen tanks, and half-said goodbyes. This week was the only time I knew I'd have at least four days free with no work or school (and I ended up skipping a class anyway) and I knew there was nowhere I'd rather be for Thanksgiving than with my Brooklyn Family.
The weeks leading up to the trip had me wondering how I would react in returning to the place I'd lived for three years and not had any closure with. Would I start sobbing the minute I stepped off the plane? Would my life in Seattle evaporate and just convince me that I still lived in New York? Would I go numb? Would I be happy?
Well, it was kind of a multi-combo. I won't take the whole space to describe it, but more or less, most of my first day back I really did feel like a ghost revisiting my past. Everything looked familiar, but felt unfamiliar. I knew where to go, but couldn't remember how I'd gotten there. I realized, as I sat with Kim on the sofa I sort of helped pay for, in the apartment I'd spent 3 years of my life in, and realized that I'd never lived somewhere, left, had everyone remain and keep living that life, then return to visit that life. You know, when you visit your home, your peers aren't still in high school, things change. But going back to New York, for all intensive purposes, nothing had changed. Like Scrooge and Jimmy Stewart, I was visiting my life.
Also, the ghost metaphor makes sense, since when I left I was pretty much a ghost of myself. Barely walking, hardly breathing, and my parents had flown in and packed all my belongings away. I don't think it's an understatement to say that it was as if I had died. And suddenly, here I was, alive, walking down Franklin Street again-riding the C train and transferring to the F to meet up with people in the East Village- pedestrian dodging on 42nd street.
Fortunately though, I wasn't there to make up for past mistakes (though if I tried, I'm sure I could have found some). Mostly, it was just to rest in the warm embrace of those people that lower my heart rate, help me breathe easily, and call me nicknames I haven't heard in almost two years. Oh, oh the love. And the gratitude. And the Thanksgiving.
It was a short four days, but every second was a blessing. I thought about a lot, but also didn't analyze much. I made a lot of mental notes, but also just went with the flow. I was totally nostalgic, and completely in the moment. Rest. Rest. Rest.
I want to share more, and hopefully I will. But for now, being back in Seattle, I'm so glad I went back to my home, found it still warm and hearth-like, but also felt like I was the same person there and here. I know I've changed, but it was so nice to pick up where I left off, not feeling like I had to shift gears at all. I'm know I'm really different after what my Seattle experience has been, but it was nice to know I'm still the same. Coming home to Seattle was another homecoming. A different home, but one I'm grateful for as well. I'm grateful that there are nicknames here too, and different people whom I can rest with. And this doesn't take away from any other friendships. There's a difference between 1 year of friendship, 5 years, and ten years. And I'm so thankful for all of you. It was the best Thanksgiving week I've ever had.
Thanks for the pictures, Kimmy! And for my new/old digital camera!