Friday, October 7, 2011

The One That Got Away?

Holy shit, I hope this is like riding a bike. Or, actually, easier, since I was never that good at bike-riding.

It's been months since I've blogged and the more time that passed, the more anxious I've been about starting up again. But here I am. LET'S DO THIS.

You might think, based on my last post, that it would be logical for me to blog about my life-changing trip to China in July. But truthfully, there's just no way to really do it justice, so if you want to hear about it or see pictures, shoot me an e-mail or peruse the slideshow on the right-hand sidebar of this site. Also, this video was shot and edited by one of the volunteers on the trip and is awesome:

Yale China 2 from Brian Wimer on Vimeo.

I've been back for months and still think about it all the time. But moving on.

This past weekend, I visited New York -- it was a make-up trip since my last planned NYC weekend was foiled by that bitch, I mean, hurricane, Irene. As usual, I had a wonderful time and saw many friends, not to mention St. Vincent and the cast of Arrested Development, courtesy of the New Yorker festival. Saturday afternoon, after brunch, I found myself with some time to kill. I wandered through Soho, the first neighborhood I really became familiar with because of my internship at the HERE Arts Center during the summer of 2000. I was listening to my iPod and kept skipping around to melancholy love songs. At first I thought my mood might be related to the dreary/cloudy Fall day, but then it hit me: spending time in New York feels like spending time with ex. An ex with whom you are friendly, but also may still have some feelings for. To put it in Facebook terms, "it's complicated," my relationship with New York.

New York and I were together for 5 years (2003-2008), but actually a little more if you count the summers in college I spent living there before moving there in 2003. At one point, I thought we'd always be together. I couldn't imagine living anywhere else. But over time, the passion fizzled and we grew apart. I couldn't shake the feeling that I wasn't good enough for New York, that I'd never be able to thrive. I tried hard to make it work, experimenting with 4 different apartments in 3 boroughs. I even tried out different careers: full-time jobs, part-time jobs, freelancing. Writing, acting, marketing, editing, teaching. It was exhausting and heart- (and wallet-) breaking. When grad school offered me the chance to leave, I took it.

Still, when I visit now, my heart races; I catch myself thinking "maybe I didn't give New York enough of a chance, maybe now it could work...." But the reasons why we don't work surround me, like the pervading urine stench of the F train. Trying to hail a cab in the rain, paying $17 for an omelette -- I felt the familiar rage returning. Relationships bring out various things in people (i.e. "you bring out the best in me"), and New York brings out a side of me that I don't really like, an aggressive, angry side. And I know if I moved back, nothing would be different and I'd just get hurt again. Boston may not bring out the best in me, but it's...comfortable. We have a less volatile/more stable union. We co-exist peacefully.

But man, we did have some good times, New York and I. Some sexy, awesome times. I know it better than any other city, including St. Louis where I lived for the first 18 years of my life. And sometimes it kills me that we can't be together.

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