Last Day. First Day – Overdue

Westside Highway @ Jersey City / Rt. 495 @ Manhattan
Westside Highway @ Jersey City / Rt. 495 @ Manhattan

It took N and I 2.5 hours to pack up one U-Haul cargo van in New York and only 11 minutes to unpack it in New Jersey. That’s the welcome difference between a driveway and big hallway to empty belongings out into and a narrow 5-story walk-up. For all the exercise I hadn’t received in January that may have made up for it. I’ll have to start actually working out now that I can’t call my apartment both my home and gym.

It’s official. I’m out. Gone, baby, gone.

So far, living with my “new roommates” has gone pretty smoothly. Everyone rests easy knowing this layover in the town I grew up in will be short and sweet. I’m actually looking forward to pulling my weight around here. My parent’s have both been on pretty successful low/no carb diets for a while, and I have agreed to have dinner waiting when they get home from work. I love to cook and having access to a big, open kitchen will be a fun experiment. Tonight, for some Super Bowl treats, I’m trying my hand at jalapeno shrimp poppers.

I hope they look like this
They should look like this

I’m hoping the time spent at home will be a little like city rehab. Even though I have successfully severed the city, it’s still in my system. Late nights, not enough exercise and water, over-indulgence of food, booze and men. Even my bank account took a beating this month. Everyone needs a break once and awhile, and mine is coming in the form of a countryside retreat while I figure things out.

As I stare out the window of a back bedroom I see a snowy field and think how easy it would be to get lost out here. Lose focus and let the months pass without ever concocting a plan. Without ever purchasing a plane ticket. Without following through. But that’s not me. I said I would move to New York City and I did. I said I would leave, and I have—not because it scared me off, but because the world is bigger than velvet ropes and skyscrapers and constant competition. I’m not 100% sure what that means, but I aim to find out.

How am I so sure I won’t be sitting in this same seat a few months from now looking at a swimming pool instead of a white-covered terrain? Character. A long time ago my father’s best friend told me something I will never forget, Character is what you have when no one is looking.

No one is watching me. No bosses are staring over my shoulder. I’m not punching a time clock. I’m not on this journey for anyone but myself. I am a person of character and that is why I know for certain I will succeed whether I am in Austin or Australia. Like President F.D. Roosevelt once said, The only thing we have to fear is fear itself, the only thing I have to fear is getting in my own way. And I say to that possibility, to the unknown, to the risk and to the dares worth taking…Bring it.

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