The time has come. For some of you, this is old news. For others, this is hot off the press. Come the next full moon, I will be headed west, setting out on a new adventure as I relocate to the lush and abundant fairytale lands of the Pacific Northwest.
The decision to uproot myself from the place I have created a life in and truly identify with as my home did not come easily to me. It is most certainly bittersweet. There have been plenty of pushes and pulls, tugging at this heartstring, and that one, and all those other ones along with that mountain of doubt, not to mention the overwhelming FOMO (fear of missing out) culture that we are now deeply steeped in partially thanks to carefully curated social media accounts of one's "life experiences." But as with many things in life, the easy, comfortable decisions rarely invite an expansion of self; the opportunity for growth that comes with facing discomfort and taking risks.
As the years go by, my relationship with New York City evolves, as do all relationships. I arrived here when I was 18 years old with a bright-eyed naivety that flavored my taste of this city and carried me through for a couple of years with a sense of pride. Having been a lifelong dream from the time I was a little girl, finally landing in my dream city as I attended my dream university studying my dream career path was like a fairytale come true. I thrived off of this dream until a new one, called Europe, entered my consciousness after studying abroad when I was 20. I then viewed NYC in a different light. I yearned for the eventuality of living in the far-off, new fairytale lands of Europe, while remaining very enthused with my existence in NYC. Around this time of evolution, I purchased a small bag from Chelsea Markets that says, "I love you New York (but I'm keeping my options open)." That pretty much sums up my relationship with NYC. That, and a love/hate, slightly dysfunctional, fairly abusive relationship that you stay in for longer than what is probably healthy. Well, after nearly 7 years, it's time NYC and I part ways. Not forever, just for good. Just for good, as in, I think it's pretty safe to say I will never live full time in NYC ever again.
And that statement, my friends, is both poignantly frightening and immensely relieving.
But when you effortlessly pour the following thoughts into your iPhone Notes during your commute one day, it's a clear sign that you're making the right decision to extend your home base to another place:
October 26, 2017
I was on the train last Thursday morning heading into midtown to see a private client, when the train car slowed to a halt in between 14th St, and 34th St, my stop to get off. “We are delayed because there is a sick passenger in the train ahead of us at 34th St.” An audible wave of complaints and sighs ensues before the MTA employee can finish that sentence over the loudspeaker. The audible annoyance spreading directly after “sick passenger” is stated. Even I had that reaction - an audible sign and tangible tinge of annoyance resonate through my body and thoughts. It was such an innate response, among nearly everyone. Automatic, right on cue. Immediately after I let out that agitated sigh, I had a moment of realization - most of the people here on the train, myself included, were more concerned about their own morning commute being delayed than the life of someone else possibly being threatened.
I guess this shouldn’t be a surprise - it is New York City after all. A place full of deeply self-absorbed individuals, not necessarily because that’s who they are at their core, but because this city demands that kind of mentality to not even go about your life, but simply to survive. Everyone for themselves. Not because we don’t care about others, but because we have to care about ourselves more when there are millions of people inhabiting the island of Manhattan day in and day out. Talk about being in a constant state of fight or flight...New York City has become my saber-toothed tiger of sorts.
The morning before, again as I was commuting into midtown, my least favorite part of this city, I had another realization dawn on me. It’s not unusual for MTA employees armed with flashlights to line the platform edges during rush hour in the morning and evening to basically herd passengers out of and into the train cars. I’ve seen this and experienced this myself many times before that morning, but something about that moment struck a cord - one that rang “We are cattle, in a factory farm called NYC, bred into imbalanced, domesticated humans to feed the consumer that is society.”
Ever thought of yourself as a factory farmed animal? How the treatment of our humanness is anything but human these days? And how maybe that’s why our automatic response to a sick passenger delaying our morning is a result of this overpopulation, this disconnection to what it means to be a human, living in a community that is truly integral to not even just your wellbeing, but your survival?
Here in NYC, our community is one of complacent understanding that we all need to fend for ourselves, more or less. Of course, there’s big papa consumerism there to take care of us, to feed our needs as humans living in this modern society. Or, are we just feeding him? What does it even mean to be fed as a human these days? Certainly, my big city lifestyle doesn't feed me in the way it once did.
This perspective reaches farther than the big metropolitan city centers around the world. You could be dwelling in a small rural town, and be just as reliant on the binding structures of this sick society, if not more, than a city dweller. When it comes down to it, place definitely plays a part in how capable you are of being a self-reliant, fully nourished human, but your own desires, inclinations, and ways in which you walk through the world play a much bigger role. I, for one, now feel limited living in NYC. This is because my priorities have shifted to include things like nature connection as a part of daily life, easy accessibility to truly wild landscapes, procuring my own wild foods to become less dependent on the food industry, having s p a c e, living in a habitat that is nourishing to my multi-dimensional wellness, being in a less populated area, creating my sense of home within and a part of a land that aligns with who I am evolving into, and so on and so forth.
I'm not here to prove a point or force an agenda, I'm here to offer a possibly challenging perspective on how we have come to understand living as humans. To peak your own curiosity as to why you inhabit the spaces and places you reside in. And to share my own reflections that led me to this decision to go. Maybe this stringing of words will resonate with you, gleaning some insight into your own wonderings about why you've settled in the space you call your current home. Perhaps it will further validate your choice, or stir up some uncomfortable truths you can choose to face or avoid. As always, the choice is yours. I'm just here to shed a little luminosity on the matters I find relevant through my own personal experiences, in hopes that others will gather what they need from that illumination.
It's a part of my nature to have a dreamy, romantic lens in which I view the world from. I am a Pisces after all. Sun signs aside, despite these stark realizations and harsh confrontations with myself and my relationship with NYC, I will continue to dream the dream of fairytale lands. Europe, while enticing, has become just that...an exciting escape, mostly clouded in over-romanticized notions. Taking off the rose-colored glasses as I sought after a dreamy fairytale land rooted in reality, the magical lands of the PNW have made themselves known, calling to me time and time again. Eyes wide open, this decision to move west doesn't promise me a happily ever after homeland. With 7 more years of experience under my belt, I'm approaching this newly forming relationship with my future homeland from a much more grounded place within myself. I've given much time, thought, and deep consideration along with a short one month long love affair in my future homeland last summer to gain clarity on these feelings.
NYC, it's not you, it's me. Seriously, you're something else, and I just can't appreciate the beauty of your seductive, erratic pulsations when I'm being overly stimulated by them, day in and day out, resulting in a bitter jadedness for what you are. I need distance to sustain my love for you, and that is why our relationship is evolving into a long-distance one. I've never been a fan of long-distance relationships with people, romantic or otherwise, but with you, it's different. Let's keep the spark alive with space. I will cherish you all the more when I return and experience a brief escapade with you each season.
Yes, you read that right - each season! I will no longer call NYC my home, but I do plan on returning each season to bring the work I develop out west back to the birthplace of Luminous Architecture. A bicoastal situation of sorts, lending me the time, space, and freedom to connect with what calls me into deeper communion with my purpose so that I can share those offerings both near and far. Don't think I would ever leave ya hangin'. There will be plenty of opportunities for workshops, retreats, women's gatherings, and in person private sessions when I visit NYC seasonally. & for when we aren't residing in the same city, my latest offering, Virtual Luminosity sessions, will allow us to keep the luminous magic flowing wherever we may wander.
It's been a wild run, and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Coming into my own as an adult in this city has shaped me in ways I will continue to cherish for the rest of my life. To live out this dream, I have nothing but abundant blessings of gratitude for. A deep part of my soul will forever be tethered to the heartbeat of this city. Now, it is time to move on - to live out my dreams, redefined and inspired by my last 7 years here. New York City, I love you (and it's time I best get going).