Well, so much for thinking I was going to miss winter in New York…it’s already here. It’s a winter freakin’ wonderland outside and freezing as all get out…wonderful. Only one day in, and I’ve already had my fill of the pretty white stuff. Yep. Spoken like a true New York-er. Don’t get me wrong, I love winter…usually. I have some of the best memories from my childhood of wintertime…snowball fights with my siblings, trudging through feet upon feet of snow just to get to the best sledding hills, building snow forts, making snow angels ’til I couldn’t feel my fingers or toes, my grams having cookies and cocoa waiting when we finally dragged our frozen behinds inside…yeah, the best memories. As a kid, I used to love winter…because of course, it usually meant snow days and no school. Oh yeah, and Christmas. I remember a couple of years we got hit by a blizzard and there was literally like 10 feet of snow outside. The cars were covered, the plows couldn’t keep up so the roads were impassable…it was a traffic nightmare, but oh was it fun. And it got us out of school for a couple of days, so we weren’t complaining.
It’s a little bittersweet when I think of all the snow day festivities I’m going to miss out on with the little ones once I leave for Tennessee. We got these sweet little sleds for the twins that chances are, I won’t even see them use…which makes me a little sad, but I guess that’s what cameras are for.
My sister was talking to me the other day about all the things we’d be doing come Summer with the boys and I had to stop her and tell her that I don’t plan on coming back once the semester ends in May. She was under the impression that this move was just about school and that when I’m finished, I’ll come back to New York…but that’s not the plan. Granted, I’ll have to see how things work out once I get to Tennessee, but at the moment, my intentions are to stay. I don’t really know how to explain it, but this move is about so much more than me finishing my degree. It’s about finding my way, is really the only way I can describe it so that it makes sense…at least I hope it makes sense. It’s not that I don’t love my family or that I’m not grateful for all that they’d done for me over the years, because I do and I am…but I need to find my niche, so to speak. I have to figure out who I am–without them. For so long I’ve had them to lean on when things got tough…and I think that’s part of the problem. They’ve always been ready and waiting in the wings whenever something went wrong and I love them for that–but it’s time I learned how to stand on my own two feet. I’m not a child anymore. I need to make my own path in life, which I can’t do here. Not with them watching my every move, waiting or even expecting me to fall so they can swoop right in and try to pick up the pieces for me. It’s time.
I spoke to my Dad last night–first time in well, almost a year actually–and he thinks that I’m doing the right thing by leaving…and that it’ll be good for me, moving away. He made the point that it’ll be good for me to finally experience the world outside the cocoon of the family. He’s not wrong. I mean, in a lot of ways, my family has sheltered me from a lot of things. I mean, growing up we were really sheltered. I’d never have known it at the time, but in hindsight, it’s true. My grams was so protective of us–heck, who am I kidding…she still is–so it wasn’t until I left for college at 18 and was really on my own that I had to learn to fend for myself. And damn, was that scary. It’s ironic because I always felt so smothered and then when I finally got away from it–I missed that familiarity…that safety net that I couldn’t see, but somehow knew was always there. I’m grateful to her for so much, but I have to accept and have faith in the fact that I was raised right and that she instilled in me all the things I need to be a successful, independent woman. Which she did. Now it’s time that I put it all to good use.
I’m scared…hell, I’m absolutely freakin’ terrified…but I can do this. I know I can. And I really do think that the timing is perfect. I’m not the same naive shell of a girl that I was five years ago. I’ve grown up. I can take care of myself. I think I’ve gone through my “rites of passage”, so to speak. I’ve seen things. Done things. I’ve made mistakes. I have regrets. I’ve known heartbreak and heartache. I’ve experienced rock bottom, and I’ve picked myself up. Me. I did that. Not my grams, not my family…me. Not that they didn’t offer their help–they did–but it was something I had to do for myself. And I did. It took a while, sure, and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, but I did it. There were tears…a lot of tears…and a few failed starts…but I made it. I didn’t give up, though godknows I came pretty damn close a few times…but the point is, I didn’t. I’m not naive enough to think that it’s clear skies and smooth sailing from here on out. I’m well aware that there are bumps and obstacles ahead of me if I go down this path, but I think I’ll be okay. I’m stronger now. I’ve got this. Yeah. I’ve got this.