The day came when it was time for the vacation to come to a close. I remember packing up our stuff and heading to the airport. We took a shuttle to Newark, got on the plane and headed to Atlanta and then home to Charleston. Leaving the city was a little sad. Vacation is fun and exciting. Responsibilities are scarce and adventure abounds. Home has a tendency to be the antithesis of this situation. Nonetheless, we had to go back to real life. We had to return to our jobs, our house, and our little one, (there’s was only one at the time.) We’d have to make our own bed, cook for ourselves, and wash our own towels. The picture of life back home became clearer and clearer the closer we got. As the plane touched down in Charleston it suddenly set in. New York was a memory and now as real life was looming like a dark cloud overhead.
Isn’t that our typical response when we sense the “end” of a great adventure? “Oh man, back to my normal, boring, depressing life. Here comes Monday, I don’t want to Monday.” That feeling lasted about 20 minutes for me; then I saw the face of my little girl. She ran up to me and hugged me and she screamed, “Daddy!” Immediately the idea that I had left something behind melted away like a snowman in summer. I realized that my life was more than I could ever ask or imagine and the idea that I needed to be somewhere else to have an adventure was a notion created out of a romanticized experience and not based in reality. Was New York amazing? Absolutely! Did I enjoy every minute of it? Yes, even the underwhelming cheesecake. But would I trade my real life for that imaginary one? Not a chance. So in all of that, the biggest lesson I learned while pretending to be from New York, was that I don’t have to pretend to be from New York. I don’t need a different story, I just need to truly live mine. What’s your New York? Stop holding on to that imaginary symbol of “how great it could be.” Just, let it go (yes that’s my second “Frozen” reference in this post if you’re keeping track. Stop pretending and start living. I’m not from New York, and that is fine with me.
This is the sixth and final part of a series called “How to Pretend you’re from New York.” Although this story is done being told, you can still follow this blog by clicking the gear at the top of the page and providing your email address.