The November air crashed against my cheekbones, turning them a daring pink and making my lungs burn like fire. I damned myself for forgetting ear muffs and for wearing socks that slip with every pace. But M was smiling at my side, as we both chased after the Chrysler building, just a few bridges and a river away from our Queens running track last night.
It had been the best kind of New York weekends — full of late morning sleeps and late night last calls, single friends who encourage me to be ballsy and a pup who makes me love unconditionally. The city is slipping into its holiday splendor— red and green shops sprouting in every park, ice skating rinks becoming full of tourists and teenagers, and the snowflakes on Fifth Avenue lighting on Friday. It’s my favorite time of year, and as the snow arrives, so do icy memories I’ve tried to melt away.
They’re not sharp around the edges anymore and they’re really not even bittersweet, instead they’re pesky little feelings that have lingered significantly past their welcome. It’s not Mr. Possibility, the man that I miss and it’s certainty not out tumultuous relationship– it’s rather, possibility itself that makes me ache.
And it’s what consumes my thoughts as I run along with my equally single best friend, trying to ignore the cold as much as I attempt to forget my desires. These intense notions I have that something or someone is on their way, coming from some place I can’t define. And obviously can’t find. Not matter how much I try or how much I dream.
It’s been so long since I’ve felt that thing, I thought. That intriguing, gut wrenching and gut deep feeling that tells me this could be the next big thing. It’s not for lack of trying, I said to myself, thinking of the night before with M, hopping from jazz clubs and nighttime establishments to boroughs we don’t live in — catching the eyes of the many men who caught our attention. It’s not an easy city, even if it’s complexity is what I love the most about it. Rather, it’s the fact that the men mimic it’s complications that makes me stir relentlessly.
As we approached the two mile mark, my wary thoughts made my music inaudible: am I going to meet someone? Have I met him already? Will I find that same chemistry again? Are my standards too tall, my confidence too low? Am I going to the right places? Is it the right time? Will it ever be the right f***ing time? Am I losing my mind because the winter makes me cuddle crazy? Why am I worrying about something can’t control? Didn’t I start the blog so I wouldn’t think like this? Ugh.
I heard the voice so clearly, I swore it came from me. Knowing it didn’t (and I hoping I didn’t imagine it) I looked cautiously ahead of me, searching in unrecognizable faces, wondering why they would call me to a halt. When no one’s expression expressed anything at all, I turned back to M, who was just a few steps behind, to see her standing, pulling out her earphones and saying:
Stop– we met our goal. We did it! Time to walk.
I smiled at her rosy running cheeks and caught my breath… and my grip. She’s right– we did meet our goal. We did do it– we left home, moved a thousand miles away to build new homes, friendships and careers. Build entirely new lives. And made ourselves into new women that we’ll eventually grow into. We had made it in the place we wanted doing exactly what we wanted and living a life that most will never get the chance to experience. That many would never even consider to attempt to achieve.
And so now, we stop.
We take a walk around this little life, this single-girl-in-NYC stigma that’s every bit false as it is true. We walk to bars where we will meet men who may last an hour, an evening or… a lifetime. We make choices based on what’s best for us, without having to factor in anyone else. We can come and go as it feels right, skip the gym or stay for one more drink. Or two more hours. We can spend this month’s saving on a purse because it was a rough couple of weeks, or just because we want to. There are no right answers to anything that plagues my mind in terms of love.
But there is a time to make it all stop. To let it go, and let it be. To kiss someone because it feels semi-magical or to leave when it doesn’t. To be proud of being alone, and especially for choosing it because you just haven’t met someone great, or you were brave enough to leave someone you loved to find the one you’d always love. To chase after dreams even when they’re too big, and to chase after yourself — and the city that’ll never be completely attainable, just like the men who live here. Because one day, these days of being with just the girls, trying to decode the dating rhythms will be those memories you reminisce about around the dinner table, instead of ones you create right now. They’ll be the days you miss.
Yay, we did it! Whew my back hurts, I agreed.
Mine too, are we getting old? M asked.
Nah, I replied. We just need to walk for a while. That’s all.