The Claw over New York City

There is a scene in the movie Toy Story where Woody and Buzz end up inside a machine at an arcade.

Buzz asks, "Who is in charge here?"

The cute little aliens all look up and say, "The claw! The claw is our master.  The claw chooses who will go and who will stay."

Living in New York City sort of feels like that.  When you arrive you don't really know what is going on or who is in charge.  And you never know when the claw will come down and send you away.

I was warned when we first moved to New York City that we'd always have a temporary feeling but to live like this would be our home forever.  I took that advice to heart and have tried my best to do so.

Whenever we went back to visit Utah, where we kept our home, the number one question we were asked was,

"How long are you going to live
 in New York City?"  

Which is sort of like asking, "When is the claw going to pick you?"

My reply was always the same, "For as long as we can."

Well, last month the claw swooped down and picked us.  We ended up packing up our apartment in 3 days and spent 5 days driving a moving truck with our belongings back to Pleasant Grove, Utah.

Devastation does not even begin to describe how I feel that our adventure in New York City is over.  I have shed so many tears that I think I'm permanently dehydrated.

Leaving so quickly didn't give me adequate time say a proper goodbye to all the dear friends I made.  But I tried my best.  I would say the number one response was,

"You'll be back."  

I hope that is true. 

I didn't have much time for mental preparation, so right now I feel like I'm in a period of mourning.  Here is a list of things I already miss about living in New York City:

  • Friendly doorman welcoming me back when I return home.  
  • Someone to pick up my packages for me so they don't get stolen.
  • Several grocery stores within a 10-minute walk from my apartment, one just across the street. 
  • Being able to read while on the subway.
  • Hearing languages from all over the world as I walk down the sidewalk. 
  • Taking less than 10 minutes and 3 steps to clean my whole kitchen.
  • Being able to do more than one load of laundry at once.
  • Having boxes and large items magically disappear.
  • Meeting several visitors when I go to church. 
  • Meeting new investigators when I go to church.
  • Feeding the missionaries whenever I want. 
  • Museums, exhibits, pop up stores, festivals, and events on any given day.  
  • The parks, so many parks everywhere I turn. 
  • POPS (Privately owned Public Spaces) where you can sit and watch people go by. 
  • The food, mostly bagels and pizza. 
  • Restaurant week that last 3 weeks. 
  • Being able to help tourists who are lost or confused, or even just to assure them if they are scared. 
But the number one thing I miss already are the amazing friends I made in New York City.   These are people who are willing to live in a crazy, crowded, fast-paced metropolitan area. This creates an instant connection that forms friendships quite quickly.  Since no one knows when they'll get selected by the claw, you don't waste time with the "let's get to know each other for a while before we decide whether to be friends" phase. 

Fortunately, with cell phones and social media, my NYC friends never feel that far away.  But it doesn't keep me from sobbing all the time.  

Now we are in the process of trying to figure out how to merge all of our NYC household items into our Utah suburban home.  Which piece do I love more?  What should go?  What can stay?  Do these look good together?  My home is becoming kind of a mid-century/farmhouse blend, which are two styles I never would have thought to put together.  (I just googled it, apparently it is a thing.)

As I unpack and try to find a new home for my NYC wares, the symbolism is not lost on me.  I learned tons in the short time I was in NYC.  Some of my new knowledge won't do me any good back in the suburbs of Utah. (Like making sure you exit a car on the side closest to the sidewalk so that a taxi doesn't hit you as you get out.)  

But just like with my furniture, I hope there are some lessons I learned that I can keep with me and never forget.