..... Part 2.
I arrived in NYC today ....... for the first time since taking my youngest child to college.
This was the day I've been waiting for ...... for about a year now. It didn't totally look like I saw it happening in my head a year ago. But that's because I have 2 of my daughters living here with me.
I did NOT see that happening.
Fortunately, for all 3 of us, this arrangement is temporary. Daughter #3 is doing an internship for the fall semester. So once the Christmas break arrives, she'll be heading back to Texas. Hopefully after Christmas since my plan is to have all of us spend it here.
Of course, this is the point where I could launch into a long post all about "my plans" and how they haven't always panned out.
So I'll just say that my hope is that we all spend Christmas in NY this year.
Daughter #1 is living here until the spring ...... I think. It could be longer.
If we last that long. :)
So this is the Part 2 of my "after".
It was supposed to be the Part 2 of OUR "after". You know, as in ...... after Son #3 left for college.
We had talked a bit about living in New York for a year once he went off to school. Once the last chick was out of the nest ...... we thought it would be great to live in NYC for a year. Smack dab in the city. Just to experience it.
We both thought it would be a great experience because we both loved this city and had many wonderful visits here.
But then ...... he died.
And much of me died with him.
All of my dreams, hopes and plans for the future died with him.
Or so I thought.
Two years ago the NYC dream started to flicker in my mind. It didn't really light up fully, it just flickered in and out, not having enough energy or fuel to really ignite.
Until January of last year.
That's when it went from a flicker ...... to a flame. That's when I fully remembered our discussion about NY and how cool it would be to live here for a year.
And that's when I thought ....... "I could still do that. I could totally still do that, once Son #3 goes off to school. Why shouldn't I still do that?"
And that's when I knew I would.
Come hell or high water.
I would do what we both had agreed would be a great way to spend a year.
And now ...... here I am.
I'd love to say that I'm here to stay for the next year.
But I have much traveling to do over the next several months.
So I'll be here for about 3 weeks, then back to Houston and Oklahoma for one week, and then back here.
Rinse, repeat ...... again and again until December, when I hope to get up here and stay for a month, before heading to Oklahoma for a dear, dear friend's daughter's wedding.
And then we shall see.
Because I'm thinking that January and February in Houston might be a much better idea than January and February in NY.
Call me crazy.
It's just what I think.
So this is my "after". Actually, it's the Part 2 of my "after".
Part 1 was very long, and very, very painful.
I don't like thinking about Part 1 ...... and how horrible it really was.
But "Part 2" could only come ....... once I had experienced "Part 1".
No matter how very much I didn't want to experience that.
I had to get from there ...... to here.
And so I have.
I have surprised myself.
I couldn't have seen myself doing this ...... 5 years ago. Or 4. Or 3.
But then came the day ....... finally ...... when I could picture it.
When I remembered it.
And so here I am.
I absolutely love it here. I hope that I will continue to love it, but who knows? That's what this year is for. To try it and see what it's like ...... to just live here and experience it.
Just me. With the spirit of him.
I have no doubt that part of him is here with me, cheering me on, encouraging me, rooting for me.
So we'll see how it goes ...... for a year or so.
We'll see if I decide that this is a place where I'd like to stay.
It's funny (not in a ha-ha kind of way, but in a strange, ironic, twist-of-fate-way) that my reason for being here is different (mostly) than my reason was about 6 years ago, with Jim.
We thought it would be a neat experience. We both wanted to just try it it ...... for 6 months to a year.
Just the two of us.
Living somewhere totally different from anywhere else we'd ever lived.
Today ...... today I'm here in NY because it will be a neat experience.
But there's more to it now ....... more than I ever imagined.
I love being here because here, in this city, I am just Janine.
And that's so very nice.
I'm not Jim's widow, I'm not "poor Janine, who's husband died". I don't get "the looks" from people here in NY that I do when I'm back home in Houston.
It's nice to be known, at least for several minutes, as just "Janine". Just me.
None of those "looks". No one here is disappointed that I am not the same person I was "before".
Because here ...... there was not a "before". There is only here. And making the most of here ...... and now.
I'm excited for my "After ...... Part 2".
We shall see what we shall see.
In the meantime ...... keep breathing, keep walking forward, even after you stumble backwards.
Don't give up.
You, too, will have an "After ..... Part 2".
Even though you can't see it now ...... can't even imagine it.
It will come.
And when it does, look me up in NY.
I love to have visitors.