July 31, 2012

Saying Goodbye

This post has been running through my head for days now, but I'm not sure how to say it.  I'm not sure I can condense it down enough so that anyone would be interested in reading.

How do I say goodbye to this place?

Well, first let's start with why.  I had plans to make an official announcement on my blog months ago, complete with the film images I shot of us apple picking upstate last fall.  But the roll of film is still undeveloped (go figure).  So news spread a bit at a time and now a lot of you already know, but I'm still going to brag about it here.

This guy...
(always looking for an excuse to post a handsome photo of him)
...was accepted to Cornell University!

Not just accepted, but offered an amazing fellowship as well.  I am so very proud of him.  I was proud of him for the job he landed that brought us here, and now I am proud again for his achievements, his drive, and his overall amazing-ness.  But this move - it is very hard to make.

I will miss New York City more than I thought I would.  It's only been two years, but already this place feels like home in so many ways.  I'll miss our neighborhood - the sweet Jewish couples on either side of us, even the somber rabbi that Ellie called Santa a few months ago.  I'll miss the woman down the hall with the beautiful sleeve of tattoos and her charming curly-headed daughter.  I'll miss Bennett playground with the helicopter parents that have become so familiar.  The old ladies sunning in the park who bless my children as we walk by.  On a bright, breezy day there is no place better to walk than our little neighborhood. I'll miss the cabbies on 187th and the smell of laundry on the street.

Of course there are lots of smells and sights I will not miss when we leave here, but why spoil a good post by mentioning them? (I'll just remind myself of those things when I'm buried in snow upstate)

I plan on posting a list of my NYC favorites, but it's not the museums or parks or anything else that has made living here completely unforgettable.  It is the people. They are what we will miss the most.  What is it about this city that attracts the most vibrant, interesting people in the world?  How were we lucky enough to know so many phenomenal human beings in our short stay here?
Ellie even found love in NYC.
Oh Bea.
There are lots of photos of her here.
An entire post could be devoted to how much this woman means to me.
But I know she hates sentimental goodbyes.
So we'll just leave it at this:
My girls sure love her.  And so do I.
Our friends here have been like family in so many ways.  I love each of them and we have all shared so much in these brief two years.  They have been companions in adventure and helping hands in times of need.  There are far too many stories to recount here.  So much laughter, a fair amount of tears; hugs and meals and advice passed across the mother's lounge.  The give and take of everyday life that makes a friendship well worn and comfortable - how readily I found that here.

I think it's hard to imagine leaving because I feel that here is where I really began to grow into myself. 

I remember standing at the top of the subway stairs when we first arrived here, completely lost as to how I should get myself and my baby down to the platform.  Now I lift the stroller without hesitation and feel the strength of my arms and the determination in my gut.  I am more sure-footed than I was two years ago.  More comfortable in my own skin.  More open to experiencing all that life has to offer.  NYC has taught me that I have the strength to do it alone, but also that it's a small miracle to rely on the kindness of strangers and passers-by.  It's here that I worked up the gumption to birth my baby at home, to chase a dream, to wear jeans that taper at the ankle.  So much LIFE has happened here and I will take it with me.  I'll pack it away within my heart and take the pulse of the city along as I go.  Turning toward the next adventure, I feel so grateful for everything this place has taught me. 
My home is wherever these people are.  And now that we've made it in NYC, I can't wait to see how we'll make it home, wherever we are.


  1. I just adore seeing the cute pictures of your beautiful family Whit! I miss you & hope to see you sooner than later!

    Love you! <3

  2. pretty much I love this post. and i love your style of writing. you should write a book. I'll read it. :) good luck with this next move and new adventure!

  3. are you guys already gone? we just got here yesterday. i was hoping that we would at least get to see you at church once. good luck with everything. so excited for you guys.

  4. So excited for your next adventure and so happy for Joe! Yay!

  5. Here I sit in Oklahoma with tears running down my face again, as I read your post. I loved visiting you and Joe in NYC. I got to see NYC though normal eyes and not just as a tourist. I can't wait to read about the next adventures in Ithicca. Enjoy the journey! Love you guys.

  6. I do love NYC, though I've only ever been a visitor. But there is nowhere on earth that I've found that is quite like upstate NY. Granted, I'm biased, since I grew up there, but I love it. It is so charming, and relaxed, and most of it really reminds me of a bygone era. People are friendly, towns are small and separated by miles of forest. Oh I'm lusting after it just writing about it! I am super jealous you get to live in Ithaca. It is beautiful, and Cornell campus is one of the most beautiful places out there.

  7. Good luck with the move! It will be sad to leave everyone, but you're going to have another fun new adventure. Can't wait to read about it!

  8. I'm going to say it.. I am envious of your spirit! You have an amazing heart and you are such a wonderful wife and mother, I envy so much what you have become and I wish I could be spending everyday with you and your family. Even at a mournful time you guys made me so happy. Just seeing your spirit fills me with happiness. I love you so much and am so proud of both of your accomplishments! Good luck at Cornell Joe! And Whitney, continue to make beautiful memories where ever you go (which sounds to me like you do daily)!

  9. So happy for you, but sad I missed you! I was gonna call you up the next time we were in NYC, since I'm only 2 1/2 hours away now. :( Congrats though; that is awesome!