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moving on. growing up. and the confidence to say it.

i'll miss the corner cafe. the short trek to it. just one half of a block. the lattes that have become both ritual and story. i'll miss hector poking his head out from the kitchen to say hello in spanish. the granite bar and tiled floor, the ever-changing art adorning the walls. the quiet familiarity of the place.

i'll miss the wine store across the street. the one so large it feels out of place in manhattan. painted in colors that bring to mind the open air, mountains, and a drier climate.

i'll miss the way the light plays off the red-bricked building across the way. the building that each saturday men and boys enter into, through an unmarked door on the first floor. i'll miss the curiosity that parade elicits.

i'll miss the river. especially on those days it's so quiet and still, the air so clear, that i feel i can reach my thumb and forefinger to the opposing bank and drag it towards me. tangible. i'll miss the way the spring air angles against the bluffs, and the trees reborn, swaddled in green.

to be honest though, i've mostly stopped noticing it. the water. the green. the very thing i first fell in love with--i've mostly stopped seeing it. i didn't mean for that to happen. it just did.

surely i'll miss the eccentricities of this very small and very specific corner of manhattan--washington heights, hudson heights. so close to water, right up against no longer used train tracks. i'll feel nostalgic for this suspended moment in time in which i stumbled into womanhood.

but it's not enough. those things i love are simply not enough anymore.

no one tells you that one of the joys of getting older is the confidence in that phrase: not. good. enough.

you know yourself better, priorities come into focus, and lies are easier to unearth.

you learn, with grace, to let some things go: friendships that were more a product of youth and need than anything else. men who diminish your worth and underestimate your intelligence.

you care less about satisfying everyone--being thought of as kind. you invest far less time in pretense because time is in fact a commodity and so you give it to those you love--your friends and your family and yourself. and you stop apologizing for that. you make decisions. and you move on. and you let go when need be.

and where need be. corners and cafes and shared apartments.

growing up, it turns out, has its perks.


Amanda said...

You are SUCH a talented writer, I enjoy your posts each morning :)

xo, Amanda

communikate. said...

You're making me miss all that, and I've never even seen it.

So, Brooklyn?

Mary said...

This is one of my favorites so far. Beautifully expressed. There is a lot of joy to be found in growing up.

Mel said...

Sheesh, this one hit home. Quoted some of you today on my own blog. You just described the past two years for me, conclusions it took me so long to get to, to resolve with.

the soft soled said...

"Stumbled into womanhood"; what a beautiful line! Good luck with the move- can't wait to read about the new place!

Alexa said...

"no one tells you that one of the joys of getting older is the confidence in that phrase: not. good. enough."

thank you thank you thank you for this.

The Lewicutt's est 2006 said...

Holy Bananas that one made my heart flutter. You so eloquently described the grace I found (not very gracefully, may I add)in letting things go. Spending time where I want and not where everyone else wants me to. And my God does it feel good. And liberating. Love love love this one. Want to share it with so many of my lady friends that aren't blog-readers. I just love it. And one more love for good measure.

Tiffany said...

Beautiful! Absolutely beautiful. Love your blog!


Mackenzie said...

i swear, your blog is like the big sister i never had. all the advice. all the wisdom. just what i need.

Emily said...

The most important thing I learned the past year is that I can be grateful for what I have but still ask for more. It has been one of the most unexpected and liberating lessons. I hope it's one I never forget.

Also, I can't wait to find out which neighborhood is your next one!

Anonymous said...

excited to hear about your move!
good luck :)

colleen said...

yes, yes it does. love the ode to you neighborhood. my little place in nyc makes me feel the same way.

Jo said...

i have a dear friend who is an older man, and he gave me the mantra, "big girl, brave girl". i say it to myself from time to time.
looking forward to reading about your move!

Lizzy said...

You make so much sense.always. thank you so much for your words of wisdom.

katilda said...

i loved this. i'm in the throes of trying to decide if i should move to a new city or not, and struggling with emotional attachment to my current abode. i like this: "but it's not enough. those things i love are simply not enough anymore." ...and now i will listen to "beauty in walking away" by marie digby (acoustic version!) and do more pondering.

hayleynicole said...

Today is one of those days where I feel going back and reading your posts will make me feel better. I was right. I felt this post in my heart, as I do with many of your posts. Please don't ever stop writing!