I've moved! This page should automatically redirect in 5 seconds, but if it doesn't, then click here.

5.28.2012

south of 14th street.



























Standing in the kitchen, my now roommate asks where I am moving.

Carroll Gardens, I say.

That's really far from here, she replies.

Yeah. That's kind of the point.

And that is about as much as we say, one to the other, punting more silence than words.

I remember when on of my dearest friends, who I met just over a year ago-when I was already so much better--said, I never go above fourteenth. And how at that time I hardly went below it.

14th street, the dividing line. Demarcation of past and present.

I'll still go above it. To get to work, to pay my bills. To take classes. But I wonder if now I'll still feel the pull of the Upper West Side where I spent those formative years in school, if I'll still head there to run errands which, in all honesty, can be done anywhere.

I wonder if in moving so far from here and that being the point I am attempting to raze the past. To raze the New York I knew when life was such that people said to me well, at least you have your health, me knowing that was the one thing I did not have. And how to exist is not to live. How it was not a life then.

In deconstructing my room now, in slowly packing box after box, I come across photos from five years ago when we went as a family to Australia. There are two photos of me with my mother. One in front of the ocean, the other in front of a Christmas tree, and in both I am large. Big. Rounded face, wide torso. I'll happily tell people that I gained forty pounds, but with almost no pictures spanning those six years I don't think about the reality of what that looked like. I'll think about how it made me feel and the logistics of what a person must do in order to gain so much weight, but I won't think about what I saw in the mirror or what the click of a camera revealed--that's mostly too hard.

I'm not sure how I have these two photos--how they survived the usual single rip that led to the trashcan. But sitting on the floor, the past in my hands, I find I am so grateful for them. That happened, I didn't make it up. I didn't dream it. What luck that they survived to see this day. What luck that I survived to live this day.

I am surprised by this, but, I find I am thankful for these two photos in the way that I am thankful to have a singular photo of the man I once loved looking at me as one hopes to be looked at. Once upon a time, he saw me. Once upon a time that happened. I suppose I will put these two photos in the same box in which I have tucked his photo. I won't need to look at any of the three, but will be glad to have them all.

Yes, there is a part of me looking for a new New York. I can confidently say that. A New York for the woman I am now--the one who has her health. And so has life.

Standing in the kitchen, my roommate asks what stop I'll live off. And while I don't say it to her, I think, the one adjacent to a Momofuku Milk Bar. No longer will I have to pass a group of men with following eyes to enter the subway, instead the danger will be chocolate. And soft serve. And warm, baked goods. I'm moving to  a veritable candy land--a grown-up-willy-wonka-dream-world where sweets are just the start. I'm pinching myself with how lucky this feels.

Somewhere in this search for a new apartment--and the discussion of a need for a home--my father warned that perhaps I was looking at it from the wrong angle. That maybe home wasn't dependent on a place. And I knew what he was getting at. Sort of. And so as I searched there came this realization, this thought, I am home now. In my body. I am at home in my body and it's certainly the first time since I moved to New York that I can say that. And maybe that's why I couldn't find a home all the time before. Because I wasn't at home with myself. In my own skin. In my own life. In health. And this realization, this thought that I carry home with me, well it shifts things. It is a freedom of monumental worth.

The freedom to fall in love with Carroll Gardens. But not to need it. The freedom to want to move there simply because I like it. Not for any other reason than that I find it heart-achingly beautiful and I think I might be really happy there. The freedom to say that I carry my home with me and the home I know might really like this place. This place with a Momofuku Milk Bar and tree lined streets, this place so deliciously south of 14th.




20 comments:

Melly said...

I can't wait to read your memoirs one day... this was beautiful.

becky said...

Absolute perfection. So much is said, here. I am so glad you have your health and in it, your home. I am so glad and happy for you. And I wish you all the luck in the world settling in.

marissa (stylebook) said...

i second melly's sentiment.

communikate. said...

brilliant.

Taylor Yves said...

Great story, friend. Well-written!

Jacob Phelps said...

To say this was written in a distinguished manner would be an understatement. Once at home with yourself, you can be at home anywhere. I love that. Best of luck in your new place... I have no doubt it'll prove to be the right choice.

chrissy said...

pure truth!! you nailed it sista!

Anonymous said...

Oh Meg, I so enjoy reading your pieces. But knowing you are happy and well and at home in your heart thrills me to pieces. Wishing all the best, June

Diana said...

"And maybe that's why I couldn't find a home all the time before. Because I wasn't at home with myself. In my own skin. In my own life. In health."

WOW! I've never thought of home like that before, but when I read those words, I knew (know) it must be true. And maybe that's why I haven't found my home either. You are so inspiring, inspiring me to find home within myself.

Congratulations!

Brittan said...

I briefly dated a man in Carroll Gardens and that is when I decided to move to Brooklyn. I know I've said this before, but you are going to love it!

Rachel said...

I'm with Melly on this one. Your memoirs would be a truly incredible read.

emily said...

i really appreciate this post - moving and the past and the view of oneself are things i've been thinking about a lot lately. moving is good and hard and life changing but... being close to a momofuku milk bar? so happy for you :)

Nikki said...

wonderfully said. i am so happy for you - especially about the part of moving near what sounds like such a wonderful food dream!

Alex said...

I spent the bulk of my New York weekend south of 14th, and boy did I enjoy it :)

Katie said...

Yep. Always below 14th Street. I like it that way. Are you living alone now?

Emily said...

I love this. All of it.

meg fee said...

@katie: yes ma'am!

Mel said...

I know what you mean about the thankfulness of those arbitrary, usually blurry and from a bad angle shots that prove it, prove that your memory is not mistaken. That despite what today's reality is, there is that past that existed just as you remember it, and still exists somewhere, even if it's in a box in the closet.

Congratulations on your move. I'll have to visit this Willy Wonka dreamland you speak of.

Little Tree Vintage said...

i hope this new home is a new niche for you, and now that you've found yourself and are at home with that, it can only be an even more beautiful thing. ps. carroll gardens is amazing, i have some friends who live there!

Daniella Traill said...

I really enjoy reading your posts, they're amazing

http://daniellabrowneyedgirl.blogspot.co.uk