Writing about New York yesterday provoked a flood of memories.
I was searching for a photo of the youngest pretending to be the Statue of Liberty when I stumbled across a blog post I wrote while I was living there.
It was waaaaaaay back in 2007, when blogging was still in its infancy and the Global Financial Crisis had just hit (see OMG there was a GFC).
My ex had just been awarded a scholarship to Columbia University to study business journalism.
I’d been iced from Woman’s Day for the first time (little did I know how much worse the second icing would be, but I was still feeling pretty bruised), so I went along as the stay-at-home mum.
And I found it a little confronting.
I wrote: “There is no peace and quiet in my new life. I can’t even shut the door to the bathroom without being harassed by my little one. “Mumma, why you shut door? Mumma, want to come in. Mumma, let me in!!!!! I want Mumma. WAAAAAAHHHHHH.”
I also wearily noted that the eldest was asking too many questions: “Why is there steam coming out of holes in the road?”, “Why is that man asleep on the bus?”, “Why does that lady look sad?”, “Why is that boy wearing that funny hat?”, “Why does that lady have pink hair?”, “Can I have pink hair like the lady?”, “When is the train coming?”, “Can I get a bat costume for Halloween?”, “When is my cousin coming to visit?”, “Why can’t I touch the squirrels?”, “Why is that girl wearing a white scarf on her head?”, “Why is the sky so blue today?”, “Why do you have your cranky face on?”
I read those words and desperately wish I could go back and answer every single one of them without almost losing my shite.
Before moving to New York, I’d been horribly ill for almost two years with undiagnosed multiple dissaccharide deficiencies.
I lost 10kg as a result … which was awesome and awful at the same time because I looked amazing but felt terrible.
Treating the deficiencies meant going on a strict diet of meat and salad and virtually nothing else, just as we arrived in the city of waffles and burgers.
The timing of my ex’s scholarship also meant battling three winters back to back – first Sydney, then a loooooooong icy one in New York, and back to another one in Sydney.
I may also have been slightly depressed and struggled with terrible insomnia the first few months I was there.
Add to that the youngest being diagnosed with severe eczema and molluscum contagiosum within weeks of our arrival, and I wasn’t in the best of shape physically, mentally or emotionally.
A bit of a bummer when you’re LIVING IN NEW YORK, which is supposed to be a fantasy come true.
Oh, it wasn’t all doom and gloom.
Lots of wonderful things happened too.
We were there for the Barack Obama election, which filled Americans with excitement and hope for the future. It was a huge buzz, especially as we were living footsteps from Harlem. We woke one night to an almighty roar as Harlem erupted in jubilation when Obama’s victory was confirmed. Horns honked, thousands of people cheered. It was the most amazing, joyful sound. It felt incredible to be living in New York at such an historic moment.
We also had a white Christmas and met the real Santa at Macys.
We saw Kevin Bacon perform live with his band on an outdoor stage on the Upper West Side!
We escaped the snow briefly for New Year trip to the Yucatan in Mexico, where we visited Mayan ruins and beautiful beaches.
And the kids and I spent the eldest’s 5th birthday at Disneyworld.
How could I have possibly complained? But I did.
The negative words I wrote back then make me cringe a little.
I have no wish to be that unhappy person again. But I would love to step back in time – as the woman I am now – and spend a day in New York with my gorgeous little ones.
Song of the day: Bananarama “I want you back”