Last Spring one of Thalia’s friends, Alicia, who now is a friend of mine, asked me to join her “Do One Thing a Month That is Out of Your Comfort Zone” group. This group would meet on a weekend day and participate in a challenging dance class or a creative painting class or a unique cooking class or any of the other cool classes NYC had to offer. It was after one of these classes, when I spotted the storefront that would change my life.
“Do you have any news?”
Marc shook his head as he flipped open his take-out container. “Not really. I keep hearing conflicting reports.”
“Yeah, me too,” I sighed. “I mean, it could be as early as mid-March, late as June. That’s what I’ve heard.”
“What a fuckshow,” he said and then dug into his tiramisu.
One of our office mates joined us in the conference room. “So when do you think the next round of layoffs is coming?”
Marc and I gave each other the side-eye. “Who knows?” I said airily. Marc became engrossed in his dessert and I became entranced with the snowfall outside our Park Avenue window. The room became heavily silent.
Our coworker left, knowing she wasn’t going to infiltrate this meeting.
Of course I saw it coming. We all did.
I, maybe even more than most.
Because one of the perks of my previous role as an Assistant to the Executives was that I became friends with a lot of different people from all the varied departments. So when the news began to slowly seep throughout the company, I was privy to a lot of pertinent information.
But still, this information didn’t make me take any action.
Back in October, when My Boyfriend and I decided to finally give our relationship a go, there was no doubt we would eventually move back to Our Hometown in California. I don’t think we even discussed it. It just was understood. After all, it was where we met, all those years ago in high school, and we adored the town. We both still had tons of friends there, my mom was there, and the rest of my family was close by.
The only thing was – when we began planning the move, the thought of actually leaving NYC terrified me.
The friends I’d made, they were truly my East Coast Family. I couldn’t imagine being without them, meeting for last minute happy hours or brunches, catching up on the critical details of our lives. My cute little apartment, with it’s exposed brick wall and five points of outdoor light that kept it bright and airy even on the darkest thunderstruck days. My fun neighborhood where I’d wave to the shopkeepers on my way to the subway each morning. My company – a place I loved going to, a place I’d laughed probably more than anywhere else. And there was my new role. I’d only been in it for four months so I really needed more time and experience before I could feasibly look for a new job in a new location.
My lease turned over every year in May but I felt like seven months was too soon to make such a big move. It made my stomach cave in on itself to even think on it.
So we decided on May 2016. Nineteen months. That seemed the right amount of time for me to build my resume, and for both us to say goodbye to our friends and respective cities.
So it was settled. We’d move in May of 2016.
“You’re going to FORGET.”
“I’m not going to forget.”
“TRACEY. YOU WILL.”
It was Saturday morning and I hadn’t even had my first cup of coffee. But McKenzie was already back from a ten mile run so she was all riled up, reprimanding me on Facebook messenger for breaking my promise in March to continue to publish here and there.
It was now the middle of April. And I’d published nothing.
“You’ve been hanging around Lux too much,” I wrote. “Stop with the all-caps. It’s too early for that.”
She ignored me. “SO MUCH has happened, how are you going to remember it all?”
“I’ve been taking notes.” And with that, I got up from my desk and set about making some coffee.
“Why are you calling me so early?”
“Well, hello to you too,” I said.
“Oh, Tracey. You know what I mean. It’s six o’clock Sunday your time. Isn’t that when you usually write?”
“Yeah,” I said with a sigh as I put her on speaker and placed the phone on the butcher block to make some tea. I freakin’ hate tea as general rule but this weather in NYC has driven me to extreme measures.
I JUST CAN’T GET WARM.
Last week was our 100th post.
Since then, I’ve sat here every night and tried to write something creative and interesting that would express how I feel about achieving this milestone.
I started off with a cute conversation between Bree & me during one of our recent catch-up sessions, which then would lead into the revelation. But then I decided I wanted to use that conversation in a later post.
So then I tried starting with a flashback about the phone-date I’d been having with Shannon two years ago that lead to My Boyfriend and I reconnecting, which consequently resulted in the creation of this blog. But that wasn’t working the way I’d wanted it to.
I then crafted a number of other intros, but frankly, they were all crap.
“Happy New Year, Bitches!”
I looked at the Facebook message on my phone, placed it back on the nightstand and then rolled over, pulling a pillow over my head. It was Friday, January 2nd and I was starting the first weekend of the New Year celebrating with a nap with The Cat.
The phone pinged again and I wearily reached over to pick it up. I looked at the screen.
“When do we start running?!”
I groaned, and was about to set it aside again when:
Two seconds later:
I sighed in exasperation. I turned off the phone and went back to my nap. When I woke up later, there were two more Facebook messages and two threatening texts:
“TRACEY. ANSWER ME. NOW.”
“WE ARE GOING RUNNING.”
It was Lux.