When I decided to move to New York City, I had this vision of what would happen: I would settle down into my own amazing apartment, decorate it with lots of cool stuff, join a gym, take cooking classes, and — in between all that — take numerous trips to JFK airport and jet-set around the world. I’d come back, stay for a few weeks, and do it all over again.
I’d be able to balance my twin desires: settling down and my love of travel.
But I was naïve.
Since moving here in January, I never managed to spend more than a couple weeks in New York City before having to leave again. When I moved into my own apartment in July, I left the next day. I came back for a week before leaving again for two months.
I never got to settle down.
I never took those cooking classes.
I never joined that gym.
My apartment is still bare, with curtainless windows, books longing for a bookcase, and walls lacking art and paintings.
The famed — and much desired — end to my travels never really materialized, as I’ve spent much of the last year on the road.
“I thought you were slowing down,” people would say to me.
“I’m trying. I’m trying,” I’d reply.
No matter how hard I tried, slowing down never seemed to happen. There were, though, many false starts.
But last month while in Europe, I began to feel really homesick. I was tired of traveling and just wanted to be home in my comfy bed.
I realized I was tired of delaying my roots.
Roots, after all, can only take hold if they’re in the ground. I’ve been trying to develop habits and routines without giving my roots time to grow. I keep uprooting them and then trying to replant them in hopes they’ll grow.
But it doesn’t work that way.
You need to till the earth, plant the seed, and let the roots take hold.
You can’t uproot them.
It’s time I give my roots a chance.
I’m tired of saying “OK, I’ll do it next time.” So I’m not traveling until the end of December when I go to the Philippines. There’s a lot to do in NYC, and it’s finally time to do it.
I’ve purposely filled my schedule with things that will keep me in the city. This week I joined a gym, got a trainer, and paid for a desk at a co-working space. I’m having friends visit.
I’m here. I’m home.
It’s time to grow some roots.
Nothing will stop me now.