Making My Way Back – A Unique 13 Step Program

I’m back from my nearly month-long break.

 

In the blogging world, not posting content is considered blogger-suicide.

 

My inconsistency wasn’t intentional but it was necessary.

 

My head, heart, soul and body needed to retreat….and so I did.

 

But I’m ready to talk about it all now so here goes……

 

My last post mentioned that I was in New York City saying good-bye to my beloved Brooklyn apartment.  With no offense intended to anyone who has used traditional 12 step programs to deal with addiction, this final act of truly leaving New York was quite an ordeal for me.  After living in Los Angeles for nearly 2 years, I didn’t think that the act of selling my New York apartment wouldn’t be so devastating but it was.

 

It’s taken me nearly a month to be able to write about my unique 13 steps to dealing with my own transition but here goes:

 

Step 1:  Arrive at midnight to an empty apartment except for a mattress on the bedroom floor and this thoughtful table set by a loving husband.  Cry.

 

Maker's Mark, lonely table

Notice the Maker’s Mark and the unseen gift left by loving husband.

Step 2:  Wake up in empty apartment and remember it’s your wedding anniversary (the first one spent apart from your husband of 14 years) and then remember the thoughtful gift left for you by said husband when you of course, left nothing for him.  Cry again.

 

Satya Jewelry, lotus, new beginnings

 

Step 3:  Walk around the neighborhood and incessantly snap shots of the picturesque neighborhood.  Notice how many businesses have closed/opened.  The impact of a basketball team that was in another state when you left just less than two years ago is everywhere.

 

Brooklyn

 

Step 4:  Spend your anniversary at one of your favorite restaurants with two old friends who attended your wedding but also knew you way before you were married.

SUNY Binghamton, Alta Restaurant

Top (L to R) – Me, Jacqui and Sharon, SUNY Binghamton, 1992
Bottom: Alta Restaurant, NYC

 

Step 5:  Squeeze in visits with as many people as possible – including a mini high school reunion, a drink with a bunch Mom’s Group friends, a lunch with a cousin and multiple walks with friends to or from work.

Hillcrest High School

Step 6:   Visit a bunch of favorite restaurants and realize that your oldest and most favorite haunt has been remodeled and revamped and interpreting that to mean, “Here’s your hat, what’s your hurry?”.  For details on the original restaurant see here.

 

Milk Bar, Geido, Hunan Wok, Dojo

 

Step 7:  Feel so depressed that even the hottest fitness classes and one of the most iconic bridges on Earth provide no exercise motivation at all.  Only having a friend teaching a yoga class mere blocks from your (empty) apartment gets you to do more than aimlessly walk the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Bridge, running, Kick Ass 5K, RunStrongerEveryday.com

 

Step 8:  Have dinner with two of your best friends.  While you’re glad to see them it only emphasizes the fact that you can’t just decide to grab a bite whenever you feel like it (and the fact that you’re too preoccupied to take a photo to capture stolen moments).

 

Step 9:  Go to see the Off Broadway show based on one of your favorite cult classic movies and then realize the theater where the show is being held used to be the $2.00 movie theater you frequented when you were in your 20’s.  Remember that was over 20 years ago and cry again.

 

Heathers, Off Broadway

Heathers, Off Broadway

 

Step 10:  Show up for your first speaking engagement ever at a conference emphasizing health, fitness, beauty and empowerment.  Be honored (and nervous) to speak,  get a chance to see (and meet) some fabulous people and then feel like an absolute fool for having a pity party when you learn that your friend has news that really puts things in perspective.

 

A Healthy U

Kimberly@ManifestYourself, Cassandre@LosingInTheCity.com and Schnelle@BrooklynActiveMama.com, the organizers of A Healthy U Conference

 

Step 11:  Be ready to return to your new city immediately after said conference and find out that your flight has been canceled.  Return back to said empty apartment (good thing you didn’t throw out the bedsheets and mattress).  Realize it’s Saturday night and instead of enjoying the fabulousity of one of the greatest cities in the world, curl up in the lonely bed, watch 80’s teen flicks (using up valuable mobile data plan minutes) and order in your favorite Indian food.

 

Joy Indian

 

Step 12:  Take a second final walk around the neighborhood, say the last goodbye, leave the keys for the new owners and get on a plane to take you back to your family on Mother’s Day only to experience a plane ride with the worst turbulence ever –  my seat mates were convinced we were to crash –  and requiring a shot of vodka at the bar once the plane landed.  Smelling like cheap booze and looking like a hot mess is definitely the way to greet your family waiting for you with flowers on Mother’s Day at the airport.

Brooklyn

You’d think that would be the end but no, there was one more step that brought home the message that my time of truly being a New Yorker was over.

 

Bonus Step:  See Billy Joel at his first performance ever at the Hollywood Bowl.  There are few things like seeing a New York icon in Los Angeles to highlight the fact that you are technically no longer a New Yorker.  Billy Joel spent some of his own life in Los Angeles and he’s an example that no matter where you might go, that New York never leaves you.  Shed a few more tears but enjoy and appreciate the moment.  Realize that life is full of unexpected twists and turns.

 

Billy Joel, Hollywood Bowl

 

If you asked me 5 years ago if I’d ever leave New York, my answer would have been a hard and very fast, “No way!” but I’m here in Los Angeles now and I’m happy.  I’m still the owner of a New York Driver’s License with a California address.  I’ve kept the license because I believed that since I owned an apartment in New York, I was bicoastal but now that I no longer own an apartment in New York, I need to make a change.

 

Even though I’m changing some part of what how I’ve always identified myself, it took some time to realize that no matter where I am that I’m still me.  I needed to mourn the end of an era and find my way forward.  I realized that being nostalgic can be good but I don’t want to be that very sad sack that is so stuck in the past that they can’t appreciate the present (attachment to 80’s music excluded).  I’m not sure that AA would agree with my steps but it’s what’s helped me get through my own tough time.

LiveLifeHappy

 

What’s been the hardest step you’ve had to take to make a positive change in your life?

Comments

  1. says

    That quote is epic and really says it all. The only thing in this world that is constant is change. That’s really it. We have to press forward and have faith that no matter how painful it feels in this exact moment… we will eventually grow and be okay.

    The hardest step for me is recognizing + accepting that a change needs to happen… and determining the first step.

    Sending love your way! (I’m saving all of my hugs for the end of the month when I see you.)
    Kimberly (Manifest Yourself) recently posted…Manifest Yourself Turned ONE!My Profile

    • says

      You, my friend, are one amazing woman. I am sorry that I didn’t ask you in advance to use your shot from the AHU Conference, BTW.

      I’m not sure that I was at my best for your conference but I was thrilled to be there. Your positivity and dedication to health and growth for women is more than admirable.

      I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again – I’m so glad to have met you at FitBloggin’. Having you in my life (even if you’re far away or we don’t see/speak to one another often, knowing your in my arsenal makes me feel strong. I hope I can help you feel the same way.

      I can’t wait to see you in Savannah….and if you decide to extend your CA vacation, there’s always room at my place. ;)

      Thank you Kimberly.

  2. Susie says

    So proud that you worked through all of this (and got to see Billy, of course!) I know how hard this all was, and you know there is a bed for all of you when you come back East. No toast, but a bed. :)

    • says

      Being far away from you and KL is one of the hardest parts about this move. We miss you guys and while technology is great, it’s no substitute for hanging out.

      You know we’ll be back to visit and one day you will likely want to kick us out of your house.

      We can’t wait for you both to visit! xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

    • says

      Well said. Growing up does suck a lot and everyone has to do it. I’m just a bit more whiny about it right now. #firstworldproblems, right?

      I will say that I’m loving this new adventure with my family and without the move, I’d never be a blogger and have gotten the chance to have my world enhanced with people like you! xo

  3. says

    Congratulations on making it through; I’m sure it will still seem tough on some days, but know this–it’s just one day, and you can make it through one day at a time.
    Welcome back to California and welcome back to your blog!
    Ann recently posted…Father’s Day Gift GuideMy Profile

    • says

      Thank you Ann. One day at a time is how I’m taking it lately (as I’m sure you understand as well). I can say that having days and days of gorgeous sunshine makes it a bit easier.

    • says

      Thank you Gillian. It’s weird to live here after so many years away (I went back and forth each summer since I was 7 and moved to NYC for a year when I was 12 and then permanently when I was 14). Now I’m a New Yorker but I’m living here in LA and sometimes I feel like I’m in a time warp.

      LA is pretty fine place to be and I’m enjoying the exploration and seeing my family adjust and thrive as well.

    • says

      I’m so glad that I’ve met you here, Chris! Thank you for the support and the great conversations IRL and online. Meeting someone fabulous like you through blogging has made this move feel right.

      I like your quote but when it comes to being at the OB/GYN’s office, I’d rather NOT be in those stirrups. I’m sure you can relate.

  4. says

    That quote is spot on. I can’t imagine. I mean, I daydream about moving away from NYC but I don’t know how I would handle it if I actually did. I’ve been here for 20 years. yikes. Moving is hard especially when there is so much history and pivotal moments. I’m glad that you were able to come to yoga class and that I got to see you albeit briefly! Visit us or I’ll have to sneak a trip to LA.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted…Ask a Yogini: What is Pranayama?My Profile

    • says

      I loved seeing you when I was in Brooklyn. Your class was perfect for what I needed during that trip. I will miss NYC tremendously but I do need to say that this move has allowed me to see that there is life outside of the beautiful bubble that is NYC. If you dream about leaving, one day you should roll the dice. Life is still good outside the confines of the center of the universe.

      I’ll definitely visit and I’d love a sneak visit from you (with or without the fan – we have room either way).

  5. says

    Besides the town where I grew up in Massachusetts, I have never really laid permanent roots anywhere in my life. I’ve lived in Virginia, Australia, Boston and New York. But, I have to say that every move has been tough because change is scary. The good thing is that no matter what, the city will always be here to welcome you with open arms. It may not be the same as living here, but you can always come back, remember the good times and make new memories.

    Also, I’m jealous because I would love to live in sunny Cali!
    FitBritt@MyOwnBalance recently posted…Jubilant JuneMy Profile

    • says

      True enough. I’ve moved from the West Coast to the East Coast a few times when I was young but I’ve been a New Yorker for over 30 years now so, it’s truly home. That apartment is the one place I lived in longer than any other place in my life so giving that up was especially hard for me.

      NYC will always be there and the splendor never goes away, right? I know I’ll be back to visit soon and who knows what the future will bring?

      You can come and visit me anytime here in LA! xo

    • says

      It’s funny that so many NY’ers do that but it’s true. Thank you for the love. Meeting you certainly makes being here feel like a really good thing.

      Hope we get a chance to hang out again soon. I’ll miss not seeing you at FitBloggin’.

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