I’m approaching the two month anniversary of my move to New York City, and I’m delighted to report that I’m finally feeling settled in. The city in general, and my apartment in particular, is starting to feel like home.
Surely the process of unpacking, setting up closets and cupboards, and getting furniture placed just where you want it is a big contributor. For me, having my home office finally configured the way I want it, on furniture that’s finally delivered, assembled, and installed correctly, gives me a strong sense of being settled into my new routine and my new home.
Undoubtedly it also helped that we had a housewarming party a week ago, when we were able to unveil our new home to dozens of friends in NYC. Most of the guests hadn’t been over to see the place yet… And there’s something about giving the tour of your apartment over and over again that really cements “this is home” in your heart.
Maybe it was walking in to my favorite bar in Manhattan on Thursday night, and discovering a surprise birthday party full of friends who’d conspired to celebrate with me unexpectedly. Seeing that many grinning faces, all there to show their friendship and love, makes a person go all gooey inside. And knowing that these same people are here day after day to share your life with definitely makes a person feel like home is wherever they are.
I’m sure it helps that Sal has had slightly fewer hours at work, and we’ve been able to wake up together more often and spend several evenings together over the last couple of weeks. I was getting nervous that we’d moved up here to share a life together and then would barely ever see each other, but we’ve gotten into a bit of a routine now… And having every Sunday together morning-noon-and-night is something we can always look forward to.
Hell, maybe it’s just that I’ve finally been on the ground in New York City for three entire consecutive weeks without setting foot on an airplane — it’s hard to feel home in a place that you haven’t really been consistently staying in for any real length of time. Waking up in one’s own bed over and over again certainly gives a sense of routine, which is crucial for feeling settled.
For me, though, I think it’s a combination of all of these things, and more. It’s the short walk to the subway, with the growing confidence that I can find my way through the train system without ending up in Guam. It’s finding more opportunities to see old friends, and making new ones. It’s taking the dogs on their now-familiar walk around the neighborhood three times a day.
Whatever the causes, whatever the contributing factors, whatever the enablers… I’m feeling at home here, and that makes me happy.