Dear New York,
You never cease to amaze me with your insurmountable energy, personality, culture, and identity. You are exactly as I remember from the very first time I met you exactly twenty years ago. Yet, at the same time, you have evolved into something even bigger, greater, and even more awesome than I could ever hope for. New York, I love you but you're bringing me down.
Ok, ok, not really. New York will never bring me down. But I will say this: bringing a toddler into the city is an entirely different beast. In the blistering heat that is 4th of July weekend, we had the crazy idea to travel to New York. It felt fitting to celebrate our nation's birth in a place where so many cultures and people were born. This time, though, we brought A. And A was not having any of it.
We rented an apartment whose amenities happened to include gigantic roaches and the absence of air conditioning in the middle of a heat wave. Pair that with a toddler whose schedule has been completely thrown off and two grown-ups whose plans are having to be adjusted and modified to please each other and A, and you've got a recipe for disaster. I'm not being melodramatic. New York wasn't a "disaster". But it was certainly different. We were frustrated. All three of us. Those frustrations gave birth to arguments. Those arguments created even more stress. And that stress was taken out on each other. Unfair, yes. Obviously. It brought to the foreground that real relationships take real work. Again, an obvious statement. But you know, there are those who show the world their best all the time. Some could say they wear a mask and that they're "cropping out all the sadness". With social media enabling all of us to Facebook, Tweet, Vine, or Instagram every single thing we're doing at any given time, it's no wonder that there are some people whose lives look perfectly put together. I'll admit that on paper, my life looks pretty fantastic. No one really sees the sadder or darker sides. The reason I'm saying all of this, though, is because I'm human. And I don't want to portray an unrealistically "perfect" life both in my reality as well as online. I am no stranger to flaws. I openly admit my faults. It's knowing and admitting all of that and working towards overcoming those things that makes me feel more grounded in the midst of what feels like chaos.
Next time, the toddler won't take over NY the way the Marshmallow Man did. Next time, we will do it right. With air conditioning, too.