When we were in Old Delhi and I was being a little dramatic about how overwhelmed by traffic and noise and general crowded city-ness of it, I started to slowly conflate New York and Delhi. As in, during the moments when I didn't want to be traveling anymore, because I was tired or cranky or just generally not appreciative of my own life enough, I felt genuinely panicked, because even though I didn't want to be traveling, I also didn't want to go home.
In my head, being home was just as exhausting and overwhelming as traveling. It felt like there was no real way to get out of being overwhelmed.
I started to overblow how hectic New York is. Because I am sometimes bothered by the noise of traffic or the heat of public transit, when I was having trouble crossing the street in Delhi or walking around in the sun, I started to feel like they were the same thing. By the end of the trip—which I should say now was generally a truly incredible trip that I will remember fondly for the rest of my life—I was a bit ready to be done traveling. But I wasn't ready to go home.
And then, a magical thing happened. When we arrived at our apartment, I felt really happy that the dishes were done and the bed was made. This was, of course, the doing of our amazing catsitter and friend, Kateri. But also, I think I left it that way before she got there, too. I do, it turns out, sometimes do the dishes and make the bed.
And when I quickly changed and walked outside to go to work, I was surprised at how quiet the street was. Sure, there were still cars (we live right off a main avenue), but no one was really honking the way I'd remembered everyone in New York honks. Also, it was warm and sunny, a strange two-day heatwave a week before we would get our Spring Solstice snow. The commute to work wasn't nearly as crowded as I remembered it being (it helped that I was going in an hour late), and I relished knowing exactly where I was going and how to buy my ticket, since I've done it every day for years. Going to my regular pizza place for lunch was a joy. Running with friends in the sun after work that day was wonderful.
Being home felt like, well, being home.
So, it turns out that I was sort of on a New York high, coming home. A few weeks later, even after jet-lag has subsided a bit, I still feel pretty okay about being here. I've been so glad to be surrounded by loved ones lately, going to a friend's place to drink tea while she preps dinner or taking my baby cousin's 7-month photo in a bar in the Financial District or watching The Walking Dead on a laptop in bed with Roger. We won't be here forever, I'm sure. But for just this moment, I'm glad to be exactly where I am.