Well, here we are again. The start of a new week. The beginning of a new adventure. But, I suppose after three long weeks of silence, I should probably catch you up.
So much of my life feels alien to me right now. Exciting, yes. Very. But also very much alien.
At the end of March, just one week before my wedding, I left my old job in New York City due to circumstances beyond my control. At the time, it was actually pretty ideal. I was one week away from my nuptials in Brooklyn and, on top of that, was already pretty certain that Noah and I would be moving to Philadelphia not long after. He was accepted to a fabulous business school program, and after moving to New York City for me – to make our once long distance relationship work – four years ago, I knew that there was no question in my mind that I would need to do this for him. Especially, being married, it’s ultimately for us.
So, we’d move.
But moving is never just moving. You can’t make that decision and then *POOF* wake up in another city, all happy and settled.
We needed to find an apartment.
I needed to find a job – one that would provide me with a sense of fulfillment and purpose in a city where jobs are less abundant than the one I was moving from.
Who would be my friend? Literally all my friends live anywhere but Philadelphia (though fortunately, it’s just a quick train ride back to Manhattan from the City of Brotherly Love).
Would I ever feel settled?
How would we move? When would we move? When would we unpack, and do we have too much or too little furniture?
Do they have running paths in Philly?
If these looming questions weren’t enough, there was one additional factor I needed to consider: our honeymoon. Picking up and moving my whole life (remember: at the time, Noah knew he was quitting and I was merely freelancing on my own schedule) meant a unique opportunity for flexibility in my life. We toyed with the idea of going off the map for one month, two months, maybe even three. In the end, we settled on a reasonable 2.5 weeks – a period of time we felt was long enough to feel substantial but also short enough not to uproot us from our lives (or, um, bank accounts). And we chose to go to Croatia, a country with water so blue you can see the sea floor for miles and a culture so rich you can’t help but soak in the Croatian way of life.
Croatia was an incredible journey.
The food: right up my alley with its Mediterranean-inspired flavors, fresh fish dishes and domestically produced olive oils and wines.
The islands: relaxing and wild, with beaches for chilling, roadways for biking and ice cream to die for.
The people: surprisingly friendly, warm and inviting. There was nothing they wouldn’t do to espouse their emerging culture, whether letting you in on a great place to eat or actually inviting you into their homes, boats and wine cellars.
The runs: ehh. This was my honeymoon people. To be frank, there wasn’t much of that. Of course, my 18-day journey was not without runs. I get much too antsy for that. So, here and there, as we felt like it, Noah and I would find a trail, a cool park, or simply use the time to wander. Usually, it was not all that exciting. Usually, it was extremely heavy on hills.
I promise more – lots more – to come on my Croatian honeymoon in the coming weeks, including itineraries for the five cities in which we traveled (Zagreb, Split, Vis, Hvar and Dubrovnik), inspired meals from our time spent tasting the flavors of the Dalmatian coast, and ideas for finding natural forms of fitness on-the-go without wanting to ripping your hair out. My mamma taught me that vacation is vacation; to worry about a workout, to me, is simply not a vacation at all.
But for now, let’s get back to business, which is where I am right now. At this moment, I am laying in my bed, which we brought with us from New York, in our (relatively) large apartment building on a high-up floor. (I am still not sure how I submitted to New York City apartment space and rent for so long. It really is too damn high. Like, stupidly so.)
New, adult sheets (yay, wedding presents).
New view (western exposure = beautiful sunsets).
New kitchen (5x the size of our New York City
closet kitchen, and we cooked our first meal last night: turkey tacos and a big, elevated Mexican salad with broccoli, hearts of palm and pea shoots).
No TV or Internet (though hopefully we get that tomorrow).
Jet lagged like woah (I’ve never been good at adjusting).
This – all of this – has been a long, strange and wild journey. Exciting, but frenzied. Scary, but great.
As I sit here allowing my thoughts to spill out, I am realizing that this is one of the first moments in which I am really able to simply sit down and let myself think it all through. From the end of March until today, I have been crazed between my wedding, apartment hunting, lease signing, freelance writing, job searching, bachelorette party planning, bachelorette partying, honeymoon planning and then traveling to three cities, two islands and various other daytrips on my big Croatian honeymoon.
BUT WAIT! THAT’S NOT ALL!
While I was away, my brother and his wife welcomed their first son into the world. His name is Zavier Jude (could you think of a more rockstar name? this kid is bound for greatness – and, perhaps, the caboose of the line in elementary school for a few years). And, when I met him upon our return, I wanted to never let him go.
For me, the fact that my entire family – including our newest member, Zavier – is back on Long Island has made it difficult to move. Don’t get me wrong; there is no place I’d rather be right now in this new city, with my still-new husband (he is my family now, and there is no one else I’d rather create a life with), with a great new job and opportunity that awaits me tomorrow (yikes!).
Times, they are a-changing. I’m anxious and excited all at once for what’s to come, and of course have immediately turned to running to explore not only my new neighborhood but to test my stress management skills. Like this morning, I set off for five painfully slow miles (my body has never taken to humidity well, and my calves tend to cramp up during the first few weeks of the summer; and of course, the jet lag) around Rittenhouse Square and Society Hill. More on all that later, but for now, let’s just say it was lovely and much needed. Instantly, I felt more calm.
Here is where I’ll look to you friendly folks for guidance and advice.
1. If you know any runners in Philadelphia, or if you are a runner in Philly, hi! What are your favorite running paths and stores and people?
2. Have you ever moved cities and completely changed your life? What did you find hard or easy, and how can I ease the journey? I love my new apartment and recognize that it’s been, umm, 24 hours. But I can’t wait to feel “settled.” I can’t wait to feel that it is my home.