If I'm going to write every day this month, some of these posts will have to be photos. But, at the very least, I'll try to pick ones with a story.
This is me, age twenty, in New York:
I moved to New York the week I turned twenty. I was a mess, completely lost in the throes of a suffocating grief following my mother's death. I lived in a little walk-up in the East Village and I went to college at The New School. I bartended at a restaurant in Union Square, and I fell more in love with New York every day.
That first summer I had insomnia. I stayed up until dawn every morning, smoking cigarettes in the living room and watching the light break over the buildings outside the window. On almost every walk I took through the city, I thought about my mother. I wondered if she had walked this same street, or been in this same building.
But even though my mother had lived in New York for almost twenty years, I knew that it wasn't what she would have wanted for me. New York quickly robbed me of my naiveté. The sweet, mournful college girl I was when I arrived disappeared a little more every day.
That's not to say I didn't like the person that I became over the four years that I lived there. I did. I loved that city like you do a child, fiercely and with propriety. I'd spent my whole life wanting to be somewhere else, and for the first time, that feeling was gone.
I left just after my 24th birthday. Tears dripped down my shirt as I drove through the Holland Tunnel. I was bound for Los Angeles, a whole other city I would fall in love with. I just didn't know it yet.