Is it just me, or are the first few warm days of almost-spring an exceptionally anxious time?
The first day it’s finally appropriate to transition from my puffy “burnt marshmallow” down coat to a lighter get-up, all I can think about is how much I want to play some casual baseball, walk long distances aimlessly, or eat ice cream — and preferably all three at the same time. That first unusually warm day is a magical euphoric moment of awaking from a hibernation I didn’t quite realize I’d been in. In the days that follow, however, the euphoria reliably and steadily transforms to an undeniable anxiousness.
The endless possibilities that seem to accompany warmer weather somehow force me to consider just exactly what I have or haven’t accomplished in my “hibernation.” I ask myself easy questions like: When was the last time you crafted a killer playlist? Did you tackle any difficult recipes recently? Have you experienced the true glory of nature in NYC? But spring also pushes me to ask more important questions like, are you settling into the “real world” in a satisfying way? Have you told enough people you love them lately? Are you making a difference? Yep, business in Ruthie’s brain gets real come spring. And experiencing the new season in a new city just amplifies everything I feel.
This spring awakening is obviously a little discomforting, but I have to remind myself it’s probably all in good measure. How can you ever know where exactly you are in life if you aren’t ever forced to stop and look around you once in a while? A little spring reassessment of my presence here in New York City has helped me realize a few things.
1.) I’m homesick. Not a “Help me now, I can’t function and I cry myself to sleep every night” kind of homesick, but the kind that any girl who lived for 22 years in the wonderous Midwest would feel no matter how long they’re away. I miss gravel roads and sunsets that aren’t blocked by skyscrapers. I miss drinking next to Lake Mendota and aimless bike rides with friends, and my family. But, that said,
2.) There is no other place I’d rather have a “the world is my oyster” moment than in New York City. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the almost ten months I’ve been here, it’s that this city is a true world in itself. Literally anything is possible, and I’m excited to continue deepening my relationship with the city, with new friends, with endless food and writing opportunities, and things I haven’t even considered yet. My instinct this time of year is to ask myself if I’ve done enough, but now that the question has been asked, I prefer to rephrase it and ask: are you fully prepared for the awesomeness that’s about to ensue?
So I say, to myself and anybody else who will: dust off the fears and worries, dust off your warm weather wardrobe, and step with me happily into spring. Nay, skip. And bring some ice cream. Especially if it’s anything like my most recent purchase at Culture NY: original froyo with key lime sauce, coconut and almonds.