“Promise yourself not to solve all of life’s problems at once.” The quoted glared at me from the November page of my calendar as I looked up at it this morning. It was the first time I’d really noticed the inspirational passage of the month, despite being 23 days in. I even felt compelled to peek at December’s almost-materialistic, definitely cultural, slightly poetic quote, “Wrap it all in peace.”
But as I moved on to the brushing of my hair and the flossing of my teeth (hah, good joke) segment of my day, the calendar’s messages moved to a back corner of my mind and I began to really consider today’s date. November 23. And slowly it hit me that today I’ve been living in New York City for almost exactly a year and a half.
This city is still not a place I could ever call home; I know I won’t be here forever. But holy crap, if I stop to think for even half a second of the places this wayward adventure has taken me, my mind becomes overwhelmed, baffled, and grateful.
It’s not anywhere that you can eat a handmade dosa in a canteen in the basement of a Hindi temple. It’s in a far corner of a far borough, with a good friend, after eating practically nothing during a particularly trying week.
It’s not anywhere that two people can eat $30 of diner food and feel perfectly okay with it. It’s only off the last stop on the 6 train in the Bronx with your best friend after a particularly successful Halloween.
It’s not anywhere that homemade molasses and caramel popcorn arrives at your doorstep in a perfect pumpkin-shaped package. It’s only at apartment A1 in Astoria, Queens, when your mother is mine and she lives 1,000 miles away.
It’s not anywhere that a cup of mint tea tastes so good that you’re inspired to write a poem about it. It’s after a long day of work, a cold walk outside, and an apartment suddenly uninhabited for a night with the exception of me, and my tea.
It’s not anywhere that I’d make a curry out of green tomatoes. It’s only in November after five months of attempting to grow a tomato upside down from a pot hanging off the front banister of my concrete apartment.
And it’s not anywhere that homemade pizza becomes an apartment staple. But it is, in fact, right here, right now.My New York adventure continues on for a bit longer, and though I can’t tell you where I”ll be living some months down the line, I guarantee two things:
1.) I will still be having food-related adventures and telling my life through them.
2.) I will be ever grateful for every moment I had in New York City. In a way I can’t yet put to words.
I might not remember the quote the November page of my calendar beams at me in a few months, but the bit from last January’s page will always stick with me: “Dwell in possibility.”
What adventure can possibly be next?