I am elated that we are in New York.
Even though the flu has Ace and I congested and unfit for leaving the apartment this week. Even though it's very much a mid-Atlantic winter with generally lousy weather and frigid temperatures. Even though I'm job-hunting, day-care-hunting, and wondering if I could/should/want to/need to continue doing the domestic thing with Ace for a while longer, because I really don't want to leave him in another's (excellent, well-researched) care anytime soon, even for a part-time position. Even though I wish our laundry situation were different, because, man, is it difficult to keep up with a baby's laundry when there are only two machines per floor, and the guy down the hall has monopolized the facilities all afternoon again.
I'm still elated.
Part of my elation is for New York itself. I have a long list of things we must see in the next 11 months, and you better believe we're doing a road trip later this year. I'm neck-deep in researching activities for Ace that we would struggle to find in suburbia, if we could find them at all. Tom's commute requires ten to fifteen minutes of walking, which means way more time for the three of us together. Our building is exceptionally managed by lovely people, and I adore our postage stamp of an apartment. I love that we have family close by and across the Hudson. I so appreciate that my dad can skip his commute now and then to stay with us and have extensive conversations with Ace about the sorry state of the Giants.
And I must confess that I'm relieved to have left Northern California. I feel badly that I didn't fall in love with the place, as if my lack of appreciation for living there is some sort of personal failing. You see, I thought that if I could adapt to London life and love it so, I could adapt to life anywhere. But nope. I found San Francisco to be a pretty standard American city--one that isn't very liveable as a city. It pretty much requires a car and enormous, unjustifiable expense. I couldn't stand that I didn't feel safe when I navigated the city by car or by foot or by public transport. Yet I found surrounding suburban options stiflingly suburban. (We considered leaving Sausalito to see if that specific location was our problem, because the place was rife with problems. But we concluded that Sausalito was only part of our problem). I hated that if I dared mention that I wasn't a huge fan of the area, all anyone could talk about was the damn weather being awesome--but I actually hated the general lack of seasons. I shouldn't even get started on the strange entitlement and bizarre attitudes created by the obscene wealth of Marin County...seriously, we never saw entitlement so ridiculous and attitudes so elitist, even though we've lived in some other pretty posh areas.
All that said, we're glad that we attempted San Francisco. If we hadn't, we always would have wondered, "what if we had tried that?" So it was a good mistake, a life lesson, if you will. And I'm so relieved to have escaped that mistake and arrived in New York. I've never before been so immediately pleased with a major move.
But I would be remiss if I didn't mention that if we find the right opportunity, we'll go back to London tomorrow. I don't exaggerate. If we can dismantle our life and and move across the country with a three-month-old, we can totally handle relocating to London.
Don't tell Auntie Meg. She'll go to drastic lengths to keep Ace nearby.