Saturday, November 23, 2013

NYC: I Truly Heart You

When I was a little girl, I often dreamed of being an artist/writer. I always imagined myself living in NYC. Many of the books I read, featured a heroine living in NYC, Brooklyn, Bronx, etc. I can’t recall the name of any of these books, but I can recall the images in my head of myself in NYC in a fancy apartment writing on a typewriter (yeah, now I’m dating myself) while taking long meaningful moments to stare out the window at all the lives going by.

In reality, at the time I lived in a tiny town in Wisconsin out in the country where when it was night, it was TRULY night and dark unless there was a full moon. I had no concept that to live in that apartment I imagined in NYC, I would have needed to marry someone with money like Trump. 

I grew up. When I did, I moved to Minneapolis pretty much as soon as I graduated high school. In fact, the day after graduation I left for Minneapolis with my then boyfriend (now hubby) to search for our apartment. By July I was there, in a city. Trouble is, I was a geeky little girl who spent her spare time reading as a kid, and I was actually petrified of LIVING in the city. 

Truthiness. I’m not a college graduate. I have a diploma from a “for profit” school in graphic design (I was a 4.0 Dean’s list student), and I never actually found a graphic design job. Which is probably for the better, as I don’t believe that atmosphere would have been healthy or even enjoyable at all for the introvert I am.

Something happened a year ago that changed me forever. When I moved to Minneapolis, I adopted two kitties within a few months of each other, Molly and Mitzie. Last November, I lost Mitzie to oral cancer. It was one of the hardest things I have ever gone through. My kitties are truly my babies. I wasn’t able to have human babies, and I’ve made peace with that and come to enjoy being child free. But I love my kitties more than anything in the world and losing her was heart breaking. 

My hubby happened to end up with a trip to NYC for work, and he asked me if I’d like to go along with him. I needed something to break me out of the depression from losing my little Hoofer (Mitzie’s nickname). My life was changed.
This is my little Mitzie Lee Hoofenstein. I miss her so very much. 

I met Melly in NYC and we have been friends ever since.  We experienced kitty losses very close in time together, and we bonded over the loss of our babies. We now text most days and Skype often. I love her and I’m forever grateful I met her.

But NYC really changed me. It was the first trip where I moved about a city by myself (hubby had to work afterall). I fell madly in love with the subway system and the ease at which you can move around the city. My heart melted seeing the tree at Rockefeller. And the stores? Swoon! I found a confidence in myself in NYC, that I never knew I was capable of. I felt inspired and connected. It helped heal me.

So here it is, November again, and it just a couple weeks I will be heading back to NYC. I will see Melly again (and hopefully take advantage of her famous hugs). I will stand in front of the Rockefeller tree and fall in love all over again. Yes, I will shop. I will see The City Quilter again. I will do more things this time, as I will have more time. And I will make a connection again, with that little girl in me that always dreamed of growing up, moving to NYC and becoming a writer/artist brave woman.


  1. I grew up in NYC - a fabulous city to grow up in
    Moved when I was 60 to NH from the house both my son and I grew up in - heartwrenching. It's a hard city to grow old in unless you have enough money for cabs, help etc.

  2. I am impressed at how you (an introvert) adapted to NYC...and on your own!! When I travel alone I tend to stay in my hotel room unless I have someplace specific to go. Chicago is the only big city I can handle on my own....and I grew up there.