Remembering myself

BY DOMINIQUE JAMES

I love winter in New York, and I was therefore not expecting to go anywhere. I was, in fact, getting set, quite determinedly, to be nowhere else but in New York. But then my sister called, asking if I want to visit our parents (and see everyone as well) for a few days over the holidays.

I haven’t seen my folks in more than two years. I am in touch with them everyday, thanks to technology, but nothing beats personal presence. (Everyone says so!) And so, we gamely plotted a surprise. The plan was simple enough: I just have to pop in.

The surprise worked. As far as I can tell, my parents were actually happy to see me. I suspect though that the fun of it was largely because not only were they not expecting me at all, but to their mind, the probability of me taking a trip was almost zero. (Yes, they are well aware of my uncommon preference for New York over Atlanta.)

So, there’s that. But you know how it is, specially with family—the surprise and the novelty and the idea wore off quickly.

That’s when another surprise came along. This time, it was on me.

Tearing myself away, being anywhere else other than New York for the first time in two year, I was caught by surprise with a realization: I’ve lost myself. I wouldn’t have found that out if not for this little trip. In a sense, from a good distance away from New York, I was reminded of who I am. That’s when I found myself again.

As I write this, I am getting ready to go back to New York. My bags are packed, and the last of goodbyes will be said in an hour or two. Everyone will be in a floating mood, and then it will be over. Things will be back to how they’ve been, and what remains are memories. (Yes, thank God for Facebook, the evidence of the family get-together has been recorded for posterity!)

As I get pulled back into the vortex of my chosen life, it’s good to know that, even if only for a few days, I’ve anchored myself anew. And I’m glad I met the self whom I seemed to have lost.

New York, I want to tell you this: I found my self again, and I’m ready for you once more.

 

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