I'm not entirely sure where to start from; it feels like everything has been happening all at once and I am only slowly beginning to full process what has actually been going on. The last few weeks were spent in desperate anticipation to leave Spain and I was sick with migraines and stress and insomnia. My ticket to New York was booked so many months ago and I couldn't even focus on work anymore I was so excited in the last week before flying. I was such a mess the night before I ended up giving myself only a 30 minute power nap after I had eventually finished packing, and got up and headed straight to the airport at 5am, leaving my apartment in the worst state it's been since I moved in. But I didn't care anymore. I was making my way back. Finally. At last.
It was like a dream. Like the best dream I could have ever hoped for. I spent everyday surrounded by some of my favourite people in my favourite city and immersed in the greatest art and the bestest food in all the land. I was reunited with so many old friends and met so many new faces along the way. Some people I hadn't seen since the last time, three years ago, some people I've known for years before and some people a little less, but it always felt like it was only yesterday when we were together. Everyday I went to see some new art and some old art and eat a little more than I did before. I went back to some of my favourite places in town and was introduced to so many more. New favourites. New loves. New opportunities and all of the possibilities.
And then it was over.
Leaving the city was like going through a breakup. I had a last lunch with Jordan and Emmi and then they were waving from the sidewalk as my Uber pulled away. The driver put the window down so I could say a final goodbye but I was so overcome with tears, I just watched my favourite faces blur into watercolours. In an attempt to ease the awkwardness of having a crying girl in the back seat, the sweet driver turned up his collection of Bollywood music to take my mind off things. It kind of worked. Once I was through security (which, by the way, saw me getting patted down and my carry-on searched through and which seems to happen to me every single time I fly) I found a seat at a random gate and called Kaska. The first 20 minutes was just me crying hysterically down the phone. I went to the bathroom to clean my face and then called Mumma, crying even more for the next hour and missing the sunset view through all my distress. It was every bit as dramatic as it sounds. I'm gonna say that I was actually pretty composed on the flight. Watching Finding Dory helped a lot. Until I got to Madrid and it hit me all over again. As soon as I got home I took a shower and went straight to Kaska's because I didn't want to be on my own.
It was stupid to think that two weeks would have been enough. It wasn't even close. I still missed out on time with a few people and still missed a few goodbyes with others at the end.
But I came home to the family I've found here and I know that I couldn't be luckier to have so many people there for me at both sides of the world. Across both sides of the ocean. This wasn't meant to be a soppy, corny post but hell if I don't know how to appreciate my favourite faces with me here as well. Kaska picked me up from mine and we walked to hers arm in arm so happy to see each other. She made chicken noodle soup for lunch to remedy my early signs of falling under the weather again and later Harley joined us. He brought me a pack of sweets to welcome me back and noted that he chose the "American Mix" pack to put a smile on my face. And feel all warm and mushy inside.
When I finally got the call to say that my case was finally on its way (long story) I headed home to wait for the drop off. I went through a little to find the presents I had brought home and took them back to Kaska's. Gosia joined us a littler later after dinner and with a glowing heart I recounted my stories again for her while Kaska vacuumed in the background.
New York had my heart from the moment of my first visit. And little pieces stayed behind every time I went back. And as much as I'll forever dream of a life in that concrete paradise, I have a life here too. With a few more of the greatest people I will ever know. Last Sunday was hard. But my loves made it up for me. In the end, in a way, it was a great Sunday.
It was perfect. And I was home.