Allegany Weekend

Weekends like this make me wonder why I chose to live where I do. A concrete jungle of screaming machines and people.

Why did I chose to be so far away.

from family

from nature

from anything familiar

quiet

peace

air

Do I even like New York? Or do I just say I do so eventually I’ll be able to convince myself it was the right decision. Three and half years later and I’m still unsure.

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I take a morning run through a valley of hills and trees changing color. My sister’s boyfriend runs with me. It’s 8am and we’re on my way to my uncle’s cabin for coffee around the fire. There’s barely any noise.

Crickets and bugs in the grass. Birds just starting to wake up. Wind blowing the leaves to the ground.

It almost startles me how quiet it is; I’ve forgotten that not every moment has to be filled with noise. Some moments can just be.

My heart breaks thinking of the alternate world I have to go back to, where my 8am is filled with construction, unidentified banging, sirens, walking past over 100 people on my 10 minute commute. I’m sprinting in the crowd just to keep from being trampled from behind.

“Do you like the city?” I’m asked all the time when I go home. and when I’m away, I don’t. I hate it, can’t even fathom going back.

“Do you like living here?” I’m asked when I tell people where I’m from. And when I’m there, I do.

Or do I just tolerate it? Because what’s the point of being there if i’m miserable? I played that card already. I tried to hate it. I did hate it. But I came back and made the most of it. and it paid off.

Or are all of these thoughts part of my continual questioning of where I belong, why I’m here, if New York City is the place for me. Will these thoughts nag at me until the day I leave for good, and cry, wishing I could stay?

Or will the questions end sooner, when I’m sitting on the floor with my friends, singing to old school Disney and laughing at old memories we’ve made together

The day I walk through the West Village and smile at people I pass, finding myself in Washington Square Park, surrounded by hundreds of people with thousands of stories and my heart will skip a beat and there I’ll realize it once again.

This exact moment is why I’m here.


–written in the Buffalo Niagara Airport waiting for a flight back to JFK after a dream of a weekend camping with my family in Allegany.

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-Tori

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