THE sadness comes in waves. Sometimes it hits me when I least expect it. Looking out of the train window at the sheets of white snow covering the buildings, trees, cars, playgrounds and the river Hudson. The snow looks pretty. I always feel a sense of calm when I step outside on a cold New York winters evening and there has been a heavy snow fall. There is always a weird silence. It’s kind of peaceful really.
Only the small noises of people shoveling their drive ways gently echo the streets. The crisp air cuts right through you and it’s as if your surroundings have been lit up by a bright white light.
A sudden whoosh of sadness hits the back of my throat, sends a shooting pain to my face and eyes and memories come flooding back. Images and emotions take over my thinking space and before I know it salty tears are running down my face. Change is always difficult. It takes you out of your comfort zone and puts you in a place where you have to start all over again. Moving from London to New York has been just that for me. I have always been a ‘safe’ person. So when people meet me today, they are inspired by my move. “Like this is the wildest thing you have ever decided to do!”
Before I know it the train is pulling up at Grand Central and it’s time to get off. Using the back entrance of the station, it’s from tunnel to tunnel and then a breath of fresh air at 47th and Madison. Work is only a few blocks away which has been great during the cold freezes (cold that aches your bones and numbs your lips). Unfortunately three pairs of socks was not enough. That year (2013) New York had seen some of the coldest temperatures since 1994. Some days it was -17 and with windchill it was meant to feel like -27. #cantfeelmytoes.
As I looked around I saw two sisters giggling and engrossed in conversation. Another woosh of sadness hit me and this time I can’t stop the tears from streaming. Does leaving your family behind ever get easier? Does seeing your family 2 times a year cut it? It’s like being born again. I had to start my life all over. Making new friends has also been very tough especially once you are at the adult stage of life. People ask me “how can you be lonely in a city like New York?” Well you can! Even when you make new friends it takes time to build that same kind of feeling.
Moving down the street or moving town or even in my case moving countries all means change. I guess when you choose to move for a short period you know you are definitely heading home after a couple years- so go live it up! Moving for marriage is different especially when you are so close to your family. Sometimes I feel no matter much happiness you are given, if I am not surrounded by the ones who watched me grow, the ones who have always been there for me, the ones who really understand me how can I be truly happy?
I have a wonderful husband. I chose to move and as hard as this is he is the One I would chose every time, even if it meant moving all over again. However that feeling of loss, disconnect and sadness stays deep within. Of course with technology I can call and FaceTime whenever I want. Although sometimes this just doesn’t do justice to bring back the feeling of holding my sisters hand (she has old crinkly hands- makes me laugh) or talking to my dad face to face. I will never live with my parents or my sister again and the endless days of silliness and jumping around at home are over. I feel like a piece of me is missing. It’s really the end of your childhood era when you get married.
You will all agree, there is a special bond between sisters far beyond words could ever explain. My sister is basically a mini version of me.
Silly quotes from my sister:
“If you don’t move back by the time you are 50 we are no longer sisters”
“We won’t be able to grow old together because you live on the other side of the pond”
“If you don’t want to loose your Britishness, move back here”.
Although life goes on the sadness deep within never stops. New challenges, a new life and a new love is what I have now. We are stronger then we think and we always find ways to survive. Still, no matter how much time passes, the memories of my mum’s food or her stroking my hair and telling me it’s all going to be ok is something I will never stop missing. Can’t I be little for just one day again?…