I began to like New York, the racy, adventurous feel of it at night and the satisfaction that the constant flicker of men and women and machines gives to the restless eye." *
This city has been good to me. It's brought me new friends and exciting experiences. It's delivered to me perspective and fulfillment of a long-time dream. It's even provided me the opportunity to rub eyeballs with three of my four personal idols, and then some.
New York gives me courage, humility, and not-occasional-enough fear. But mostly, it's home. And has been for a year — as of Sunday, that is. So, happy All-My-Wishes-Came-True-iversary to me! Except, I won't be climbing into bed with a Funfetti cake and season two of Game of Thrones this weekend to celebrate. (Have no fear: I'll save the binging for another day.)
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are instead reserved for much different pageantry (such that will, sadly, not include slices of Funfetti cake).
As one of my dearest friends saunters down the flowery aisle this weekend, beautiful in white, to forever take the hand of her soon-to-be husband, I'll be too busy pulling tissues out of my cleavage to even consider the year that has been.
Sandwiched between their birthdays (hers on Friday, his on Sunday — adorable, I know), the wedding serves as [what I hope is] this year's [one and only] big change.
You get it by now: My life never seems to stand still for more than a few minutes. This column was born out of a massive change, and serves as a bi-weekly, 500-word reminder of that.
Case in point: One year ago, I was interviewing the famed kissers in the World War II "V-J Day in Times Square" photo for The Frederick News-Post. Now I'm regularly walking the same block on which George Mendonsa and Greta Friedman were caught celebrating. (Actually, I avoid that block, and those within a one-mile radius, as often as possible. But in theory...)
Like a stroll past the bakery can transport you to Grandma's kitchen flush with fresh-baked cookies, each annual season sends me rocketing back to times past: Freshman year of college (spring), high school band camp (fall), my parents' car driving through local neighborhoods lit up for the holidays (winter).
And now that summer is in the air, my blood pumps a little harder each time I step into the sun and am overcome with the same anxiety and excitement that came packaged with my New York City move one year ago.
Fingers crossed that fulfilling my bridesmaid duties this weekend will help keep my mind off of those feelings. The festivities will, inevitably, instead fill me with a new sort of sentimentality; there's a sad joy in handing one of your closest friends off to her new husband.
Still, there are only a handful of moments in this lifetime with which I'd be more pleased to share the anniversary of my biggest life change. So, take a moment this weekend to raise your glass — to Lauren and Kyle, to a lifetime of happiness together, to an endless supply of Goldfish crackers. And to new beginnings. For us all.
*Not usually the first words I turn to in reverence of New York City, these come directly from the wondrous (if not only slightly overrated upon second viewing) F. Scott Fitzgerald in the terrific (if not only slightly overrated upon second viewing) "The Great Gatsby."
Stephanie Mlot writes a regular column for fredericknewspost.com.