American Love Affair

I always had high expectations of this summer - there was no doubt in my mind that it would be, excuse the cliché, 'The Best Summer of My Life', yet I feel that these many weeks have surpassed even my wildest form of imagination. These few months have taught me and have given me so much, to the point that I know I will always look back on them with the fondest memories in my heart.

I fell in love this Summer - with people, with places, with ideas/concepts - and, I guess, with life again. Thanks to my incredible parents, I was able to visit an abundance of different places - some of which feel more like home to me than the place in which I currently reside.

New York. I don't believe I'll ever be able to find the words to describe the love I now have for this place. It still feels like a dream to me, yet whenever I shut my eyes I see the iridescent glow of Times Square - a vision which I hope never fades away from my memories.

I felt whole in this city, complete - a feeling which I particularly needed at the time, yet never expected I could find in a city. Perhaps that's the problem with humanity - we rely on the wrong things to make us feel like we deserve our existence.

I looked around the streets, at the passers by, and experienced this notion that everyone there was a somebody. Everyone was striving to be something, to achieve something; for greatness. I guess my love for the city is not entirely based on the way it looks - it has more to do with the way it makes me feel.

Despite the 6am starts, the heart-wrenching numbness I felt upon entering the 9/11 museum and the grid lock traffic which turned the 'night bus tour' into what felt like a two and a half hour imprisonment in a freezer - I don't think I have ever experienced such a vast amount of happiness in such a short space of time. (My face physically aches from smiling / my legs physically ache from getting lost in Central Park because Alice enjoys giving wrong directions and then refuses to admit defeat ... ah, Sisters, hey! Gotta love them)

After having the trip planned for so long - and I'm truly not being my over-exaggerating self when I say this, but we must've been discussing New York for at least 6/7 years now - there was a slight worry that my ever-growing high expectations of the place may leave me disappointed yet, as I mentioned before, even my most obscure and colourful daydreams could ever have conjured up the city which captured my heart from the moment I stepped off the plane. I guess that's the problem with dreams, there's the comfort of having them in the far distance, yet the moment they begin to become tangible is the minute human nature enraptures us with blind panic.

I'm sure that even if you've made it this far, you're beginning to tire of the gushings and musings of what may appear to some as an atrociously smelling city built off of commercialism, but I guess that we all find beauty in different things - I mean, how boring would it be if we didn't?

New York means everything to me. At a time when I was feeling particularly lost, with things happening too quickly and leaving me constantly searching for breath, I feel like I have now been pointed in the right direction. Maybe I am being my over dramatic self when I say that this place made me figure out who I am and what I want - but it sure as hell feels like a strong influence.

There's still so much that I want to say, so many stories and little quirks that I want to share, yet it's currently 2:48am and the squiggles in my notebook are beginning to look less like words and more like incoherent shapes - which I know will prove a strenuous task once I begin to type this up.

So, NYC, I guess that's that. There's no doubt in my now fuzzy mind that I'll return to you one day - and I do wonder how different my life may be then. Maybe I'll be sat on the subway with the love of my life, or perhaps my aspirations of becoming a journalist will turn into a reality and I may find a job at the New York Times. However, I'm adamant that whatever the circumstances may be - I'll be truly happy because I am back there.

You've allowed me to dream again, to feel alive, and for that I can't be anything short of grateful.

Thank you so much for reading!

Grace x


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