Monday, March 22, 2010

This Place Sux. The End.

Monday, September 28, 1993 12:30 AM

"Well, I hate it here! I'm already failing big time and so far have only made a few new friends. This place sux. The end"

The above diary entry was made about a month after I moved into my college dorm at SUNY Stony Brook. I was living in a section of the dorms called Kelly Quad. About a day after I got myself situated, I realized the "suite life" was also known as "The Frat Dorms" and I totally didn't fit in. I didn't wear tie-dye and hated the mere thought of pledges, hazing and everything that revolved around sorority life.

Today is March 22, 2010 and I want to go home again. It's painful how much I want to return home to New York. The worst part is I'm not quite sure how to get there. I don't have a plan and my husband doesn't want to move. He's still actually employed and we all know how hard that is to come by these days. Homes here are as pricey as they are in New York, so we'll be renting no matter where we live.

Forgive me if you've heard this story before, but my first apartment was in Manhattan. I survived for almost three years, however, the whole Dot-Bomb crisis combined with 9/11 really killed my spirit and chances of furthering my career. My friends and I couldn't even secure temp and freelance work after suffering an AOL layoff in 2003.

My New Jersey boyfriend (now husband) rescued me and I am forever grateful to him. My uncle helped find someone to take over my NYC lease and my mother-in-law graciously lent me her vehicle for six months until I found a new job and get my own car. She wouldn't even let me pay the insurance. 

Within about six months, I found a job, got a car, shared Andrew's apartment and managed to make a bunch of new friends here in NJ. My life here hasn't been all that bad, however I'm missing my family and it's just killing me as time goes by. 

My family and old friends are still back home in New York. I know we're only 90 minutes apart, but it's not about the distance, it's the actual trip. It's this harrowing drive once Route 80 ends and 95/295 begins. The mere thought of the George Washington Bridge makes me wanna hurl. The Cross Bronx Expressway sickens me with every pothole, twist and turn... The Throgs Neck Bridge/295 means I'm almost there, inching along to the Cross Island Parkway... More traffic awaits as I finally make it to the homestretch on the Southern State. Gas and tolls equal about $30+ each round trip visit. Even that's not the issue. 

The issue is I miss home. I miss the Italian delis, produce markets, being a mere 20 minutes from a beach regardless of where you live, the best bagels in the world, the best pizza -- I know New Jersey people will argue that they've got all of that as well, and I'm not here to argue that. I'm here to argue that it's not my home and I feel like it never truly will be.

I just want to live closer to my family and friends and reclaim that feeling of familiar. That feeling you get when you drive down a road you and your folks have driven down 4000 times before. That feeling when you pass something as silly as Burger King and remember a kiddie party you once attended there.  Playing with your nephew in the school yard or park you enjoyed playing in as a kid yourself thirty years ago. 


I sometimes envy high school sweethearts who are now married with kids. 
I sometimes envy their shared memories. 
I sometimes envy their "same friends" and how they grew up around each other. 
I sometimes envy how they always knew of their in-laws, friends and families as people from the neighborhood. 
I sometimes envy the way they all attended the same grammar schools and churches, went to the same doctors and dentists and trusted the same accountant to do their taxes.


I don't have Jersey pride. I don't like Jovi and Springsteen. I have no desire to order Taylor Ham aka Pork Roll on my egg sandwich. I prefer my beaches not to have rides, Curly's Fries and $20 parking lots.  I'm not now, nor will I ever be a "Jersey Girl" and I swear this isn't a diss. When I lived on Long Island I wasn't all about Billy Joel and Lobster Rolls. I'm just me. Where I reside, doesn't define me.

Ironically I spent most of my youth trying to figure out how to get off Long Island only to wish to return as an adult. Funny how things turn out... 


Boardwalk at Long Beach, LI

20 comments:

Riot Kitty said...

I went to NYU and there are things I miss about NYC, but I'd never want to live there again. I've gotten used to sleeping without lots of noise and seeing trees! Then again, there is no Little Italy, 24-hour diners, or much take-out, and I have to have a car, which all sucks.

Lisa Marie said...

I know exactly what you mean. When I moved back to my home town I felt home. I have my family and some friends (most I have not hung out with for many reasons) and made new ones. It is not the same as when I was a kid, but I love it.

Ms. Anthropy said...

At least you want to be home and near your family. Some kids want to be as far away from home and family, as possible, even when they live close. Oh, wait... we were talking about you... not my kids. (just kidding) Mine are pretty good, usually... er, sometimes. (kidding again)

Momma Fargo said...

Long live your Knight in Shining Armor...

Copyboy said...

I hear you. I think it's in our Lon Giland chromosomes or maybe it's 'cause of some parasite in the water that keeps us coming back. I don't really think I'll ever leave. Jersey's not so bad. It is the armpit of america.

TS Hendrik said...

I can completely empathize with you. I miss Canada\Michigan a heck of a lot. I've been looking at possibly moving back up north in a year or two. Home is home. Other places maybe nice, but the old familiar is where one wants to be.

Lisa said...

Bless your heart -- I could feel your yearning while reading this. And I know that feeling because there's NO PLACE like home!

Hugs,
Lisa

Jane said...

I love not running into old school friends. In fact I hate it when I go to Utah to visit family and see "old friends" everywhere.
But then I didnt grow up in New York :/

Bossy Betty said...

It's so hard to miss a place you love. I moved about 2000 miles away from mine quite a few years ago....

也許 said...

good~ keep sharing with us, please....I will waiting your up date everyday!! Have a nice day........................................

RawknRobynsGoneBlogWild said...

It seems you will definitely land back in NY. It's calling out so loudly. It's a matter of time.
Hang in there, in the meantime.
xoRobyn

ASBLACKASOBAMA said...

I can sort of sympathize.... I'm originally from No. Cal. and now I'm in So. Cal. I wish I could live in the No. Cal. that I used to know....

The place where I used to live was built upon and built upon.... We're running out of land up there....

I hope you get to go back to NY someday!

Lady Hill said...

All I want to do is get off this Island. I have no idea where I want to go but I've always said "anywhere but Jersey" looks like Jersey is the only place I will be going if we move.

The reasons you want to come back, are the reasons I want to leave. The memories. I want a new fresh start... but I know I'd miss my family to bits and pieces.

For what it's worth, I want you back on LI too.

Jerry said...

I will throw in a prayer that you get back to NY Ally! I can sympathize with you as my wife is originally from Maryland and wants to return home but the downside is we live in sunny Southern California and is the only home I have known.

I am not totally against moving away, especially with my parents passed away. I just have a hard time wrapping my head around a cross country move and having to relocate way from everything I know.

Mainland Streel said...

I understand... I live 7000km (4349 miles) from my family and home province. I love where I am now, and who I am with, but there is a part of me that will always long for the mountains, the farmland, and the feeling of home.

I hope you end up back where you long to be someday.

Joe Cap said...

Ah, the longing for home....I have not been to New York, but I can understand the longing for your past.

Ashley King said...

i'm still unable to leave my family.... friends.... eh, i don't have many of those. hee hee.... but i treasure the heck out of my family. my husband drives an hour to an hour and a half (that's without any traffic) into downtown LA and then drives home in RUSH HOUR traffic so that we are close to our parents.... we've yet to purchase a home, because we don't know where we will finally reside, especially with all the driving that he does.... i get car sick SUPER easily, and just you talking about the drive was making me car sick, and i wasn't even in the car.... i was like dry-heaving into a pillowcase (i did that once when i was little and driving with my dad).... i hope that your heart finds peace soon! things aren't always how we want them, but they are ALWAYS a part of a plan. often we don't know WHAT the heck the plan is, or was or whatever it will be, but trust that it's a part of a plan.... try to enjoy the time that you have now.... with your husband who (fortunately) is employed.... if, one day, you were to lose him, you would long for these days with him again.... days to spend enjoying your life together.... wherever that may be.... NJ, NY.... you two are together.... which is a beautiful thing.... i do not have the greatest amount of patience, so i completely understand that it's much easier to say than to do, but i give you my word, it's worth it.... there may be very much that you don't have that you would like to right now, but i bet there is VERY MUCH that you have that you won't want to lose either.... so hold on to those things! =) it'll all work out. praying for you!!

Kato said...

Aww Ally. I know exactly what you are feeling. I have always been told that a home is what you make it, but I don't really agree with that. I think a home is where you want it to be, and where you remember being happy.

Life is funny, because you never know where you are going to end up right? You will get back to New York if you want it enough!
coco

Kato said...

Whoops. I meant xoxox

Melissa Mashburn said...

I envy you for having grown up in one place. When I was a kid we lived all over the place and so there is not a place that I call home. The closest is in Georgia because my grandparents were here and we visited them frequently. I do not have any friends that I grew up with.

Maybe you can move back to New York. I guess the timing has to be right with your husband's work and with you too.

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