Thursday, February 21, 2008

One year ago today, we drove away from San Luis Obispo

As hard as it is to believe, it has been one year since we loaded up the truck with all of our worldly goods, including our 3 cats, and began the long drive eastward from California to New York.

A year ago today, we really had no idea what we were going to do once we arrived here. We had a place to live, and of course our daughter was already here at school, but other than that, it was all a gigantic question mark.

As we reflect on the past year, we realize that we have accomplished quite a bit, but we still have a ways to go. On the plus side, we both found good employment at Columbia University. Plus, the university offers the generous tuition benefit, so we are only responsible for a relatively small amount of Rachel's college costs each year--about 15-20 percent of what we thought we would have to pay.

We managed to buy a co-op apartment in Riverdale (Bronx), which cut down our monthly costs and eased our commute. We found new doctors and a new dentist--not as easy as one might think!

We have started to form some friendships, and we have been available to our daughter when she has needed us (like when she got mono last year and was in the hospital for a week).

We have been fortunate enough to enjoy a year of good health, and many of our friends and family have come to visit us, which has been great.

But we have more to do. For the near future, we would like to develop more friendships and social networks--we realize that takes time, so we are trying to be patient. We also would like to become more involved in volunteer activities the city affords (Mary is going to target the arts in some way). And we need to continue on our path toward buying a second property, which we hope will be in Paris.

Finally, we both have personal goals, and we intend to use all of the resources NYC has to offer in order to reach them. And of course, we want to continue to support our daughter in every way possible as she finishes her undergraduate career and prepares for the possibility of graduate school.

The fact remains that this journey has been difficult at times. We have both experienced some grieving, some culture shock, some fear and anxiety. But we never felt we made the wrong decision, which has made it easier to deal with all of those other feelings that naturally accompany such a drastic life change.

We continue to offer an open invitation to our friends and family to come and enjoy NYC anytime. We can sleep 3 guests comfortably, and all the action is a short and easy subway ride from our apartment.

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