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August 26, 2013 - Carrie Olson
Two sleeps. That is how I used to countdown to exciting dates, and this past week has been no exception. When I was younger, it was because of our annual summer vacation, Christmas, or my birthday. I’d begin packing my suitcase or preparing my favorite outfit for the occasion and dwell in the anticipation. And then I’d sit in wonder, imagining this whole beauteous occasion over and over again. Ahem. I have a packing list prepared, a list of to-do’s before we leave and of course an entire wardrobe to squash into one tiny suitcase. While Nate watched his beloved Breaking Bad last night, I went to bed early to make the day come ever nearer. (Unfortunately, I just stayed wide awake for another couple hours.)
My Google map indicates that as soon as I get off work on Wednesday, I take the R uptown to the World Trade two stops, run quickly in my high heels to the PATH and take it to Newark. (Not that I didn’t already know this, since I take this route routinely and constantly, but it’s a good reminder, I tell myself.) We have our twenty dollars in cash ready for our taxi from the Newark Penn Station to Newark Airport, which feels a bit like a second home to us. I can already imagine the feeling in the pit of my stomach while we await our flight (queasy nervousness, hoping desperately for no flight delays because of our tiny layover window in Chicago.)
I’m going home for my cousin’s wedding, and I am just over the moon excited. Even if I’ve been warned that the heat is unbearable, even if I have been told again and again that the time will go by so quickly. And even if I have a doctor’s appointment, eye doctor’s appointment, dress fitting, and so much more on my plate.
I can’t wait to spend time with my immediate and extended family. I can’t wait to walk into Kendall Young Library and hike the Briggs Woods Trail. I can’t wait to see friendly people I don’t know waving from cars, for politeness and manners and stuff, for small town life. I can’t wait to sit outside and actually see the stars.
I feel like a little kid, and I am totally okay with that. Give me the heat and humidity, all I want to do is kiss my little niece’s cheek and cuddle with my parent’s anxiety-ridden cat, that’s all I want.
There have been periods of time in the past couple months when I was so incredibly homesick. And there have been others where I am so glad to be here. For my career, meeting people, trying all the flavors that NYC seems capable of offering. That’s where I’m at today. Happy to be here.
Almost every weekend, I walk through SoHo or one of the villages (our favorite area of the city) and I get this slight thrill, always. “I’m here, I’m actually here. And not just on a trip. I’m a casual resident on a casual Saturday looking for a casual Bloody Mary.” I love playing the part of cool Carrie out on a stroll. Or walking to work. “Hey there New York Stock Exchange and very old gothic buildings, while I make my way through this mess of people to my workplace.” Listening to a Bangle’s album on my headphones, all I am missing is my white lace-up sneakers and perm to go with my ‘80s career-woman attitude.
And although I savor these moments like none other, I look forward to being plain old me in small-town Iowa most of all. No acting, just being. I’m not there to try and impress anyone or get ahead in the game. I’m just me.
So I have 48 hours until the day of my flight … maybe I should start counting down that way … hmmm …. :)
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Looking forward to seeing this little daredevil!