I try not to spend too much time in the Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda neighborhood, but sometimes you end up there by accident, before you can roll up the windows, lock the doors, and speed away.
A recent and too short trip to New York City found me there, as family stroll brought us from The Museum of Natural History to the 79th Street Boat Basin and The Boat Basin Cafe.
Cool weather, a cloudy sky, ninja pigeons, cold sangria, heel blisters, and the sonic white noise that can only be found in this city, led to a regret: that I had not found a way to live here earlier in my life.
In hindsight, the easy time would have been in my teens, when money didn’t mean as much as a free pass to Limelight, Danceteria, or the Palladium did, all meals were street food, and a futon was always encouraged (again, my ability to score passes) and available courtesy of my big brother.
My early twenties would have worked too, but by then I was already too caught up in fearing for my future because of past mistakes. And once I had forged ahead to make a “real” life for myself, NYC seemed too risky, too big, and too loud. Now, with a husband, two kids, two dogs, one salary, and a mortgage, it just seems too expensive.
I’m now exploring Plan B: exposing my kids to the city as much as financially possible to plant the seed for their future selves. But I fear the city that I remember — where possibilities seemed endless — no longer exists.
Regrets? I’ve had a couple.