What I’ll miss: Family stuff
One of the funnest parts about living in New York City is the people who come and visit. You get to see this place through their eyes; you get quality time in the form of wide-eyed walks and weaving through traffic and fun places to eat. Moreover, your people trust you to help them navigate the city. They know you know the city better than they do, and at least for me, that kind of responsibility was empowering. Without living here, I don’t know if my family will visit New York City ever again.
Another thing I’ll miss is the New York City family, those who’ve chosen to live and be married and raise children here. I have a lot of married friends, and they’ve been so generous to invite me over to hang out and eat and talk about fun and serious things; they let me gripe occasionally about the single life. I’ve admired their healthy marriages and observed how relationships should work. I love being friends with couples and families who are so open about figuring things out. Communication fascinates me, mostly because my family didn’t do it well at all when I was growing up. Also, the noise and chaos here seem to command more effective communication. Words really have to cut through the non/verbal sludge; I don’t think I’ve expressed ideas and feelings more clearly during any other part of my life.
What I won’t miss: Family stuff
You’ve probably noticed I haven’t written about my biological father because he seems to have vanished from my life. He contacted me almost a year ago, I freaked out. We started talking every Sunday for about a month. And then, the phone calls stopped. I told him I was interested in meeting him, in finding out who he is and discovering a little more about who I am; I became excited about the prospect. He insisted, almost begged me for my mom’s phone number, and I told him that she had his number, and that if she wanted to talk, she’d call him. Did he try calling me only for the chance to talk to my mom? Did he stop when he felt she’d never talk to him, oh, because she’s married? and he’s married? and I’m really the only thing they have in common now that their lives are separated by 30 years and 12,000 miles and other children? I mean, he disappeared as abruptly as he returned, except I don’t have and clear explanation why, and I’d really like to understand instead of speculating. I suppose something happened where he might have needed to return to the Philippines: an emergency, or his wife maybe forbade him from further contact, because he said she didn’t believe he’d fathered another child who wasn’t theirs. Unless he tells me, I’ll never know. His lack of communication disenchants me. I’m neither better nor worse off from this experience, which is why I won’t really miss my biological father.