At this time last year, all my stuff was out of my apartment in Hermosa Beach, and I was only a few days away from moving to New York City. It’s hard for me to believe that it’s really been a year since last Thanksgiving, my last weekend as a California resident. I still feel like a California girl, which I think is part of my problem. Sometimes when I am on my way to work on the subway, or hauling my groceries up five flights of stairs, I feel like I am walking around in someone else’s life. Sometimes when I talk to my friends on the phone, or hear about a fun dinner from my boyfriend, I feel like that’s where my life really is. It’s hard, this limbo position. I love New York. The city is amazing. I knew I would love the place before I’d even been here, and I agreed to move here after only visiting the city once for three days. I don’t regret moving here for one second – it’s been an amazing experience and I have made some great friends.

I just had a long parade of visits from pals and loved ones from California. Each of them brought a little piece of what I am missing – hugs from my mom, kisses from my boyfriend, gossip from my friends, and comfortable laughter. This weekend, Brianne and Derek were here, and I had so much fun hanging out with them, seeing shows and going to museums and hearing about their wedding plans. I am so excited and honored to be a part of their wedding, but I can’t help feeling sad that I haven’t been there this past year while Brianne was making all the arrangements. Ditto Bella’s plans. And Matt & Cat’s graduation parties. Not to mention a million birthdays and girls’ nights out and movie dates. I’m upset that I won’t be there when Mike’s sister has her baby. I hate feeling helpless when I can’t comfort one of my friends or my brother when they’re upset about something. I hate not being able to be comforted when I need it, too. The phone is nice, but it’s not the same as seeing a face.

I think I’m mostly feeling nostalgic because Thanksgiving is the day after tomorrow and I’m not going home. I won’t be going back to California until Christmas Eve, actually. On the one hand, that means I can go to the Macy’s parade, and I will get maximum “Christmas in New York” time, but that is less time at the holidays with my family. I’ve never been away from my family on a holiday before. I am allowing myself a moment to dwell on it…okay, done. On Thursday, my friend Lisa, her boyfriend, and I will be making a dinner of turkey breasts and mashed potatoes, and I know we’ll have fun. If Mike’s sister goes into labor, I will be glued to the phone. On Saturday, I am expecting a million phone calls from the USC/Notre Dame game. I haven’t missed a USC/Notre Dame game since 2001 so it will be a little weird to watch it on TV. But hey, at least I get to watch the Macy’s parade in person!