Friday, February 29, 2008

"February 29th only occurs once every four years because Chuck Norris wills it to be so."

So it's Leap Day, that special time every four years when February gets an extra day, like a present! While I'm not sure if this is an auspicious day or a calendrical oddity, it does remind me where I was the last time February had 29 days.

I was 25 years old during the last Leap Day, although my story starts a couple months before in December of 2003. Despite having grown up outside of Washington, DC, a mere four hour car ride from New York, I had never been to the city. A friend of mine was celebrating her 30th birthday one weekend and so I seized upon the opportunity to finally visit. Unfortunately for me my first introduction was a blizzard and I quite literally got stuck in the city. With transportation all fucked, I called my boss and said I wasn't making it into work on Monday, went out to a Upper West Side pub, got shit-faced celebrating my friend's birthday, and crashed another night on her couch.

What I finally took home from that trip, besides an awesome hangover, was the overpowering sense that I belonged in New York. I remember emerging from the subway somewhere around Bryant Park and seeing the city covered in layers of snow. Everything was so improbably still and with the skyscrapers lit against the night sky I felt that powerful initial tug -- the sense that when I died, my life flashing before me, this would be one of the moments that stuck out. It was one of the most incredible feelings I have ever felt.

A couple months later I was in England visiting friends around the time of the Leap Day, taking a train out to Cambridge to stay with Beth and Nils, both of whom had been getting their PhDs at the time. I hadn't seen Beth in many months and I remember settling down in a coffee shop in the city centre to go over each other lives. She updated me of her progress at Cambridge and I animatedly explained how I had recently gotten back from a trip to New York City and that I was so in love with the city that I wanted to move there.

It was then that the hard reality of what I had to do with my life slid into focus -- not a day dream, but a serious intent of uprooting to a new city. I was terrified by the implications; Beth and Nils were excited by my bold proposition.

I finally made it to New York (and of course started this blog) the following November. It wasn't an easy transition, but I could at least feel proud of such a monumental achievement. If there is anything to be learned about the Leap Day is that maybe, perhaps, it's a day when everything slides into place like two previously out of focus lenses. May the day bring clarity to you all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beth and Nils love you! That was a great trip! Come visit us again, who knows what you will decide to do next time!!! ;)
--Beth & Nils