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Traveling back to move forward whole
The story of my trip to New York City with my 9-year-old daughter
I was excited to write about the 1:1 trip I took with my older daughter, Maya, to New York City for her birthday.
The awesome Afar Magazine published it (working with one of my dear friends and favorite editors, Sarika Bansal). Here’s an excerpt:
…it wasn’t Oakland that would feel most foreign, but my new role as a mother. It was an existential before/after moment.
Before I became a mother, I was one person. A person who lived in New York. A person who didn’t own a car, much less a car seat. My time was mostly my own, even if I didn’t fully understand that then. I got tired, wrung out, overwhelmed, but recovery was always within close reach.And then I had Maya. And I became a different person. Or as Clare Vaye Watkins puts it in her devastating novel about new motherhood, I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness: “There was much about these thresholds that was impossible to describe from the other side. . . . I found it to be a demolishing, a taking down to the studs.”
I moved to the West Coast and was taken down to the studs. And then I rebuilt myself day by day, month by month, year by year in the shade of eucalyptus trees and the sound of broken car windows crunching underfoot. Yes, I still knew how to report a story and find a fabulous vintage shirt in any Goodwill. But I also became a person who knew how to pick a ripe loquat from the neighbor’s tree and nurse a baby. A person whose time was only my own in the tiniest of stolen moments. A person whose exhaustion was bone deep. A person whose biggest preoccupation was no longer my ambition, but my delight in my children—and my resentment at how caring for them transformed a life I had spent a lot of time building.
As my daughter grew, I realized that I wanted her to know all of me.
Go here to read the whole thing. I can’t wait to hear what you think—what memories it brings up for you, what trips it gets your dreaming about taking, what thresholds you’ve been through and how you integrated thereafter.