When I first moved from Manhattan to Stamford, CT, I did a whole series about moving to the suburbs, but now that it’s been almost four years (can you believe that?), I thought it was time for one more update. I found these pictures that I took in the city a few months ago, and looking at them brought on a pang of nostalgia and made me think about the move again.
I went back and read my last update from the suburbs, and it was so sad! I had forgotten how long it took me to feel at home here. In retrospect, I think it took probably two years. It took that long to make friends, to really get the lay or the land, and feel settled.
Whenever I go into the city for dinner meetings or a show or something, I always feel a tiny pang in my heart. I miss the energy, the hustle and bustle, the anonymity, the food, my friends, and the lights at night. But after a few hours, I’m always ready to hop back on Metro North and come home to the quiet, peaceful place we now call home.
There were a few things that made the ‘burbs feel like home:
1. Getting a Dog: Boots completely changed my life. When we got him two years ago, I was in a weird place and his boundless energy and unconditional love brought me out of it and made me feel so loved and needed. I also made two good friends through Boots which was an added and unexpected bonus.
2. Making Girlfriends: When I wrote this post about how to make friends in the suburbs, I was just getting started. A few months after I had Amalia, I started a moms night out group with four of my friends, all from different areas of my life. We’re now all a close group who meets up monthly for dinner or drinks or something fun like paddle board yoga. It’s always nice to have that on the calendar to look forward to.
3. Decorating our House: This one sounds silly but I had a really hard time feeling comfortable in my house until it was decorated and home-like. When we first moved, I was so desperate for it to feel better that I opted for cheap and not always the best quality furniture, but after a few revisions, it finally feels comfortable, homey, and totally like us. A house is a never-ending project but for now, I don’t feel like we need to make any more big changes.
4. Having Amalia: Part of the reason I hated Connecticut for so long was because shortly after we moved here I had my miscarriages and I was just in a general state of unhappiness after that. I associated our house and this town with that unhappiness and was just itching to get out of here. I would tell Anel constantly that I wanted to move far away but he convinced me, correctly in retrospect, that running away from my problems wouldn’t actually help anything.
Once I had Amalia, I felt like my home was full of love and happiness on a whole new level and I truly felt at home in my house.
5. Finding my people/places: For the first year of living here, I used to go all the way to the city for hair cuts, facials, and other things like that. When I realized I was killing a whole day for each of these tasks, I threw up my hands and found all of my people out here.
So four years in, I can truly say that I’m happy as a suburban mom. I would have laughed in your face if you had predicted that before I left the city! It was not easy and took some time, but I’m so glad that we powered through because now I can’t imagine my life any other way.
Photos by Carter Fish.