New York, my favorite left-behind lover, it’s just like before, but different. I will never be the person I was before I drove across the whole continent to get to you. I had to know who I needed to be in order to do this. I came all this way and now I don’t even know what to tell you. I am sitting here on the floor with this huge map and a black pen. (Apparently there are 630 Cracker Barrel locations in the country and I managed to avoid them all.) It’s all hitting me at once. It was sad parting with my dreamboat rental car, the closest thing I have had to a home for these weeks. I wanted to keep the rearview mirror as a souvenir, the thing that says you really only need to look back when you have to. My best friend and his husband are sitting with me now. We can’t stop laughing. I’m starting stories with “when I was in…” and we’re discussing life as an exchange of energy and the voices of our fears and how we must continue to rise up even if it’s exhausting and scary and doesn’t make sense. I’m marking in the dots like a ceremony. I feel like I’ve always been here. Right here. This is how I know I’ve done something incredible. This is the thing. The most important journey is to find a place where you will always feel safe and loved. It took me 3575 miles to find that wherever I am, I am that place. (at New York, New York)