October Update

They say winter is usually the source of blues for many people, but for me, I’m feeling a little down this fall. This is particularly strange since fall is my favorite season (which is weird considering I hate pumpkin-flavored anything). So, instead of being bummed out and unproductive, I figured I’d be bummed out and write a blog post instead lol.


Chicks Before Dicks

I hosted my first visitor in my new home this past weekend. My best friend Natalia made the six-hour drive from New York to spend two whole days with me and it was perfect in every way. Sometimes, you don’t realize how much you miss someone until you see them again after a long while.

One of the truest indicators of friendship, for me, is how the passage of time does or doesn’t change your relationship. Even though Natalia and I don’t talk every day, we don’t have to. When we are together, we pick up right where we left off talking about everything from work to boys to life.

When she left on Monday, I was overwhelmed by how sad I was to see her go. I know she’ll be back to visit, and that I’ll be back to Long Island after the winter, but it just reminded me there’s a part of me missing…the part I left at home.

Home Sweet Home

When I was younger, my family had this tradition of going for a bike ride in Eisenhower Park. To be honest, I hated it. My parents have always been physically fit people, and the only shape I’ve ever been in is round. It seemed no matter how much I pedaled, the bike ride was never over.

Normally, once we were actually finished, my dad would pack the bikes up and we’d head home. But once it got a little chilly outside, we took the highway to 106, parked on alongside a dirt road in Jericho, and stopped for apple cider at the Jericho Cider Mill.

I literally have to make zero effort to imagine it’s sweet yet tart taste right effing now. OMG, what I wouldn’t give for a sip! And bagels – oh how I miss bagels. So, wait till you hear this. The past few Saturdays, I’ve been working overtime from 8am to 12pm. On my way to work, I’ve noticed there is an Einstein Brothers Bagels across the street. So, on my first Saturday of OT, I headed to work early and figured I’d stop for a BEC before work.

IT WAS CLOSED! Now, granted, it’s located in the tower across the street from my building and that tower is closed on Saturdays, therefore the business is closed on Saturdays BUT COME ON. What self-respecting bagel place is closed on a Saturday? Seriously…

I also really miss Chinese food. Bryan and I have yet to locate a suitable Chinese take out place that makes decent dumplings. And don’t even get me started on pizza. Did you know they don’t quantify pizza in slices here? They’re called “cuts”. You can get a 6 cut, 8 cut…etc. Not sure who came up with that logic.

I’m beginning to see a theme here…


There’s No Place Like Home

Bryan has pointed out to me that I have yet to call our apartment “home”. Whenever I talk about “home” I’m always talking about Long Island. I imagine it will be that way for some time. After all, most of my family and happy memories are there.

But as the season has begun to change, I find myself to be enormously homesick. The only time I hear my parents laugh is on the phone. I put their picture on the fridge, but it’s still not the same as seeing them every day. I worry about how they’re getting on without me – particularly in the technology department, but I’m hopeful the kids down the block are quick to lend a hand.

And, as if all that isn’t enough, I was denied time off for Thanksgiving. I mean, we all have Thanksgiving Day off, but I wasn’t permitted to take any additional days outside of that. Originally, Bryan and I had bought tickets home for his brother’s wedding, which is the week before Thanksgiving. We figured since we would already be home, we should just stay the week and come back to Pittsburgh on Black Friday. Granted, I was working a different job then with more flexibility, but I didn’t anticipate it being the problem it’s turned out to be at my new job.

So, Bryan will be going home but I’ll be coming back to Pittsburgh after the wedding. Bryan wanted to come back with me but I told him to stay behind. After all, we already paid for the tickets, and Lord knows I’d want to stay home if it were me. I also couldn’t get the time off for Christmas, but at least Bryan and I will be together for that.

Even as I write this, I’m tearing up a bit. While I love our new life here, and it’s been so amazing, I wish I could have stayed closer to home. I wish we weren’t priced out by the absurdity that is the Long Island real estate market, I wish our NY salaries were enough to live on, I wish…

Mostly, I wish I could be home just for a second. I wish I could walk up my driveway, up my deck, and into the kitchen to find my mom making a meatloaf, trying to give her a hug before she tells me to get out of her kitchen, and my dad yelling about how badly The Jets suck (something that never seems to change) in the den. I wish I could go up the two flights of stairs to the attic that was my room for the past several years and run my hands along the posters I left behind. I wish I could get in my car, pick up Natalia, and drive to one of our favorite haunts with the windows down and the music up.



About ljsharks

Lauren J. Sharkey is a Korean American writer from Long Island, NY. Her debut novel, INCONVENIENT DAUGHTER is forthcoming June 23, 2020, and is based on her experience as a transracial adoptee. Sharkey's creative nonfiction has appeared on DEAR ADOPTION,, Blind Faith Books' I AM STRENGTH collection, and others.

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