New Joisey and Me

New Joisey and Me

I miss Jersey. A lot. So much that I almost get choked up at the thought of it. Being 21 years old now, I honestly do not think I could live anywhere other than the Tri-State area. New York is where I was born and at the age of 12 I moved to New Jersey where I spent my entire teenage life. When Sandy hit, that’s when I moved back here. No, we don’t say Jersey like Joisey. Honestly, cut the bull.

I’ve given it much thought and after college I might end up moving to Bayonne or even staying somewhere in Westchester. Somewhere where I am in arms length of the city I love but I can still view the seasons changing. But I digress.

I was half-way through the 7th grade when Mom and I packed up our stuff and moved to West Orange, New Jersey. Starting school in a suburban neighborhood for a young girl hailing from Queens was nothing short of intimidating. I went from being slightly bullied to not knowing anyone. I could become who I wanted to be, finally. And that’s what I did. I honestly think that if I didn’t move I’d be a completely different person.

In the 8th grade I met my best-friend and platonic life partner (she’s going to kill me) Kyla who likes to go by Paris. She was a New Yorker like me and we connected almost immediately. It’s been ten years since we first met in Ms. O’neil’s math class and we’ve been tight ever since. I got into writing completely by accident because of her.

In my sophomore year of high school I lost my father.

In my junior year I had my sweet sixteen.

I was on my school’s color guard team.

This is what I mean when I say I miss Jersey. I’m studying what I’m studying today because of this State.

I miss sneaking out to go ‘Down the Shore’ at 12 o’clock in the morning to stand on the beach and smoke in the dark. (Hi Mom.)

I miss dancing on the football field during half-time.

I miss having gotten mad at Elliot for choosing the wrong color purple for his tie because it didn’t match my prom dress.

I miss driving my friends home with only my permit because they had too many drinks and confessing to Griffin that I liked him on the ride home.

I miss my friends from then.

I miss picking pumpkins with Mom to decorate our front yard.

I miss taking the bus to school.

I miss sitting out on the South Mountain Reservation and looking over at the city.

I miss eating salt water taffy in Atlantic City.

I miss eating Fat Sandwiches from Cars in Montclair.

I miss going to sweet sixteen after sweet sixteen and occasionally a few quince’s because most of the girls turn 15/16 sophomore year.

I miss practicing in the cold for marching band.

I miss wearing jeans under sweats because I didn’t want to change for gym.

I miss driving into different towns and being able to tell the difference between Orange and South Orange.

I was no one in New York but I was somebody in Jersey and being back in New York I feel transparent again. The driving is too fast and the people are meaner. 
New Jersey is where I came to find out who I am. And I miss it.