Friday, December 26, 2014

Us v. Them

It's not just a fantastic song. It's more of a philosophy of which I'm becoming acutely aware. For the first few years living in NYC, I embraced the anonymity and loved feeling like one in so many millions. I don't know exactly what's changed; maybe I've grown softer with age, maybe it's because I'm marrying the coolest dude and it turns me into a sap when I think about it, and maybe it's just more exhausting to put up walls than just be a person. Being lonely amongst millions is tough work. Whatever it is, I'm enjoying feeling a little more connected to NYC, the neighborhood, and most importantly the people in it.

I've learned first hand that you can choose either end of the anonymous v. warmth spectrum, find somewhere in between, or waver between them. There's a coldness to people here (and anywhere) if you're looking for it, or a warmth if you're willing to try a little harder. Either way is fine, but I've talked a lot less about leaving New York now that I'm further on the warmer side of the equation. My happiness still ebbs and flows, so I don't think this has much to do with it, but I'm a little more comfortable with it and worry less about happiness itself, which tends to make me the slightest bit happier. Besides, a man much more eloquent and absurd than I once said, "You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life." (Camus)

Lesson #64: open yourself up a little and find the warmth in others, or at least recognize when you're ignoring it. Oh, and happy holidays :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

To Roosevelt Island...and Beyond

Where does the time go?!

I suppose every journal, diary, and other blog I've written in has had a dark period, so it's only fitting that I have one here too.

You might think that in the last 10 months, I've become so much of a New Yorker that I don't need to outline all the mistakes I've made because there have been so damn few. You would be mistaken. Today alone, for example, I spilled half a water bottle on myself while talking with a teammate, almost impaled someone with my umbrella getting off the subway, and used a pen to put my hair up because I forgot a hair tie, getting ink on my scalp in several spots.

All of that goes to say, I still feel like pretty much the same painfully (and happily) midwestern girl that moved here almost 5 years ago. And while the mistakes I've made have decreased in number, slightly, I'm still navigating what feels like a new world many days.

Ever since arriving here years ago, I'd heard of a mystical island in the city, only accessible by tram (at least on weekends, when the godforsaken F train is rerouted). Having grown up with Cedar Point (and it's lesser, closer alternative, Michigan's Adventure), there's little more I loved than roller coasters. So I figured that getting to Roosevelt Island by tram would be pretty much like riding the Top Thrill Dragster, or at least the Raptor.

Turns out it was a little less turbulent and fun than a roller coaster, but the view was stunning and an altogether new experience. Here's my dad and I taking in the view on the tram (and a short video of it here):

(I only wish my parents would visit more often and ride trams with me)

Which leads me to...

Lesson #63 in moving to a big city: take note of all the places you'd like to see, and then see them. Stop making excuses about it and waiting for the right time. The number of people I know that haven't walked the boardwalk at Coney Island, checked out the view from the Brooklyn Promenade, or even set foot in Queens (you know it's a part of NYC, right?) is high, and I've fallen victim too. If several people have told you how cool something is, go see it and quickly. You never know when a great spot will close down and you'll never get the chance to see it in all it's glory.

I just still haven't been told anything compelling to do on Staten Island. I'm really open to visiting, and not just because it's the poor mans booze cruise, which is also kind of cool. Please, someone tell me what to do there.