New York Diaries Part 2

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Before embarking on my New York trip I had every intention to write each day. To find things in my surroundings and use it as a prompt to write. Here I am, going into my second week of being back from New York, and I’ve only managed to write once. It seems much hasn’t really changed, now I’m back home, I’ve fallen back into my work mode. Taking the time away was great, and I can’t say that I’m feeling like I shouldn’t have gone, now I’m ready to go again! The past few weeks have been a blur, there have been so many things to write about, but I just never sat down to put it down into a coherent string of thoughts. Since I had written a Part 1, I thought it a good idea to write part 2 now.

Movies like “When Harry Met Sally” speak to my inner Romantic, I’ve mentioned previously that I have aimage vivid imagination, and sometimes play things out in my head first. While it was exciting being up on the Empire State, it was very Cold, and time to reflect was short. It did get me thinking though, Movies tend to only give you a glimpse of things. Life itself is inherently hard, and you actually have to WORK to get what you want. The days of thinking that I’ll meet that woman, and we’ll instantly lock eyes, have a great conversation, start dating and get married are over. I’m no longer that naive into thinking it happens like in the movies. What I’m not saying is that I’m giving up on Dating or finding Love. While it does get lonely being single sometimes, and it would be nice to share things with someone, like my hike today. What I’d rather not be is in a relationship and feeling lonely, or not connected to my partner. For me that is not living. Which I think is interesting, because ALL relationships have to work hard to keep “The Spark” going. It’s nothing like the movies. The good news is that I believe I’ve gained a few more tools to help me foster better relationships.

For the New Year coming up, I’m going to work on enjoying my life more, last year it was about being intentional. In a way I’m not quite sure I’ve accomplished what I thought I would have, but it’s ok, I’m still learning. This hear I want to spend more time travelling, and I feel that I’m in a better place to afford it now. New York reminded me that I still have a bit of the traveling bug in me, and I’d like to spend more time exploring that. New York also reminded me that while I love my family, I also value my independence, and I really love living out here in California. Big cities like New York have much to offer, however I want to be close to nature too, not the concrete jungle a real jungle. It is great to look out my window and see mountains and trees, and the fog coming over the hills. It’s even great breathing in the salty ocean air from time to time. I can live in a big city, but I need to get away and be surrounded by nature at times. I think that’s what I love the most about the Bay Area.

I’m learning to Love myself more deeply, and I came across something interesting a few days ago. I heard a TEDtalk by Susan Cain: The Power of IntrovertsI’ve known for some time now that I’m not a real Introvert, I show many Extroverted qualities at times, but my dominant personality is more Introverted. I like to think of Introverted and Extroverted as where you draw your energy from, instead of whether you like to be more social, or by yourself. In her talk Susan Cain echoed this same way of looking at the two, but she added something I had never heard before. In her research she found that Introverts tend to be more creative, because the quiet time gives them the space to think of ways to improve things they’re passionate about. She also talked about learning to embrace your personality, and not feel guilty for who you are, especially introverts. It’s the quiet times that we use to not just replenish ourselves, but to solve problems. I’ve lamented before about being an Extroverted Introvert, I guess the term is Ambivert. While this new explanation strokes my ego a bit, it does help shed light on why I crave quiet time so much. I’m in a stage right now where I want to spend more time alone, than being around others. Susan Cain’s finding helps me feel a little less guilty when I don’t want to spend my free time with others. While I’m learning to love myself, it’s a good start to appreciate the quiet times I spend with myself.

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New York Diaries Part 1

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You probably won’t know this about me, but I lived in New York for a bit. While my family lives there, I don’t call myself a New Yorker, I only lived there for 2 years. In contrast I’ve been in California for almost 15 years now, by all accounts I’m Californian. But there is something about New York that seems to draw you in, it’s a magnificent place of diverse night-life, people, cuisine, art and so much more, and we haven’t even talked about it’s history.

For those that haven’t been to New York it would probably be a bit overwhelming, so much to see and not enough time. I promised myself that I would take some time to write while I’m here, lets face it there’s a million things to inspire writing here. Before I tell you more about my Trip so far, I’d like to share something else with you. I took some time during my flight and lay-over to read a few chapters from “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown.

…A twenty-minute walk that I do  is better than a four-mile run that I don’t do. The imperfect book that gets published is better than the perfect book that never leaves my computer.

I’ve been in a bit of a mental funk lately, not feeling motivated to write, socialize, and be around others. When it comes to writing, sometimes I feel like a bit of a perfectionist. Instead of just writing, I tend to not write unless I think it’s perfect. I think it was great for me to learn this lesson from Brene Brown before my trip, in a way it got me out of my perfectionist state. What I got from Brene’s book was to not always strive for perfection, sure there are times when something should be perfect, but is perfection right for every aspect of life? In another lesson Brene points out that perfectionism is the enemy of creativity. If you look at Painters, sure there are some boundaries, but artists have the liberty to operate outside of borders.

So what does any of this have to do with my imageNew York trip? I think it was great for me to change my attitude before coming back to New York. There’s so much inspiration here, and I needed to be in the right mood to soak it all up. New York is an interesting place. As I started saying in the beginning there’s so much exciting things here, yet as I looked around, I noticed that everyone seemed to have a bleak and down trodden look. Perhaps it’s because I was on the Subway, or perhaps it’s because it was 30 degrees outside. By the way if you’ve never riden the New York city subway, you should try it at least once before you die, of course you might also die there too. As I rode the subway I couldn’t help but think that there was so much that the City had to offer, yet I was wondering how many of those people took time to appreciate the beauty that’s right outside. Even though we’re in a closed cramped space, everyone really seemed like they were in their own bubble. This all had me asking a similar question of my own life. What things am I missing out on in life that I could be enjoying? Am I going through my life not appreciating the beauty that’s right around the corner?

So what’s the lesson? Life can be inherently hard, sometimes work, life and responsibilities get us out of focus. While life is un-folding around us, beauty is also right there. If there’s one thing I want you to remember is this, take time to enjoy the beauty around you, and we’ll all be a little happier today.