The Wonder of Wide Open Spaces
Needless to say, life has changed since last winter when we moved from Northern California to Brooklyn, New York. We welcomed spring, survived the sticky summer, played outdoors in the fall and welcomed winter with a Christmas 2010 blizzard.
For starters, I am no longer bored. I don’t do bored well. In fact, I’d rather be over worked than bored any day. Boredom leads me to the jumpy feeling one gets just before being tapped on the shoulder by someone in the know, someone who has found you out, who knows more about you than the people who see you day in and day out, the ones who share surface-level pleasantries in the hallway or in line at the coffee shop.
I am blessed with a sense of renewal, common during middle age, perhaps, but I cannot remember being happier. In fact, I’m tickled. The thing is, it was totally unplanned. This blooming love affair with New York City completes me in indescribable ways.
The job search intrigued and frightened me; we are in the middle of a recession AND I’m just starting out in my field. I almost settled. For a job I wouldn’t like, that bored me and provided the myth of stability. Instead, I applied for a that scared the bejeezus out of me. With this work comes a deep sense of responsibility. One of its greatest challenges is that it requires me to be sharp, delicate, flexible and when needed, tough as nails. So, I took the job that challenged me physically, spiritually, intellectually. I went back to a job I once held and didn’t come close to doing well in spite of good intentions.
As I fumble my way through the streets and subway lines of Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens, I witness acts of kindness and compassion every day, multiple times a day. When you pay attention, you can’t help but see it. A rider offers up their seat, helps carry a baby stroller upstairs, gives directions, shares a laugh with a stranger. When I first visited New York twenty years ago, it was different. I’m just now getting over the feeling that I am smack dab in the middle of a “Law and Order” set. This place is one of the most photographed in the world. It’s huge and will take years to come close to knowing.
This place draws people from all over the world and brings them back for more. People come to visit. Often. I am exited by this city because it breathes life into me. I am not bored. I’m not wondering where to live next, where to work next. The sense of dread and dissatisfaction has gone. For years I listened to people who loved their work, whose lives were enriched by their environment, who just knew what they were doing fit. At last, I have it. New York is a good fit. Now I know.
I’ve pedaled through the five boroughs in a day, walked holes in my shoes in Queens and eaten my way through a string of food carts.
One of the greatest challenges I face is learning how to assert myself and do it forcefully, when needed. The west coast brought out the softy in me and this can be both a blessing and a curse. Speak up. Increased energy reserves. A desire to connect and reconnect with people who I love.
Let the honeymoon period continue to sustain me.
Add me to the long list of people who proclaim, “I love New York!”
Right now, it’s time to connect with bed. Good night all.