Loving under the stars…
This month marks my 10 year NYC-a-versary. I’ve known this day was coming for ages, but it still feels like a ‘pinch me’ kind of moment.
I’m a Brooklynite now. I think maybe I’ve always been one – dormant at times, forever moving towards this place that was meant to be my home.
I delight in the little moments that are quintessentially Brooklyn.
Lately I feel a push towards the beyond. I wonder at the fact that I’ve managed to stay put in one place for so very long. That doesn’t seem like me at all. Yet here I am. I keep wondering at where I’ll be in years to come. I won’t lie. Part of me can’t ever imagine shopping at one store for everything I need. I think in my snobby NYC way, ‘what a waste!’ Food is meant to be gathered at the local bakery, the local vegetable store, the specialty cheese shop. Wine from a grocery store seems like a joke. I know that eventually time will pull me from this magical place, but regardless of where I go, or IF I go, I know that Brooklyn, will always be my adopted home.
When I got back from the magical and tropical paradise that was the Bahamas a earlier this month, I actually felt my pulse slow, my body calm and my lungs sigh a deep whisper of relief and peace to be back in my beloved Brooklyn.
Ten years ago I snapped this picture outside of my second story dorm room in Pantas Hall at Pratt Institute. We couldn’t find a plane ticket that would get me in New York in time for school unless I went two days before official check in. Without a cell phone and too scared to scamper to Myrtle Avenue for phone cards I’d managed my first really truly all alone night alone. I woke up to find the campus full of newbies. I grabbed my little disposable camera and froze that moment of endless possibility as the sun came barreling up over the Arc.
I look at this photo ten years later, almost to the day, and I marvel at everything that girl was, more complete than I’ll ever be again but so infinitely fragile.
That girl had never really been alone, never really been in love, never had the kind of friends that are family, never knew what it is to make hard decisions that change the course of your life.
I sat on a park bench in Carroll Gardens on Sunday with my buddy Ashley. She highlighted a truth that I’ve been feeling but not quite able to put into words.
‘We’re in a place right now, where we can make decisions that alter the course of our life, and we can make them in five minutes flat!’
I remember what that feels like, it feels like being a freshman in college, with a new city sprawling out in front of me, new people and new places, and so much to learn. So maybe I am still as brave, and a little less scared, but mostly I’m just happy to be here.
So while I feel the need for a change… I look back on this decade with wisdom, love, and so much gratitude.
Oh! Brooklyn, I’ll love you forever.
Who knows what I’ll feel when I look back on pictures from this month ten years from now?
I hope they draw a smile.
My motivation this week is being drawn straight up from the ground. For this entire week I push myself – and you, to pay attention to the world around you. Take the time to find little surprises of joy in your day to day. Step off the beaten path and remember your ten-years-ago-self. You deserve that token of reflection. End each evening with a deep sigh of thanks for where you are and where you are going.
I hope it brings you the kind of happiness Brooklyn has brought me, the kind that fills your soul.