Tag Archives: NYC

May the Force

Six years ago when I had had more than enough I asked someone I barely knew to meet for a cup of coffee, and she said yes. In that single decision, she gave me back a city I so wanted to love, and so much more than that. Today, I do not wish to ever imagine my life without her. She is a joy. Tomorrow, she takes a big step. She is leaving her city. The one she has come to call home, but it is for the best possible reason, to pursue their dream. To make their life what they want it to be. I know that they’re worried, they are still caveating the decision with, ‘We’re going to give it a year.’ I would add those words too were it me.

I know that this is the best choice for them. I have been reminded often the past few weeks of something I told another dear friend, ‘The only regrets in life we have are the risks we don’t take.’ I know those words to be true. I also know those words have sometimes gotten me into trouble, but they have also lead me to paths and people whom my life would have been less without, including the friend leaving their city. Selfishly, I sill wish she wasn’t leaving.

I feel like I am almost back to where I was six years ago. Only, instead of wanting to be anywhere but there, I long for the city’s familiar streets and sounds. I miss the freedom given to me since the city and I came to our truce, I ask nothing of her and she takes nothing of me. Now, my talisman, the one I could turn to when I felt myself turning back, will be gone. I never thought I’d have to make this journey without them again. I have to ask myself if I have changed enough to be able to go back to her on my own. I do not know if I have.

May the 4th. As she leaves and as I return, may it be with us both.

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Filed under (In)sanity, I am

Homework Assignment

1. Get a blank piece of paper.
2. Draw a ‘T’ that goes from the top to the bottom, left to right.
3. In the middle of the left column write the word ‘Yes’.
4. In the middle of the right column write the word ‘No’.
5. In the ‘Yes’ colum list everything that makes you happy.
6. In the ‘No’ column list everything that makes you unhappy.
This may take you a week, a month, a lifetime to complete. There is no maybe. Either things make you happy or they don’t. You will feel it in your gut when you are done with your list.
7. This is the important part. You must now start removing the items in your ‘No’ column and start acting on the items in your ‘Yes’ column.
There will be things on your list that you will not be able to remove completely or act on, for example – nuclear arms, global warming, seeing your favourite actor win an Oscar. The point is to cross off and act on as many as possible. Your list is a work in progress, as are you.

This task was assigned following a lecture that started on 94th and ended somewhere around 59th and encompassed a few loops in the park my teacher deemed it necessary for me to take the lesson home and work on it. Knowing me, knowing them, I should have seen it coming. They know me too well to trust me to do this without the task being set. Sometimes you need to see things in black and white.

The reason for my lecture? It is time I started to do things for myself. Find my happiness. Admittedly, the way I am with people is my best-worst quality, for those few I regard as true friends it borders on ridiculous. I know this about myself. It is not the first time I have had this said to me. At different points though those words are easier to hear, it also helps if it feels the person telling me I need to do more for myself isn’t bashing me over the head with my actions.

My problem, a lifetime of doing what you need to be done. I say that as a matter of pure fact, nothing else. I do so without thinking now, and to me my homework assignment appears contrary to who I am. However, my fear is disassembled. The logic is simple. Two people whose opinion I value highly using the same example. When on a plane you are instructed to place your own mask around your head before helping those around you. If you cannot breathe, how can you possibly hope to help anyone else? This is why they are necessary in my life.

There is excitement amongst them as they imagine what will fill my list. Fireworks. It is harder for me than I thought it would be to list items, in either column. What makes me genuinely happy? I know for certain something that doesn’t. Now at least. Top of the list in the ‘No’ column and already crossed out. Too many items in the ‘Yes’ are undeserved if I allow that one to remain in my life, that’s a sacrifice I am not willing to make. Ahead of the curve, I need it there to remind me that it is a ‘No’.

Its simplicity makes so much sense I worry about making it more complicated than it needs be. Simple question: Does it make me happy? If it is ‘Yes’ then I keep it, if it is ‘No’ then I let it go.

My happiness is on this path. I am set to meet it.

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Filed under Far Off Adventures, Revelation

Loving Anyone But Me

There are some shows that change your life in the most obvious of ways. For me two of the most recent shows to do that are West Wing and Six Feet Under. Then there are other shows whose effect you never saw coming, that have a profound affect on who you are and how you come to see life. That’s what Anyone But Me is for me, and I’m pretty certain several other people too.

The story starts with Vivian McMillan, a 16 year-old girl forced to move away from New York and the world she knows because of the respiratory problems of her father, a firefighter who was part of the 9/11 rescue effort. Hard enough for a teenager to do but compounded with the reality of having to leave her girlfriend – the love of her life, behind. The fact that she has a girlfriend is not the story here, it is much more about trying to figure out where you belong. Every character in the show is trying to find out who it is they’re supposed to be when their worlds are changed.

This show is truly my addiction. There’s no other word for it. I can’t explain why else I would put myself through the (albeit exquisite) pain of waiting for each episode. All but one of my converted friends were fortunate enough to not have to experience the agony of waiting months between each episode for the next 10min segment that would leave us screaming, ‘NO!!!!’ as the titles came up. The wait, however, is part of why I love the format of ABM. There is no other show that I watch where you can watch every single episode before the next one comes on without losing a significant and possibly unhealthy amount of time. Every time you know a new episode is going to be aired you can literally do a mini ABM marathon.

So why do I love it? I’m not a NYer and I’m certainly not a teenager anymore. I grew up with Angela Chase and Daria Morgendorffer as my models for what it was to be a teenager, this probably explains a lot. One of the reasons is that there is an unbelievable amount of talent on this show. The way the stories and the characters are written is outstanding, Susan Miller deserves (and has rightly been awarded some of them including an Obie) every writing accolade there is. She crafts dialogue and situations which ask important questions and raises issues that should be at the forefront of our minds without ever making you feel as though you’re being preached to. All of this is brought beautifully to our screens by Tina Cesa Ward. I don’t know a thing about directing but whatever instruction she is giving the cast it works. Absolutely. And what a cast! Continue reading

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Filed under Critical Eye, Fanaticisms, Opinions Opinions, Passions

Empire

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These streets already familiar. In the shadows cast by its 1,453 ft frame you realise your memories were formed. Real ones attached to real times and real moments and real people. No longer premonitions of a life that could have been, that you now realise was never meant to have been. And there it is.

You remember that this corner is where you noticed your phone was ringing. Outside that bookstore is where you first started that smile that still lingers to this day. That bench is where they looked upon your gift and you knew you had chosen correctly. Not just the gift, but them. Your choice of them over the other, the single smartest thing you had ever done.

Moments shared as you walk along these streets. Their journey, how each day they look up to see. Still there. Unspoken reassurance that they too will always be there.You no longer feel unwelcomed. There is a reason you know this place so well and why you return to it. It is them, and it is you.

Not Your City no longer. Given the opportunity for that possibility once again. A place returned.

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Filed under (In)sanity, Revelation, Words

Coming Home

One final afternoon in my final city and I can say I’m ready to be home. Not ready to leave, but ready to see those faces again. They are what I have missed most. Not the familiarity of the streets and places, I have found that in the unexpected/most expected of places. Not even the hugs that I am sure will await me. I too have found those, in the most expected of places. For now I know where I am welcome, and to there is where I go.

This trip made simply for one reason, I did not know when I would be able to come back. When I get home and I look at the damage I have inflicted on my poor bank balance I know that it will have cost me dearly. However, when I think of the memories I have made, I know that I could not have afforded to not have those walks and not seen those smiles and not shared that laughter.

For those m0ments, there will never be a price to high. To share a meal with a friend, an ocean is no greater obstacle than a street. Though I cannot confirm when, know that it will be again, it will be often, and it will be as soon as I can no longer afford to be without your face sat across from me.

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Filed under (In)sanity, Far Off Adventures

One More Stop

I have travelled through cities and across states and have been greeted by warm suns and even warmer smiles. I have gone where I was most welcomed and most missed. I have gone to where the fractions of my heart reside because I could not bear to stay away for any longer, knowing that my return to them is some far off date. This has been my journey and now one final stop remains.

Only one more night and I’d be fooling myself if I didn’t admit that there’s still a part of me that feels some trepidation at the knowledge of my return to that city that has come to mean so many different things. But this was my choice. An idea born on a plane ride away from that spot and the actions of some that were able to erase the behaviour of one.

I surround myself with those who bring out the best in me, but know nothing of that darkness that still haunts me. That darkness I am afraid to let into my life for fear it will consume me again. I will not allow them to face that fate. I will not allow my own weakness to cause them pain. I will not betray everything I have come to be because of the promise that they once held in my eyes.

I feel myself a coward because of this, because I am not strong enough to stand in that one person’s path and make myself known. Yet the thought lingers in my mind, what if they knew? Then part of me speaks again, they probably already do. I have stayed out of the way but I have not hidden. I refuse to believe that I should, but I will not call them out for a confrontation either. Their own cowardice will keep them away, of that I am almost certain and oddly thankful.

I hate that these thoughts dominate my mind this night whilst the child who has sat in my arms for the past few days tidies her toys behind me; but I cannot let my guard down. I cannot let this city be turned again. I have made my choice. I have finally come to see what others have seen, not in them but in me. I know who I am, but the knowledge of who they were remains.

The ghost of my past. Its hold still lingers even though I chose to let go. That city…what will you do to me this time? Someone read ahead and find out how this ends.

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Filed under Far Off Adventures, Words