Dear New York City
A BLAST FROM THE PAST
You're going to romanticize your first solo trip. Especially if it includes a visit to New York City.
I'm looking back at my special trip last year and what it's brought me to this day. This time last year, I was over working myself to fund this longtime dream. It was the only thing that mattered to me at the time. Little did I know that instead of thinking I'd be happy to finally get a break from home and all of the issues I correlated with being there, travelling alone brought them to light and it was not a fun time.
My problems had to do with every aspect of my life; family, school, career, love, and relationships — including the one with myself.
2017 was a downward spiral full of "What am I doing with my life? Who am I really?" That questioning started the journey of my own awakening. I heavily got into spirituality, the Law of Attraction, and meditation. I visited a lovely school counsellor for the first few months of 2018; we tackled my social anxiety, and most importantly, my flighty mind on my life path that was really pressuring me. We broke it down using visuals, talking about helpful books and professionals in the field, and working through finding the answers by listening to myself.
At the start of the year, I thought that it would be difficult to go back to New York and that made me want to go back even more (the side effect of always fighting yourself). The first night I arrived, I went into ‘The Bean’ café and whilst there, had an unexpected anxiety attack, so I decided to call my friend through Facebook messenger. I kept thinking "I was fine until now, but it's like everything I went through from the last visit is all coming back to me." In a short summary, major highlights of my first solo trip involved getting an infection, semi-witnessing a burglary in my Airbnb, and kind of terrible, not ideal encounters. After speaking, she assured me that everything would be okay and that it would just take a few days to settle in.
That night, I pulled out a note I wrote myself a few weeks before — a personal manifestation of how I wanted this trip and my general growth to embody —
I can feel the energy taking over my body — receiving the results of my hard work.
The universe has my back and I fully give my trust.
I have completed my final exam and I have already prepped everything for my trip. I smile at the sky and inwards knowing that I am in the right place at the right time.
I am sitting on top of my mountain, thinking of what I'm leaving behind -- onto new horizons, new opportunities, new realizations, new strength.
I am ready. I've been ready. I STAY READY.
You have to really want it and then let it go. After reading my note and meditating on it, I forgot about it and decided to focus on the NOW. "I'm only in New York for a little over a week. Worrying and being anxious about the past won't get my where I want to be." From then on, it was smooth sailing. I had the best time ever — I can't say much about the emotional journey, because I spent most of my time engaging with my surroundings.
Unironically, because nothing is a coincidence, the places I did visit last summer found themselves to be unavailable for me. I tried visiting the High Line and it turned out that summer hours weren’t put into place. I tried visiting the old Starbucks I went to with the first person I met through Tinder that made me feel even more alone than if I were in a literal sense, but after 20 minutes of walking back and forth, asking multiple people for directions, I couldn’t get to it.
I have a habit of proving to myself that I can do anything — which can be beneficial in a lot of situations; but I’ve started to ask myself why I must always find closure without just letting something go.
Going back to New York for the second time in a year was amazing. I knew that parts of me have changed since then and I was determined to make any dream of mine come true. The remainder of the summer, I've been really stressing out, thinking about my future and where I want to be. Without going into details, that weight of stress is now uplifted and I fell into this state of happiness that I could relate with the kind I'm in when I'm in New York. In my journal I wrote,
"I'm so happy. Like, New York happy."
It truly is a state of mind.
I've yet to write about my trip 5 months ago, but I think I'm over explaining the emotional side of it all. Sometimes, I get tired of writing about the act of dwelling on life, though I do think that's what I did less of on my second trip. More to come!
MOVING INTO THE FUTURE
My New York song is ‘Always Be My Baby’ by Mariah Carey, covered my Matthew V (yes, I associate those lyrics with a city), but ‘The Greatest Showman’ soundtrack is the soundtrack that embodies my second time in the city that never sleeps. Every time I watch that movie or hear any of the songs from the movie, I’m transported back into the wonder I feel whenever I’m in there. Here's a little entry of my fresh perspective after being back from my last trip — basically, this is the feeling section of my endless love letter to New York.
‘From Now On’
"and we will come back home, and we will come back home, home again"
It's funny, because when I first heard this song, my mind didn't think of Vancouver as home. I guess it's because I feel like a home should be somewhere I feel like I can be my full self and free to live my shameless life (I'm working on it!). Anyways, when I first started dreaming of living in New York City four years ago, the idea of it seemed so far fetched. Going there for the first time last summer, I stepped into everything I idealized about the city — what most people expect of it. Just imagine those movie scenes when people stop at the corner of the street to look up at the tall buildings in awe… yup, that was me.
Some moments, I find myself feeling the same way I did when I was last in New York. Like the night and morning before my driving exam and early mornings when I'm awakened by the noises from outside, which doesn't happen as often as it did when I was away. I feel invincible, like there's so much time for me in the day to see and do so many things. Not only that, but the feeling of gratitude makes its full presence in me, as well as the reassurance that I'm meant to be right here in this moment.
‘A Million Dreams’
“We can live in a world that we design.”
I'm a sucker for rags-to-riches story. I see myself living in my own movie, believing that I have the power to create the life I dream of with hard work, determination, and a full imagination. As soon as I heard ‘A Million Dreams’ while watching ‘The Greatest Showman’ on the plane, my heart felt at home with the innocence of it. Quickly moving into the adult world, I've always had this feeling that I'd lose my inner child and my life would end up as me settling, as opposed to going after my dreams, no matter what they were.
I think that the most prominent reason the Greatest Showman sticks out to me, other than the dancing and the music, is the obvious dreamer quality that most characters share of creating a life that's exciting and filled with love and happiness.
To be in the physical area of a place that never fails to leave me in a happy state of mind has me drawn to it so magnetically, I told myself I wouldn't be surprised if I impulsively bought a ticket every year to visit. Being back there again, old dreams of my own have become real tangible goals that I'm looking forward to working towards.
I finally feel like I can trust my long-term goals, mostly because I know the general idea of where I want to be, but I'm open to the ideas of how I'll get there. I know that they won't go exactly as imagined and that’s always what I believe makes life so exciting.
Every single time I listen to this song, I'm transported into the child within me with a million dreams she wants to accomplish and work towards. I feel that as I'm getting older, adults from all corners never miss the opportunity to remind me of all of the more tedious responsibilities to learn. I don’t think I’ll ever be tied down, and if I come across people or situations that try to do so, you’ll hear me saying “Honey, I’ve gotta go.”
There’s much more yet to say, but I can’t emphasize enough what this trip meant to me. It prompted my journey of spiritual awakening and helped me clear the fog of expectations placed upon me since I was a kid, to realize that I’m the one in control. Since then, I’ve been doing the outer and inner work to reach higher and higher.