Now You’re in New York…
Yesterday marked one year since I arrived in New York. Not for the first time, but definitely in a brand new way: I arrived in New York to stay—for two years, at least.
I took an overnight flight and it was, certainly, one of the most exhausting flights of my life. I’m usually the one that falls asleep before the plane even takes off and most of the times I won’t wake up until we’re about to land, at which point I intend to read the book I always carry with me, and usually manage to go through a few pages on the way back to the ground. But this flight was different. I’m pretty sure I didn’t sleep at all, and I most likely couldn’t read a single word either. I was so excited about everything that was coming to my life that my mind couldn’t settle!
I got here early in the morning, and for some very stupid reason I can’t remember any more, I decided not to eat breakfast at the airport and wait until I got to where I would live the first week in the city: a pretty apartment in Columbia University, where a friend of a friend kindly offered to host me. By the time I got to her place and took all the suitcases upstairs and showered and converted myself into a decent person I was so hungry that my hands were shaking and my legs felt like jelly. But, thankfully, she took me to a bagel place—because it was New York and of course I had to eat bagels as my first meal here—and we ate them while we strolled around Riverside Park, talking about life and grad school and life in the city.
I was then ready to take a nap and walk around the area to find a cute place to have lunch, but before I could know it, I had to buy books and go to school for orientation and search for an apartment nonstop for what seemed like the longest two weeks of my life. I was out of the Columbia area and far from my first friend in this jungle of people that is New York sooner than I thought I would be. And, yet again, before I could know it, I was settled in the tiny apartment I now call home, and a whole year had flown by!
It’s funny how time works. When you’re in the middle of the day, you often feel it’s going by slowly… I normally feel like time stops when I go to the library and submerge myself in one of my readings; it often feels as if the whole world halts and waits for me to finish my research sessions and only decides to continue when I’m done. And as much as I enjoy every single one of these sessions, I sometimes feel they are eternal, and I think the days doing research will never end. But then, when I look at a whole year as one single chunk of time, without thinking of every day as a separate time period, it disappears in a matter of seconds! Long gone are all the study sessions, and their eternal nature disappears in front of my eyes, showing me the world, indeed, didn’t stop while I was on them. I’m not a time-controller after all…
And seeing the year fly by so fast has made me wonder if I’m really doing what I should be doing.
I think I sometimes want to do too many things and want to work in a lot of different projects and get involved in everything. From being a dancer and a yogi and an athlete to being an amazing scholar that has several books of research published and teaches a couple of classes to clever students… and still have time for my family and friends. Oh, and I must mention that this is only one side of it, as I also intend to become a business woman and entrepreneur. And not lose my mind!
So, as you might imagine, sometimes, even though I work through an entire day and really try to achieve as much as I can, I really can’t! In the end, I’m no superhuman and I don’t have Hermione’s time-turner, so I can’t really do everything.
But the one thing I’ve learned in New York, is that I could be everything I ever wanted to be. Which basically means I can achieve all my multiple life-goals if I work hard enough for them. In this city, you see people that are running coaches and financial advisors at the same time, or dancers that are also fashion designers. And what’s best is that nobody ever judges them or thinks they’re out of place… Which is something I always felt when I was back in Colombia: I was too weird to be true. Too different. Too aspirational. Too much.
Thankfully, I got out of it, and New York has taught be I’m not too much; I just have a wider perspective and an open mind. And New York has taught me, as well, that there are incredible opportunities out there that will only be noticed or attempted to be captured by those who have this wider perspective on life. And right now I’m more than willing to keep my eyes wide open and notice every single opportunity that comes my way. As I embark on a second year in this wonderfully scary city, I’m trying to open myself more to all those opportunities. The universe has lots of “cosmic gifts” for us, but if we’re not open to them we’ll never receive them!
My first year in New York was one of transition and apprenticeship. I was trying to find myself and find a life in the city. This second year, I hope, will be one of receiving as many cosmic gifts as I can accept. I want to be open and I want to be free. And I want to be too much of myself. In the end, I didn’t come all the way to feel comfortable as I am to throw it all away!