Oh, New York City, there is one way in which you are like Narnia. A year spent in the great forest is only a moment in real time. Five weeks spent in NYC feels like it should also only be but a moment in time. She has many tricks up her sleeve, this city. Making time move faster than the roller-bladers in Prospect Park is surely her favourite act.
The last five weeks have exceeded my expectations in every way. The boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan (the only two I have explored) are more glorious than the ideas I had of them leading up to my arrival. I love NYC and I’m finding more things to explore than I thought I would- the list of things to do here is literally infinite. These past weeks have also been harder than I thought. NYC doesn’t seem so far away. It’s the bright lights and big buildings that make it seem close. But when home and everyone in it is on the other side of twelve and a half thousand kilometers, the big buildings no longer do such a good job of closing up that gap. It has been a bigger learning journey than I thought. I know things about myself that I didn’t and I understand people a bit better. You know when you have to write down your strengths and weaknesses for random things like CV’s and questionnaires and you just write down the first adjectives that come to mind? Well now I feel like answering one of those would be an easy, without being untrue, task. I have things called weaknesses and I am now VERY aware of them- no way hose, haha.
I used to hate going places on my own. No one to share experiences with freaked me out and looking like a loner standing awkwardly by the door waiting to be spoken to made me want stay indoors for my whole life. That changed quickly. I love exploring on my own. Yes, company is really cool but thinking about my thoughts instead of saying them out loud to someone and forgetting them in a second is gold. “Look how epic this store design is” – thought in my brain instead of said out loud for conversation sake is sure to make me look a bit harder at the detail. No one to share experiences with? This thought ran through my mind as I hid behind my bunch of flowers on the subway trying not to show how much I was laughing at the crazy man who said to the crazy lady “Yo crazy bitch, I’m gonna cast the devil out yo ass!” I kid you not- I had tears in my eyes I was laughing so hard. Me being alone didn’t make it any less funny.
For those of you who have endured through these four-hundred-and-something words, as I probably wouldn’t have, here are the first two stanzas of a poem I wrote for this place.
City, no pulse on your demands;
they flippantly flow
as consideration vanishes
like the man you chase.
Your balm soothes your burdens.
uncompromising as your clutch