I never quite understood why New York City was called “The Big Apple” until I visited. There is certainly enough for everyone and then some.
Imagine a place where no one, I mean, no cares how you look, dress or act like. The term “self-conscious” is nonexistent.
Merriam-Webster gives the short definition of self-conscious as:
uncomfortably nervous about or embarrassed
by what other people think about you.
Imagine feeling this way most of your life, when in truth, it doesn’t matter. It’s a hard lesson to learn. If you don’t be yourself, the job of pleasing others will consume you.
Reflecting on my old-self, I was silly to care about other’s thoughts about me when, their opinions didn’t pay my bills or raise my kids or put me through college.
Eventually, I didn’t want to be a part of the world because it seemed as if I had nothing of value to share, that is what the opinions created in my head. I believed it. Cruel, huh?
It was crippling. I read self-help books to find out why people didn’t like me and what was so wrong with me that they harped on what they think I should do.
There comes a turning point in life when one finally says, “who cares?” Nothing matters but my overall well-being and happiness. If I’m happy, everyone else is happy.
Other’s harsh opinions of you doesn’t wrinkle the fabric of time, unless you let it tear you down.
Hateful words won’t make your life better or help you feel better.
You’ve got to do things that make you happy…despite the audience.
I was never a gossiper. People said cruel things to my face and it felt bad, so I didn’t want to be that person. I feel terrible when I say something bad about someone and I never want to get used to that feeling. When I talk about someone, it’s not to make myself feel better, it’s to find a way to help them be better.
In NYC, people make you feel as if you’re their next door neighbor. The incredible energy of the people courses through your veins, bringing you to life, invoking a consciousness of courtesy. Your head swells, bursting with new thinking.
The self-consciousness I felt, when I was in the city, was being totally self-aware.
Aware of my thoughts and being in the moment. I didn’t worry about anything, not even what I was doing in the next five minutes because all I wanted was to be present.
It’s a hard skill to master. I was there for a short time and I wasn’t going to spent it complaining.
When you become part of the city, time stands still. My visit wasn’t too short because living in the moment allowed me to enjoy every single minute of it. By doing this, I created the opportunity to do everything I’ve always wanted:
1. I took 7 train to Flushing Meadows to the US OPEN.
2. I took the train to Harlem to 125th Street and stood across from the Apollo Theatre. I spent most of my evening in Harlem in a bar called The Showman’s Club and learned how the upcoming stars in the 60s spend their afternoon getting prepped for the night’s show.
3. I ate a slice of yummy Cheesecake at Juniors in Midtown Manhattan.
4. I bought last-minute tickets to a Comedy Central show featuring six well-established comedians.
5. I bought food, fruit and pictures off the street and ate a giant slice of Ray’s pizza.
6. I hailed a cab with grace, usually on the first try.
7. I watched the city fall asleep as workers cleaned the streets and stocked the stores for the next day.
8. I met a celebrity on the street, just by being in the right place at the right time.
9. I went to a roof-top party, just by asking “what’s going on up there?”. It was a VMAs after party.
10. I had breakfast a Roxy’s Diner and brought their homemade brownies home to my mom, to give her a taste of what I felt. To share my experience by giving her one of her own.
Sure, they aren’t the touristy things, but they are my things that connect to an experience I’ll never forget.
Living in the moment creates a deep appreciation for life and everything else, seems to fall in place, as if it were meant to be.
So the next time you’re on vacation, try to take it all in. Don’t let fussy people steal the essence of your good time, have one anyway. I can say, I couldn’t have had a better experience, it was much more than I ever hoped. Enjoy the pics.