Being alone in New York City

I’ve learned a lot about Myself and The City on this amazing New York journey. I ask questions like “What do I want?” “What’s important to me?“, and “Why does the F train have a suspended weekend schedule?” I don’t have the answers, just throwing it all out there.

I’ve been both a tourist and a real New Yorker these last several months. Exploring every nook and crannie, I head out in the mornings sometimes without a clue as to where I will end up. But it is almost always alone. I like being alone, most of the time. Last week, with a visitor I will call Someone Special* (*name has been changed) from Minneapolis, I had the best pistachio gelato in little Italy. The day was perfect. I realized that, with Someone Special to enjoy it with, the gelato was so much tastier than ever; eating take-out in a park in Chinatown listening to street musicians was way more fun. While people are always around, I’m mostly alone. But I enjoyed that day so much (and the entire jam-packed, fun-filled week). I’ve been alone so much, I forgot how special even little things feel when you’re with someone you like.

Rarely are you ever ‘alone’ in New York. Walking in this city amid the throngs of other walkers, (most, irritating me with their slow pace) surrounded by timeless architecture and ceaseless noise, I say – to myself, since I am alone – “god, I love this city!” Each morning the sidewalks are bustling: dads walking kids to school, nannies with strollers, children on scooters, old men who shout, “Happy Holidays!” and the various people on their daily walk to work. I think, “Why do so many people want to live in this densely packed, expensive, sweltering hot and dirty city?” Trying to escape each other, we seek anonymity in our daily routine, earbuds secured, staring at our phones. Yet we all still long to be enclosed by our community, by one another, by strangers. We want to belong somewhere, and ultimately, to someone. I still like being alone, but I’m thinking about being enclosed sometimes, too.

Now about that F train…

One thought on “Being alone in New York City

  1. so “what do I want” and “what is important to me?” are prefect metaphysical questions.We delivered a week – long executive retreat on both coasts for ten years for folks who wants to figure out where they were going with their life. We had three questions. They are rhetorical and very personal;
    1) What are your talents? Not your a abilities which are all the things you have learned to do. Talents are innate. They arrive at an early age. They are effortless and you can do them better than most? For you it appears to be art.
    2) What are your values..not your parents values Minnesota Maid!
    3) What brings you joy? Not pleasure. Pleasure just keeps the body happy. Joy comes from the depth of your soul. You can’t wait to get to get to it.
    So when you find something that draws on your talents, is meaningful to you and brings you joy you have found your destiny

    ONCE AGAIN I WILL REVEAL MSELF IMMEDIATELY IF YOU NEED TO FEEL SAFE. IN THE INTERIM JUST LET THIS PLAY OUT. WE HAVE MET

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