Reflection brings introspection. It also creates clarity. When I reflect over the past two years, my initial thought is where did those two years go? WOW. All the changes that have taken place feel astounding and remarkable at the same time when I actually sit and think about all that has transpired.
But that’s the thing about life transitions – we often don’t know what is around the corner. For some that can be exciting, for others frightening, and for everyone else, somewhere in the middle.
The mere fact of change is often peppered with a roller coaster of emotions – some good, some more challenging than others. Learning how to feel more comfort in the chaos that often precedes calmness, is also part of that equation. My journey has been my own, just like everyone else’s. So when people come to me to help them with their transition and share their roller coaster of emotions, I really get it.
In my line of work, its no surprise that I am a strong advocate for change – including myself. Because without change how do we become the best version of ourselves? How do we get from Point A to Point B (sometimes many times over) and continue to grow and evolve? Embarking on a major life transition means making changes, often in several areas of our life, concurrently. Seldom seamless.
The Spin Cycle of Change, of Life.
While in the spin cycle of change, until you safely land on your feet (and they actually touch the ground) and life returns to some semblance of normalcy, does the time that has elapsed provide clarity for a deeper understanding of what has transpired. Feeling more comfort in change is also part of that equation.
My life transition from a small borough of 8,000 in South Central PA to New York City with a population of 8 million (and growing) has provided me the opportunity to explore, wander, wish, work harder, walk faster, raise the bar, and fill the vacuum of curiosity about life and this magnificent city that has plagued me for a long time.
Working and living in the city now for two years, my understanding of this city that truly never sleeps and beats to its own drummer, has grown exponentially. The flip side to the pace in which this city beats also creates, at times, enormous pressure and stress to do more, remain competitive, and work harder. I have come to understand that its not about working against it, but learning how to live with it.
Despite the inherent “serious life stuff” that major life transitions imbue, there must be an element of levity along the way to make it worth it. That’s required.
A few of my “own” (fun) discoveries.
1.) Buy a few pair of flats! Keep those heels at the office. Despite having to catch a few trains with my heels (at least I didn’t fall on the ground – a pretty proud moment!), I have learned that flats are MUCH better AND you can run faster!
2.) You really don’t know a hot summer day until you have taken the subway when its hot and humid outside. Sans air conditioning on the platforms, consider yourself lucky if your subway has working AC. This is challenging especially when you are packed in like sardines! Bring extra patience…
3.) NYC truly is “the city that never sleeps”. When you live here, you really experience the true meaning behind those words. Just walk the streets. There is always activity going on. Always. What are all these people doing at this hour?
4.) Heading out? New to the city? Don’t go anywhere without a good city map. In fact, get two. Download several map and subway applications. They are life savers. Every time. Trust me on this one. Though I am still a work in progress when someone says, “meet me on the SE corner of”..huh?? How about a landmark?
5.) Got a cookie fix but its 3 AM? Ha! No worries! Insomniac Cookies delivers until 3 AM. They are beyond amazing cookies!
6.) There are endless places to visit. And I mean endless. This city is stocked with hundreds of “nooks and crannies” that makes it seem as though you literally will run out of time before you can see it all.
7.) There is no longer a need to make an appointment for a mani/pedi. With a few places on every corner, you never need an appointment. Priceless.
8.) Amidst the noise and “craziness”, there are many places of quiet and solitude.
9.) The unbridled chaos and craziness of this great city is worth embracing. You will never run out of conversation pieces.
10.) You are never more than a few blocks (or feet) from a wine bar and a really great, cold glass of white wine! Now that’s priceless.
11.) Who says that New Yorkers aren’t nice? I have met plenty of them. I like to believe I am one of them now.
12.) I have NEVER missed the traffic or driving since giving up my car almost 2 years ago. Go MTA!!
NYC is an amazing place. It makes me want to work harder so I never have to leave.