As I am sitting on the train, heading out of this city, thinking about every moment I experienced here over the last day and a half. The smile on my face is so untamable it’s embarrassing. This is a trip where I want to remember every moment. I have been dreaming of returning to this city for ten years, and it is better than I could have ever dreamed. I wasn’t a tourist this time around, I was a New Yorker. I didn’t spend my days seeing the major sites, but I spent the day soaking up every ounce of this city.
I was in up state New York for work and arranged to stay a couple of extra days to visit one of my very best friends, H, who lives in New York City. I arrived in the city halfway through the day Thursday, and met her when she got off work. I dropped quite a bomb on her when we met up, and surprised her with telling her I got us Taylor Swift tickets, in Jersey, and we had to be there in less than two hours.
I have this ridiculous, some may say obsession, but I will choose to call it a one sided “relationship” with Taylor Swift. I find her to be incredibly genuine and have the utmost respect for the example she sets for our youth. Considering I work with youth everyday, I have quite a heart for people that bring good to them. Somehow Taylor manages to write the lyrics that I always have in my heart. I don’t mean the silly immature lyrics they play on the radio, but the ones behind the scenes on the album. She is ME, when I was 23. She allows me to step out of my adulthood for a few moments and return to the innocent, pre-damaged 16 yr old I once was. Needless to say, it was on my bucket list to see her in concert and be 16 again for a night. We did just that!
After we enjoyed our evening of being 16, H and I returned to adulthood and this lovely city. We ordered ourselves a bottle of wine in the beautiful Dream Hotel in Times Square and stayed out way too late.
We woke up Friday realizing we were too old to stay out so late, and got to the closest brunch possible to recover with bloody mary’s and mimosas. She went to work, and I went to explore. I walked as far as I could through Central Park, stopping often to sit and soak it all in. I explored the Upper East Side experiencing the stereotypical drivers, nannies, and Louboutin. I walked through Rockefeller and knew I had to make it back to Times Square to say hello as that was where I spent most of my time years ago when I was here.
I had been avoiding using my phone to save battery life, as it was my key to ensure I could make it back to my destination to meet up with H. It began crashing, quickly, and I was beginning to get desperate. I finally found an electronics store to try and grab an instant charger.
I walk in and see a very good-looking man behind the counter. It goes down like this…
He tells me the price, I say no way, he flirts, I say no way, and then he offers to charge my phone for a few minutes.
I ask, “What’s the catch?”
He says, “Have a drink with me.”
I say, “Not happening, my husband probably wouldn’t appreciate that.”
He gives in and charges it for me anyway, and we getting to chatting for a few minutes. He is quite charming and somehow gets around to convincing me the drink is harmless and right across the street. So, what the hell!
We sat at the bar in a great Italian Restaurant. One drink turned to two, but I stood firm on rejecting the third. He was quite handsome, and incredibly charming. He told me over and over how beautiful I was, but continued to stay respectful of the boundaries. We enjoyed harmless conversation, good company and left it at first names. I asked him what was in it for him buying a married woman a drink knowing it wouldn’t end the way he was hoping, and he was shocked that I cared enough to be disappointed for him. He tried to convince me he wasn’t there to get me in bed, but just for the good company, however I am in no way that naïve. I continued to make sure he knew the offer wasn’t on the table. We ended it with him showing me where the train was, a quick thank you, and off I went. It was possibly, the most rewarding free drink I have received.
There was this moment when he diagnosed me almost perfectly. He said, “I can see in you that you desire a life of adventure, however you don’t allow yourself the excitement. You are caught, holding yourself back.” Up to that point he was shockingly right. He then went on, “You are going to get tired of where you are, and you are going to leave. You belong in the city.” That’s where he couldn’t have been more wrong. I DID belong in the city. I NOW belong exactly where I am. My “quality of life” increases by the moment. I am slowly figuring out the things that matter most in life and beginning to cherish them more and more. Yes, there are times I desire more excitement in life, but the fact that I am boring is no ones fault but my own. Jack is constantly encouraging me to relax, step out of my comfort zone, and be spontaneous. In fact, he is going to be incredibly proud of me when I tell him this story.
This weekend, I saw a lot of my old self. I was independent, confident, and spontaneous. I haven’t experienced any of those things for quite sometime, and I felt happiness like I haven’t felt in a VERY long time. I am going to cling to those feelings, absorb them, and not let them leave me.
In fact, I am a lot closer to getting back to the SHE that is in there SOMEWHERE.