My first stop is the Big Apple, and the home of my soul sister and best friend. She has been a solid support and a guiding light in the most challenging and darkest of times. Her wisdom is delivered with her own brand of sass, never afraid to tell it like it is when needs be. It’s a rare gift to be able to make someone laugh whilst you’re calling them on their BS.
Most people that know me well know exactly of whom I speak, for anyone that has ever heard me talk about any of my friends, you will recall my use of the name The Oracle. An homage to the character from the film ‘The Matrix’ (Neo visits the teller of truth in the first of the trilogy), this my Oracle is a young, vivacious and beautiful giver of knowledge.
She has given me more than she will ever fully appreciate. Without question I have always had a home to go to in the city, with fresh linen, delicious meals and a relaxed atmosphere in an otherwise slightly crazed city. She and my other dear friend (whom conveniently for me is her husband) have always simply shared, never asking for anything in return. I owe them a huge amount of thanks and dedication for aiding the recovery from my old life and helping me structure the transition into my new one.
I’ve tried to work out how many times I’ve been to New York, it must be more than forty. I used to land at JFK and leap into a cab, spending the next days or weeks racing from meeting to meeting, shop to shop and party to party. This visit isn’t much like all the others as this time round I am at peace. I do not feel the same sense of urgency to try and cram everything and more in. I do not have the overwhelming feeling that I have to be up all day and all night for fear of missing out (AKA F.O.M.O).
With walks to and from yoga classes, around galleries, sitting in little coffee shops, I managed to see this city through a different lens this time. I didn’t do a tonne of planning, I decided to just go with that vital word the flow. On one of my afternoons after yoga in Union Square, I walked a long way home to Hells Kitchen via Battery Park. Seeing the Liberty Tour Boat I decided to get on board. This was a trip I hadn’t taken since I was 14 years old. Why not, right?
On a day with such good weather the boat was packed with tourists, which of course can be challenging. My usual impatience with huge queues and the mess of a mass of people ambling in different directions was replaced with a simple thought – hey, am I not also a tourist (in fact, aren’t we ALL tourists – I will come back to this in a later post). If you can find a way, it is best in these situations to just smile and take your time, without rushing.
I have always had a strong (and of course irrational) fear of social media. I have always questioned whether or not my posts would be interesting or not, and I certainly have never wanted to simply use social media to show off. In order to feel comfortable, I knew that I wanted to share the absolute best. I also knew that I needed a hook, or a theme around which to chart my journey, to give this sharing a definitive purpose so to speak. In this bustling metropolis, I realise that there is a huge need for us to find silence. Many of my friends and family live in places where there is just no let up. Juggling work and a social life, running a household and often commuting is taxing, I know we all need a way to find a moment or two in our day. These walks have offered thoughts and decisions aplenty. The search for ‘stillness in movement’ will inspire social media posts from me.
My ambles around this great city are demonstrated in the pictures above.
May we find peace together.