I went to NYC for the first time in 2006. As a child I had decided since New York was cold and full of people, I wasn’t too interested in going there. I always figured I wouldn’t feel safe, and I would get lost. I decided if I had to pick a big city to live in, I would pick LA. A good portion of this decision was based on the fact that I loved sunny weather, and all of my favorite TV shows were filmed in LA. But, even so, when we were embarking on the trip I was a bit apprehensive.
We were only going to be there for about 48 hours. And my only goal on the trip was to make it to Rockefeller Center to see the tree. I’ve always loved Christmas trees, and when they are all lit up I can sit and look at the lights for hours. It’s calming to me. We drove into New Jersey, and made our way to NYC via the subway, and our train stopped in Grand Central Station. When we got out into the night lights, I found myself feeling unusually comfortable. There were people everywhere. It was three days before Christmas. It was cold and rainy but not freezing out. And the whole time I was there, I was continuously surprised at how at home I felt. There are more people in a two block radius than there are in my entire state. But something about it just fit.
When we got down to the tree I remember just thinking to myself, if it weren’t insanely expensive or I were a millionaire, or I figured out a way to get into Columbia to go to school, I could totally live here. People weren’t rude. They were simply on their way to wherever they were going. And we were as well. We didn’t get lost. Far fewer strangers came up to me and asked me for money than did when I lived in Jackson. In fact, I think only one person did, and that was at the train station. But there was nothing scary about it. When we went to the Top of the Rock and looked out over the city, it was a truly beautiful sight. We could see the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. The bridges were lit. There were red and green lights for the season. You could see life. For miles and miles. You just knew there was life all around. It was lively, and encouraging, and you could feel the energy in the air. You could see all of the different avenues of possibility that were right at your fingertips. They are simply waiting for you to stroll their way.
Sometimes it’s surprising what we find when we go places we never really wanted to go. I never wanted to go to NYC, yet it took one quick trip for me to fall in love (and I WILL be back one day). I never wanted to write a blog, but this has turned out to be one of the most encouraging experiences I’ve had in a long time. I never wanted to pursue my dreams, because there was a chance I would fail, and I didn’t know how to handle that, yet this journey of writing and publishing and reaching people with something I believe in has been the best experience I’ve had despite its frustrations. Sometimes if we change our point of view, and we try new things – even those we really don’t think we want to, it can change our lives in the most wonderful way. Whether it’s writing a different type of story than we had envisioned, taking a job we didn’t think we wanted to have, traveling somewhere we aren’t really interested in going, there may just be something in those experiences that change our lives for the better. So don’t forget to be open, and try to envision what life could be like with a view from the top.
~There is something special when your words are clever. When your mind creates a unique endeavor. But where do you go when the words are slow and it seems you’ll be writing never. ~
Today I’m doing something a little bit different. When I was in school I was given a set of things to do whenever you are stuck for words. I was in a PR program at the time (it’s my non-psychology degree). And when we had to write news copy or come up with campaign strategies and we were stuck we had to go through a list of questions. When I was in my master’s program for psychology, I changed the questions over to questions about ourselves for motivational purposes. This morning I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about today. I just knew I wanted to provide something of use. I have had some things on my mind lately, so I started going through the list of questions to figure out what to do next, and then I realized the list would probably be of good use, so I decided to give you the list instead. Basically it’s a short list of questions designed to be reflective in nature so that when we think about the questions we build a platform to work from. I always write down my answers, because again, tangible forms of the thoughts in our minds are essential so that we have something to go back to and to create a map from. It can have whatever paths we need and any alternate routes we may need to utilize, but we have the starting point and ultimate destination in front of us any time we need to see it.
- Who am I right now?
- Who do I want to be?
- Where am I right now?
- Where do I want to be?
- Who has gone to where I want to go?
- What did they do to get there?
The purpose of the list is to be a starting point. Once we see who we want to be and where we want to go, we can find others who have made that transition. Everyone starts somewhere. We have to be content with starting where we are at. And we have to know where we want to go if we plan to get there. We have to have something to come back to that can guide us. This list creates a starting point for our own action plan. It allows us to see ways to get to where we want to go, and to research what needs to be done, so that we can then start on our own way. Awareness (of who we are and where we are going) and Knowledge (of who we want to be and how to get there) are keys in life. We have to put them in front every day, so that we go through each day with purpose. Time passes each day, and it’s time that we do not get back. So taking the time to making it meaningful matters.