Over Memorial Day Weekend I took a trip that I had been looking forward to almost my entire life...
New York City.
As a HUGE musical theatre geek (have done countless school and community theatre shows and majored in Drama ministry) and a city girl (born and raised in the south suburbs of Chicago) I was outrageously excited for the trip. I couldn't wait to see if the Big Apple was all my imagination had hyped it up to be. While I was there, I learned a few things.
You can feel at home even hundreds of miles away. It really amazed me how at home I felt. The moment I got off the plane and began walking around the city I felt like I was back in Chicago. Everything was completely natural to me and made the trip much more comfortable than I thought it would be. I may not have technically been "home", but I was home.
Small does not necessarily equal bad. The hotel room my friend and I reserved was labeled "cozy" and I had heard most NYC hotels and apartments were tiny. Ours truly was tiny! However, I did not mind one bit. It is all about how you present the room. The use of space was perfect and I felt so high class even though it was a small room. When I returned home to my apartment I realized how much wasted space I have. Bigger is not always better.
|Our little room!|
A single smile can mean the world. The day we decided to go to the Empire State Building was the worst. We had waited for nearly four hours to get up to the top, and by the time we arrived there was lightening outside and it was raining. We were completely miserable and the workers had not been very friendly or accommodating. When we came back down we went to the gift shop to purchase souvenirs for loved ones back home. As I approached the check out counter the cashier asked me how I was. I gave the generic "I'm fine" even though I was not. He said, "You look tired." I slowly nodded my head and told him I was and we chatted for a few moments. He was so understanding and friendly about the day I had, and it made all of the difference in the world. My mood suddenly lifted. It's amazing what a smile can do for you.
New Yorkers are not the grouches everyone makes them out to be. Yes, there are grouches out there. Big city, long days, crowded streets. It happens. However, most of the people we met were friendly and helpful. Perhaps it's simply because I understand city people, or we just need to learn to not stereotype others.
In the midst of chaos, you can find peace. Two of my favorite places in NYC were Times Square and Bryant Park. Both were in the heart of the city and this was where I felt the most relaxed. It amazed me how peaceful places could be with the city buzzing around you. I could have sat on the steps in Times Square for hours simply watching people and hearing the cars go by. Then Bryant Park was a small place surrounded by streets and people and buildings - yet it was so peaceful. One evening we grabbed a table and chairs and sat for I don't know how long. There was chaos, but peace.
|Chillin at Byrant Park|
Sometimes, even on an adventure, you need to plan a little. A few of my friends were in the city the same time I was and we had wanted to meet. However, we were always just missing each other. If we had planned just slightly better, we would have been able to meet up.
Learn to roll with the punches. The purpose of our trip was to see Newsies on Broadway. It is one of my all time favorite Disney movies and I knew the Tony-nominated musical was going to be amazing. A friend had seen the show the night before and was able to meet the cast when they came out of the theatre. I anxiously waited outside with the other fans waiting for them - but they never came. I was so disjointed. Having a signed program and photos would have been a dream come true. Sometimes though, things just don't work out the way you want them to - and that's okay. The trip was still wonderful and you need to just move on when something disappoints you.
Put yourself out there. The first day we were in NYC we wandered around Central Park and saw a group of street performers. To be honest - their show did not have a whole lot to it. They had some acrobatic tricks, but they were highly entertaining. What impressed me is how they were so willing to yell, crack jokes, and be sure they were noticed. The only things during the trip to New York I regretted were the things I was too "scared" to do, or that I did not speak up about. It was fleet week and I wanted a picture with a sailor - but never got the nerve to ask one to pose with me. We had extra time and I would have loved to go to the Brooklyn Bridge - but never spoke up. So if you want something, say it. What's the worst that can happen?
|The performers in Central Park|
I am so glad I was able to finally experience NYC. The good and the disappointing. There were so many things I wish I could have done, but so many I am glad I was able to! It simply means I have reasons to return someday.
|Me in Times Square|
What adventures have you been on lately? What life lessons have you learned from them?
Thanks, Emily! NYC is an amazing experience and I hope you remember it forever! I have been there twice and can't wait to go back!