Long Strides

For someone who was, and still is, as impatient as me, I often find myself waiting. I find myself waiting for things to happen as if I already know something will happen soon. It’s like I’m always anticipating the next move.

But the thing about me is that sometimes, I don’t wait long enough. I wait just long enough until I can’t wait any longer and then I make my move. The irony is that my move usually happens just before a move is made by some other force of nature. It’s like I’m taking a half-step too soon or coming in a beat too early.

And that is my biggest downfall.

I wait, but speak to soon. I wait, but act too soon. I wait, but react too soon. I think it’s because I’m afraid that if I don’t, then nothing will happen.

I think it’s because I don’t trust that the stars will align as they rightfully should. But, as I have learned in the past, the stars have never let me down.

The biggest mistakes I’ve ever made in my life were due to my own impatience. My own pre-emptive actions. My unwillingness to wait just a little longer for a breakthrough. But lo and behold, that breakthrough always happen. I just end up taking a step forward and two steps back in the process.

When I look back at the past five years since I’ve graduated college, I feel as though I’ve come a long way, but still haven’t gone very far. And I know that I still have a long way to go, but that’s where my impatience kicks in. And I know that this continuous solo dance of one step forward and two steps back will just tire me in the long run.

One of my greatest fears is not fulfilling myself with the life that I dream of. And I’m sure I’m not alone in that.

Actually, I know that I’m not alone in that.

As Nelson Mandela once said, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” It seems like such a silly thing to be afraid of. But if you think about it, it really is a bit scary and slightly overwhelming to think that we are actually capable of the things that we set our mind to. It all just depends on our willingness to do what it takes to get there.

For me, I always thought that my preemptive actions were shortcuts, but they’re really detours. And the times where I have found the most peace and clarity was when I was able to really sit and think about what I wanted in life. Though I’m still figuring it out, the picture is much clearer now. I’ve learned that by taking fewer short quick steps, I’ve been able to take longer strides.

Overcome

I used to think that you could only really have something meaningful to write if you went through some kind of trial or tragedy. I used to think that the best writing came from pain and struggle. Some of the songs, books, poems that truly impacted me were written in sadness (or so I interpreted it).

It’s been a while since I’ve been genuinely happy. And I can say, now, that I actually am – which is such a relief.

I realize, now, that great creations do not come solely from hardships. Instead, there are products of overcoming and overpowering those hardships.

It’s funny how the things you consume change as you change.

Your mental state affects how you treat your body, the kind of music you listen to, the people you surround yourself with, even the activities you participate in.

It’s funny how we work sometimes – When we’re sad, we sometimes want to expand on that sadness and continue on that path. The act of “self-destruction” or so it’s called.

But on the lateral side of that, we can amplify positive emotions as well – When we’re happy, we want to keep being happy. We couldn’t imagine not feeling good or not feeling alive.

In life, things happen and we have to deal with those things. It may take time, but eventually, we do have to move on so that, eventually, we can be okay again. And when that time comes, you couldn’t be more relieved that you got through it and found that happy place.

Weather and Change

To add to the list of things that I’ve learned since living in New York City, I can say this:

Weather amplifies whatever mood you wake up in (by x100)

Side Note: For those of you who don’t live in New York, New Jersey, or the East Coast in general, it’s no surprise to get all four seasons in one week. Actually, it’s no surprise to get all four seasons in one day. Today is a prime example of that.

This morning, I woke up already feeling the rain in my joints.

I got out of bed, looked out of the window, and grunted. I didn’t want to predestine that it was going to be a lousy day because a day is only what you make of it. This morning, however, was a bit lousy and I only blame the weather.

New York City in the Summer is a wonderful time of year. There are hundreds upon thousands of sights to see and activities to partake in. This past weekend, for example, I spent an entire day walking around Williamsburg in Brooklyn and it was one of the best Saturdays I’ve had recently.

When the sun is shining, everyone calms down more than usual. Everyone becomes a lot more tolerable. On rainy days though, it takes a drastic turn. Everyone returns to their hostile, agitated state and it’s pretty unpleasant when you’re surrounded by a million hostile and agitated people.

It was down-pouring as I walked to work this morning. My office is only a few short blocks away from Grand Central Station, but on days like today, the journey seems like it goes on for miles.

Once I got to work, I brushed off the tension from the morning commute, and settled into a more comfortable state. As I settled down at my desk, I was already re-arranging the rest of my day around the weather and adjusting my routine to work out.

It’s amazing how quickly plans can change due to the weather. It’s also amazing how quickly the weather can change.And ultimately, it boils down to…it’s amazing how quickly people can change their minds.

New York City has taught me a lot about how anything can happen. Weather quickly changes, plans quickly change, people quickly change. And what I’ve gathered from these observations is this:

No wonder why people in New York City are so self-sufficient, independent, and isolated in their own worlds. It’s really hard to depend on anything or anyone as 100% guaranteed.

In the grand scheme of things, I guess you can apply this idea to the entire world. Really, anything can happen and I appreciate New York City for giving me that open mindset.

Things I’ve learned since living in New York City

Last night, I had a difficult time sleeping. At the maximum, I probably tallied around 2-3 hours of sleep in total. I’ve been restless, stressed out, and agitated lately. A lot has been on my mind and I’ve been feeling like I’m going slightly insane. My scapegoat: New York City.

After having a heart-to-heart with my roommate, I was reassured that temporary insanity is quite normal when you live in the city long enough.

As a result of this realization, I made a short list of things I’ve learned since I moved here. It’s a random list, and most certainly on-going, but this is what I came up with so far…

– Every man for himself
– Know what you’re going to order at a deli, bar, coffee shop, etc. before getting to the register
– Personal space doesn’t exist
– One minute can make all the difference between being 15 minutes late or 15 minutes early
– It’s never been so easy to completely stop talking to someone
– The city isn’t as big as you’d think, aka, you can still run into people you know ANYWHERE
– Walking fast is necessary
– Dating sucks
– Buy groceries in New Jersey
– Happy hour is still expensive
– Cheap food, however, does exist
– There are a million free things to do and still have fun
– Have your metrocard ready prior to going through the turnstile
– Taxi drivers hustle you
– TIMING IS EVERYTHING
– It’s easy to feel completely alone even in a fully crowded bar
– Cockroaches are everywhere
– When looking for an apartment, you have to compromise no matter what (unless you’re filthy rich)

Again, this is definitely an on-going list. I’ve only been living in New York City for 8 months, but I’ve learned a lot about people and about myself. I’m still trying to figure it all out though.

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The Relevance of Age

To preface this entry (as I usually do), I have to say that I generally prefer not to write about people from my personal life- especially in a public space such as WordPress where they can easily find that I have written about them.

But, in order to make my point, I have to introduce this individual (who will remain UN-named) so that you can see the bigger picture.

Here it goes:

I recently ended things with a guy that I had been dating for approximately 2 months. I met him in mid-December and broke things off shortly after Valentine’s Day (ironic, I know)

His major qualm between the two of us was our age difference and to be honest, there wasn’t much of a difference at all. He’s 26 and I’m 22. From my own personal experiences, I’ve noticed that after the age of 21, people within the 20’s age-group are all pretty much in the same playing field. We’re all lost, searching for ourselves, etc. etc.

Now back to this guy…

It always irritated me at how concerned he was about the fact that I’m 22 and had just graduated college. He insisted that I still had so much to learn and so many experiences to face, which I can’t disagree with. I definitely still have a lot to learn and experience. I, on the other hand, believed that despite that one, tiny factor of age, we generally saw eye-to-eye on most things.

This may be an exaggeration, but it seemed that any time that I contributed my opinion on a serious topic, he would practically remit my contribution and insist that I still have “so much growing up to do”. And this was usually only whenever he didn’t like what I had to say.

I hated that.

Now here’s another piece of information…

My ex-boyfriend whom I dated for 3 years was his exact same age- their birthdays were actually only several weeks apart- and he never once, critiqued our relationship based on our age difference. This was also because I had far surpassed him in maturity levels.

I don’t want to sound like a young, naive, narcissistic 20-something year old who thinks that she has it all figured out, but I will say that I actually am mature for my age (at least far more mature than a majority of my friends) I’m proud of myself for how much I have accomplished as well as the life experiences that have been bestowed upon me to make me the person I am today. I was fortunate enough to graduate college in 4 years as well as get a job right out of college- even more so, a job at my favorite magazine of all time, Runner’s World. And this did not just happen because of luck, of course. I worked hard throughout college and had a great internship. I’m also a driven and self-motivated individual.

Now getting back to my point about the guy that I dated…

It’s safe to say that I was often discouraged to give my feedback on a situation whenever I talked to him because I felt that my opinion would immediately be dismissed.

I felt like an elementary-school student whose teacher would harshly tell them that they are wrong after enthusiastically answering a question.

This really made me question my credibility as an opinionated person.

But then I thought, it’s my opinion. There shouldn’t be a right or wrong, nor should it be heavily correlated to my age.

And so, the moral of this story is this:

Everyone has an opinion. It’s neither right nor wrong. It’s just how a person feels about a certain topic or scenario. Everyone experiences different things at different times. The relevance of age is that it is irrelevant. Someone may experience flying on an airplane at the age of 50, while another person has been flying on planes since birth. Experiences make up the things that we are familiar with and they shape our opinions. I’m not saying that age should be completely thrown out the window when it comes to wisdom though. I completely respect my elders and am always willing to take advice from them. As you grow older, you do gain more wisdom and insight towards life, but when it comes to dating, a 4-year age difference when you are in your 20’s really means nothing.

The verdict: Age is irrelevant.