The entire experience

It’s time for me to answer the inevitable question, “How was New York!?” What I’ve been telling people is that it was fabulous. But to be honest, I was having an out-of-body experience for the entirety of my trip, so it’s difficult to sum-up my thoughts of New York City.

Did I like it? Some parts, yes. (Lady Liberty was particularly glorious). Would I want to live there? I’m not sure yet. Do I want to go back? Absolutely yes! It’s the people – or I guess I should say New Yorkers – that make me want to return to Manhattan. A long weekend just isn’t enough time to see New York. Like REALLY see it. We did alright for ourselves though.

In just three days, we went to the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx, saw an off Broadway production of RENT, ate pancakes at 1am, went shopping in SOHO, sauntered through Central Park, took a cruise around Manhattan, saw Carrie Bradshaw’s stoop, reveled at the beauty of Grand Central Terminal, went to Babycakes Bakery for cupcakes, ate breakfast in Brooklyn, walked on the Brooklyn bridge, and got cannolis in Little Italy. Whenever there was a moment to track Weight Watchers points, I was too busy absorbing the city.

Above all else, my trip to New York was a trip of many firsts. The first time I flew first class (did you know they give you a three course meal and a DigiPlayer?). The first time I hailed a cab. The first time I rode on a train. The first time I ate buckwheat pancakes. You get the idea: many firsts were had. So needless to say, it was a very educational experience. I expected the diversity and the directness of the people. I was not expecting everyone to be so damn nice!

And speaking of nice, I actually think I may have made a friend over there. On our first day there, my aunt introduced me to her business partner’s daughter, Rachel, who is also an African American writer my age. She is absurdly kind. Although we are alike in many ways, she is quite ahead of me career-wise. Like myself, Rachel grew up in a suburb on the west coast. Unlike myself, she moved to Manhattan promptly after graduating high school. Rachel now writes for Budget Travel Magazine (!!!), but started out interning at places I drool over, such as O, The Oprah Magazine and Seventeen. And yes, she had plenty of wisdom to impart.  She even gave me her email address so we can keep in touch!

The entire experience renewed my hope and motivation for the future. There’s something about being on vacation that readies me for productiveness when I return home. Being in a strange place and having to adjust to a new environment tends to teach me things about myself that I didn’t consciously know before. But I suppose that’s what vacations are for: removing oneself from the regular routine so that you can reflect and re-focus. I’m back on Pacific Time now, back to my meticulous counting of points, and determined to find a job that I love. Thousands of people like Rachel make it happen for their careers, and so can will I!


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