City Diaries: Highs and Lows
"City Diaries” documents the day-to-day experiences, challenges and highlights of life in NYC.
For anyone who has lived or even visited NYC for an extended period, you know that it can be a city of extremes. A place of high highs and low lows. Of I-can’t-believe-this-is-my-life to I’m-crying-in-public-and-no-one-seems-to-care…all possible within the span of a single day.
And considering I’m embarking upon the rollercoaster lifestyle of self-employment IN a place like New York, it felt only fitting that I should begin documenting some of the highs and lows of my day-to-day life. This post is part of a larger series called “City Diaries” where I’ll be sharing more thoughts like these on the blog.
So with that, here are some tidbits from my past few weeks:
Fall Magic in the City
The falling leaves. Peacoat season. Pumpkin-lined stoops. It’s all too much for this California girl to handle.
I just posted about my love for fall in NYC and have shared some thoughts about it in past seasons, but I still can’t get over it. When the leaves turn, literally every street becomes picturesque. And since the temperatures haven’t completely dropped yet, this makes for the perfect 3-4 weeks of prime city wandering.
Unplanned Sidewalk Run-Ins
I’m not sure what it is about New York, but the amount I run into people on the street borders on unusual. The other day on my way from the East Village to SoHo, I ran into a blogging friend from the good old days. We hadn’t ever actually met in person, but recognized one another immediately which resulted in a quick sidewalk catch-up and a *New York magic* feeling that left me in a good mood all day. Another favorite (although not in the past couple weeks) was running into one of my best friends at a restaurant with the guy she was seeing at the time, but had been putting off introducing me to. Muhahaha Hi, hello New Boyfriend 👋
Lesson? There are no secrets in NYC, or at least…not in the 4 square miles of downtown Manhattan.
Teaching Out of My Comfort Zone
I’ve been teaching Digital Marketing at General Assembly. Last week, I covered another teacher’s class for the night and it helped push me out of my comfort zone. Entering a room with zero context on the students can be both exciting and terrifying. You are forced to learn how to read a room on the spot. Luckily, the class was a success and a couple students had even heard of 5th Floor Walk-Up! Insert warm fuzzy feelings here.
A 2pm Yoga Class
In this new world of self-employment, I have the luxury of testing new ways to organize my day. Since I’m finally getting back into a regular workout cadence (my ideal week includes 3-4 workouts), I’m figuring out the best way to fit it into my week. Even though I often force myself, I’m just not a natural morning workout person (yeah, I’m the one with bedhead scowling in the corner of that 8am Flow). So, signing up for a 2pm yoga class and realizing no one was there to stop me gave me a major thrill.
P.S. Looking for a great studio in downtown Manhattan? Laughing Lotus is my personal favorite, but other studios like Yoga Vida have great flows as well. Note: Also proven to ease the anxieties of city life.
The Unexpected Anxiety of this Newfound Freedom
Don’t get me wrong, my past few weeks of self-employment have been amazing and empowering. But with high highs can come low lows. I’ve been surprised by the amount of unexpected anxiety I’ve had charting this uncharted territory and the amount of pressure I’ve been subconsciously putting on myself. This note really warrants its own blog post, but for now, I’m just trying to be as kind to myself as possible. I think I’m still in recovery mode from working three jobs for 6+ months and honestly might need a proper break.
The 6th Avenue Flasher
I hate to go here, but this is the reality of living in a big city. I was on my way home from Trader Joe’s, on the phone with my boyfriend after a successful night of teaching when BOOM. A man in a full on birthday suit on the sidewalk of 6th Avenue. I calmly assessed the situation, and quietly moon-walked back the other direction to take the long way home.
Quick tip: Sometimes a 5 minute detour is worth the 5 hours of trauma that could result from trying to just “get through” something uncomfortable. Le sigh. But such is a part of navigating life in a city like New York.
Angry Subway Insults
I was minding my own business, trying to keep up with the ever-changing pedestrian flow of the subway when I veered left to avoid a puddle of unknown liquid on my way out of the subway. This somehow ruffled the feathers of an angry subway-goer who proceeded to shout at me “Great! Another idiot who can’t stay in their lane!”
Now, I’m not one to normally get upset by random comments like that, but I was already having a bad day and really internalized this person’s negativity. While I’ve actually found most New Yorkers to be incredibly friendly (contrary to popular belief) there will always be a few bad apples in the mix. Constant advice to myself: do not take it personally. And veer right.
Any highs or lows you’ve been navigating this week? I’d love to hear in the comments below!
Until next time…