Resurrection. A piece inspired by NYC.
Up until recently, I feared that New York was a step backwards. As if since I had been here before, I was reverting back in my life, instead of moving forward. The thing I realized is, these thoughts were just irrational fear and unchecked ego. Cut to a couple of months ago, as I was hunting the concrete jungle in search of my new home, I was repeatedly questioned on the motive for my move. "You're moving here!? To New. York. City. From Florida!?" They scoffed and chuckled, as I wrapped my scarf closer. "Yes, I know, I know," I replied, "I am leaving the land of eternal sunshine for winters and worse...." "Well, have you lived in NY before?" they all asked. My ego jumped to answer, "Yes! Yes, of course... " (My inner voice chimes in, right, so not only do they consider me crazy, I am also not a member of their uber elite and exclusive club.) Enter Ego, "Well, I mean, I have been here loads of times. I know NY; I know it." (But I don't, Ego. Pipe down.)
Ego now checked, I can admit it's a humbling feeling to know not a crevice of this city. To climb out from those subway steps, try to find your bearings, and think - okay, now which way? But in addition to humbling, it is incredibly inspiring. In any taxi cab, in any street, what are those passengers doing? They're looking up. That iconic look, with eyes full of wonder. Where am I? What's up there? This city, with its inhabitants all looking up, its buildings rising up, feeling your life, going up...
Like a resurrection. Which is timely, given it's Easter Sunday, but alas - you won't hear of religious parallels from me. My sort of beliefs lie in synchronicities, in coincidences, in little winks from the universe. And in that vein, I found myself engaged in an unexpected chat with a spirited pet shop owner my first day in the city. I was in search of some essentials; he was eager to dive deeper. "You just moved from Florida!?" he says. I brace for my usual reply, "Yes, I know, I --" "Well we must celebrate your resurrection!" he interjects. "People only move to Florida to die. But in NYC, well, people come here to live!" (sorry FL friends, his words - not mine) What an interesting thing for this stranger to say - as I was, in fact, feeling on the brink of a reinvention and ready for a new life. A life that I had always wanted and pictured - one that I had fought for - and finally had the open door for.
Since the moment I realized happiness is an active and constant pursuit, I've searched far & wide for it. I've sometimes circled back, and looked again - only to get sent in a completely unpredictable direction. Sometimes I've fought like hell for it, ever since the realization that it's neither given nor guaranteed, and it is that battle that makes the good times worthwhile. And what I've come to discover is happiness to me, is everything Wheels Up represents; it's being free. It's that moment the wheels lift off the ground, that freedom you feel as you take flight. You're not shackled to a place or a notion... You're on your way up, above it. You're free.
I couldn't wish for better place, right now, to continue my pursuit of happiness than in this great city that has epitomized freedom for so long, and for so many. It is here, tucked in my own corner of Manhattan, that the next chapter of Wheels Up begins...