Sometimes life has a way of throwing you subtle reminders of what is important in our little lives. This weekend that reminder was given to me by a screaming mentally ill street person in the East Village. But let me regress…
I spent the weekend in NYC celebrating the 30th birthday of one of my best friends, Jeanette. Being in NYC at Christmastime, you find yourself surrounded by all the glamorized Christmas cheer – the tree, the ice skating, the window displays, the pop up Christmas tree vendors, the chestnuts roasting on an open fire. The thousands upon thousands of people. I was so excited to get off the train, find my friend a few blocks away and start celebrating. And then I stepped foot into Penn Station and wanted to escape the swarms of stressed out and angry people.
Walking the three blocks to the subway station to meet Jeanette took longer than my commute to work. People were just standing in the streets looking around and NOT moving. The idea of staying in this midtown crowd and attempting to walk to Rockefeller Plaza was dismissed as easily as the idea of eating sauerkraut for the rest of my life. Once we finally made it onto the Subway, we felt like smushed cattle and were sweating like pigs. Not exaggerating. I was literally counting the seconds in my head until we reached our stop. I don’t know how anyone could live in Midtown NY and brave doing any errands during the month of December. All the things that could be enjoyable were not.
No, This picture does not document the crowds that were around Macy’s and Penn Station.
We literally jumped out of the subway and ran up the stairs and were greeted with the much more friendly and livable NY that I love, the East Village. Although I couldn’t live here now, the village always fills me with romantic thoughts of what life could have been like had I chosen to go to school in the city and lived the bohemian life as a poet. (everyone had a crazy dream like that, right?!). I love the vast array of cafes, bars, boutiques, and pop up street shops, and the fact that there are zero crowds anywhere. Jeanette also asked for perfect weather, and mother nature did not disappoint. We were greeted with beautiful 70 degree weather on the weekend before Christmas.
We and two other girl friends rented out an apartment from AirBnB. With a refrigerator, bathroom, and two beds it suited our needs. We were ready for a night of roaming the streets and bar hopping. Girls’ weekends are like a little retreat. A time to recharge your girly batteries and laugh about silly things. I got a serious workout this weekend by laughing alone. I hardly took any photos – the night flew by.
After we shared two bottles of the finest champagne (ie J Rogets at $7.99 a bottle – still on a tight budget at 30!) we hit up a Cuban place for dinner. Other highlights included a few champagne cocktails at the French inspired Bougioues Pig, bourban drinks at the highly pretentious speak easy themed Death and Co. and finishing the night as the oldest people in the bar at The Library (but thank god for cheap drinks!).
As I end my 30th year, I am definitly starting to feel older. My hangovers are more intense, I get tired very easily, food sticks to my hips like superglue, I choose staying home over going out and yoga pants over tight dresses and I managed to go out in NY without going broke or feeling like death the next morning. It was pretty fantastic! I’m all about being a thirty-something. Aging is something to be proud about. Twenties were a confusing and fun mess, thirties feels like a new life is starting.
No, I didn’t forget about that subtle reminder life threw my way this weekend:
As we were walking out to get provisionals for the evening (cheese and Champagne), life handed me my subtle reminder. While crossing Houston St we crossed paths with a man who could barely stand up straight and looked like he just drank his weight in grain alcohol screaming “I’M AWAKE! I’M WALKING!”
How true dear man. How true.
Yes, this is the gift we should be most happy for. To have the ability to wake up every day, to go out into this world and make the most of it. We are given the gift of living – the rest is up to us. We are blessed with the power of freedom and choice. As long as you are awake and walking you have the power to choose how you want to live your life. Go out and be and that person. Don’t waste another minute.
I’m going to embrace my life.