Traveling The World

Did I Make A Mistake? | NYC | Part 1

February 13, 2015
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A few years ago I spent my days dreaming about New York City. I had interviews lined up, apartments I was eyeing, and goals I was reaching for. I was so determined that I’d edit my resume daily and stalk LinkedIn for longer than I slept.

I was a college senior imagining strutting the streets of NYC with high heels, a perfectly tailored peacoat, and an ass-kicking advertising job.

I imagined late nights and early mornings that would make me appreciate the sun more. I thought about being just one of the millions chasing their dreams and hailing taxis. I smiled at the idea of summer in Central Park and of winter in the snow.

It would be New York that would mold me into the person I would become. It would be New York that would help me rise the corporate ladder. It would be New York that took my heart forever in exchange for a millenial’s dream.

I desired the glamour of the city lights as much as I wanted the poverty of closet-sized apartments. I wanted the high rises as much as I wanted to learn from the bottom. I wanted the Sex and the City brunches and the Mad Men pitches.

I craved to wake with the city and the horns that blared of deadlines and trading. I longed to fall asleep amongst the unmet passions that grew with fervor overnight. I needed to get over my fear of public transportation and yearned for a real bagel.

I wanted to be a city girl doing what she could to have people say “wow” when I handed them my business card. I wanted to make a name for myself across the endless pavements that guided the dreamers. I needed to be somebody; somebody more than who I already was.

I wanted to kick more ass than next season’s Christian Louboutins.

I was okay with being pale, with being poor, with being cold, and with always running against time; because to me, I looked forward to being bold, to being afraid, to being fierce, and to always dressing the part no matter how uncomfortable it was.

You see, I romanticized the city. So typically, romance is what would deter me. I chose an unexpected love in a city I had not hidden any dreams in. I chose love because I figured a person could love me better than a city could.

I swore 2015 would no longer read of the past, but this is exactly why I’m writing this now. I chose love, I lost it, and I lost NYC with it. But I’ll admit that what I gained in return I could not have dreamed of a few years ago.

Still I always wonder and the thought forever lingers – what if?

What if I had chosen me? What if I had chosen the lights, the dreams, and the 25-cent ramen I may be forced to eat? Where would I be now? Who would I be now? 

Now I embark to the city for the first time since I followed my heart instead of my head. I realize that this trip is more than just getting away for Valentine’s Day. This is the trip to see…

Did I make a mistake?

If I was wrong about him being right for me, could I have been wrong about NYC too? I guess I’ll let the city speak for itself… See you post frostbite.

Read Part II

13 Comments

  • Reply Angie K February 13, 2015 at 11:12 am

    We always make decisions we question later and ask ourselves, “what if”. Don’t regret it. Just enjoy every moment. 🙂

    • Reply Single Strides February 13, 2015 at 11:15 am

      Thanks Angie 🙂 jetting off in a few hours and I hope I can stay present in the moment!!

  • Reply mrsspike February 13, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    I think you needed to stay then just as much as you need to go now. “…what I gained in return I could not have dreamed of a few years ago.” You wouldn’t have that now if you had gone. You needed what you have now for what’s ahead. Thank your past and kiss your future!

    • Reply Single Strides February 17, 2015 at 9:10 pm

      You are absolutely right. Especially not that I’m back, I see this even more. It’s all about the journey, and it’s one I’m happy I changed course on.

  • Reply LilPhilosopher February 13, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    To answer your question, I think the answer is NO. I’m quite sure that you realize that some of those “mistakes” have lead to who you are today. From this side of the screen, it seems that you’re quite happy with who you’re evolving into. For those that are dreamers, the past seems to have a way to haunt us. Did I make the right decision, should I have taken a different path? Did I pick the right career? And the list goes on, but the truth is, at the time when we initially asked those questions, we made the right decision at the time. Lol it’s funny because I imagine a time in the future where you’ll look back at this trip, and ask your self other questions. It’s funny how our minds can recall the outcome that didn’t happen, and ask certain questions, but yet it can’t recall all the pondering we did about our decision.
    I’m going to say something that you yourself has said before, or at least I think you said it 😉 While goals, dreams and aspirations are important, they keep our compass pointed in the right direction. We should focus on and enjoy the journey, learn to be in the present slightly more than we’re in the past and the future. As a 30 something, I’m learning that many goals once you get there, then you ask “ok what now?” So if your focus is only on the goal, you’ll miss out on the experience you’re having right now.
    As long as you allow yourself to embrace the trip, give yourself the flexibility to see and do as much as you can. New York is a great city, so much history and culture, my favorite is watching the people on the subway. There’s soo much to see, walk down the streets you hadn’t planned, go explore, and take in every bit of New York. Perhaps you’re a New Yorker and you never knew it, but give yourself the space to experience it full on.

    • Reply Single Strides February 17, 2015 at 9:14 pm

      Your comments are always so well thought out. I definitely made the most out of the trip and didn’t think of it as a test. I experienced it all in the moment (as much as I could given the temperature). I think you make sure an interesting point about how I’ll probably look back and ask different questions – so true. It’ll be fun to look back on this and think how silly it was I was regretting a decision that got me farther than I intended to go when I made it. Everything really, really happy for a reason – and I’ll show this in Part II coming this week! It’s all an evolution, and a detour makes it more exciting than a clear-cut path.

      • Reply LilPhilosopher February 18, 2015 at 3:22 pm

        Sounds like your trip was enlightening and rejuvenating, given the weather of course. I’m in Northern California, so my trips to NY are always during the winter, I like to experience the snow. Of course the last couple of times I went, it was either too much snow, or too cold. Glad to hear that my comments resinated with you, lol otherwise I’m just blowing steam 😁
        Looking forward to hearing about your trip

  • Reply 1humbleguy February 13, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    Good luck!

  • Reply JunkChuck February 15, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    What if’s are nothing but daydream fodder. The only story that matters is how you got here from there.

    • Reply Single Strides February 17, 2015 at 9:11 pm

      It’s a hell of a story, that’s for sure 🙂

  • Reply teags130 February 18, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    You have commented on my blog before saying that I made the right decision to follow my dreams over love, and reading this makes me both confident in my decision and sad that someone else did what I wanted to do and it didn’t work out. It’s interesting though seeing the other side of my story. I enjoy reading your blog. I feel like we come from the same place who both made opposite decisions and wonder how life would be if we had chosen the other.

  • Reply Following Your Heart | NYC | Part II | Single Strides February 19, 2015 at 9:27 am

    […] Read Did I Make A Mistake? | NYC | Part I […]

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