No. 1 : Many visitors (thankfully). It has been absolutely fascinating to experience so many different people from various parts of my life meet up in NYC. Everyone has a slightly different idea of what might be great to see or take part in and I have really loved getting the one-on-one time exploring the city from different perspectives. I've also loved sharing "my" NYC with each one of them. Every time they leave, I have a week of grateful thoughts for the walks and the talks and the time together--each visit has left me with something profound, something cherished and I can only hope they also took a few impressions of my love back with them. 

No. 2 : Unparalleled energy. The undercurrent of potential here is one feeling I'll never forget. Though I cannot quite recall with any kind of clarity, perhaps it's what I felt, but could not name, when I started visiting at age 12? For me, the buzz begins every morning as I leave my building. The people I routinely encounter are discussing everything from physics (eww), to films (they're making, not seeing), to business deals. They're recounting conversations they've had, sharing ideas they're flushing out--kind of like tiny thinktanks scattered about. I thought Austin held the title, but NYC just might be the napkin writing capital of the world.  I'm not even ashamed to say I eavesdrop here like crazy and sometimes I'm really jealous of the idea in the middle of the table getting all that brain power from people who want to see it born. Mostly, I just feel a whole lot of gratitude for being in the position to collect these glimpses of concentration and brainstorming. I swear each one is informing me...even the overheard physics chatter.

No. 3 : The paradox of urgency and presence. One of the biggest revelations is that other than the texting/walking thing, NYorkers don't seem to multi-task much. They are some of the most present people I've ever spent time with. When they're working through a challenge, it's with laser-like focus. When they're brainstorming an idea, it's fierce and generally with full-body participation viewed as passion. When they're dining with friends, it's S-L-O-W and unfolds naturally and ALWAYS with some kind of personality reveal which takes me by surprise. When they're lounging in the park on a Sunday reading a book, it's an all-day, fully committed restfest interspersed with the obligatory napping.

In a city of distraction, I expected more frenetic attention but what I'm experiencing is the exact opposite. It's just no wonder anymore to me why so many incredible ideas are seeded and born here. In my opinion, it's full-cycle creating and living at its finest.

The fact that I have s-l-o-w-e-d down in NYC is an irony which will live hysterically within me, always. 

No. 4 : Priority Shift. It's not so much that I have slowed down really but that my approach to my to-do list has slowed and it looks radially different than ever before. Sure, NYorkers are FAST and efficient and driven but from what I've experienced, they are also equally as focused and deliberate and brazen with their constant learning. Daily, I've included a planned and non-negotiable priority on my to-do list that includes something which I've yet to experience or see or learn about. These curiosities range from a new food at the Halal pushcart on the corner to a writing class that both showed me how far I still have to go and the potential which exists. I've put myself in some socially uncomfortable circumstances and learned something new each time...and not always pleasant but the point is I promised myself from the moment I stepped off the plane to SURRENDER to the lessons which were meant to find me and the seeking is making all the difference in the world. Synchronicity and serendipity are alive and kicking in the West Village.

No. 5 : Connectivity. I had a very limited network of four people in NYC when I arrived but let me tell you those four have connected me to people and experiences that I cannot even properly communicate. It has been incredibly humbling to be the recipient of such connection and help as I navigate the reinvention waters. I will spend the next 40 years paying forward the kindnesses and coffees and guidance which have been extended on my behalf. 

I HEART NYC even more than I did in my dreams. And, I appreciate NYC. I will find a way to give something back, I assure you.

Kelley RoseComment