I survived! Are you surprised? New York City was my Mount Everest – and I climbed it!
Would I be lying if I told you being in the Big Apple was as easy as going into the town I currently live in? It would be only a small stretch of the truth. Everyone had me so frightened. I wasn’t sure whether I would die at some bus depot or in the city itself, but I was just sure I was going to die.
So, why did I go? Why do hundreds of people climb Mt. Everest every year? To prove something, anything, to themselves. I am stronger, not because I conquered the city. I am stronger because my faith that I would be fine, rather I lived or died, grew stronger. It was not a test for God, but a trust in his judgement for my own inadequacies, driving me to take this risk.
I guess you would call this a mid-life crisis. I needed to prove to myself that I would not be held back from life by my own inhibitions, or those fears of others around me. Often, the people who are supposed to love us the most are the ones that in pied our actions.
I read a book, Let The Elephants Run, by David Usher, this last Sunday. He talked about how we train our children to let go of their inner freedom of imagination, exploration, and curiosity. He was teaching his readers how to explore new ideas and become creative beings.
For too long, I held myself back on so many levels of life. During my mid-life crisis, I’ve discovered life is too short! I want to live, explore, dream, take risk.
Some of my fears have been heights and closed in spaces. I traveled 80 floors up, in one swoop, as me and several other tourists found our way to the top of the Empire State Building. After another six floors, I stepped out into unknown heights and peered over the edge, without fear. I enjoyed the view, the ride and the moment as I attacked both of those fears head on, and won.
When I first stepped out of the bus station, both my Google maps and Uber (basically taxi drivers that find you) were not working in a fashion I could understand. So there I was, a very small woman (despite my weight) alone, 100% alone, on an island of survivors.
I took a deep breath and walked up to my first taxi driver. He was Asian in decent, and raised in India. If you are a fan of Ice Road Truckers – you would have loved this man. He drove the death rode of India most of his youth. He lost only one truck that was pushed down the mountain by a boulder. He and his assistant driver jumped just in time. He took the longest of any driver to get where I was going, but I had a great time talking with him. He drives just like you see drivers, maneuvering in India. Scary!!!!
I quickly marked a map in my mind of Manhattan and walked everywhere. Each time I needed directions to a new place, there was always someone close and willing to provide me with detailed descriptions of road names, turns and signs to direct me where I wanted to go. Regularly, I was advised that the walk was further than they would want to walk, but I moved on. I saw so much more hoofing it then I ever would have in a taxi.
The 911 memorial was memorable. I walked the edges reading many of the names listed, and prayed for their families.
I ate my first full meal at Balthazar’s, on Spring St., It is a French restaurant. I loved my Salmon, and the sauce was superb. My second full meal was at a truck. It was just chicken, rice and salad, but he made his own white sauce that I couldn’t get enough of.
I drove down the Hudson River, saw Times Square lit up at night, bought my girls each a new make-up brush at Bloomingdales on Broadway and sat on the sidewalk as I observed the local’s behavior. I will write more about that later.
Do I have any regrets? Yes! I did not find Choi Min Ho. Some Google+ friends found him. I was in the area he was at, but I did not catch his presence. I did watch some models step out of their SUVs and the cameras flashed from every angle while she posed. I guess this is the closest chance I will ever have to stand near this man I admire, and I lost it. Oh well, I think……there is always next time!