Exuberation

Times Square

I feel–exuberation. For the first time in weeks! Exuberation. And I can’t help but give my trip to New York great credit for this renewed energy. It has been too long since I have visited the city where I was born, where I feel so in sync with the world and all its contents.

As much as I love San Francisco and Berkeley in comparison to the sleepy surburban town where I spent my schoolgirl years (really, the minute I stepped into the Bay Area as a college freshman I felt a reprieve from the suffocating Los Angeles suburbs), I love New York even more. As much as SF and Berkeley has made me feel alive and indigenous and happy, New York makes me feel…exuberant.

Even when it is hot and humid. (Is that a compliment or what?)

The first day in New York was frenetic and beautiful and historic and curious and stimulating. “What should we do next?” was an oft-uttered question that day. We touched three boroughs, tagging a point in my history, and raced back to the present, ending the day in a midtown bar. After months of sickness and grief, the world became timeless. We really could have been travelling through time, holding hands in the summery warmth of Manhattan, jackets over our arms, following our whims.

I loved it. We had 36 hours in the City, and my visit was years overdue (I “normally” visit New York every year or two)…I had so much to squeeze out of 12 hours of consciousness in this brilliant setting!

My checklist the next day had dwindled mightily after our first day. And still, it would have oodles of meaning and delight.

I meant to eat breakfast with my hubby, who had a packed work schedule (after all, this was a business trip) the second day. But I could not will my eyes to open. They really would not open, I swear. So I lay in bed, eyes glued shut somehow, listening to the shower run, and the muffled footsteps to and from the closet…and then the goodbye (“goooobye” I murmured, eyes shut)…and then the door shut. Then the world became quiet–though the morning light through the room’s curtains burned red behind my eyelids.

Sometime later, my alarm went off, and I knew I had to get up–for I had lunch with W.

I have great faith in meeting people off the internet. I think this is a realm where great connections can be made–and if we are brave enough to take the step and meet each other in “real life,” some great relationships can follow. (And you all know who you are).

I do love making connections in the universe–somehow, it makes me feel more alive. I can’t quite put a finger on HOW it makes me feel more alive exactly, but it makes me…happy. As W and I talked about the literati (Park Slope!) and writing and writing life and New York and The Strand…I felt buoyant.

Really–now I have begun questioning, “Why does meeting new friends feel so particularly awesome?” Is it because it makes me feel like my potential has expanded? That there are even more possibilities?

And thus, in a buoyant mood, I found myself bouncing up and down Manhattan (uptown for our luggage, and then back downtown to rendezvous with the hubby before heading to the airport). I sat, in a dim midtown bar, luggage around me, sipping a cocktail, eating nuts, writing in my journal, and reading Murakami. Happy as a clam. (Even though I am not sure clams can be happy, I happen to like that phrase).

I could have checked my luggage again at this hotel bar and headed over to do some more sightseeing–but somehow, I found that place, state of mind, and the act of reading and writing, an incredibly satisfying way to close out my short visit.

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12 Comments

Filed under Life, Memories, Travel

12 responses to “Exuberation

  1. I haven’t been to New York in years, but I’ve only been there once. I was in love and I vowed to go again. But when I went, it was with a group of people. I went where they said. Next time, it will be my call. Got any suggestions for a 2nd timer? It will almost be like my first time as I was young when I went last.

  2. It all sounds so exhilarating! Glad you made it there and back, and had a good time. Meeting online friends in real life really does expand one’s world and for the record, I also like the phrase, “happy as a clam.” It’s too bad you didn’t get to see our former teacher, VL.

  3. Alice: there is so much to do in New York! I’d have to know your general hobbies and interest to make recommendations. πŸ™‚

    Stephanie: I know! I TOTALLY FORGOT to tell VL that I was coming to town–it was only when I was walking through Brooklyn that I stopped and literally said, “DAMMIT!” I missed him, as a result.

  4. w

    I was so excited about your visit that I had two dreams about it before we met on Wednesday. And later that night, still buoyed myself, I cleaned the bathroom. Um… maybe most would say “I wrote twenty inspired pages,” but you see, I tackled something that had needed tackling for some time now, tied in with a very complicated issue from the last few years, and the energy came from a fulfilling day and meeting an old new friend. πŸ™‚

  5. New York (especially Park Slope!) makes me feel exactly the same way. And I am jealous that you got to meet W!

  6. ChaEsq

    You were here! And what a perfect week to have been here … I and my B also spent some quality time in the city this week, so I totally hear everything you’re saying about the wonders of NYC on a lovely summer day. Glad that it was reviving for you … come back soon!

  7. Pingback: Sisters « Loud Solitude

  8. Sounds like a great trip…cool photo!

  9. Lee

    Glad to read that you are finding some “balance” Jade. Life can be fun where that exists.

  10. Jade, I can’t believe I’ve been so crazed lately and missed your visit and didn’t even realize you were here last week! If you ever do make it to New York again, I’d love to meet face to face. Maybe someday I will get the chance?

  11. Nova: Would LOVE to meet with you “irl” next time I visit! I went “undercover” with my plans to visit this time, in order to evade “The New York Travel Jinx.” So I only emailed people who had expressed prior interest in meeting up! Now you are on my list to contact next time I go. πŸ™‚ (And I seriously wonder if we passed each other on the streets of SoHo somehow–can’t believe we did lunch within feet, and possibly minutes of each other).

    Lee: well, life balances itself out, eventually.

    elizabeth: you have plenty of cool photos yourself! πŸ™‚

    ChaEsq: so cool that you were there, too! I wonder if we mysteriously passed by each other on the streets.

    Susan: One word: AWP!

    W: Dude, here is to very clean bathrooms! I will energize you whenever you need it cleaned for sure. πŸ™‚

  12. NYC is amazing…and on my last visit — I couldn’t get enough of the city’s energy. I wish I could consider it as a future home…but the hubby is turned off by the high cost of living and the rat packed race. I suppose I’m a wanna be city girl.
    And in any event, it’s lovely to read about this positive experience in the Big Apple.
    In Kansas, we have the Little Apple at K-State…with a parallel Little Apple drop on New Year’s Eve.

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