The universe saw fit to send me back to the East Coast, from whence I came, for the holidays to revisit my ghosts from the past, present and future! How this visit happened and what I thought it would offer me still remains unclear to me. I think that at some point many months ago, I said yes! I know that I quickly forgot about that plan, going about my business, living in the present moment, in the now.
But, I am here, in the middle of the big apple, trying to make sense of my past, present and clearing the way for my future. I'm hoping through this process of looking back at my past, I can finally let go of all that no longer serves me and I can move forward into a new year.
I believe that one cannot nibble at the Big Apple! It is imperative to just a take a big bite. I know this because I used to live here. I lived in NYC for eight years in my twenties, after graduating from undergraduate school as an RN, BSN. So, today was like coming home to a very old friend who has transformed, just like me, into a place that I never imagined it would become-a clean, safe and hospitable place to visit. With all that said, I go forward ready to devour the Big Apple!
Almost immediately Big Apple offered me a rare chance to relive a "good" childhood memory. As I visited Rockefeller Center and watched the skaters, I remembered how I skated there as a small child, finishing up with a warm cup of cocoa and some rare family togetherness. My family visited NYC every Christmas while I was growing up to see the windows, walk the city and of course, see the Rockettes. Funny enough, today I even saw the Rockettes! However, they weren't kicking up their heels on the stage at the Radio City Music Hall. Today in 2016, the Rockettes were handing out coupons for their next holiday extravaganza matinee outside on the street in front of the theater. Everything changes!
Although lots has changed in Manhattan since my childhood visits, I am so grateful for the gift to remember a time, when so much of my history hadn't been written yet. I hadn't made a whole lot of bad decisions and hadn't overcome so many challenges. I remembered a time when my only worry was about staying warm and getting extra whipped cream for my hot chocolate.
I spent the rest of the day walking 5th Avenue taking in the spirit of the holiday season that you can only get on 5th Avenue in Manhattan. After taking in all the glitz and the glamor of the store windows, listening to the incessant playing of Christmas carols, I made my way to St Patrick Cathedral. When I lived in NYC, I often made my way to this church, praying for strength to overcome illness and the death of my father.
Today, as I entered the cathedral the same sense of grace washed over me. To me, this is not a place of religion but rather of spiritual retreat. Today, I prayed for the courage and the strength to let go of all the beliefs, people, places and things that no longer serve any purpose in my life. I prayed that all my changes would be easy and that I would have the strength to shine my light brighter in the new year.
I awoke the next morning filled with hope, energy and anticipation for another day that would undoubtedly offer me more opportunities to remember and let go. This "today" is the day of our last full moon so letting go and releasing the past was definitely on my mind.
I started the day off with a walk through Chelsea and Granmercy, home of my first employer, NYU Medical, my first apartment in NYC and so many other firsts that it seemed like I was reliving my 21st year. Just how much I remembered surprised me since I've burned a bunch of brain cells in the last 27 years!
I walked through Greenwich Village, where you can longer find any dudes selling or smoking weed. Now there are really clean children's playgrounds and lots of tourists taking pictures. My walk then took me through Little Italy, Christopher Street and onto the Chelsea Market, a feast for every sense and my stop for breakfast and time to reflect, again! I love the Big Apple and marvel how quickly I adapted to the subways and to the faster pace. My feet somehow remembered the cadence of the city streets and the sound and the smells of the subway. Where had almost thirty years gone? Why did all these places feel so familiar when I hadn't been here in almost 30 years? And, how had I become someone who was now a completely different person. That is a subject for another blog. Here is some the beauty I saw:
This ends day two of my adventure. Please continue to follow me as I uncover and release through my journey with my past. I will post during my trip and after so that you know how this trip ends!