For Thanksgiving I went to Long Island with my friend Jeff. He grew up in North Fork which is a summer destination for sailing and beach lounging on the furthest edge of the island. In the winter the town is quiet and sleepy with a grayish quaint charm. It was nice to be in a REAL home for a change- it had parents, food in the fridge, babies and big family vibes that I am so familiar with. They were so sweet to let me crash their party.
While in North Fork I spent some time on the windy beach and reflected on what I am thankful for. Now, I don’t want to get too sappy and start blubbering on about how wonderful life is.. I am thankful for my friends and my family- but hopefully I am letting you all know that separately. I want to quickly name a few specific (non-generic) things that I am thankful for and then get out of your hair.
1. New York City
My sister told me once that when people move to NYC they get obsessed with the fact that they are living there. New Yorkers tend to manifest it’s importance by allowing it to rising to the top of all conversations, music and literature. I’ve seen people fall into this thought process “oh.. you wouldn’t understand, you don’t live in New York” and to be honest this blasted city is so consuming, there are days that it is hard not to! However, NYC is far from my obsession. I see it more as my boxing coach. Strict, ruthless but teaching me when to punch, duck and tap out when necessary. The last 9 months I’ve gotten plenty of metaphorical black eyes and bloody noses. I’ve cried myself home on the subway, had brutal realizations of how the world functions and eaten cheap ass meals (cliff bars for breakfast, lunch and dinner. THANKS MOM!) to survive.
It’s not always a lovely place to be- but I will say that living in this grime covered, cement filled, corporate ladder climbing city has taught me lessons that I couldn’t have learned elsewhere. I’ve become a more accepting person, a better communicator and definitely a more confident individual. With this many people crammed into one place there is NO normal- you see every type of person you can imagine everyday. I am thankful that I have been thrown into this mixed bag of experiences. That I can taste such vast diversity while I am young and have the energy and strength to keep up.
2. Challenging Humans
I’m really thankful this year for the people who have come into my life and caused me hell, challenged my thinking and pushed me past my limits. I believe that I learn the very most when I am outside of my comfort zone and have had such varied people push me there this year. I am thankful that I have had the opportunity to navigate through challenges and successes. I've learned so much and feel rich with experience. I hope to succeed and fail in my endeavors in the coming year and continue to collect viewpoints and poise.
Meeting with Dharma Punx in the tiny yoga studio next to the gay bar on my street has been such a sweet surprise. Never before have I had the opportunity to sit next to complete strangers in silence and feel such a cool community. I am thankful for the opportunity to learn about purposeful living and find clarity on my perspective of this crazy journey we call life. Meditation has provided a space in my mindset that I haven't given myself before. I'm thankful for my bald, tattoo filled instructor and the new Buddhist systems I am learning to engage with.
Awee. Okay I’m done. But that is what I am super thankful for in this moment. I hope you all had time to reflect on what some of those things are for you.