New York State of Mind

I love New York.

I didn’t at first.  It was 2005 and I was sent to NYC for work, to shadow my colleague (and now dear friend) Anthony who was producing a rock concert for one of our clients.  I found New York to be extremely chaotic, loud, agitating, and just plain annoying.  Filled with foul smells, constant noise, and brash, pushy people that grated on my nerves like a mosquito circling your ear at 3am.

That was in large part due to the fact that I hungover and experiencing Times Square for the first time.  Nothing like a little outer chaos and overstimulation to calm an upset belly and aching head.

It was only when my dear friends Nat & Tony moved to the Big Apple that I got to truly experience the other side of New York.  The beautiful, friendly, healthy, nurturing and just plain ol’ gorgeous side of her.  Nothing like a little outer peace and tranquility to calm a indecisive gut and confused mind.

It was 2011 and I was in NYC again for work but managed to tack on a few days of ol’ fashioned R&R with my friends.  At the time, I was burnt-the-F-out trying to manage my full-time marketing career with my burgeoning part-time coaching career but was scared shitless to dump the cozy confines of my salaried job.  It was a sweet gig producing indie rock concerts in some of the most iconic music venues around America.  Why would I ever want to leave that?!?  But here’s the thing, I’d arrive home from these road stints exhausted.  I’d come from from long hours at the office exhausted.  I’d get up in the morning and feel exhausted.  The only thing that energized me was coaching.  Even after a long day at the office, I’d come home ready for bed, but I’d have a coaching client at 8pm.  By 9:01pm I would literally dance around my 550 sq. ft. apartment with this boundless energy.

Kinda like the energy you feel when you go to New York City.

So on July 14th as Natalie, Anthony, and I were sucking back blood orange margaritas talking about our lives and dreams, that same energy wrapped itself around me again.  I felt as if with each sip through that straw I was drinking in not only the icy (yet warm) tequila but also the courageous energy of a city that has birthed many a new venture.  It was there on the patio of Dos Caminos that I mustered up the courage to declare…

“I’M GOING TO QUIT MY JOB AND BE A LIFE COACH!!”

And no word of a lie, mere moments after we clinked glasses to celebrate my declaration, fireworks shot up over the Hudson River.

Fireworks.  Frickin’ FIREWORKS!!

Although I didn’t know why these fireworks were going off, I did know that I needed to see them with my own two eyes in an effort to ‘cement’ the declaration I had just made to the world.  A ‘stamped it, no erasies’ kind of thing.

Now let me preface this with the fact that I generally do NOT run unless there’s a fire or I’m being chased.  But when those fireworks shot up, I shot off from that patio with a speed and agility that would rival ANY Olympian (and I was in flip flops, take that Usain Bolt!).  I tore across the street, down the block, and up the stairs to the High Line and was stopped in my tracks by the most beautiful display of Disneyland-esque fireworks.  Thankful that I had caught a glimpse of them, I started to tear up.  Their loud booms penetrated my soul and as ‘woo woo’ as it sounds – I was changed.  A couple of minutes later Natalie & Anthony caught up to me and no words were needed between us.  All we could do was stop, stare, hug, and cry as these fireworks lit up the sky for a good 20 minutes or so.  I think I actually fell to my knees at one point in sheer gratitude – humbled by the apparent celebration of life, dreams, and taking risks.

That half hour or so spent overlooking the Hudson River felt absolutely surreal and as close as I can imagine I’ll ever get to a sort of ‘rebirth’ (fitting since we were at a river).  So, to honour my ‘birth’ I curated a wee playlist to remind me of the importance of a calm and confident ‘New York State of Mind’.  It features music from the decade I was actually born (the 70’s), and my favourite genre of music, good ol’ Rock n’ Roll.

[8tracks url=”[8tracks width=”300″ height=”250″ playops=”” url=”http://8tracks.com/mixes/2436310″]

Oh, and I’d highly recommend the ‘frozen blood orange margarita’ from Dos Caminos.  And the guacamole – get the large.

And if you’re finding yourself at a crossroads, I’d invite you to make your own crazy declaration and trust the energy that gets you excited, that fills you up, and makes you dance.  The energy that makes you feel powerful, assured, confident and calm.  I know it’s easy to stay safe and small, I’ve done it all my life.  But instead of running away from your dreams I’d encourage you to run towards them instead.  Even just a small step in that direction.  Set your intention.  Declare your dreams to a friend.  Make a vision board.  Take one tiny action step towards your dream and then another and another.  And before you know it, you’ll be rewarded with your own fireworks display.

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