There’s a saying here in New York City that even the shrinks have shrinks. After living here nearly three years, I can only imagine some of the things therapists must hear on a daily basis so I really hope they have a sounding board of their own. While I do see a therapist from time to time, there are so many ways that this city has helped me grow as a person and tackle challenges head-on.
Taxi Drivers Offer Good Advice
Some may consider this to be odd behavior, but I generally sit in the front seat of taxi drivers. Since I usually take the subway or walk to save money, I would say that 9 out of 10 times, I’ve learned some valuable advice from taxi drivers. Many of them are from other parts of the world, which makes for interesting conversations. I always love asking them what it was like growing up in their hometown and then transitioning to life in the United States. Most of them are so grateful to be in NYC that it makes me remember that I too should never take my life for granted.
Taxi drivers also tend to have really positive energy. I remember one Halloween night (my birthday is the next day) I was lamenting to my poor taxi driver about how I hate turning another year older. I don’t remember what he said word for word but it was so comforting that I immediately felt revitalized. His general message was that each new year brings new experiences and that I will never truly grow as an individual if I’m not viewing each new day as an opportunity to better myself and the world.
Walking Clears My Head
Only in New York can you aimlessly walk the streets at 2 am and feel safe. I generally don’t walk alone at this hour but it’s nice to know that if I did, there would be enough other people in the streets to make me feel less alarmed. I’ve actually had some really motivational walks in New York simply because it’s hard to walk down a street and not feel inspired. Every neighborhood is uniquely different and has it’s own eclectic vibe that makes you feel “brand new” (Alicia Keys was right).
My favorite neighborhoods to walk through are NoLIta, SoHo, West Village and the Upper West Side. I try to avoid Union Square, Herald Square and anywhere even close to midtown when I’m looking for a peaceful walk. There have been some days when I walk for hours, crossing from East to West or from TriBeCa to Chelsea. Watching life as you go from neighborhood to neighborhood is sometimes all you need to solve your problems.
The Real Crazies Make You Feel Sane
This may seem like an obvious reason but I don’t think people understand the extent to the craziness in New York. On any given day, you will see the man who roams around town with his cat on his head or the woman who decided to paint the rainbow in her hair or the homeless man on the street who happens to be a talented chef. The list goes on and on but the important thing to remember is that everyone has problems and yet everyone finds a way to solve them.
While there are always going to be people crazier than the next, I’m happily content to admit that I’m a bit of an oddball myself. All my friends are too and this makes me feel like there are power in numbers. I like to think of New York as the place where the outcast fit in. Every time I feel misunderstood, I look around and am comforted by the fact that there are hundreds of other people who feel the exact same way.
I’m Constantly Inspired
There’s a reason why so many people take the risk and move to New York. There’s a glow about the people here that is truly magnetic. Everyone here is pursuing a dream and the energy that bounces from one person to the next is enough to stay motivated about my own life goals.
You really can never judge a book by it’s cover. Countless waiters are waiting for their next big break – some of them making it to huge success. For all you know, the local mailman may be pursuing a rap career and he may even have some talent. I’ve seen some pretty amazing street and subway performers during my time in New York and it certainly puts a smile on my face.
The Street Art Never Ends
I’m sure you all know how much I love street art and luckily, I came to the right city to find it on every corner. My favorite areas for art are in the East Village and along the Bowery but Queens and Brooklyn have some fantastic local street artists as well. I find inspiration from this sort of creativity and always stop in my tracks when I see a piece that speaks to my bohemian self. When I travel, I love exploring the art influences of a city. I feel in love with Valparaiso, Chile mainly due to the amount of street art created by locals artists.
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