Lesson #234: Lessons from New York City (Day 3)

3/12/15.

New York City.

What can I say?

I’ve had a fascination with the city ever since I can remember. The variety of people. The fast-paced energy. The houses, and cafés, and fire escapes. The stores on every block, the fashion, the vendors, the lifestyle.

I’ve been every summer for the past few years, and it never gets old to me. I come in complete awe, and I leave in complete awe. I’ve seen many parts of the city; my dad grew up in Brooklyn and I’ve visited family in Manhattan, Queens, and Long Island. I’ve been to Broadway, Canal Street, Waverly, Madison, Park. Every trip has been memorable. But this time, it wasn’t just a visit with my family, or a day trip with my girlfriends. It was spring break, and my friends and I decided to stay by ourselves for a few days in the big apple.

I learned a lot, just within the first 24 hours.

I summed up the series of unfortunate events for you in my first lesson of the New York City trilogy, or so we’ll call it. But I’ll give you another quick run-down.

The hotel gave us shit for not being 21. The bald man at the front desk almost wouldn’t let us check in, even though we got the deal from a family-friend. We couldn’t get in anywhere, because we weren’t 21. All of the big plans we had for our trip literally fell through within the five or six hours. We had to find new things to do, and we couldn’t do the things we had been excited for for two or three months. We arrived in New York at 5:30am but couldn’t check in until 3pm, so we had to roam around for eight hours. When we checked out, they overcharged the card but said that the charge wasn’t showing up at all, so we had to find a way pay again. I’m probably boring you with mishaps now, so I’ll just leave it at that.

But looking back on it all, despite all of the shit, we had a lot fun. We went to the famous Stardust Diner and caught up with an old friend, we visited seals and pandas at Central Park Zoo; we saw a mid-day movie, got late night cookies, saw Aladdin on Broadway (SO GOOD I DIED), got on a jumbotron in Times Square, and hung out by the Hudson River. All but one of these things was something we originally planned. But we just went with the flow, and made one hell of a trip out of it.

I’m completely broke, exhausted, and sitting at home in my bed, about to pass out as write this.

I guess that doesn’t sound too great, but I think that’s how it should be.

If New York has taught me one thing this time, it is that nothing is perfect.

We tell ourselves this a lot.

We aren’t perfect, other people aren’t perfect, blah blah blah.

We apply it to situations and experiences sometimes too, but I think I really understand it now.

Sometimes we expect something to be great, and it ends up being flawed, or not up to par. But in the past few days, nothing that I expected to be great could have been flawed, because it didn’t happen at all. Because of this, the entire experience was flawed instead. Now that’s when nothing is perfect. And I think there is something special about that.

When you do things you didn’t originally plan on doing—after the initial disappointment—your head and heart are automatically open to the adventure. Because what the hell could wrong now, am I right? When nothing turns out the way you imagined it would be, everything becomes beautifully flawed. It becomes fun. It becomes unknown. It becomes an undertaking; a challenge. It becomes an adventure.

So thanks for being kind of shitty to us, New York.

Because in that way, it ended up being pretty great.

When things go wrong, that means that anything can go right.

Until next time, NYC.

Day 235.

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