Wednesday, June 07, 2006
The present of the moment.
From the moment my train dropped into the city of Manhattan until the moment it departed – I crossed off items on a long to do list.
- Say goodbye to Amelie
- Attend Z’s party
- See that hot boy you Friendstered last week
- Hit up Alive Again
- See your BFF
- Catch a drink with the cute boy you met in the Hamptons last weekend
- Brunch with Organically Speaking and her man Gordon
- Coffee with sis
- Party with that cute boy you met on the train
- Going away party for Amelie
- SNL After Party (stand awkwardly in the corner staring at the inconsiderate
cell phone guy)
- Flip the apartment
- Hang new drapes
- Attend friends film premiere at IFF in Brooklyn
- Make it to the French Church
- Pack the summer wardrobe
- Cure cancer
- Make the world safe for democracy
So many things to do and no time whatsoever to enjoy them.
Is this what my life in NY is all about? Because in DC it is not. I don’t need to schedule time to breathe in my outlook calendar. I don’t have anxiety attacks in the shower realizing I’ve double booked. I don’t toss and turn in the four hours I’ve scheduled to sleep because I’m scheming my way out of an obligation. In DC I don’t feel like if I sleep, I’m missing out on something. In DC, I can be present in the moment.
Now I know it’s nothing to do really with the city and everything to do with me. But in New York City, how does one do everything they need to do, see all the people that they love, follow every lead, maintain their personal network and stay focused in the moment?
I know that I am not doing this when I base the quality of my day on how many things I crossed off of my to do list. Instead of how many real connections I made that day, how many people I touched, how much I learned. I know, I know, I’m trying to do too much. I’m trying to juggle five items at once and when someone throws in a new one I just can’t seem to let an old one go. So I juggle six items, and then seven items, and then eventually, I drop them all.
How do I stop the wheel from spinning? How do I feel my feet?
Carpe tells me to go to an AA meeting. Somehow, life simplifies after an AA meeting. But sometimes, I spend the entire meeting thinking about what I’m going to get done when I leave. I can barely get through the serenity prayer before I’m out the door, on the phone, checking my blackberry for missed emails.
My sponsor suggests I take things off the list. I let go. Accept that I might miss out. And be okay with that. She tells me to set five goals for the summer and to cross everything off my list that doesn’t correspond to those goals. I try.
Lex tells me to pray.
I make lists.
I go to meetings.
And then something happens on the 2 train coming back from Brooklyn. An old man with wrinkled hands sits next to me with a mint plant. I smell mint. Another man is playing his iPod so loud that the girl across from me starts to sing along. I hear Madonna. A child is spinning on the pole in the center of the train with no care in the world for the peering eyes or the upturned noses or the tired stares. He is just free. And I feel it.
And then I pack my bags up and go back to DC.