I drifted in and out of sleep as my fellow passengers and I waited aboard the small commuter jet to take off. I was exhausted, but a good exhausted, after spending the past week in New York for back-to-back meetings for work. My mind wandered as I stared out the window while we slowly made our way to the runway.
The plane sped up as we barreled down the long stretch of concrete and the sky was blue with a hint of pink as the sun prepared to fall into the horizon for another night. The Manhattan skyline glistened as we glided into the air and the pilots made a U-turn over the Atlantic Ocean and headed west.
The seat next to me was empty, so I stretched out a bit and settled in for the nearly three-hour flight. I felt torn. I’ve felt torn for a lot of years, like I have two lives – one in Minneapolis and one in New York. Both are places I love dearly and are home to people I adore. I’m constantly missing one or the other.
Late Saturday morning I grabbed breakfast at a cute little spot in Greenwich Village with a couple of friends. The morning was bright and crisp, which was a refreshing follow-up to some fun shenanigans that went well into the wee morning hours the night before.
After we ate, we parted ways with one of the girls and continued to meander around the village. We came across a small park where, settled in amongst the benches and pigeons, was a man playing cover songs on a beat up piano. Perched on a nearby bench, we sat and listened awhile.
There were people scattered around the public space, eating breakfast, talking, thinking, being. There was an older man who looked worn, lightly tapping his foot to the music and wearing a sly smile. In that moment, there was happiness.
It was an inspiring experience and it’s one of the things I love so much about New York. Creativity and motivation are everywhere. I feel alive when I’m there and, in a weird way, closer to my real self.
This morning I awoke in my own bed in Minneapolis. My body was tired and I spent the majority of the day split between being camped out on my couch and doing random household chores before pulling on my gear and heading out into the frozen air to play a game of broomball. The temperature was hovering right around 0 Fahrenheit as I slapped on my helmet and took my place at goalie.
A lazy day in my 1920’s bungalow and an afternoon playing a favorite winter pastime of the Midwest, I felt happy, too. It was familiar and comfortable. It was easy.
To be continued…