When I boarded a plane ten days ago to New York City, I knew it was the beginning of a story.
But I didn’t realise it was going to be a love story.
As my feet touched American soil for the first time it hit me that this was a fresh start. I could be anything I wanted. Nervous and excited I started exploring the big city. Big being the right word, the architecture in Manhattan is so lofty even a hardened Londoner such as myself feels like an ant in a forest.
As night fall approached the overwhelming sense of excitement turned to deep fear and sadness. It hit me. I was alone. In New York. Standing on the Brooklyn Bridge at midnight looking out at the famous Manhattan skyline with nobody to share it with.
A year of heart ache and feeling like a bruised peach had left me feeling a bit bitter and with a slight sense of self loathing. Being on my own had begun to feel like a chore and to be honest it wasn’t a comfortable experience.
I’ve never particularly felt comfortable being on my own in public. Turning up to parties alone, standing waiting for someone outside a cinema and worst of all – sat in a cafe eating alone. So what better way to over come this than throw myself into a new city alone for 10 whole days? That had been the game plan. But now I felt lonelier than ever.
I pursued. I had to. It’s all you can do once you’re miles away from home without anybody to talk to. Throw myself wholeheartedly into the city. I met up with long lost friends, I took every invite I was given, smiled back at people on the subway and in return was only met with warmth. New York welcomed me with open arms.
After a few days of meeting lots of people and having many adventures I suddenly realised I was falling head over heels in love. Over the course of a few days I was a new person.
It took me by surprise. This trip wasn’t meant to be about that. It wasn’t meant to be about finding love. The whole point was to realise that I didn’t need it in my life to feel whole.
But that’s just the thing. When you least expect to find something it finds you. I had unwittingly opened my heart to the most important relationship I’d ever have. I’d fallen in love with New York and the people who showed me a good time whilst being there.
And on my final day in New York, after 10 wonderful days I sat down at a restaurant for one last taste of the city before I headed to the airport. And for an hour, I sat at a table eating a meal with the best company anyone can have.
Me, myself and I.
“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance”
– Oscar Wilde
I’d like to take this opportunity to send my love and wishes to all those affected by Hurricane Sandy.