Changing Our Selves, Not Otters

coming back to New York is difficult. i have been here a day and a half and already, i am overwhelmed with meetings, work, emails, rehearsals, and more. it comes down to this obsession with time. how can i find enough time in the day to do all these things and do yoga, Suzuki, clean my apartment, learn Japanese, read, fix my broken shower, play the ukulele, and take care of my cats and all of the others in my life: my “otters”? i start to hate New York City because she is not like Bali or my parents’ house or anywhere else.

and yet i know very surely and securely inside my self, that this is where i am supposed to be (for now). and so along with that knowledge comes acceptance.

it’s like a romantic relationship, right? we meet someone and we think they’re great. we go out a few times and we really connect, so we start to get excited. maybe this is the person that i will be with for a very long time, we think. we go out a few more times and we realize, oh wait. it really annoys me the way he does this…or, i wish she would just do that a little differently…some people go so far as to thinking that those things will change, or even more dangerously, that they have the power to change them at their own will.

i have come to believe that, in most cases, this is not going to lead to a good relationship. (will it last a long time? maybe. but will it be infinitely satisfying? doubtful.)

yes, there are things about us all that can stand some improvement. however, it is up to our selves to make those changes. even if we want to change, other people can’t do it for us.

i believe that it is better for everybody to greet one another with acceptance, taking in each person, each place, and each moment just as it truly is. not trying to change it to fit our expectations or even wishing it was different. it is beautiful just the way it is—and if you don’t think so, then someone else will. you have the freedom to move onto something that you can be happy with just as it is: that is how to create true change. start with your self. (and if you can’t find anything that naturally makes you happy, it is likely a productive endeavor to ask yourself why. if everything you see is gray, it is probably not the world that lacks color.)

and so this is my struggle with Ms. New York. only one day and a half here and i am already stressed out. my sleep patterns are disrupted. i wake up and my body hurts. my breathing is shallow despite doing yoga and repeated attempts to melt into the floor.  it is hard to find blankness here when everything is so vibrant.

and that is what i love about New York City too. so i realize that it is up to me to figure out how to stay sane and centered amidst all the chaos.

it has something to do with balance. (everything to do with balance???)

i can’t live in rural New Jersey without going insane from the lack of creative energy that the City naturally generates (her particular brand of nature). so it is up to me to take her in with full acceptance and find my own sense of nature alongside hers. if i resist what she has to offer, then i am not really here, am i? our romantic dates together will grow increasingly unsatisfying until, slowly, we realize that we can’t stand each other and one of us moves out. (in this case, this is her house, not mine.)

it is an impossible expectation for me to turn her into New Jersey or Bali or anything or anywhere else other than who she already is.

okay, New York City, i see you. you are as sassy as ever. and i accept you.

:: writing to you feels truly different in each place—and each one is beautiful and difficult in its own unique way::

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Written by lobsterbird