Remember when I said I was taking time out and slowing down? Well, my strange version of time out actually involved me moving to New York for the summer. Not exactly slowing down, after all this is the city that never sleeps. But, nevertheless a change of scenery from London’s skyline to New York’s giant skyscrapers was actually just what I needed.
There’s something wonderful in knowing that your time is actually YOUR time. That your day is completely yours and what you decide to do with it is up to you. I haven’t had this kind of freedom since I was in school. It feels odd not working, but also wonderfully liberating. For someone who finds that the busier they are the more productive they are, being forced to take time out of work and purely write for yourself like this feels strange, but I also think it’s going to shape me and my writing and probably change us both forever. What better way to find out who you are as a person than to remove yourself from what your’re comfortable with and what you’re used to.
So far, the city has been everything I thought it would be. I’ve been here before on a school trip a few years ago and I can remember the feeling when I first saw the city lights. We were driving into Manhattan from JFK airport in a mini bus. I can’t remember which bridge, but I do remember seeing the huge sky scrapers for the first time. I remember them growing and growing as we got closer and closer and then totally engulfing us like a whale swallowing a small boat.
I feel like it’s swallowed me up this time too. You can’t help but feel that when you’re surrounded by buildings bigger than you could ever have imagined. It does feel like it could make or break you. There are obviously things I’m not used to: the 30°C heat in the spring, the actual distance between places in real life compared to what it looks like on a map and the fact the subways rarely seem to indicate when the next train will arrive (at least not in Brooklyn where I’m staying). But I’m expecting it to challenge me. I’m expecting it to change me. It is New York after all.