I look back at my life in NYC now as a distant memory. I can never truly imagine returning to the hustle and bustle of my old life. But I look at that old life of mine and wonder what it truly was that made me decide to completely redo the makeup of my life. Customers at the bar where I work and clients who dive off the boat I work for, ask me all the time what made me decide to walk away from what they imagine must have been such a “charmed life.” I explain that I was bored. The truth is that I felt unsatisfied by my life…I felt as though there had to be more meaning to life than what I got out of it. I think the fact that I was never able to find someone with whom I could share my life…someone who I could imagine sharing my dance space with…didn’t help fulfill my life. Yet, when I left, men were the last things on my mind. I didn’t come here looking for a boyfriend or a husband…if anything I probably thought that ship had already sailed.
But, I was already a diver, a hobby that had already shown me to islands in the Caribbean which were so different from where I had lived and what I had known. It was during one of those dive trips that I had first envisioned myself as existing some place other than NYC. It was the diving which I had always known would be my reason for leaving my “Simon Says” life. It would be the excuse for why I’d decided to just pick up and walk away from everything…because I wanted to become a Scuba Diving Instructor. I wasn’t married and I had no children, so regardless of my age, I felt as though it was now that I should do it…and who knows what I would find!
I remember spending a lot of time during the last month or two that I was in NYC contemplating my real reasons for leaving. I remember thinking that I had needed to stop and smell the coffee. Living in NYC for my whole life, I had learned how to fit in so many activities and errands into a given day that efficiency was my middle name. But it left me always running around. Always worrying about being able to finish one project before having to start another one…rushing through stuff without really giving myself the chance to enjoy it. I was in control and I certainly never felt as though I was ever overwhelmed or stressed out, but I just felt as though I just didn’t have enough time to enjoy anything…time to smell the coffee because I didn’t know how to fit that into my schedule. Having grown up in NYC, I had so many friends all over who did so many different things and I had always wanted to be part of everything. I had wanted to go with these guys upstate to go hiking (probably doing reading for a class while on the train…retaining nothing of what I read) and then rushing back in time to make it to some party for one friend and then a late dinner with someone else…imagine how many people and places I’d be able to see in just one day! And how much of that would I be able to truly enjoy without worrying about possibly being late for one thing or missing a train to get some place else on time, etc. etc.
So I decided that I would need to learn to do that. I’ve been here almost 2 years, and I still have not learned how to do it…but I do spend a lot more time trying than I used to. I do still have days when I’m bored and require someone or something new to entertain me, but I am better at being able to entertain myself…and smelling the coffee…as a matter of fact, I’m going to take a break to make myself some now!
There is also nothing better than being able to go for a bike ride up the beach to watch the sunset. Or to go swimming in the pool in my apartment complex in order to forget my day at work, waiting for the stars to come out. Yes, I miss my friends and my family…but I don’t miss the feeling of my having to see all of them every weekend…the methods I used to have to use in order to be in 3 places at one time. And believe me, it was no one else’s fault except my own. I did it to myself and I think that in the process, I became a loner! I hope to be able to one day return to NYC to visit…but I have to tell you that I’ve become so spoiled by being able to get up in the morning and deciding what I’m going to do today without having to meet people at different times, at different places but instead spending some time smelling my delicious coffee. Oh…my coffee pot just beeped! Gotta go…ciao for now!