Let’s talk about fears.
Writing became my first dream in New York when I was with my dad on his business trip. He would leave for work and I would write in the hotel all day. And at night we would learn the city. Even though I was only 13, my mind had been made up: that’s how I would live my life. Writing in New York.
So the fear of that unaccomplished dream will always follow me, but I think it’s a good kind of fear. It’s a fear spurred by goals. And I think this particular fear is charged by a need to belong in one place too. I need to write and feel at home, while still actively seeking new experiences.
But there’s little fears too. For instance, having your phone battery at 7% in the middle of Times Square where outlets are next to impossible to find and that phone is your main navigation on how to make it safely “home” for the night. That is true technological terror. Who are you as a traveler with no map and no direction?
We now neeeded to stop in every coffee shop. We bought an expensive glass of wine in a French bistro because they had a plug next to a table. We had officially become annoying tourists, but we needed the battery refill. Weirdly, our saving grace was finding the retail store Uniqlo which has locked charging stations for while you shop. (Every store should do this!)
There’s the little fear of getting lost even when your battery is full. The fear of not having enough to time to do everything you’d planned in the day. But every now and then, you look around from a “magical” place like the Empire State Building, and you stop worrying. Because you can live a life that’s only a quarter planned and still accomplish a lot!
Plus, if you don’t get a little lost, you miss out on the things you didn’t even know you were looking for. You realize sometimes the lack of a concrete plan invites excitement into your life in a way you didn’t expect.
It took us three tries to find an actual brunch place (all coffee, no food). We settled for a subpar lunch because the building aesthetic was adorable (empty stomachs, great pics). And we had great vegetarian when we stumbled upon it across from the comedy show we went to (cool decor, drool). This goes to show that you can Yelp a bunch, judge a book by its cover, but the best thing all day might be what you never planned on.
The day was full of unexpected treasures as we walked Williamsburg. That’s where we found Spoonbill Books and a bunch of thrift stores in a little strip mall. Here’s where my fear of not having enough money comes in. There’s a strong part of me that could spend every available dollar on books and clothing. But I don’t need to.
A lot of what I’ve learned this year is that spending my money on experiences is way more fulfilling than spending it on material possessions. I’d rather be in Brooklyn browsing books and clothes than stuck at home surrounded by shopping bags.