Yesterday was just like any other day. I had my normal cup of Red Hook Roast coffee while I walked Mosie our usual path around the corner of Dekalb. I got dressed while Lucius played in the background and quietly praised my expensive boutique workout classes when my pants zipped without much effort. I walked a mile to the subway, the same path I take everyday, and made a mental note to finally try that South African place I keep eyeing. A rising sense of rush came over as I watched bikers race in business pants with their briefcases attached to the side of their city bikes. Horns echoed while red lights acted as downtown Brooklyn’s morning dictator. I looked down at my espadrilles and thought, I should walk faster.
I raced down the concrete stairs of the subway station, bolted through the turnstile like I had somewhere really important to be, and skipped the final steps to the platform just as the B train left screeching like a lightening bolt with the speed of a snail. I waited 5 mins for the next train while I pretended like it was a real hassle so to fit in with the other commuters. The crowd of straphangers grew denser, each one taking turns looking down the barrel in anticipation for their next bout of habitual morning tasks. I began to question the train’s schedule just as its light peaked through the darkness.
We all boarded, too eager to permit current passengers an easy exit. We filed in like ants marching to a crumb and piled tight with an awkward I don’t know you this well disposition. I peaked over a burly man’s shoulder as we rode across East River and gawked as the Manhattan sky line came into view. Kanye was playing in my ear buds per usual.
It was a normal day. It was exactly like the day before.
I walked up from the subway at 42nd street in Mid Town. The Chrysler Building was beaming in the sunlight, a new AM New York was thrown into my hands, and the crosswalk was filled with people already checking emails on their iPhones. Bryant Park’s fountain made a fresh come back from its winter break, but mostly – today was exactly like the day before.
And the day before that one.
I walked past the same street performer I saw yesterday. He sat with two hamsters, two rabbits and a parrot all piled on the same ratty, tan carpeted cat tower they’ve been sitting on year round. A sad dog sat next to the tower with another rabbit on the sidewalk. The city streets seemed to fly by them, almost as if they were an island of stillness. New tourists crowded around – making it seem like the sedated animals were something really thrilling, but they were all the same as the day before.
I walked up to my office building, swiped my card to pass through security, rode the elevator up to the top floor and thought – how is this weird, hectic life so normal to me now? I’d already forgotten the time I didn’t feel like a local here.
Yesterday a friend said to me, “Aren’t we living the dream?” My mind began to race with everything that was currently on my things to accomplish list as I tried to place this dream he was talking about.
In a slew of days, weeks and months small changes in life merge until you can no longer see where you started, only where you are. When I look back at the starting point, I can hardly remember what led me here. This was my dream since I was 16 years old, and while I celebrated the moment when I found out it was coming to fruition, I haven’t celebrated my time here. My time actually getting to live the dream out. I think a lot of us forget that. We work and work for something to happen, and never return the acknowledgment that we achieved something.
I’m constantly looking forward for what’s to come, etching out in my mind what I need to do to get to the next now, that I forget all of the feats that led me this far. I forget to enjoy where I am.
I guess what I’m trying to say (mostly to myself) is, just because you’ve made it to your dream doesn’t mean you’ve finished living it. Don’t let a big feat feel like a small feat when you spent years getting there.
Stop chasing and start living it out.