My Biggest Adult Decision

Husband and I with one of our best friends 5 years young.
Husband and I with one of our best friends 5 years ago…so young.

Husband and I have been together for 8 years this February, and we have been married for almost 8 months. Throughout our relationship we have made lots of big choices together….

Do we stay together during a very long distance relationship? Do we move to Tennessee or Texas? Blonde or Brunette? Keep a cat or give it to Zoey? Toyota or Honda? Verizon or T-Mobile? New York or Albania? Manhattan or Brooklyn? Disney wedding or Tennessee country wedding?  Stay in New York for one year or two?

One year or two. That’s it. That was the option I laid out for us.

Since as long as I can remember I have had my entire life planned out. Sure, I leave room for spontaneity here and there, but mostly I have plans. However, life loves to take that plan and say “Hah. HAH!”

I planned to graduate college in three years and marry my high school sweet heart, but life threw in a few affairs, heartache, and a little depression. My life was turned into a lifetime movie in mere minutes one horrifying afternoon. I felt like I could trust no one (including myself), and I just needed to leave. I needed a fresh start…far, far away.

Obviously, I chose to runaway to the Happiest Place on Earth to work on the Disney College Program. So, no, I didn’t graduate insanely fast and get married too young to the wrong guy. Instead, I made some of the best friends and memories I could ever imagine, and Uh, met HUSBAND.

After Disney, I had an entire new list of life plans. Most of these also changed…I planned to marry Husband in 3 years, but he chose 7. This was not easy to accept, but boy am I glad we waited…we could not be happier with our relationship.

I planned to get my Doctorate, and quickly become an administrator, but life threw me a desire to live and work abroad. I made a few friends who chose this path, and they were such an inspiration to me that I quit my job literally a day after I got tenure, and shortly after moved to Albania.

I planned to stay in New York for only one year, but job opportunities encouraged me to stay for two.

One year or two.

We obviously chose two. We have now lived here for a year and a half, and I have already made big plans for what’s next: move back to Tennessee, buy a house, get a job with my former school, and start having some babies. (This baby fever has not broke!) BUT, life has stepped up to the plate and thrown us some more curve balls.

Turns out…we love New York. Husband loves everything about the ciy. I LOVE my job. Belle loves Central Park. In fact, after lots of discussion neither of us wants to leave. I threw out my Tennessee plans, and now we have new New York plans!

Recently we made our most grown-up decision ever.

We have decided to buy, for the very first time, a home. We have been renting for 5 years now, and we are finally ready to be homeowners. I have no idea where to start, who to talk to, or what the hell we are doing, but we are doing it! I’m so excited and scared at the same time!

I should not feel nervous. Husband and I tend to make good decisions together, but this is HUGE. Buying a home here means we are going to be here a while…like more than two years, which is definitely our record for living in one place! We are going to plant roots…dare I say, “settle”. That’s a scary word. My anxiety has been through the roof just digesting this decision. Deep breaths…

The search for a Manhattan apartment, a Brooklyn condo, and a home and Westchester have all begun. Wish us luck, we are certainly going to need it I cannot wait to begin this new adventure!


Yoga in the Park

NYC offers a lot of free activities during the summer. There are movies played on big screens in the park, puppet shows, dance shows, theatre shows, and numerous classes. The majority of these events take place in the big city parks. I had planned on taking advantage of all these free events this summer, but I did not consider the fact that I was going to be out of town over half of the summer.

All of a sudden it’s the end of July and another school year is creeping up on me. ( I swear that summer vacation is much more fun as an adult….although, they also fly by much faster.) Today, I decided to take advantage of the summer in the city before it’s gone and time to break out my Autumn wardrobe. My first venture into free park-classes was a yoga class at Bryant Park. The only thing I knew about this class is that it starts at 6pm, it’s free, and yoga mats are provided. I was worried that either a) no one would be there and I’d be stuck in a one-on-one instruction with a yogi, or b)  that a million people would be there and I wouldn’t have space or a mat. I decided to get there a half hour early to check out the scene.

When I arrived, there were about 50 people spread out among a couple hundred mats. Lucky for me, there was an empty mat in the very front row and center. I sat down next to a middle-age woman who was also trying the class for the first time. She was actually on vacation, and it turns out she works out every day no matter what, and especially on vacation. I told her she was crazy, but I admired her dedication.

Class began when a petite guy with a ponytail picked up a microphone and began telling us how beautiful it is to being doing yoga on the grass in the middle of the city. “Open your ears to the sounds of the city while connecting your body to the Earth and show your love for both.” This guy was a really good yoga teacher, but used a little too much “yoga-ese” for my taste.

My serious face

I love yoga because it makes me feel relaxed, happy, and like I’m doing something really wise and mature, but often I wish it was silent yoga. The corny phrases are just so ridiculous that I often laugh out loud. I’ll look around expecting others to give me that “I know right?! Who talks like that!”  glance, but instead I get the “What the hell are you laughing at?” glare.

Some of my favorite phrase used today were… “Soften your skin”, “Melt your bones into the Earth”, and “Spread the wings of your heart.”

I mean…seriously, that’s funny. Right?

About halfway through yoga…somewhere between downward dog and chair pose… I glanced around the park and realized there were about 400 people in the yoga class! In front of me, there were hundreds of people taking pictures, or just sitting in the park chairs watching. Who could blame them? The whole thing looked pretty impressive and bizarre. It would be impossible for any tourist or local to walk by the park and not notice hundreds of people chanting and moving in sync.

By the time we bowed our heads and said “namaste”, I was feeling pretty darn good about myself. It’s rare that I feel calm any given day, but to be laying in the grass at 6 pm, one block away from Time Square, eyes shut, and have nothing but positive thoughts running through my mind is an incredibly unique experience. I’m positive I’ll try this again, and hopefully some other classes too. Maybe tai chi? Painting in the park? Or Kub!?!?!

I mentioned in a Hilton Head post  that our family LOVES to play a Swedish game called Kub. Much to our surprise, Kub classes and games are offered right in the middle of Bryant Park! NYC is constantly surprising me with the many adventures it has to offer.

No one can ever complain about being bored in this town. Money or not, there is ALWAYS something to do.

Cheers and Namaste!

Check out the Square

Union Square is one of the more interesting parks and subway stops in Manhattan. Throughout it’s very long history (it was brought into existence in 1815 ) it has been a gathering place for radicals, protesteors,and demonstrators. Numerous political demonstrations have taken place here over the last almost 200 years, and the Occupy Wall Street protestors are currently occupying the square.

Union Square also holds a “green market” 4 days a week. This market offers tons of fresh produce, and other organic or handmade goodies. And, around Christmas they hold a holiday market where all kinds of handmade goodies are sold…it’s like Etsy taken to the streets. It’s fun to look around at all of the locally grown products, but in my cheap opinion, most of it is over-priced and out of my spending range.

I love getting off at Union Square and taking in all of the fun sights. I can always catch a chess game, a hippy singing, and a protestor speaking about something they’re against…or for.

Nordstrom Rack, Forever 21, Dogmatic, Whole Foods, Max Brenner, and the Strand are all right around Union Square so I pretty much always have a good reason to be in the area.

A chalk artist
Another chalk artist?

A perfect spot to stop and sing a song...if only there weren't 15 other guitarists singing their own songs all around him
A psychic, in case you need your cards read before your shopping spree

One of the local stands at the "green market"

Next time you’re in Manhattan, take a break to stroll through Union Square and smell the hippies, play a round of chess, or just enjoy the view. It’s certainly one of the more unique parks to stroll through.