Here am, sitting in the lobby of the New Yorker Hotel, and all that I am thinking about is going back to Toronto as soon as possible. Don't get me wrong; New York is a great place, but I feel like I am ready to take on the world and to make things happen NOW! I think my last name should be “Superman” (at least that is how I feel now). The conference I went to was so awesome.
A couple of great moments happened to me in New York. This is my fourth trip to New York since the month of March of this year. The last three times I came here, I was so eager to learn, and I was so focused on what I was coming for that I did not get a chance to visit the city. This time, it was different. I felt more relaxed and I had enough time to visit a few places before our conference.
We arrived at the hotel on Friday at nine o'clock, and we were told that our rooms would only be available at 2 pm. So, one of my friends suggested that we go on one of the sightseeing tour buses. What a great idea! For two hours and a half, we were on the bus discovering New York. This city is so huge! Prior to that trip, the only time I saw New York like that was in the movies (especially Eddie Murphy's “Coming to America”). In my mind I was reflecting back to a time when I was a kid growing up back home in Burundi. I never imagined that one day I would be visiting the capital of the world and having so much fun. It was a surreal moment.
On Saturday evening, I had to meet my friend Abdel. He is the president of BANA, the organization that put together the event in Montreal I talked about in one of my blogs. I met Abdel only once before in Montreal, but when we met in New York, it felt as if we grew up together. He is such a great guy and we had so much fun together. He brought me to Times Square and the only word I could say was “wow!!!”. I never took so many pictures. That place is alive!
Abdel invited me to one of the pubs next to Times Square. It was such a beautiful place on the fifth floor of a great building. The place was packed. We ordered our drinks, and to my amazement, a glass of Coca Cola (yes a glass) cost eleven US dollars!! Are you kidding me? (that is the cost of two plates of delicious food at a Chinese restaurant lol)
I spent almost four hours with Abdel. Do you know what we were talking about? We were sharing the great memories we had back home in Burundi. Hold on a second! Here we were, in a city that many people only dream to visit one day (at least that was my case), and we were talking about the greatness of our home country! What a contrast! And to tell the truth (not that I was lying before), I would give anything to relive those moments when I was younger. If that was possible, I would live them fully not taking any moment for granted.
Isn't it funny that sometimes we think that when we “get there” we will finally be happy? Let me share a secret with you (you are my confident but do not tell anybody else). Once you “get there”, you will be like “is that it?” And you will want to get to another place, and then another place, and then another place… (that has been my experience). Now, don’t get me wrong. Striving towards achieving our goal is good. However, life is about achieving a balance (that is my theory). Achieving a balance is when we are able to reflect and learn from the past, plan and be excited about the future, but experience every moment in the now.
I have a suggestion. How about deciding to put more emphasis on living in the present moment and less on spending every moment of our life striving to get somewhere we think will bring us ultimate happiness. Instead, let’s try to be happy with who we are, where we are and be thankful for what we have whether it is a lot or a little! I really believe, based on my experience, that if we can all do this we would see that the world is a great place to live regardless of what is going on around us (that is the Journeyman Theory and it is a Trade Mark lol).
Moral of the story? Do you want to be happy? Just go to New York, you will have an expensive drink and you will miss your home country.
Always a pleasure