Episode 15- New York State of Mind

February 3, 2023

Yesterday, I had one of those New York State of Mind days. It was really cool. I felt keenly connected to the diversity around me. It started with Pickleball. I played with two Sri Lankan women, a Chinese American woman and Richie from Long Island. Then I went to the doctor. I absolutely love my primary care physician. I don’t even know how I found them or how I chose them, but they’re all Russians. When I say Russians, I say that loosely. I’m a little bit ignorant about the Federation of Russian countries, quite frankly. All I know is that when I walk into the office, all of the staff is speaking Russian and most of the patients are Russian. It’s really kind of cool.

Anyway, as I was walking home from the doctor’s office, I was just so aware of the diversity around me. First, the Russians in the office. Even like the woman that drew my blood was a heavily tattooed trans woman. After I left, as I’m walking up Lexington Avenue when I hear some woman screaming on the phone in a foreign language. I have no idea what it is.

Then I went to my new nail salon, and I would say 90% of the women working there are from Columbia. It’s really cool I speak Spanish, so I speak to them in Spanish. I get tidbits about which of them are sisters, how they got there, who referred who.  It’s got a good vibe because so many of them are speaking the same language, kind of like in the doctor’s office.

Somewhere in there I was thinking yesterday about an experience I had six months ago at my old nail salon. When I arrived one day, I was disappointed to learn that my usual gal, Maria, was pregnant and out for a couple months. So I got assigned to another woman. My heart dropped when they put me in front of her because I had heard two people complain about her. She had hurt them or something, and she wasn’t a very friendly person. She didn’t smile., I don’t need to be friends with the person who’s doing my nails, but I didn’t want to be with her. I made the decision that I was going to kill her with kindness because I didn’t want her to hurt me, right? Here’s what happened. Well, let me just say before I go any further. I didn’t know what country she was from. I just knew she was Latina. By the time I left, I knew that she was Mexican. I knew she had one child. I knew she had four brothers and sisters. I knew that both of her parents were alive and living in the Bronx, I knew where she was going on vacation and I knew her child’s name. It was interesting.

I don’t know whether she was not being seen or she didn’t have anybody to talk to because most of the women in that salon are Asian. She started asking me questions, where did I live? Why did I speak Spanish? Where was I going on vacation? When we finished,  we gave each other the two kisses and I remember just walking out going, wow, I’m so glad that I  simply decided to pay attention to her and focus on her because it was reciprocated. We had a really nice conversation.

I got onto this because I was telling you that I was in a New York state of mind,  I think part of that is because I’m focusing on why I’m here. During the pandemic so many people were freaking out and they wanted to get out before their property value dropped. Or they wanted to get out before prices went up too high at places that were outside of New York and outside of metropolitan areas. But I made the quick and firm decision that I was going to stay put.  It’s easy to bundle decisions and that was one that I could separate out and I decided to stay put.

So now it’s kind of coming full circle and I feel like I have a choice. Do I stay or do I go? Right now I’m very happy here.  That’s a note to self.  It’s really easy to go down the avenue of it’s noisy, it’s dirty. New York is in the middle of a major crisis of homelessness and mental health on the street. I don’t know if you’ve heard about that, but it’s very real. In the 17 years that I’ve been here, I’ve never seen it this bad. And yes, there are rats, and yes, it is expensive.

So I’m choosing to focus on why I am here and what I love. It’s the diversity. It’s easy access to interesting people. It’s my pickleball crew right down the street and my new friend group. And right now it’s the theater. I’m going to theater a lot more. The fact that we can go to live events now is super exciting. I have tickets to at least six different things over the next three months.

This all made me remember that it’s so much better to focus on what you love instead of what you don’t love. Focus on what you want instead of what you don’t like. Focus on what’s working instead of what’s not working.  I’m saying that to myself too. Note to self. Focus on the positive.  So I’m deciding, and I’m choosing to stay put in New York for right now.

I guess I’ll leave you with that thought. You always have a choice around what you focus on, and if you don’t like something, change it. Because not deciding is deciding. I just love that quote. Not deciding is deciding.

I’ll leave you with that. That’s all for now, from my heart to yours

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dear Listeners,

Friends say I live my life out loud. That’s because I’m a curious, adventurous person and, as an appreciator, I simply love to share what lights me up. Consider this is your invitation into my fun, multi-faceted world.

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