Tag Archives: vancouver

I Never Liked the Rain Until…

Yes. I’m pretty sure I just quoted a country song from the 90’s. This is a first and most likely a last.

This morning was a bit lazy, but earlier than they have been. It was still cool and dark in my bedroom, I was cozy and warm with a book and it took a bit to rub the sleep out of my eyes. It could have also been the makeup I forgot to remove before bed last night, but I digress.  It was a perfectly lovely morning. The ones where you take big, long, gasping stretches to wake your body up. The ones where you’re content to sit with a cup of coffee, no music, no tv, just you and the cup held between your warming palms.

It was peaceful and striking. I couldn’t shake that there were words here, a beauty I wanted to capture without my always present phone camera. I couldn’t shake it. It almost made me sad that the sun would soon start to filter into my apartment and the noise of children arriving rather loudly at the schools would soon make the air busy. Breaking the calm, patient silence of my morning.  It was in that moment that I realized, I knew this moment.  I’d had moments like this before. In Vancouver.

In Vancouver, everyone is always complaining about the weather. I think it’s a ‘thing’ in the Pacific Northwest in general because we live with dreary, drizzly rain and sombre gray skies for oh, 8 months out of the year. It’s a constant, a common thread and something that is just persistent in our lives. It changes how we dress, where we go, how we walk, what we carry and where we park. I found winters in Vancouver to be rough at first and then somewhat resigned myself. It was worth it for the amazingly gorgeous summers, the sprawling ocean and the majestic mountains that meet the shore.

IMG_0791

 

The rain was something we just had to get through. When local weather people would say how the rain made our skin beautiful and kept us young, I rolled my eyes in an irritated, annoyed fashion. Yeah. Sure. And schlopping around in galoshes was good for my thighs? We just had to get used to being damp, musty and muddle through until the spring when we would all forget what we just endured, exclaiming, “It’s this the most beautiful place on earth?”

IMG_1140

I never appreciated it. Until this morning.

There is peace in the grayness. There is a slowness, a stillness that comes when there is no sun to wake you up. There’s an acceptance of a lingering way of life, a lengthened moment over coffee, a lack of pressure to get up and out. When the sun isn’t beating in your windows, it’s almost like nature giving you permission to cozy up on the couch with a blanket and a book. It’s nature giving you instruction to throw on a pot of soup and stop worrying for the day. Whatever it is?

It can wait.

I felt such a deep longing for Vancouver this morning. Such an appreciation for the rain and the comforting cocoon it created for me. I have missed so much about Vancouver while learning to appreciate so much about New York. Restaurants. Views. People. Things. It just never felt like it did this morning. A feeling like I couldn’t wait to feel the rain again. To hunker down when nature told me to. A deep, deep appreciation for the clouds and dreary skies.

For now, I have sun though and I can appreciate that too.

2013-10-18 09.58.13

 

Advertisements

New York Observations 1.0

I can honestly say that I had NO CLUE what I would be getting myself into when I jumped into this move to New York City. I knew that it would be a bit of culture shock to move from Vancouver, BC to NYC, being that it’s another country and all but I figured that living in Worcester and Boston would prepare me. It’s another big city, how different could it really be? Hah. So different my friends. So, so different.

Image

The day we showed up, we ran around for hours trying to get keys for the apartment that we had never seen. You heard that right, we rented an apartment based on photos from a broker without even stepping foot inside. Oh, we also paid the full year upfront, in advance. Hah. Put that in the “Risks Sarah Probably Won’t Take Again” column. When we finally got to the apartment, we were tired, hungry and just not in good places on our own.  The place looked dingy, things were falling apart, no one spoke English in the area and I lost it. I melted down and we ended up driving back to Connecticut and staying in the hotel we’d stayed in the night before. I cried for hours. HOURS. I couldn’t stop thinking about feeling unsafe. I knew this was the right move for my husband but…what had I gotten myself into?

The next day, after some breakfast and a relaxing morning, we went to the apartment. It looked completely different in the daylight. I had spent a lot of time during the night trying to figure out how much of my tears were legitimate and how much was simply because it was DIFFERENT. I had lived in a quiet neighbourhood in Vancouver with very different demographics. This just wasn’t what I was used to and I worked hard to tell myself to open up and just…be.  It helped. It helped a lot as we started to figure out our way around things. I didn’t feel great, but I felt like I could do it in comparison to the night before when I was ready to pack my bags and go home.

Image

The one thing that I honestly have been shocked by is how NICE people have been. There is a stereotype out there of New Yorkers being jerks or cold and so far, I just haven’t found that. Sure, in Midtown Manhattan people have been a bit…brisk but in general? People have been kind. Every checkout person has a chat with me. Every server has joked about my husband’s superman t-shirt or my Redsox hat. I’ve had homeless people tell me I was beautiful and to have a great day. I’ve watched people give freely and generously to people asking for money on the subway.  It just really wasn’t the welcome that I had expected and I feel like a complete ass to have expected differently.

What I’m saying is that we have so many preconceived ideas of people, places and things. I consider myself a pretty open person in general. I try not to judge but I’m human. We all are. We don’t MEAN to judge often times but it happens. I expected people to not give a crap about us in any way. I expected gruff interactions. I didn’t expect casual conversations and smiles. That’s on me for buying into the stereotype and the stories. I was scared of my new neighbourhood and was fearful. That’s on me too, for trusting my fears, my inexperience, the unknown rather than giving the benefit of the doubt.

Image

I’m going to make my best effort to give people more of a chance than I have given in the past. I’m going to do my best to contribute to this community in some way. I’m going to make it here and I’m going to make it my home.
But I’ll never be a Yankees fan. 

Image
Sox Fan for Life! (Taken at Yankee Stadium)