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May 12. 2010

If I wanted to, I could start a blog detailing all the reasons I love New York City.  From the homeless men with signs that say, “Fuck it, I just want a beer,” to living art instillations in public parks, to the rumble of the train beneath my feet, to the dozens of hotels I’ve used over the years as my personal restrooms, to the aroma of Starbucks wafting from every corner, my history is splashed all across the sidewalks and streets of my hometown.  Every landmark is just a part of my backyard.

Columbus Circle

But, don’t worry, this isn’t a paean in blog form to good old New York.  This is a paean to how wonderful and strange life is!

at Lincoln center

Yesterday, as last week, and as I anticipate I’ll be doing all summer long, I went to yoga in the park.  You don’t understand – I got hooked after last week, and spent all week scouring New York via internet for other yoga classes in the park (it works for me).  Oh, and yes, people, this was my second yoga class ever.  And damn – was it tough.  Not so much physically strenuous, because we practiced Hatha yoga yesterday, with a mind towards restoration and opening the body gently.  But holy cow – it was COLD.  I think it was in the FIFTIES.  Last week it was in the eighties and beautiful.  If there is one thing this hottie cannot stand, it’s the COLD.  I’m hot, cold is the exact opposite.  No. Thank. You.  It was a real test for me – as I sat shivering on my mat before the class started I considered booking it to the nearest Starbucks but I’d already taken my mat  at the front of the group, so I figured I’d give it a shot.  I mean, I trekked all the way to Manhattan, may as well not waste it.

I'm in this picture!

I’m really glad I did end up staying for the whole class.  The yogi who led the session was really incredible, with amazing insights about yoga and the body. Yesterday’s practice actually helped enhance my performance in Pilates later on, so methinks yoga is a permanent mainstay in my physical activity.

After, I had some time to kill so I ended up wandering around the city.  I got hit on by a boy who knows my boyfriend, and upon narrowly escaping him (so creepy, he came up to me and said, “I was watching you doing yoga.” EW) I ran face-first into an old friend from high school whom I haven’t seen in years.  Let me tell you, there is nothing more positively affirming than to see someone you haven’t seen in a long time, and have them tell you that the path you’re on is just “so you!”  My life feels like one big conglomeration of RIGHT right now, and everyone can see it.

LIncoln Center

I ended up at Lincoln Center.

Once upon a time, I truly believed with all my heart that my destiny, my path, would lead me to the hallowed stages of the Metropolitan Operahouse and the New York State Theater.  In fact, there was no doubt in my mind that I was on a straight course right there.  I once was an opera singer, and I was absolutely certain that my adult life, my future, would be spent on stage at the world’s greatest opera houses, lead-soprano style.

How strange, now, to look at these buildings and no longer imagine myself gracing the stage with my presence.  How strange, also, that these feelings are not bittersweet in the least.  I am comfortable that I have let go of that path – comfortable, and happier than I ever have been.

my favorite part of this picture is the guy speeding through talking on the phone. you can see his wedding ring.

I remember when I cried over my rejection from Julliard, even though I’d already convinced myself I didn’t “really” want to go there.  Bullshit, what young aspiring musician doesn’t hope they get into Julliard?  Of course, a year later when I had dropped the music performance program in favor of English at my liberal arts college, trust me, not getting into Julliard suddenly meant nothing.  And tnow, it means nothing.  It’s just a good story, a status symbol of my former skill, that my teachers thought me good enough to apply to Julliard.

But it is strange, how so many of my dreams seem to conglomerate in that cultural center of New York.  I can turn my back on those dreams, keeping the girl I once was close to my heart, because I have new dreams, all with an eye to keep me happy.  Music was not the world for me – I have never been a highly competitive person, and being a performer is first and foremost competition.  I have a new future now.

Cryptic image for the win.  Right? Right.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.

Henry David Thoreau

And so I shall.

What is your dream? No matter how simple or absurd, I want to know!  And I truly believe that you do have what it takes to achieve your dreams.

Have you ever let go of a dream? What was it?  How do you feel about it now?

And with that, my hotties, I’m off to go chase my dreams.

23 Comments leave one →
  1. May 12. 2010 11.34 am

    my dream is to travel! maybe one day in retirement 🙂

    love all your pictures. i cant wait to see NYC some day.

  2. May 12. 2010 12.35 pm

    Reading this post made me miss the city so much. I feel like I’m forever torn between the country, where I grew up, and the city, where I always wanted to be…I never realize how much I love one until I leave it for the other.

    My biggest dream in the world is to be an amazing mother. I don’t think there is anything more admirable in the world than raising good people 🙂

    • May 12. 2010 1.48 pm

      I know the feeling! The good thing is, we don’t have to stay in one place forever. But NYC is waiting for you to come back, girlie!

  3. May 12. 2010 2.47 pm

    There’s another thing we have in common: I thought my world had ended when I didn’t get into the graduate program I wanted. Now I am so glad I didn’t go that route. (But, to be honest, I still don’t like the whole “rejection” part of it. ;))

    My dream was to be a published writer. Though I am awesome at raising the bar, so now it’s morphed into having to write a novel. Don’t ask me what it will turn into once I do that…

    ❤ ❤

    • May 12. 2010 3.47 pm

      The rejection SUCKS. But I’ve come to accept the fact that if it wasn’t meant to be, it won’t be, and there is another path.

      I think writing a novel is an awesome dream. And I’m sure one you can achieve!

  4. May 12. 2010 6.19 pm

    Hey Hon! I’m so glad you’re doing Yoga. I LOVE doing Yoga outdoors.

    I’ve had to let go of a couple of dreams, but magically, I always seem to find the right path. I think I get where you’re going with the cryptic final photo of this post 😉

    • May 13. 2010 10.08 am

      sooo obsessed and in love with Yoga now! can’t wait to do it with you!

  5. May 12. 2010 9.49 pm

    Oh man, I don’t know if I could have stuck it out through a frigid yoga class! You’re hard core. 🙂 In fact, it might even be a pet peeve of mine to feel cold during yoga. I guess that’s why my yoga practice hasn’t left my bedroom yet…

    I too have a love affair with our fine city–the funny thing is that whenever I go away for the weekend or whatever, I often find it really hard to come back, but then within a day I’m back in my comfy NYC groove. I’ll probably end up a suburban mom, but being a single 20-something in the city is none too shabby an interlude. 😀

    • May 13. 2010 10.08 am

      I officially mark this as the second time I’ve ever been called “hard core” in my life! Yay! I must be gettin’ somewhere!

  6. lowandbhold permalink
    May 13. 2010 11.30 am

    I love yoga! I’ve never done an outside practice, but I think it would be quite fun.

    • May 13. 2010 2.02 pm

      it’s really great! go out into the backyard with some and give it a shot – thats how I do it at home!

  7. May 13. 2010 12.29 pm

    I’m so glad you came to my site!! Keep coming back! I must add you my Roll – I soooo want to go to NY.
    Dreams? Yes…if you’ve read former posts your probably aware that I’m extremely unhappy with my job and am quitting but need to find one in the same field to pay the bills….I’d love to just write…please book deal …someone?? 😉

    • May 13. 2010 2.01 pm

      ahhhh yeah I would love to just write too! of course, coming up with a cohesive story is another question…

  8. May 13. 2010 1.31 pm

    what a great quote! i love thoreau, even though it can be a bit hard to read sometimes. my dreams are definitely in the realm of writing, photography, and relationships…and just strengthening all of those aspects of me and using them to rule the world 😉

  9. May 13. 2010 3.19 pm

    That statue at Liberty Center….sometimes my hair gets like that.

    I want to be self-employed. It’s a new dream of mine. And I can see that it’s attainable. 🙂

    • May 14. 2010 12.31 am

      Haha my hair looks like that too sometimes …perhaps I should invest in a brush.
      Self-employment is an awesome dream! I’d love to be my own boss!

  10. May 13. 2010 4.33 pm

    Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.Henry David Thoreau

    SO inspiring!!! 😀

    Love all the pics of New York. I’ve never been. I’m such a country girl, I think I’d feel SO lost wandering around city streets with ginormous buildings! Intimidating, in my opinion!

    And I think you’re really braving for staying at that yoga class. 😉


  11. May 13. 2010 10.15 pm

    You were an opera singer? You never cease to amaze me. I think you should do a video post so we can all hear you sing. I would LOVE that.

    I love NYC…everything about it! I even love the cabby who was supposed to take me to the airport but ended up having an accident because he decided to race another cab.

    My dream is to have a place in NYC, LA, London, and Paris. Yes, it is a dream.

    • May 14. 2010 12.32 am

      lmao I’ll do a video post one day maybe… hah.
      Yeah, I think you and I would get along just fine visiting each other in our many houses in the greatest cities in the world.

  12. May 13. 2010 10.37 pm

    lovely post, ilana! and i am so impressed that you did outdoor yoga for your 2nd class ever…not easy! anytime classes are outside there is so much distraction and opportunity for random things like bird poop and sirens going off. awesome that you feel in love with yoga, outdoors no less 🙂

    • May 14. 2010 12.33 am

      confession: the noise is where I found inner peace! i’m not even surprised – i’m so used to constant sound i can just tune it out.

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