Continuing the retrospective, I had realized that I had responded well to social stimuli, and that I was operating with a fair level of comfort & confidence throughout. Following that venture, a similar opportunity presented itself for me to visit friends & see a show the next weekend. I was excited at the prospect of seeing more faces I hadn’t seen in nearly 8 months (and in the setting of live music, no less), but planning this trip required some careful deliberation: a) it was only within days of my first real outing that I would be on the road again, and b) my destination was to be The City That Never Sleeps.
“It’s the rhythm of the rain that falls /
It’s a cab ride at 5 a.m. /
Manhattan goddess with your Levi’s and curls /
New York City, I’m comin’ home again”
Much the same way I developed a love for the city of Toronto over the course of my college career (when I was closer to the border & could make a fast 3-hour drive up to participate in their thriving music scene), I too have come to harbor a genuine affinity for New York. The issue with making a trip down so early in recovery is that it is arguably the busiest, most rapid-fire area I could put myself in. Which in turn means exponentially more opportunities for temptations to present themselves.
Ultimately I decided the key factor in a successful visit to the city would be the support from my closest friends, that are fully aware of my situation & decision, and behind it 100%. I spent 3 days traversing various parts of Midtown, Jersey City, Brooklyn, Central Park, Connecticut, wherever; when it came down to it, my companions just asked me to be open regarding my comfort level in any given situation. As it played out, we approached our plans & interactions no differently than we would have 6 months ago. It was simple: everything was to remain as it was, minus alcohol for me personally.
Had I felt uncomfortable or been struck with cravings at any point, I had supportive people with me who were more than willing to accommodate my well-being. Because I was so at ease in the company of those that I spent my time with, I was able to enjoy myself without having to be on alert 100% of the time. It really felt good to be back “out” in the world. Especially in such a vibrant, thriving city. I really cannot express my love for New York enough.
For example, my original impetus aside from visiting friends was to catch a DJ set in Brooklyn Thursday night (Poolside, who provided 90 minutes of pure groove); the rest of the weekend was open to interpretation. So on Saturday evening a large group of us got together at an Indian restaurant for dinner. After the meal was finished we were trying to decide what we would do with the night. This was a social situation where smartphone usage was not obnoxious, but actually helpful and even necessary. Through the magic of the Internet/Facebook, we deduced there was another show happening at an awesome venue (Brooklyn Bowl – half concert hall, half bowling alley)…so just like that, we were en route to yet again a night of good music. New York is like that – there are gems all over; sometimes you just have to dig a little.
Goldroom produces some damn good wavy synth pop.
Shouts out to Dan, Kale, Liz, Emily, and Kerry for all the hospitality/taking the time to show me around. It means more to me than I can properly express, and I’m newly inspired by these fresh experiences in my life. Speaking of, tomorrow morning I have a second-round interview with the local newspaper, for an ad sales position. So I may be employed as early as next week! Here’s hoping. Also encouraging to note that previously, this would be an occasion that would call for a night of indulgence & revelry in celebration – but no longer do I have a desire to acknowledge my accomplishments in such a way. Life is good.
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Goldroom bein’ all sexy and smooth.
Streets of Brooklyn
Em’s dogs (well the family she’s a nanny for owns them) could not be happier after we walked them on a roundabout in the dog park.