Not to Go All Oprah On You, But…
January 11, 2013 § 2 Comments
I moved to New York in part for this view on 5th at dusk last night. The sky was an insanely pretty shade of blue and the city seemed ready to light up and do something very, very “smart”.* My choice to move here — at 18, when you know pretty much nothing, which aids the decision-making process — was based a little bit on an impulse and a lot on a vague idea I had of what it would be like: One part Woody Allen, one part Nick and Nora, one part “Who Knows?”. And I knew I wanted to be in that glow. It can be a very hard place to live, but in the end, I don’t know that I would have it any other way. Which brings me to Oprah…
OK, I am not really going to write about Oprah**, but I know that she is all about “lightbulbs going off in one’s head” and I was just reminded one of my biggest moments of that variety today. I was flipping though some photos online (trouble focusing at the office today), and saw one of the designer Cynthia Rowley. No offense to Ms. Rowley, but I pretty much never think about her. Until I saw her photo. Then I remembered that a decade ago, I was on the subway heading to my job at one of the world’s largest media companies where I was completely and utterly miserable. I was deep in thought, contemplating leaving my job to work with Mr. H.
No offense to Mr. H, but this was a tough decision. I had no idea how it would all work out if I left, but was awfully certain that if I played the game right (and learned German…for another post), there was a clear path and it wasn’t shabby.*** The train stopped at West 4th and Cynthia Rowley got on and stood pretty much in front of me. My head still full of “what ifs”, I looked up and realized that someone who took a risk to do her own thing — that worked out! — was literally standing right in front of me. Yes, she looked tired. (If only I knew how tired she probably was!) But she also looked settled in that way that people do when they have accomplished something they weren’t certain they could pull off.
I am not a big risk taker, but I am a big believer in Signs that are Convenient for Me and this one was too good to ignore. Standing right in front of me was the reason to do it. So I resigned, was terrified for a bit and then became quite calm about the whole affair.
Ten years later, Mr. H and I are both still alive, still married to each other and have had some amazing experiences that would have never been possible if I had remained on my previous path. (There were also many more stupid, agonizing and annoying experiences, but I think O would want me to stay positive here.) Which I guess brings me to a point that may seem trite and obvious, but is worth repeating anyway: Life never goes quite how you think it will, so you may as well just try to steer it in the direction of happiness, even if you aren’t sure that you can pull it off. The odds are more in your favor than you think.
xx & one major “O”
* Sadly, I was headed back to the office after a doctor’s appointment, but still, just catching a little of that buzz was enough for the moment.
** Love her in the Liz Lemon way.
*** Unless you think Well-Paid Total Misery is a bad thing.
(Grainy photo: Some Cozy Night)