Joyous Joy 24: To Each Their Own

I remember taking this photo in SoHo and having an, “oh my God…I really moved here” moment. It was beautiful.

Since moving to NYC, I’ve been frustrated by my family & friends’ perceptions of living in NYC. I’ve also really struggled with my NYC friends and acquaintances judging me for being from Ohio.

From the Ohioans:
· Oh my God, I could NEVER live there!
· How in the world do you deal with that many people? Isn’t it unsafe? Isn’t it dirty?
· You’re not staying there forever, are you?!

From the New Yorkers:
· Oh God, you’re from Ohio? No wonder you moved here, you must have been so bored!
· I can’t imagine living anywhere else than NYC, especially somewhere with nothing to do!
· So I am sure, you’ll never move back to Ohio now that you live in NYC, right? I mean, why would you ever want to leave here?!

I cannot begin to tell you how fired up I get when hearing these things. For years I’ve been defending both places. I simply perceive them as close-minded views and praise myself for being open-minded enough to appreciate the beauty of both NYC and the rest of the country!

A few years ago I kicked off a trip home by catching up with one of my best friends under this tree. I can’t imagine a more beautiful welcome home.

Doing the best to minimize my angst, I’ve perfected my defense spiel for each of my “homes”, and let it roll off my back as much as possible. I just read something that is already helping me let go of these negative feelings all together. And this, my friends, is a huge joyous joy!

I’ve been reading a book that I don’t love, but am determined to finish. This weekend, I figured out why that book made it into my hands.

The story is about a young author, Mason, who is writing the biography of an admirable man named Harrison. Traveling with him for a year, Mason learns a lot about life and gains unexpected wisdom along the way. While in South Africa, Harrison tells Mason about his first trip to Botswana & Zimbabwe. He had gone home afterwards to show his friends and family his photos and share the adventurous details. Although most were excited to hear Harrison’s antics, one person made a comment that completely appalled him:

“Why in the hell would anyone want to go there?!”   

I instantly sympathized with his aggravation! This correlates directly with my own NYC vs Ohio frustration!

Then Harrison imparts some wisdom that I also needed to hear:

“When I heard that, I thought to myself, “how simple-minded is that?” I didn’t understand objectivity then – I was just as simple-minded as she was.

I was thinking my experience in Africa was the most important thing in the world, and she was thinking her world was the only place to be. I was just as ignorant as her, really.

There are 6.5 billion people on the earth and every single one of us is different. For some, they feel peace and joy from looking at their children and seeing their own faces and their spouse’s faces in them. They couldn’t imagine a life without kids and experiencing that part of life. For me, if I woke up and found myself married with kids, living in the suburbs – I would have a heart attack!”

 HA! This cracked me up and does each time I reread it. This is a great reminder of the saying “to each their own”.

I’m now recognizing the amount of energy I’ve wasted trying to convince others to see “my own” outlook. I’m officially letting go of this frustration and am excited to focus that energy elsewhere!

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4 thoughts on “Joyous Joy 24: To Each Their Own

  1. Well, seeing you mentioned the whole Ohio/NY move, I have been meaning to drop you a note for sometime now. Unfortunately, the excitement of balancing a career and family has me thinking about doing a lot of things, and I not very actionable on many of them. I’m working on it.

    I want to tell how proud I am of you!! I honestly was a little surprised when you quit your job, sold your car and moved to NY. I totally understaood why – if you didn’t do it then, there would never be a good time. Since that day, I have witnessed you grow so much. What a wonderful woman you were, and an even more wonderful woman you have become. You have this drive that is incredible. You see something you want and you go get it and make it happen. I’m proud to call you my cousin. XOXO

    • Wow – what an awesome comment! Thank you so much for cheerleading me through it all – it means more to me than you’ll ever know : ) I love you, miss you, can’t wait to see you again, and wish I was there to see Miss Piper grow up! That’s a downfall to being away from home. At least there is facebook to help make that happen! xoxoxox Kate

  2. Kate – I get a lot of the same responses from people when I say I live in Boston and I’m from Ohio. I tend to tell people that both places are great and I love them both, but for different reasons. I’m hoping to take a trip to NYC soon, so when I’m there we’ll have to catch up (and if you’re in Boston for any reason, let me know!)

  3. What a great point of view to have/develop! We grew up in the deep south (Mississippi), spent most of our adult lives in Colorado, and now we’re experiencing Alaska…all very different! It’s amazing to move about and learn about the differences in cultures, climates, and regional influences. Wouldn’t change it…although we’ve had a variety of comments like you describe. I just feel that we are the richer for having all these varied life experiences.

    I like the quote! Thanks for sharing this joy! ~ Sheila

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