So, it's been one year since I moved here. Although I still find myself saying "I just moved here" I'm also starting to feel less out of place. I've come to terms with the fact that while the culture is very different and not always something I like - there are places I fit in and I'm optimistic that slowly but surely other things will start to fall in place if I just keep a positive attitude. A friend back home gave me some good advice that has kind of opened up my eyes a little. You really have to picture yourself in that positive goal that you want - just by focusing on that, even if you don't get there right away, your chances for negatives are far less.
So, a year later - what has really happened...what have I learned? Well..
-Brunch is the most important meal
-I am an expert at public transportation
-I can survive big city traffic
-Oysters are awesome
-I've only hit the needle in the haystack in terms of natural explorations
-Boots are essential
-New York has the best bagels (Whole Wheat Everything Bagel with Hummus YES)
-You can tell if someone is from here if they don't pronounce the "tt's" in Manhattan
-Learn to cook at home - because you'll go broke if you eat out
-I miss cheap beer and greasy Mexican food (sometimes)
-Whatever you do, don't use the bathrooms on the train
-I still suck at hailing a cab
-There's always room for negotiation
-You're never too far from home - you can always count on finding fellow Arkansans at the Madhatter
I'm prepared for the next year - it's going to be even better. With some things perfected and lessons learned I've already got plans to expand experiences in the coming year. I'm looking forward to many things:
-Another 5 Boro Bike Tour
-Putting my new snow boots to use (but not anytime soon hopefully)
-Maine 2 + Vermont
-Harriman-Bear Mountain state park
-Getting some more visitors out my way
-Potentially a new/"cheap"er apartment
-More bike group fun
-Volunteering - either at a natural park or local farm
-Call friends back home more often (I'm just personally bad at phone calls in general)
And much more - stay tuned. I've got a year under my belt - no telling what this southern girl will be up to next.
On a totally unrelated note I have discovered the best recovery drink ever. Witness:
|Hemp Milk, Ice, Half a Banana (frozen), Handful of Spinach, Scoop of Dark Chocolate Whey and a few drops of Mint Extract|
The chocolate and the peppermint made it taste like a dessert - but it was pure nutritional goodness! It was hard to drink it slow enough to make it last.