I am in New York City – but of course it was raining when I arrived and kept raining for my whole first day, and I was soaked to the skin by the time I settled into my room last night. And I’m spending my second day in a tiny, dark, miserable hotel room because I’m sick with a chest cold, and I have a story and a set of total revisions due today. There isn’t even a toilet in my room, I have to put on pants and trek down the hallway to pee or take a shower in a shared bathroom. The city is outside my window, but I’m not getting to see it. Story of my life, right? **Sigh**
I am in New York City. It was raining when I arrived, but I tossed on a rain jacket and managed to walk around enough to see the Empire State Building towering above me in the mist, and dried off inside Grand Central Station for a bit (did the ceiling there inspire the one at Hogwarts? How remarkable!).
Today, I am in my room dosing up on meds and trying to meet deadlines. As I grumble about having to put pants on to go down the hall to the bathroom, I remember that my house never had a master bathroom, and I had to put on pants to walk down the hall to a shared bathroom every day of my parenthood. How quickly we get spoiled!
As I sit on my bed with my laptop balanced across my knees, it strikes me that I’m writing articles for CBS and Time Warner in New York City, in the sort of ancient creaky cheap hotel that can only be found in The Big Apple. How many young writers would dream of this day? The reality doesn’t quite match the vision, but I’m still struck by how AWESOME this all is. I’m determined to get my work done early so I can get out to see more of the city.
Which story do you like better?
Both are true. I choose story #2 to be the narration in my head, though. I think there are always two ways to view a situation, and I choose the rose-colored glasses because I choose joy every day. I’m not an optimist by nature, in fact I remember my dad criticizing me for being a pessimist when I was… well, so young, I had to look that word up. Ten, maybe?
I had to teach myself how to always look for the positive in any situation, how to see the magic around me instead of the darkness. How to choose joy instead of self-pity. They’re both always available, trust me! It took constant self-vigilance at first, but now choosing joy is a habit.
If you’re interested in learning how to make your dreams (travel or otherwise) come true, start by learning to find joy in what’s already around you. Wherever you go, you take yourself with you, and happiness is absolutely something that comes from within, not from your setting or circumstances.
Train yourself to choose joy!