Finding Your Happy Place
It's only taken three weeks, but I've finally found my happy place in NYC.
Last summer the highline stole my heart, marred only by the hoards of camera weilding tourists. This summer's offering lies a little to the east, nestled in the gem that is Greenwich Village. The village is fast becoming my favourite place to walk around, with tree lined streets containing those quintessentially New York houses, just like the one here who's steps I snuck a photo on. Within the village is a garden, mostly hidden from view from the busy 6th Avenue, and sits next to my office of choice: Jefferson Market Library.
The library itself is a recipe for productivity, with huge stain glass windows letting in light. The quiet insistent working of fellow visitors serves as a great motivator, necessary for someone who works independently most of the time. But most importantly I can sit in the garden, smelling the delicious aroma of roses and just being still. It is surprisingly empty ever time I venture into it's leafy embrace, a rarity in the hustle and bustle of Manhattan.
I am also using this summer as an opportunity to read more, aided by my shiny new New York Public Library card (how lame I must sound, but this thrills me). I sit for half an hour after work, either in the garden, the high line or WaSqaPa (as NYU students call it apparently) and devour my latest read. You may know the latter as being the arch that graces the B roll of Friends, Sex and the City and numerous other New York based TV shows, and it is the setting for my university - NYU, for those that don't know. Fifteen year old me gets very excited whenever I think about this fact, especially since Blair & co attended NYU in Gossip Girl - who would have thought I'd be here now?
As for reading, I've been adoring Half of a Yellow Sun, has anyone else read it? Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – the woman behind that TED talk – has such a lyrical way with words, and constructs stunning romantic stories. I read Americanah whilst in Ghana and fell in love with the way she communicated such profound truths through entertaining plots. Half of a Yellow Sun is set in Nigeria and I'm delighting in learning more about Ghana's fascinating neighbour, and in the early parts seeing similarities to what I witnessed last semester. It descends into a brutal war, but as ever Adichie communicates what needs to be said to an audience who would never normally hear it.
Little routines like having a space to escape to and incorporating reading into my daily habits make such a difference to my sense of wellbeing. They provide respite for a busy life, and allow my decidedly introverted self to recharge. If you're trying to up your self care game I urge you to think about where might be a happy place for you, or an activity that rebuilds you. For some it might be reading, for others it might be coffee with a friend. Find it, and build it into your day-to-day life. We are all different, but each of us can work towards constructing a routine that maximises our contentment. It's all about doing what is best for you.
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- Camera used: Canon EOS M with 18-55mm lens -