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Solo trip to NYC

Concrete jungle where dreams are made of.

I’m going to NYC.

About ehhh maybe four or five weeks ago I made a choice. To get out.

The plane tickets happened first.

The race registration happened next.

After much comparing and contrasting, the adorable Airbnb happened last.

The deed was done. I was going.

Now. Many may be thinking, “well alright cool. You booked a trip to New York City. Neat. For me. And for those close to me, it’s more like, “wait, you did what?”

Emily works. Emily works out. Emily cooks. And then she repeats those things.

So this is a big thing. I’m from a family where we don’t act on impulse like this. Quite honestly, even booking a very normal trip, for a casual long weekend, with a proper amount of advance notice, still qualifies me as off my rocker through the eyes of most of my family.

Especially considering I’m going solo and I’m running a Spartan Race while I’m there. Classic Em, right.

I suppose all of this really started with the race.

I’ve become obsessed, I mean obsessed lately with performance. With training my mind and my body to perform better now at 29 than ever before.

I’m not sure when and where this obsessive behavior happened. Maybe I’ve always been like this. Or maybe now I’m just a wee bit smarter and therefore more self-aware enough to notice. I also like to think that now more than ever, I get really excited about working on and fixing the things I’ve always sucked at. So when it comes to things like sports or activities, even work or travel in this case, I have these ingrained thoughts and notions in my head. These mental barriers that I know will shut me down. Physical barriers that I’ve simply accepted as fact.

Until I stopped accepting it.

And started questioning it.

And started working, really working, on changing it.

These things that have saved me – cooking, researching, listening, writing, moving. These are the things that have also pushed me to go further. Seeking out things that make me uncomfortable. Seeking out challenges that I know will force me to be the self-conscious person I am and deal with my (lack of) mental toughness.

I am not the person I was ten years ago. I’m not who I was one year ago. Emily of last year was hungry for sure, but she would have looked at this NYC trip a thought to herself, “how cool would that be to do?” and then closed the browser and gone about her daily grind.

I am getting hungrier. Every hour I work, person I talk to, emotion I feel, moment or person I let piss me off, it’s feeding this obsession.

Weirdly, relentlessly hungry.

Weirdly, relentlessly hungry.

Alright not every moment of every day. I’m only human. But I’m being totally honest here. And I’ll look at those times in my day when I wasn’t hungry and hungry psycho Emily will think, “what the hell were you doing.”

And then the small sliver of my brain that has a soul will say, “baby girl you’re doing great take a break.”

And then psycho Emily punches soulful Emily.

So anywho. Where were we?

New York City. I love NYC. I’ve been once. And that’s all I needed.

I’ve been other places once and known immediately it wasn’t for me. Sorry, Nashville.

There’s something about being somewhere where things are happening, things are starting, there are no rules, and dozens of different types of people that gets me excited. Breaking free from my bubble and seeing more of the world on one buzzing island.

So how did this trip come to be? I’ve already mentioned the Spartan Race. And the bubble.

I’ve ran two Spartan Beast Races. Both of which almost did me in. And it was painfully and gloriously brutal and magnificent. About 12-14 miles of nature’s finest torture.

I in no way consider myself any sort of elite athlete. But damn it do I love to pretend.

Spartan does this thing called a Stadion Series. I don’t know all the ins and outs around it, but I do know this 2019 series is comprised of 4 races that count towards a series Championship. Basically there are winners and prizes given to the top peeps, and grand prize winners of the overall series if one of us crazy kids decides to run and win them all.

It kicks off in NYC at Citi Field on April 13th.

So here I was, thinking to myself how cool it would be to make a trip out of something like this, knowing I’d never actually do it because why do such a cool thing, right?

And then one night I’m thinking how badly I want to get out of my comfort zone. Quite literally. Escape the bubble and get out. Not a quick day trip to Cleveland to see my family, but really get out. I told myself I needed an actual long weekend somewhere and then a longer “vacation” during the summer. Maybe one day I’ll write about how I’ve never really had a vacation and how I struggle to validate one. Not now though.

Then I booked it.

Found the flight. Done. No turning back.

And because I’m me and a weekend to one of the biggest and craziest cities in the entire world wasn’t enough, I signed myself up for this Spartan race.

And just like that, what once was always a dream, an idea, a “how cool would it be to..” became reality.

And now I’m three days out from taking off. By the time this is published I might be there and back with a lot more to report back on.

Naturally, I have some must do and must see items on my NYC to-do list. But I also have a whole lot of nothing. I plan to explore, maybe get a little lost, explore some more, and weave my way in, out, and around that city.

I’m a very adaptable person. I’m good at matching the energy of any given place. New places, new people, new environments don’t intimidate me. In fact I love it. I’m not ready to be content with where I am and who I’m around. I’m grateful for all of it and I love all of it, don’t get me wrong. But again I’m hungry. Hungry to see and experience what’s out there. To live like other people. To find the Emily of NYC.

I’m going for me. Selfishly, simply for myself. I didn’t tell a lot of people about the trip until recently. Or at least I’ve kept it pretty vague. I don’t want to make a big deal out of it. But for me, it is. If nothing more, than to break out of the bubble and live a different life for even a few short days.

And if I’m being honest here, I cannot wait. I am unusually excited to be in the most exciting and overwhelming city in the world on my own. It’s exhilarating.

And even though I’m excited, this whole thing for me is not just about going to NYC for a few days. That’s the thing. That’s the hard, tangible thing that I’m doing.

But the intangible here, the underlying foundation of why this trip is going to be great and why I want to do it, is to grow. To expand. To break out of my comfort zone. To commit to something I’ve only ever just talked about.

We live in an exciting time. A time when so much is happening. When we are in control of anything and everything we want to do and feel. I owe it to this time, to life in general, to live it, breathe it, see it, experience it. (To learn how to do it responsibility and on a budget might I add. I’m a goddamn adult after all..) And to realize how small I am in a world of so many. But how wonderful that thought is and how much there is for all of us to learn and experience.

I can’t wait to share it.


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