Little Legs. Big City.

Oh NYC. You never cease to amaze me. My heart was gushing with happiness last weekend as I found myself back in the presence of The Big Apple.

Conquering the crowded, uneven sidewalks, reuniting with people I love most, eating the most delicious food [this is my undercover way of saying that I was being glutinous all weekend long], putting the pieces of the puzzle, that is the NY subway, together and getting from A to B, stumbling into stores that are hidden gems, laughing my ass off, galavanting around the city into the wee hours of the morning, receiving kindness in so many forms, strolling through Central Park in the rain; it was an epic weekend to say the least. But it was also a major test of my confidence, will power, self-empowerment and trust.

While I love meeting new people and making friends – it is also extremely difficult at times. Before I can open up, I have to clear the hurdle, one that I put up for myself, of judgment. Over the years, I have created a story that the first thing someone sees when they look at me is my stature; that I am different. So you can imagine that in a city where the average person comes into contact with a whopping 3 million people in a 24hr. time period, I might be slightly overwhelmed. And by slightly, I mean severely.

Enter –> Test One: Confidence. Somehow, I had to turn my story around. The easiest solution I found was to smile at every person that I locked eyes with. That was the first thing they would notice, my smile. Kill it with kindness. Little mini stories were still created when I didn’t quite get the reaction I was hoping for, yet I also had to remind myself that I was no longer in the south. Aside from the mini stories that popped up here and there, spreading love through smiles made my confidence levels SOAR. Even while venturing through Brooklyn solo, I couldn’t wipe the grin from my face. Life is one big adventure and I sure as hell wasn’t going to miss out.

Ah yes, these little legs have been through a lot and it doesn’t take much to remind me. This girl travels at two speeds, slow and ultra slow, that’s it. When walking with a group of friends, it’s usually a given that I will be bringing up the rear. Now, I’d be lying if I said that it didn’t bother me. The last thing I ever want is for people to have to wait for me or feel like I am holding them back. Often times, my legs have other plans.

Enter –> Test Two: Will Power. Anytime my body gets in the way of life’s adventures, I end up with two choices… I can listen to my legs and rest when needed (which would be more often than not) or push myself knowing that I wouldn’t have fun otherwise. Now, I am not saying don’t honor your body but there are times when my own physical body can drag my mental and emotional being down. No. No. No. Not this weekend. At one point, I was standing on the corner of the street in the West Village and had to give myself a pep-talk. If I let my body win, I would go back to go to bed and miss out on a lot. Screw that. Right there, as we were walking to Washington Square, I willed my legs to knock it off and cooperate. This night wasn’t over and they weren’t going to get in my way. No thing or person is going to steal my fun without permission. BAM.

With both confidence and will power come self-empowerment and trust. That weekend I was able to show myself what I was capable of; embracing my body for what it is and all that I am. Trusting that I can do anything I put my mind and heart to gives me the power to enjoy life’s adventures to the fullest.

Love.

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