I'm learning that routine and human interaction looks very different both in a new city and in a new stage of life. Every morning, for example, I do my best to leave my apartment at the same time, to catch the same train, to get to work at the same time. Every morning I see a Jewish school bus stop at the same apartment and honk a few times until a little Jewish boy, curls bouncing, runs out the door. I then pass the same crossing guard, typically chatting with a mother and her child on their way to school. I get into the station and people power walk to the turnstile. Usually they're trying to catch the train going the opposite direction, because that one comes a few minutes before mine. I get onto the platform and I pass a group of Chinese men standing against the same pillar, laughing and I suppose chatting about their nights. I ride the train in a crowd of people, most of whom are quiet and dreary eyed, trying to soak up the last moments of semi-solitude before the bombardment of office life. Train transfer, on to the next one. And then I'm in the station, walking toward the exit. I see the same woman, telling us all 'good morning' and passing out AM New York. I walk up the stairs smelling egg and cheese bagels from the little cart strategically placed outside. I make the walk through the wind tunnels, I cross the crosswalks, and then I'm walking through the revolving doors into my building.
This is far from anything I've experienced in my life. Yes, I've had routines, per se, but none containing so much human interaction. I read an article a few months ago about how these sorts of commutes actually lead to a happier self. I think I scoffed at it at first. Who could possibly be happier crammed like sardines into a train with a bunch of strangers? But I think I'm beginning to see what they meant. Knowing you're not alone in this life, that people have the same routines you do is oddly comforting. It's through the people I see that I know it's another day, full of potential.
If you're friends with me on Facebook, you already know this, but this routine is about to become all the more permanent. I've accepted a position at Edelman, full-time. This New York thing is going to be much more than a thing, it seems. Life is so very exciting.
All the best,