He sat there for an entire minute and stared in my direction. Finally he muttered, “Well, that is genius.”
I glanced toward the sound waves that floated from across the parallel train aisle, belonging to a man in his mid-forties, dressed in jeans, collared tee, and wide-rimmed glasses. The worn briefcase that slumped by his shoes revealed that he was a professional, but not corporate. Perhaps a computer programmer.
“Computer engineer,” he confirmed after a few minutes of conversation. He saw that my phone case was a subway map of the city, said that it would’ve really come in handy after years of trying and failing to master the subway system. I laughed, not only because I bought the case solely because of its five dollar price tag on Canal Street, but because I never used the Subway system on my commute into work.
It’s been an unofficial goal of mine, to chat with a stranger on the train enroute to the concrete jungle. In effort to really capitalize on the small things that so many locals take for granted; getting a beer on the platform, reading instead being in charge of direction or destination, smiling at a stranger on an otherwise lengthy and lonely commute… All of those things excited me when I learned I’d be travelling to New York each day for work. As such, I documented every novel read, every Stella can purchased… and today, Noah.
Time passed and wheels turned on steel tracks as we became familiar with each other’s line of work and passions, families and town to-do lists. We weren’t networking for a sale or exchanging cards in hope of future communication… I don’t even know his last name. But Noah now knows about my blog and knows that he might just be mentioned in it. I know that he has just migrated with his wife and daughter from the city to Fairfield County, to start a quiet life in the suburbs. We shook hands while brakes halted the train and exchanged pleasantries, content with time well-spent.
Footprints. Footprints were left on my soul as Noah walked off of the train and up the stairs to Grand Central station. The markings are not deep rooted, did not evoke a sense of longing or excitement or intrigue by any means. This person was from another walk of life, who I was able to connect with for just forty five minutes before the daily routine began. Between filing papers and sending emails and crossing items off my to-do list, I met someone that was interested in getting to know me for a mere moment in time.
It’s something than no one should ever take for granted.
I swore with the New Year that I would make a list of Life’s simple pleasures, vowed to find the good in each day, no matter how big or small the sentiment. Although days have been hectic, I refuse to let this practice fall through the cracks of my schedule. I have found that it is such a good way to put things in perspective; it is such a good way to reflect in a positive light. So without further hesitation…
14- Watched the sun set on the train ride home from the city; witnessed a peaceful world in moving pictures.
15- Awesome gym workout on my own turf… with my favorite gym partner
16- Went on a cosmic bowling double date at home with my sister… didn’t break 100 but still had a lot of fun.
17- Enjoyed a wonderful Saint Patrick’s Day; had breakfast and great conversation with uncle sal, visited my cousins at their new home, then spent the afternoon playing pool and hopping in and out of dive bars in a local home town.
18- Received a lovely gift from my best friend and penpal in the mail!
19-After a busy day in the city, wrapping up the NYC stair climb, I took a wonderful photo on the train ride home, a symbol of gratitude for the life we live.
20- Stumbled upon a perfect little boutique in the city, filled with clothes from my dream/pinterest closet.
21- Finished packing clothes and the hope of beautiful memories; Homeward bound for the first family vacation in over four years.
22-Had an impromptu date night with my good friend Chrissy Racho and her husband! What an incredible, inspiring couple they are.
23- Got to dress up and represent the American Lung Association at the ‘wear what you fear’ fashion show in Branford, CT!
24- Arrived in FL and ventured to Miami to see my Uncle, also on vacation.
25- Spent the afternoon on the beach in Deerfield with my family and actually got some color!
26- Played the card game ‘spit’ with my father and got to watch him light up with every victory.
27- Took a water taxi at sunset and got the most amazing family photos on my camera; so blessed to have this opportunity, for everyone to be all together.
28- Saw parts of FL that I had never ventured to before: Boca, West Palm, etc.
29- Finished reading a very inspiring, thought provoking true story called ‘True Notebooks’ by Marc Salzman.
30- Spent the night in Boston at the most incredible hotel; road trip with the boy followed by a fabulous birthday reunion with old friends.
31- Devoured an amazing meal and spent time with family for Easter Sunday.
1-Received a colored Easter-egg from the best boss ever, after surprising her with a souvenir from my FL vacation. She is the ultimate work- breath of fresh air
2- Started a new book on the train ride into the city!
3- Ran four miles, inspired by a Nike challenge on Twitter.
4- Completed my spontaneous sticks for fun-filled weekends ahead!
5- Blew off stress and steam with amazing company, my first Harry’s burger, beer, and Mortal combat competitions.
6- Got to see so many familiar faces at the Hartford Stair Climb; was able to relive one of my favorite ALA moments to date while cheering the new event manager on at this year’s event.
7- Helped move my cousin back to Fairfield county with the family; it was so good to see the babies!
8- Wore open toe-heels for the first time this year! Rocked the jungle stilettos all day long in the city.
9- There is something so therapeutic about grocery shopping, browsing the aisles as meal creations come to life.
10- Had a great meeting at the office in NYC and secured goals for next year’s events!
11- Downloaded software to dabble with mixes; I can be my own DJ!
12- Played “Chopped” at a New Haven hotspot; tried octopus, Froi gras, and tuna for the first time
13- Caught up with the girls over wine and a fabulous springtime grilled meal.
14- Watched a sunset and picked seaglass at my new favorite spot in Fairfield County.
15- All you-can-eat sushi date with the boy: Two wonderful things rolled into one.
16- Spent the evening with my cousin! Sushi, gym, froyo, and a beauty make-over. Productivity at it’s best.
17- Engaged in my first trainride conversation!
28- Added to my Soundcloud collection; old melodies moved through my bedroom with new significance.
1- After a long day of work, preparing for my most important event to date, it felt like heaven to find a robe in the closet of my own room. Pre-climb pampering.
2- What a successful, satisfying experience: There is no other bliss quite like achieving a new career goal. Fight For Air Climb: NYC 2013: Complete.
3- Perfect leisure day of Twilight movies in bed, an intense gym workout with an old gym partner, and bookworm tendencies with “Bared To You” in hand. Even received my favorite flower bouquet for post-climb success!
4- Counted funds collected on the day of the 3rd annual Fight For Air Climb: NYC and was so excited to learn that $138,000 has been raised to date. All hard work has paid off!
5- Had dinner with mom and Uncle Sal at First & Last Tavern; all of my favorite things rolled into one meal! (Artichokes, risotto balls, steamers, and Pino Noir) It was my first time at the restaurant, but it will not be my last.
6- Paid it forward and gave family baby clothes to a dear friend and next-door neighbor. So excited to see baby in new outfits!
7- Made shrimp scampi from scratch and leisurely let the night linger in wonderful company, during the last snowstorm of the season.
8- Chinese food with the roommate, intense gym session, new room renovation: Can’t beat a positive, productive day like this one.
9- Enjoyed breakfast and mimosas with friends at my apartment before heading out to Saint Patty’s Day parade fun.
10- Ventured into NYC for some Sunday Shopping with my sister and her friend.
11- Met Nicholas Sparks, my favorite author and mentor. Talk about a far-fetched bucket list item crossed off my list.
12- Completed my second book of the month, “Reflected In You,” which sequels “Bared To You.” If anyone loved Fifty Shades series, this set is a must read.
13- Got to have lunch (and dinner) with my childhood next-door neighbor in my new city stomping grounds. Felt so good to catch up.