Fanning the Flames of Friendship

“Floral favorites” – 34th & 7th Ave

Well as I said in my last posting this week’s will be of a more substantial nature. I do deliver on my promises when I can. Even still, the post will likely be shorter than “Fleeting Friendships“. Unfortunately, with that post I set the bar unintentionally high and will probably have difficulty keeping up with that moving forward (whoops). This weeks posting will again be about friendships but from a much different standpoint.

You wouldn’t think it, but it does certainly still feel like a very small world despite being in a city of eight million people. As I stated in my initial post a few weeks back; Once I started opening my eyes I was surprised at just how many people I unintentionally ran across in my travels. What surprised me further was the number of people whom have reached out to me wishing to rekindle friendships since I took on the job in Manhattan. Considering, the void i’ve been feeling lately, I can’t say that i’m complaining about that either.

Friends and Acquaintances from all walks of my life began to emerge from the woodwork. People that i’d known all this time lived in the city, people that it had been surprisingly difficult to see prior to this job; despite them only being a few hours away by train. Friends from High School, Friends from College, Friends from my time working at the college, all began to reach out. Given that it’s only been a few weeks, obviously I haven’t even begun to see them all yet. But, upon my taking up permanent residence in the city it will likely become much easier to revitalize those friendships.

Some of the people reaching out surprised me, and others not so much. Some of the friendships felt a little odd at first, others felt like nothing had changed at all. One friendship in particular that i’m particularly glad has been revitalized as of all of this, was a friendship with someone I knew well in high school. She’s been a confidante, and a wonderful influence these past few weeks. A few weeks in which I’ve dealt with sweeping changes to my entire life, career wise, social life wise, that I haven’t been able to parse through on my own. She and I have had the opportunity to hang out a couple of times since I started my employment in the city, and I am thankful that after all of these years, she is still as steadfast of a friend as she was in high school.

Another pair of friends I’ve been lucky to have these past few weeks aren’t really a re-connection, or a revitalization, but i’d be remiss to not talk about them. When I took on my new job, I still had no place to live, and while I could have commuted from my parents house, I was looking at about five hours out of my day. Luckily, my two friends, now temporary roommates offered up a room in their own home for me to stay in. Cleaning it out, giving me all the space I needed, they’ve made me feel welcome in their home, and even helped me rekindle some of my older hobbies that I hadn’t touched in a while. I can’t thank them enough for the kindness, and the accommodation that they’ve presented me with by welcoming me into their home; for that I will be eternally grateful.

Considering all of the above, these past few weeks have shown me that exciting things lie ahead of me. That I will have friends to support me through the changes, and journey ahead of me working, and eventually living in the City that Never Sleeps. It has shown me that when you close a door, a new path is placed ahead of you, one with infinite and endless possibilities. I’ve just begun a wonderful waltz, a game of chess, with a fresh board and pieces yet to be moved. To quote a line from one of my favorite TV series “Person of Interest” it an episode called “If-Then-Else” in it programmer Harold Finch is teaching “The Machine” (an A.I.) he designed how to play chess. In the process he gives the following speech…

Each possible move represents a different game, a different universe in which you make a better move. By the second move there are seventy-two thousand and eighty four possible games, by the third, nine million, and by the fourth, three hundred and eighteen billion. There are more possible games of chess than there are atoms in the universe, no one could possibly predict them all, even you. Which means that, that first move can be terrifying… It’s the furthest point from the end of the game, there’s a virtually infinite sea of possibilities between you and the other side. But it also means that if you make a mistake, there’s a nearly infinite amount of ways to fix it. So you should simply relax, and play…

Harold Finch, If-Then-Else “Person of Interest” S4E11

While life should never be considered a game as it is finite, the quote still stands on its legs. I’ve made the first move by taking this job in Manhattan, and from this point I just need to continue to make moves. Its okay if I make a mistake, as each one will present me with a new path, and new choices to make. Choices in which I can attempt to fix that mistake, and continue to move forward. Step by step, day by day…

That’s all for this week.

Until next time…

Dave

Snippet Sunday # 3

Remember, that just because you hit bottom, doesn’t mean you have to stay there…

Robert Downey Jr.

This week our quote come from the poster child for not letting your past define you. Robert Downey Jr. has a storied past, and one that you can look up if you are truly interested. Prior to 2008, very few people would hire him in Hollywood. It wasn’t until the Iron Man film that someone took a chance on him. It was exactly what he needed to revitalize his career. Now after a plethora of successful films as Iron Man, Sherlock Holmes, and more, he is taking a stab at tackling one of the worlds greatest problems, solving pollution/climate change, and giving back to the planet that gave him a second chance.

The ultimate point of this post is to remind us all, that no matter how low, how dark things might seem, keep going, keep trying, you never have to stay there. Give yourself a second chance, give others a second chance too! You never know just how you might change the world, if you keep trying.

Weekly post coming on Tuesday at Noon. Enjoy your Sunday! I’ll be going Axe throwing tonight.

Until Next Time!

Dave

Fotograph Friday # 3

“Library Leisure” – 5th Avenue & 41st

I’m aware that I’m a bit late to the party today on my posting. The honest truth of it is, that today was the first day I had the energy to drag the camera to work with me. This particular photo was taken at about f22, ISO 100 with a 1/1000th shutter speed. Still getting used to the new lens and the insanely wide berth it gives in its use. It’s incredible how close I honestly have to get to the buildings in order to get a proper picture. Unfortunately for me, prime viewing location is dead center in the street.

Given that I’m not moving out of the city any time soon, I’d like to give some late night light trail photography a shot in the near future. This particular lens is perfect for that kind of thing and it could make for some incredible photos after the right amount of experimentation.

As of now expect a proper posting on Tuesday as I’ve already written it, and look out for Snippet Sunday at its normally scheduled time.

Until next time…

Dave

A Waxing Mindset

“The Helix” – Hudson Yards/34th Street

This week’s post is going to be short. I’ve got a lot of topics to choose from and a lot of topics to write about moving forward, but i’m struggling to find the words this week. As such, I’ve decided to take a short respite from writing this week. Last week’s topic flowed nicely without difficulty, but as such this week has be fraught with struggle. It’s a balance that isn’t easy to maintain and hopefully moving forward i’ll have a little less difficulty coming up with the words to purvey what I want to.

In lieu of a topic, i’ll give a brief update about my life so far. Working in Manhattan has been an experience, every day is an adventure, and something new is always around the corner. My new job is fantastic, and the department heads, and my co-workers have been wholeheartedly supportive. I will do well here, I’m confident in that fact. The apartment search has had it’s share of difficulties but I’m still looking, and I’m hopeful for an October 1st move in somewhere in one of the boroughs. I’ve also had the delight of reconnecting with some good friends since taking the job in Manhattan, and I hope to continue reconnecting with friends that have been out of my life for a while. Overall, the job has been a boon to my life. We will always of course have our struggles, but that’s just part of the journey.

Next week, I will hopefully be in a more creative mindset, and able to write accordingly. Fotograph Friday, and Snippet Sunday will still be posted this week at their normal times. Have a great week all.

Until next time…

Dave

Snippet Sunday # 2

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears the beat of a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away.

Henry David Thoreau

This week’s Snippet Sunday has both a very literal and figurative connotation; Let’s start with the literal. In New York it is easy to see that everyone literally walks at their own pace, and while there are those of us like myself that do a ten minute walk in four. I should not begrudge those around me who do it in twenty, or thirty. While it may be an inconvenience, and a truly unpopular opinion among most city dwellers, it’s not my right to force them to move any quicker.

The same of course can be said of life in general. I have friends at all different stages of life at this point. Some are married and looking to build a home, some are engaged, some are in long term committed relationships, and others like myself may be single. The important thing to note is that just because others are “ahead” of you doesn’t mean that you are behind, we all move at our own pace, just like individuals on the streets of New York.

Fotograph Friday – Hudson Yards

Shift your perspective, a skyward search – Hudson Yards/34th

This week’s post comes as I traverse my way back to Grand Central. One of the more enjoyable aspects of my commute thus far is the opportunity to spend some time in Hudson Yards on my way home from work. I’ve unfortunately yet to get up on the Helix as the line is always been daunting. Regardless it’s a truly clean and enjoyable area to spend a little extra time to think and shift ones perspective. Lately, I’ve needed that space to assess some aspects of my life that have changed or needed improvement. But enough of that for this week, don’t want to make this too long.

Next weeks blog post is a bit of a mystery to me still, i’ve spent a lot of time this week brainstorming ideas all of which I’m excited to write about (therein lies the problem). That said I can assure you there will be a Tuesday post, appearing at its normally scheduled time of Noon.

Oh, and one last thing since a lot of friends have asked how I pulled off this photo. I recently acquired a new lens for my Sony a7r Mark II that has an extreme wide angle. It allows me to capture large areas a normal lens just doesn’t give me the option for. It’s a Rokinon Cine 14mm T3.1 ED AS IF UMC lens, designed for full frame cameras. This particular lens gives me nearly 120″ angle of view, hence the nearly fisheye capacity of the lens. I’ll try to get a comparison shot for next week’s post between this and a standard lens.

Fleeting Friendships

An ethereal view – Hudson Yards/34th

As I had alluded to in last weeks social media posting, I will be taking a break from the typical look at my new life in Manhattan to talk about another topic that has been on the forefront of my mind lately. It’s one I feel that many of us will be able to relate to on some level, and it will be a deeply personal topic for me to talk about. This week we are talking about maintaining friendships as an adult, how different personalities might handle those friendships (specifically my own), and the truth about your feelings when you, or a friend leaves you behind.

When we are young, friendships come much more readily. Often times just proximity to people lead you to become friends with them. Sometimes those friends become permanent fixtures in your life, much like some of my friends from elementary school that I still talk to. Others, may have been fleeting, in your life at one part, and out at another. Friendships, as an adult have an an unfortunate tendency towards the latter of the two. What’s worse, in my experiences so far, it’s much harder to make those friendships as an adult. Confidence, Anxiety, Common Interests, all play a much more integral role in the process as an adult, much more than our childhood counterparts. Friendships as an adult also have a tendency to be harder to maintain, busy lives, other friendships, politics, all have an impact on the companions we keep.

To go even further in depth, one can even look at the personality types each individual might have. Certain personality types, have a tendency to get along best with certain other personality types. I’m only going to get into the basics of my particular personality type today, but if you are interested in learning more there will be a link at the end of today’s post that will bring you to a test you can take. I’ve taken the test several times over the years, and it’s fascinating to watch how the results of that test changed over time. When I first took the exam, I came back classified as a “Defender” or ISFJ-T, I used to be extremely introverted, to the point that I fell into this defender classification. As time went on however, over the course of several years, and teaching classes to students where I worked, I became more outgoing. The last time I took the exam I was reclassified as “The Protagonist”, ENFJ-T, and no it doesn’t mean that i’m self centered. The protagonist is defined as follows

Protagonists are natural-born leaders, full of passion and charisma. Forming around two percent of the population, they are oftentimes our politicians, our coaches and our teachers, reaching out and inspiring others to achieve and to do good in the world. With a natural confidence that begets influence, Protagonists take a great deal of pride and joy in guiding others to work together to improve themselves and their community.

Protagonist Personality. (n.d.). Retrieved August 14, 2019, from https://www.16personalities.com/enfj-personality

Now that you know a bit about the basics, lets focus on the protagonist and it’s friendships…

Protagonists are active friends, and do nothing half assed. We genuinely take interest in getting to know people. Protagonists want to be the best version of a friend they possibly can. Protagonists want to see their friends succeed, and willing give their own time to help see those friends succeed. However, as a protagonist this means we have difficult dealing with personality types who are more interested in the moment, then the future, or those whom are firmly assertive, those whom are content with who they are and lack any kind of desire for self-improvement. Protagonists as a result can be EXTREMELY critical, and it can cause them to push people away. Looking at even just the basics, I can easily see all of these traits in myself the good and the bad. Personalities are a fascinating thing, and I do generally have difficulty navigating friendships with those whom live in the moment. Having to recuse myself often, from saying more critical things, that might cause those people to drift further away.

But, sometimes, despite our best intentions that drift is inevitable. Much as the snap was in Avengers: Infinity War (Don’t you be screaming spoilers, it’s been well over a year now). Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, how much we give our friends, our all; It just isn’t enough. Sometimes, those friends are just realizing that you are too different; perhaps those friends are growing in a direction, where you are no longer the best thing for them, or maybe just maybe you are the one drifting. Regardless of reason, there’s one thing I can say with certainty, it’s going to hurt like hell. But I’m realizing that’s okay, pain is part of the process of living; without sorrow, we cannot know joy, without anger, we cannot know patience, without mistakes, we cannot learn. One thing I really want to drive home though, is no matter how much you hurt, no matter how much you are going to want to blame yourself, to think that maybe there was something you could have done. The honest truth is, there wasn’t, this is all just part of the process of life, you weren’t part of the problem, and even if you were; the foundation to weather it just wasn’t there then. Sometimes, friendships are made to last forever, to weather the darkest of storms like the lighthouses of old. Other times, they are fleeting like the cool winds off the ocean at dusk. Whatever the case, you must never forget that you are good enough, and that sometimes, things are just as fleeting as the wind.

That’s it for this week, next week we return to normally scheduled programming.

Until next time…

Dave

As I stated earlier I was going to post a link to a personality test, if you are interested in learning more please check it out.

16 Personalities

Snippet Sunday # 1

Truth is, I’ll never know all there is to know about you just as you will never know all there is to know about me. Humans are by nature too complicated to be understood fully. So, we can choose either to approach our fellow human beings with suspicion or to approach them with an open mind, a dash of optimism and a great deal of candor.

Tom Hanks

This week’s snippet Sunday is a quote from the wonderful Tom Hanks. He speaks to a truth about the nature of our relationships. He warns against closing one self off to the world just because our relationships can be messy. It’s a lesson that I time and time again am taught through the relationships I keep in my life, and in all honesty, i’d rather deal with the mess, then to allow myself to live alone. In a city of 8 million people, i’m excited to see the possibilities of current and future relationships. That’s all for today. Check in again Tuesday for the weekly post.

Fotograph Friday – Union Square

” Union Square Park” – Friday, August 16th

No big update for today, these generally won’t be. Just hanging out in Union Square waiting for a friend. Saw an apartment earlier but I don’t think it’s going to work out. Keep your eye out for Snippet Sunday in a few days, and the regularly scheduled post next Tuesday.

– Dave

Faces in Fogtown

Grand Central Terminal, on a Saturday

8 Million… Seems like a big number doesn’t it? When you realize what i’m referencing it will be even more absurd. The number i’m referencing of course, is the approximate number of people currently living in Manhattan. That is the number of people living within 302 square miles of land. That equates to about 26,490 people per mile. Just for a little reference, my hometown is 33 square miles, with a population of 11,944 people in it. This of course doesn’t include the literal 1.63 million people who flood into the city on either Metro North Railroad or any of the dozen bridges that enter Manhattan each day; it’s main lines drawing from all of southern New York, and Connecticut.

And yet, an unbelievable number of people my age complain that they feel alone living in this behemoth of a city. An outsider might wonder why that is, an outsider being someone who has never experience the fervor that NYC can induce. So why is it in a city of 8 million people, any one of them can complain that they feel alone.

The simple answer? Technology.

We live in a generation glued to technology, Cell Phones, Smartwatches, Bluetooth Headphones, Augmented Reality Glasses, and Social Media. I myself as part of the generation of millennials find myself falling party to this fallacy time and time again. Technology, the pinnacle of what we’ve designed, what was supposed to bring us closer together, inevitably drove us further apart. From Online Dating, to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Reddit, all designed to help us find, and maintain companionship; whether platonic or otherwise. We’ve stopped looking around, we’ve stopped living outside our own little bubbles. We bury ourselves so deep into our Social Media, Online Dating, our technology that we don’t know how to co-exist outside it anymore. The number of times I’ve seen people out on dates, both staring at their phones is incredible.

So, as I realized this, as I realized I was in a city of 8 million people, each with their own story, and with their own unique life; I started to stop burying myself in my technology. I began to look around, I began to listen, and as soon as I did wouldn’t you know I started running into people I knew. Just this morning, I ran into a former employee from a past job getting off of the train in Grand Central. All because I took my headphones off, and looked up as I walked. I paid attention, and as a result I was rewarded with an interaction I otherwise wouldn’t have had. It’s amazing what a little observation, and a little listening might reward you with.

So, lets wrap this up in a nice little bow. You live, and work in a city of 8 million people. You are about as far from alone as you ever could be. I’m not saying that you need to do this every day because let’s be honest there are still days I bury my face in my phone, headphones blaring, tuned out of the world around me, and that’s okay; sometimes you need that time to yourself. But, I do implore you, once a week, take off the headphones, shove the phone in your pocket or purse or what have you. Look around as you walk, as you ride the train, as you traverse the subway lines. You might be pleasantly surprised as you run into someone from your past, or perhaps you’ll meet someone new, perhaps you’ll meet your next lover? Who knows… but what I do know is if you bury your face in your phone, you blare music in your ears, if you tune out the world around you, the world is going to tune you out too. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind, so take the time to look around, stop being blind to the beautiful world around you. Open up to it, and it will open up to you.

Until next week…

Dave