A Late Bloomer

Live alone for long enough, and you will become an excellent people watcher. It’s a good thing to do when you’re lonely. Have you ever felt so lonely that you found yourself just wanting to look at some other people going by?

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That’s where I am now. Figuratively. I’m actually sitting in a nook in a slightly cramped/mostly cozy coffee shop in the Flatiron District, and things could be much worse. (They could be out of croissants.)

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I wonder where all of these people are going. I wonder where I’m going. I never seem to know exactly. I’ve been in NYC for 11 months, and I still carry a map. A laminated map that I once paid something like $14 for at Penn Station. It was an appallingly bad purchase. But I like having it in my purse. Just in case. (There’s just-in-case-fudge in there, too. Or maybe in any case, fudge would be more accurate.)

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I wonder if that woman hurrying by carries emergency chocolate. I wonder if the man behind her is too stubborn to ask for directions. I wonder what their stories are. I wonder what they’d tell Brandon (Humans of New York, Brandon) if they happened to run into him.

I know what I’d tell him. You’re the first person I’ve spoken to in four days.

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Sometimes you just want to speak until you run out of breath. Look up to meet eyes that say you’re okay and you’re normal (as far as normal goes) and you’re not alone. Sometimes that’s all you want. And sometimes it’s not on the menu.

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“Live on coffee and flowers. Try not to worry what the weather will be.” -Matt Berninger

“You learn you can do your best even when it’s hard, even when you’re tired and maybe hurting a little bit. It feels good to show some courage.” -Joe Namath

“His eyes were the same color as the sea in a postcard someone sends you when they love you but not enough to stay.” -Warsan Shire

“I love like a leaky faucet, or I love like a dam breaking. There is nothing in between.” -Shinji Moon

“I still catch myself feeling sad about things that don’t matter anymore.” -Kurt Vonnegut

“Someday you’ll find the right person, and you’ll learn to have a lot more confidence in yourself. That’s what I think. So don’t settle for anything less. In this world, there are things you can only do alone, and things you can only do with somebody else. It’s important to combine the two in just the right amount.” -Haruki Murakami

“Some steps need to be taken alone. It’s the only way to really figure out where you need to go and who you need to be.” -Mandy Hale

“Anxiety is practicing failure in advance. Anxiety is needless and imaginary. It’s fear about fear, fear that means nothing.” -Seth Godin

“Write stories. Take photos. Remember moments and the way certain people look at you. Be you. Keep growing, keep going.” -Unknown

“At least three times every day take a moment and ask yourself: What is really important? Have the wisdom and the courage to build your life around your answer.” -Lee Jampolsky

“I couldn’t live where there were no trees — something vital in me would starve.” L.M. Montgomery

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” -E.E. Cummings

“If I can’t have too many truffles, I will do without.” -Colette

“I don’t know how it happens, my car just drives itself to Neiman Marcus.” -Victoria Principale

“A car is useless in New York, essential everywhere else. The same with good manners.” -Mignon McLaughlin

“Don’t bloom where you are planted. Uproot yourself and go where your heart feels like it’s home.” -Emery Allen

“Be kind to yourself while blooming. I know sometimes it feels like your soul doesn’t always fit. It’s all a part of the process.” -Emery Allen

“I was a late bloomer. But anyone who blooms at all, ever, is very lucky.” -Sharon Olds

“I was fascinated by strangers, wanted to know what food they ate and what dishes they ate it from, what movies they watched and what music they listened to, wanted to look under their beds and in their secret drawers and night tables and inside the pockets of their coats.” -Donna Tartt

“If you aren’t amazed most of the time you aren’t paying attention.” -Michael Lipsey

“Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.” -Sophia Loren

“I think it’s intoxicating when somebody is so unapologetically who they are.” -Don Cheadle

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