New York diaries – Part 2: Glow

Truth: When the right moment comes, you’ll shine brighter than ever before

The city with never-ending lights
What I recalled most prominently about New York (aside from the majestic Central Park, the breathtaking displays at the MOMA and Natural History Museum, and not to mention mouthwatering bagels and cakes I devoured each day) were the lights. Not just the ones on the street of course, but all the lighting that shone from places like restaurants, shops, and of course billboards from the incredibly popular but crowded Times Square. If there’s one recommendation that I can make to those of you that are interested in visiting the Big Apple, it’s staying out at night and watching how the city gradually lights up.

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Having grown up in multiple cities, the New York metropolitan evening ambience was not unfamiliar to me. I stayed out late a couple of times, watching musicals like Chicago and heading slightly downtown past Bryant Park to Benjamin’s Steak House for a really well-deserved treat after a day of intense outlet shopping at Woodbury Common’s (seriously, it burns A LOT of calories). And with every night out, I was always slowly guided back to my hotel by warm glow flickering from every lamppost that stood on each of the 200+ streets across Manhattan.

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In other words, there’s definitely no need to feel afraid of the dark whilst you’re there!

Light beyond the streets
As I gazed down from the highest point of the Rockefeller Center (which in my opinion is probably one of the best buildings to climb up for a stunning city and skyline view), I couldn’t help feeling a mixture of excitement of having reached the top and slight apprehension of what stood below me Truthfully, the latter fear had absolutely nothing to do with heights (frankly I was quite immune to being on top of tall buildings having grown up for most of my life in the skyscraper paradise called Hong Kong). But I think, to cut to the chase, what triggered this worry was essentially this question:

If I’ve already come so far up and achieved this milestone, then what’s next?

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During my New York trip, this was easily answered by my visit to the top of the Empire State building during the following night (so skyscraper number 2 = checked!). But when it comes to my present life, this question is precisely where I’ve come to a standstill at the moment.

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Reflecting the light that shone
When I was in secondary school (which I feel is making me sound unnecessarily old now), I used to love giving speeches. I know public speaking is not everyone’s forte (in fact for many I know it’s considered as a fear), but I could never get enough of the pre-speech adrenaline rush and thrill of having a chance to, well, shine in front of the class by voicing my opinions. I guess I’m kind of doing that now through my blog. But in reality, I’m not in school anymore. And, perhaps it’s because of my relatively new beginnings in the adult world, I do feel slightly further away from the limelight I used to crave from time to time.

In truth, I guess I’m a lot less sparkly now than before when the spotlight was just handed to me.

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I think it’s undeniable that most people want a time to shine. Whatever the reason may be, getting that opportunity is unmistakably satisfying on a personal level. It’s something we all deserve. But sometimes, the road to it is not that easy. While others sparkle, our radiance may only be glittering. When everyone else is shining, we might only just be glowing. 

Thought: It’s hard to sparkle forever, but it’s not impossible to reignite the flame

Keep on glowing
There’s no doubt that everything (well, most anyway) in life happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason’s predictable, while other times it’s not. In my case, I’m still finding that reason (or rather purpose). And just like the lift in the Rockefeller Centre, I know that there’s still light on the end of the tunnel. But maybe, it’s not exactly the right moment for me to step into it just yet.

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As I stepped out of the building onto the gleaming 5th Avenue, with a dazzling display of lights shining for their own individual purposes, I started to see things a bit brighter than before. My final thought of which struck me as I headed more cheerily and twinkly back to my hotel room was this:

If it’s not my time or reason to shine just yet, that’s ok. At least I’ll keep on glowing until then. 

This post is my response to last week’s WordPress Photo Challenge: Glow

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