On Happiness - Living Openly And Actively Engaging

Just over a year ago – on my second day in New York, I met a woman at my office who told me:

“Keep your heart open to this place and it will open for you.”

At the time, the city was still a strange expanse of brick buildings and bustling people – incomprehensible and overwhelming. I was comforted by the fact that I could make sense of this place if I lived with an open mind and heart, the way I always strive to.

But, you are not allowed to merely live or continue life as you always have here. The flashing crosswalk meters create a sense of urgency, the ticking clocks force you to walk a little faster, and the people —maybe the greatest force of all—make you live more openly than you ever have.

Take for example, this past weekend when I decided to break my weekend routine and venture on a whim out to Brooklyn with a handful of strangers for a Vegan Wine & Cheese party. I could have chosen to stay in for a quiet movie night in as I originally planned, but something was calling me to go out into the world and explore. And I’m so glad I listened to this voice, as it brought me to the starting line of one of the most memorable and unforgettable weekends of my life.

At the party, in a room full of unfamiliar faces and anxiety, I managed to find comfort and solace—a home. I was touched, inspired and moved by the generosity of those around me, and would spend the remaining hours of the night dancing, singing and laughing about the absurdity and randomness of life until house lights turned into the bright backwash of the subway. Until time was lost and nothing but a concept.

Saturday was not an exception. It has become a frequent reality and feeling since I moved to New York City. These moments come with an openness and candidness I never expected to find and experience, and serve as a reminder and testament to the vastness and richness of life.

I have been continually humbled by what people are willing to share here, and each day, I’m encouraged to share more of myself.