Like many inspirational life experiences, this one was totally unplanned.
I was in New York for a brief visit. After breakfast, I found myself walking uptown rather than heading inside to the hotel gym.
Whoosh…33 blocks and several avenues later, I stood in front of the first building I lived in post-college, more than 40 years ago. Although it’s still a dumpy scary walk-up, a paper sign on the door advertised that the apartments had been newly-renovated. I swear that’s my old window air conditioner circa 1978, however.
I used to stare longingly at the high-rise luxury building across the street. “One day I’ll have a doorman who wears white gloves and be one of the powerful executive women who lives there,” I thought.
Fast forward four decades…That high-rise looks worn and not so glamorous.
I’ve lived in a doorman building, had that corner office, two kids, a spacious home in the burbs, and a bunch of other stuff. But more important than any of that were the experiences along the way.
I continued on the walk and instead of thinking, “Those were the good old days,” I found myself ruminating on the lessons learned, the ways I’ve changed, my timeless qualities, and which brands and buildings are still standing. Some have survived by keeping up with change rather than resisting it. For example, the Apple Store in an old bank building. New York is full of contrasts between old and new.
Longevity is no accident.
And sometimes looking to the past is a great way to re-energize and prepare for the future. Respect where you’ve been, but never lose sight of where you’re going.
Here are 7 easy steps for “Rear View Therapy”*
I came back from my walk feeling wiser, remembering the adventure I’ve enjoyed since I walked up the stairs in my first apartment….and looking forward to those that are yet to come!
*Note: I am not a therapist. Your journey may not cure anything, but it will hopefully bring back some smiles, tears, and Instagram-worthy pics.