Your worst enemy

Letters to Antoinette: New York Edition

Letters to Antoinette: New York Edition

Chapter 1: Breaking away from the plan.
Yesterday I got up at around 4 AM to have enough time to
stuff the last bits and pieces in my suitcase. While walking towards the closet
I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Though still half asleep there
was something in my eyes that I couldn?t really grasp.

A spark?
No it was more than that. I was just about to begin an adventure that I?ve never really planned.

An adventure I?d have simply turned down only a few months earlier.
For me going to America was never a dream. Wondering around the streets of New York City was never at the top of
my to-do list. I was actually thinking more in the direction of moving to
London for good, or somewhere around Europe.
Well, are you a planner yourself? Are you a ‘thinker’ rather
than a ‘doer’?
Do you tend to scribble everything down to ensure that
there?s nothing you forget?
Have you planned where you?re gonna study and where you’re gonna
work? Have you planned in which city you?d like to live in and how many children
you want to have. Have you developed a checklist for the ?one? that has to be
fully ticked before you quietly utter the petrifying yet exciting ‘Yes’?
According to my original plan I should have completed my
Master?s degree by now. I should have settled down with the One, working as an
editor of a fashion magazine (yes I know). I would have already found the
perfect flat in Central London, doing morning jogging with my boy at Regent?s
Park whistling to get the attention of our cute golden retriever. 
Well, instead I?m currently looking out an airplane window, with puffy white clouds completely filling my sight ? and later on vast amounts of water. Yes, the Ocean. Headed to New York, I couldn?t help
but wonder could my plan have failed more than that?

Could you guess how my trip started? Well – with a loud ‘Bang’. 
I was comfortable seated in the waiting room prior to boarding on the first plane I had to catch when a man asked me to move my bag so he could sit next
to me. He started speaking and
surprisingly he was even more talkative than me. He was funny and his sunburned
face suggested that he was a skier. Weirdly enough it turned out that he was 18
years older than what I initially thought. He was actually older than my dad and yet
he looked so young, so passionate about his hobbies, so hungry for life and new
experiences that I was just staring at him mesmerised by his entertaining stories
that were making me laugh out loud at 7 AM in the morning. When we got on the plane
it turned out that we’d reserved seats next to each other? After overcoming my obvious surprise, we took the opportunity
to talk about life. And we did for quite a bit. He was the very proof that age
is not what matters. It is the spirit. Cliché? Surely. But only for a few
minutes the cliché slowly transformed taking the shape of a breathing figure that was sitting right next
to me telling me all about his hobbies. Eventually, it turned out that we had been at the same ski resort a week earlier, skiing down the exact same slopes. It
also turned out that he was my star sign, born only 3 days (and many years earlier)
after me. And to round up this weird story of miraculous coincidences, A. (yes, we also have the same initials) had missed his flight the day before to both end up in the same plane, sitting just next to each other . When we landed we said ?Goodbye? both knowing that we are leaving as
strangers. We probably won?t stumble upon each other ever again. And that?s not
what matters. For me he was the very sign that
I have indeed headed in the right direction. He was the confirmation
that I was on my way to ?the Place?.

Yes, lovely reader, things sometimes don?t turn out the way you
want them to. Sometimes life takes unexpected twists and turns, which can shake
you, tickle you, and even shock you. Moments that remind you that there is much
more to life than just following a neatly drafted plan you were somehow led to
develop since you were at kindergarten. Remember the words: ‘What do you want to be when you grow up? A teacher, A

Stop writing down and just
pause for a moment. Look around for a sign. Walk around the
park by yourself, accompanied only by your thoughts. Enjoy the little things
you encounter and reflect. Though my plan never succeeded the way I wanted it to today
I realise that life has its own ways to guide you towards a better and more
positive direction?
The signs are indeed everywhere.
Embrace them
Follow them.
Tear away the paper you?ve neatly prepared.
You don?t need it in your very pursuit of happiness.
Happiness is all around just waiting for you to notice it,
but how could you do so if your eyes are incessantly focused on this precious piece of paper?
Pick up your head and look from the left to the right. The signs
are already pointing to you the path they will make you truly happy.
And suddenly, I heard the sharp voice of the flight
attendant reminding the passengers to switch off all electronic devices as we were starting to descend.
I was just about to land neither in New York nor in the USA. Landing not on the Earth ?
but in the UNKNOWN. I could feel my heart pounding very hard and lips curving
in an upward direction, for a second promising myself one single thing ? to


To live life to the fullest and enjoy every single moment spent in this
new and colourful place.

Ready to join me on this journey?

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