NYE in NYC… all I learned celebrating solo.

Happy Friday!

And happy first Friday of the new year, and new decade!

Happy Friday!

And happy first Friday of the new year, and new decade!

I have a feeling it’s going to be a good one.

Maybe because I’m choosing to make it so.

(Or maybe because after spending an amazing New Year’s Eve in New York City on my own, I’m ready and up for anything!)

It was like the scene from The Titanic – and with not a moment to spare, I followed suit in climbing up the subway stairs and up over the barricade and rails, totally ripping my tights in the process. I landed in the sea of mayhem with literally less than 5 seconds to go before the ball dropping!

But I wanted to make it to Times Square, and by golly I was going to make it happen!

3,2,1… “HAPPY NEW YEAR!” And then the screaming began, the impressive fireworks ensued, and the colourful confetti exploded for blocks upon blocks…

Now I don’t know about you, but I always feel this pressure around New Year’s to do something epic. And this year, with it being a new decade and all, even more so.

As luck would have it, my friend in New York offered me his beautiful space as he was out of town, I managed to score a coveted reservation at the famous Gramercy Tavern, and now I was having a great time with new friends I met at the bar.

At 11:30pm, I still wasn’t sure where I was going to be for midnight. I had kindly been invited back to their local bar to watch the ball drop, but I was in New York, and felt it wrong not to at least try to get to Times Square!

So at 11:42pm, I decided to brave my way on the subway to 42nd and Broadway…

Talk about cutting it close!

I may have only been 3 stops away, but the station was overflowing with people who clearly had left it just as late as I had… running along the station platform amidst the sea of police uniforms, trying to make it to the one exit still open at the far, far end. The masses were pushing their way up those subway steps… it really was like the scene out of The Titanic.

Well, as I disclosed above, I made it out on time and alive, my ripped tights impressively the only casualty!

It was incredible.

And then began my mission to get as close as possible to where the ball dropped.

Now the poor hard working cops were doing everything to get people outta there in order to clear the streets, and weren’t letting anyone through the various blocked off sections.

But I wasn’t giving up that easy. So I made friends wherever possible, invited them into selfies, and found ways to masterfully manoeuvre my way in.

(And yes, I even planted the first few midnight smooches on police cheeks!)

I made it to the ball, I collected some confetti, and I lived to tell the tale of New Years Eve at Times Square.

Beyond the actual evening, the whole trip to one of my most fave cities was beyond what I could have imagined. And I learned a few important lessons…

Stop waiting.

I’ve wanted to go New York over New Year’s for a long time.

But I had always envisioned doing it with a group of friends, or with my partner. Well, while that may still happen one day, it wasn’t happening this year. And I got sick of waiting!

So I took action. And I’m so glad that I did. Because I had an incredible time.

You don’t have to wait for anything or anyone before you do the thing you really want to do.

You don’t have to wait to have the partner before you have the house, or the house before you have the garden, or the title before you ask for the promotion, or the fancy running shoes before you start to run.

It’s never going to be the perfect time, and you’re never going to feel ready. Stop waiting and start now, wherever you are.

Get curious.

I was running in Central Park, one of my favourite activities to do whenever I’m in New York. And I normally carefully choose my routes in advance. Normally I have a plan.

But this particular morning was different.

I began to follow my route, when I was somehow pulled in a different direction. I decided to put away my phone, and go with the flow instead.

I went down different paths, ran around the various ponds, and took a photo in front of the Hans Christian Anderson statue.

At some point I realized I’d been at it quite a while, and probably needed to think about heading back. So I checked in and realized I was almost at the complete other side of the park than where I had started – and it’s a big park!

Well, I eventually made it back… but not without running past the skating rink, through the children’s zoo, and ending up in the dog park, getting chased by some adorable puppies.

Instead of being tied to my initial plan, I discovered a way more interesting path. I was able to get curious, go with the flow, and notice all that was happening around me. I was able to be fully present.

It got me thinking about other areas of my life and my business. While sometimes it’s important to have a plan, sometimes it’s beneficial to play observer, get curious, and be open to different paths.

Let go of expectation.

One of the reasons I wanted to get away to New York in the first place was because, well, as much as I like an excuse for celebration, New Year’s seems to come with huge expectation for an incredible experience… and that’s a lot of pressure!

And when single, the pressure and expectation only seem to increase.

So I decided to get away, and because I had never been to NYC over NYE, I thought why not make it happen?! And I had no expectation other than to go with the flow, be present, and make my own fun.

And I certainly did that!

When I first shared with some folks my plan, I was met with mixed reactions.

Some thought it was sad, many said I was brave.

Well, if you call taking action on something you’ve always wanted to do brave, then perhaps I was.

But for me, it was more about the experience, the adventure, and ringing in the new decade my way.

And I want to do more of that this year.
And these lessons play a role.

So I invite you to stop waiting, get curious, and let go of expectation.

Say yes to all that excites you, enjoy the journey, and make friends with strangers along the way.

🎉 🌟 HAPPY 2020, *|FNAME|*! 🌟 🎉

Carol Schulte

Carol is a published author, has been featured in numerous magazines and podcasts, and is a returning guest expert on Rogers TV. Having lived and worked in 16 countries including Ashrams in India and vans in New Zealand, rocked dreadlocks in Thailand and shaved her head for breast cancer, she certainly walks her talk and brings a global perspective to all she does. When she’s not traveling or speaking on stage, you can find her volunteering as a bereavement facilitator, training for her next triathlon, or practicing her serious carpool karaoke game.

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