nyc 2012: people i met.

i'm a month out from the trip... wayyy too long to be talking about this anymore. but i made a conscious decision to soak every ounce of city life and tall buildings and transit and street carts and high society and nut cases all up in each others business. it's no salt lake city. not even san diego. and definitely not rexburg.

i soaked and i soaked and i soaked it all in. and took advantage of my minute on the east coast and connected with as many friends as possible.

blog friends are real friends, right?  we oughtta know this by now about this space.

first things first, i met up with donna. a real life friend from college. 
donna's from the bronx and is my funniest friend. she was a trooper for driving south to meet me at grand central with her kids in tow.... as in - she drove through nyc.  i thought that was the stuff nightmares are made of... but she took it like a champ. and this is miles... my boyyyyfriend. he let me hold him, carry him, he held my hand through the streets of madison ave... you know, normal boyfriend things.

donna also gave me great shopping tips and nyc subway 101 crash course.  valuable stuff.

when i started reading a blog about love last fall, i didn't see a new york trip in my plans one single bit. but i took note of mara's offer for a walk and a talk around prospect park and kept it in my back pocket. for anyone who hasn't read danny and mara's blog yet - switch tabs, enter www.ablogaboutlove.com into your browser address bar and read... from beginning to end, if you know what's good for you. 

they write, with love, about all kinds of love. they do it with a spirit of helpfulness and desire to impart what they've learned {the hard way} with their readers. i love a blog about love because it's a community. danny and mara are happy people, up and down, in and out. i could feel it from across the street.

with a last minute switch of the plan, danny was able to join us. it was great to meet the both of them - together. they adore each other as much as you'd imagine from reading their blog. they're kind and complimentary to each other, and they're gentle toward each other. it was encouraging to see! love exists!

when i emailed mara initially, i told her something like this:

"my life is not hard - no trauma, no tragic stories - i'm so blessed. i'm happy with my life... but i'd love to walk around the park and talk general happiness with you."

i'm certain danny and mara have been blessed with a double dose of clarity and a triple xl memory bank. they were able to remember our past email exchanges, comments i'd made on past posts, yada. when we started our walk, danny asked, "do you want to know why your life is not hard?" 

"uh, huh."

"because you don't view it that way. certainly hard things have happened to you {mom, cancer, instant paralysis, and maaaybe a few other things that you'd have to pin me against a wall to convince me they're really problems} but you're like me... you take them. they're not problems... they're life. and you roll with it. you use it and you learn from it."

i did a little leap of victory. that was a happy revelation.

there's a handful of messages from our walk that still ring in my ears, but the biggest being happiness is not found in the accomplishment of a task, it's found in the virtues gained in pursuit of it.  a girl won't be happy when she loses ten pounds {cabbage soup dieters, are you listening to me?}. happiness comes through the mastery of discipline and diligence. or the pursuit of it anyway. a husband won't make a girl happy, but conquering patience and faith and prayer or learning to love herself or gaining an independent spirit will. mara won't suddenly be happy when she gets pregnant, but her strength will come by relying on her heavenly father as she understands his timing and master plan. 

things won't make us happy, but the things we learn while we pursue them will. 

when we'd walked all there was to walk around prospect park and our stories were through we found ourselves back to the very beginning. we could have said our goodbyes, but mara said, "well, we're not done yetttt! we have to give this girl some dating advice!" a welcomed exclamation from a successful, happy in love couple who have a few things figured out. 

we sat on a park bench and i spilled a few guts. they hmm'd and haaa'd and encouraged and high fived and shared a few bits from the timeline of their love story.

call me someday... i'll share the entirety of our conversation and all the things i learned and left feeling so encouraged about. it was such a fortunate opportunity to talk two-on-one with these guys... who are smart enough to put into practice so many truths. truths i've been taught by great parents and leaders... things i oughtta know by now. how much happier my life could be if i could apply all these things the first time.

if you can't take a walk around the park with them, i'd most definitely take their classes

kristina and i went to high school together and haven't seen each other since. a facebook message later we were at grand central station. reunited after 13 years, we dished about life in nyc, in salt lake, work, home {san diego will always be home base}, and the great compare/contrast of the glamour of each other's lives. we concluded that the grass is always greener on the other side.  it was so normal to sit and chat {over an ice cold cola beverage, of course} as if the last 13 years were all wrapped up into a week. at the ease we kept up with each other, i swear it's only been a week since we were in 6th period yearbook class {or ditching out of it}.

it was a sweet time. spontaneous reunions are the things dreams are made of.

unpictured: lunch with kersey and elliott in hoboken! mexican food! in new jersey! me! a mexican! {sometimes} enjoying east coast mexican. it was amazing. and kersey is a wealth of cleverness and her son really is a charming as he appears on the blog.



i have an irrational fear of swooping birds - mostly massive flocks of starlings - but pigeons inside airports have been added to the list.

they're gutsy little guys who have no regard for personal space.
i don't know if i screamed, but i definitely did a quick duck and an unnecessary cover-my-eyes-and-wince-in-fear.

farewell new york. you put your best foot forward for me.


Donna said...

Come back! Next time I'll take you to "The Real Little Italy" in The Bronx. But next time pack some elastic waist pants...you're gonna need 'em.

communikate. said...

Dude... come to Portland and we can walk around the park. I'll have all sorts of misguided and crazy advice for you. :)


Those guys sound rad. Don't you just love being around people that make you want to be better? I have a select few people that honestly do that for me these days. I should probably reconnect with them. I'm feeling a bit off kilter.

Danny Kofoed said...

Aubry! I love this little reminder of our walk around the Park. And...haha...did I really say that? Well, it's true. Mara and I were so delighted after you left, we loved our little walk and chat. We always get really excited when we meet someone out there who really gets it, and that most certainly is you (as evidenced by you managing to make my statement sound wiser than it probably was when I said it).

Thanks so much for the awesome shout out, but even more, thanks for taking us up on our offer. We had just as much fun as you did.

A.Co said...

Awww! I found you via A BLOG ABOUT LOVE and I love your post!! So nice all the people you connected and re-connected with recently :)


Andi said...

the trip of dreams! and those kofoeds couldn't be more adorable. i heart them.