How A Solo Trip To New York Changed My Life
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How A Solo Trip To New York Changed My Life

Ready to accomplish my goals. Ready to make my mark.

How A Solo Trip To New York Changed My Life
Jean Munn

I had been feeling depressed for months. My anxiety about an impending oral surgery had taken total control of me. I was going through life day by day on autopilot. The only thing that perked me up was conversations with friends and the days I spent with my best friend. My job had become monotonous and my home situation was depressing. Any time the hint of something good began I'd be worrying about what was going to go wrong next. I had an unexpected day off and email popped up in my inbox. "A Day in the Big Apple by Yourself!" It was only $10 through my school. I couldn't find anyone to go with me but I didn't care. This was exactly what I needed.

I've always had a really soft spot in my heart for the city. I'm a country girl through and through, but visits to the city always bring me back to life. I guess it's something about the over-stimulation. The crowds of people afraid to make eye contact. The lights. The restaurants. The museums! Oh, my god! The museums. The last time I'd been in that part of NY was almost 10 years previous with family friends. Even then, we'd only explored Brooklyn. Gone on a boat ride. Done some shopping in China Town. I found a photo. The back of it said "future NYU student?" The nostalgia hit hard. Maybe I wasn't where I imagined I'd be in life but now was the time to take control. So I signed up for the trip.

"Future NYU student?" Brooklyn 2006 — I was only 13 or 14 here I planned my whole day out.

Just me, a map, and my phone. It was all I needed. I started my day out at Culture Espresso with another student from the bus. The macchiato I ordered was rich and perfect and kept me going through the day. After that, we parted ways. I could have grabbed a taxi, hopped on the bus, taken a free ride with uber... but I chose to walk. It wasn't too cold outside. In fact, it was the perfect amount of chill. I wanted to see everything. So I marched straight down 5th Avenue, determined to see her... Adele Bloch-Bauer I by Gustav Kilmt in 1907. She's part of a private collection at the Neue Galerie. Gustav Klimt has long been one of my favorite artists. He spent nearly three years on this painting and it broke a record when it was sold to the Neue Galarie at 135 MILLION dollars in June of 2006. I spent 10 very emotional minutes seated on the bench in front of the painting. The details are so fine and perfect and there's so much to take in! It was a uniquely emotional experience. I would have taken a photo next to it, but unfortunately, no photos are allowed.

My Quick Bathroom Selfie — Post Adele Viewing

After snapping a quick selfie in the bathroom and recollecting myself I headed over to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. I've been wanting to go to the Met for years and I wasn't the slightest bit disappointed! There I found Adele Block-Bauer II who I was allowed to take a photo of. In comparison to the golden, all-eyes original, she's cool and composed. She was the only model to ever be painted twice by Gustav Klimt and it's easy to see why. She has an expression akin to the Mona Lisa's smile — almost impossible to interpret. She sold for 88 Million dollars in 2006. The fourth highest priced piece of art auctioned at the time. She found her way to the met after being purchased and donated by Oprah Winfrey.

Adele Bloch-Bauer II by Gustav Klimt 1912 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

This wasn't the only perfect piece of art I saw. Here are a few more by artists that I've been strongly impacted by:

Madame Roulin and Her Baby Vincent Van Gogh

Portrait of a Young Girl Bathing Auguste Renoir

The Mower by George Seurat

Olive Trees at Collioure — Henri Matisse

I spent hours wandering the Met, even at one point getting lost INSIDE the museum. Something I can't even accomplish outside wandering the city. It was like being transported to a totally different world and becoming a different person. I ate lunch inside the museum which, while pricey, was ultimately worth it. I sat down with the nicest middle aged woman and ate quietly while I listened to their conversation. We kept running into each other all over the museum after that and I almost regret not striking up more of a conversation. It was still the perfect experience. Even leaving was like living on a different planet. The coat check, who was embarrassingly attractive, murmured "You're cute" as he nervously unfolded my jacket for me. I grinned and bounced off in disbelief. I don't know how to react when I'm hit on. Next stop... the Museum of Modern Art.

The Hydrogen Man — Leonard Baskin

This was the place that caught me off guard. Jackson Pollock stole my heart. I was so absorbed in his work that I didn't even take a single picture. The gallery was rather full and I was already taking up my share of space as I was totally absorbed and emotionally connected to his work. I would never have guessed that I'd feel so much. It stayed with me and even today I can still feel the shift in myself. It was reaffirming and inspiring and beautiful. That wasn't the only thing that changed me. I shed a few tears when I finally stood in front of Starry Night. I was enamored by Frida Kahlo. I discovered the Hydrogen Man by Leanord Baskin who I had never heard of before, but ended up spending hours doing research on. Permanently pleased by Picasso. I was even shocked by Salvador Dali's The Persistence of Memory which was shockingly small.

Starry Night — Vincent Van Goh

Girl Before a Mirror — Pablo Picasso

The Persistence of Memory — Salvador Dali

Frida Kahlo

I saw so many beautiful works I've been dreaming of, I couldn't possibly list them all. My day ended at Midtown Comics where I splurged an inappropriate amount of money before grabbing some green tea, making a few friends, and heading home. It was on the bus that I realized how the day had changed me. I found a part of myself that I've been disconnected with for a long time. Through art and a comfortable loneliness, city streets, and teeming crowds, I found myself in plain sight. I remembered who I am and felt the spark inside myself that'd been suffocated. I remembered how important art was to me and how much strength it gives me. I remembered how I treasure the occasional solitude. It inspired me more in a way I haven't been inspired in a long time and gave me hope for the future. It gave me faith in myself. It gave me all the fuel I needed to ignite the passionate parts of myself I'd lost touch with.

Since I've come home I've been the happiest I have in years. I've made so much art. Written so many stories and poems. I can't stop creating. I can't stop daydreaming the way that I used to. I'm totally consumed by my own creativity. I feel refreshed and revived and ready to take on the world. Ready to accomplish my goals. Ready to make my mark.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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