Récits, Voyage

Open Letter to New York

Washington Square Park

« These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you… »
Empire State of Mind, Jay-Z

Dear New York,

When I was on the plane from CDG to JFK four months ago, I had many expectations. This trip was about becoming successful in different parts of my life. I wanted to lose weight and look better, I yearned to find someone to fall asleep next to and I was determined to carve a path for my future career. I desperately needed a new beginning and, whether it was magic or my own doing, things definitely changed for the best.

Not the way I imagined though. You had other plans for me, didn’t you? It wasn’t about numbers on a scale or romance, it was about realisation. You made me realise that it was all about balance. You made me realise that avoiding truths will only make me more miserable. You made me realise that love isn’t necessarily going to reveal itself in the shape of an attractive-smart-funny-loving man. You made me realise that life can be both a bully and a blessing at the same time – it is my responsibility to rise up and make the most of everything.

You have given me the escape I so deeply needed but never allowed me to run away from what was hurting me. You helped me face each and every one of my pains, my fears and my hopes. You made my life clearer and more blurry at the same time – I now know what I want but the future is no longer in focus. It is actually more indistinct than ever but it also leaves room for surprises and adventures. You have pushed me to figure out who it is I want to be, not what I believe others expect from me. You have taught me confidence and serendipity and to always look out for the wonders of this world. You have enlightened me as well, making me more curious, more aware, more acute of my surroundings. I went from fragile, cynical, stay-at-home Justine to strong, excited, outdoorsy Justine. You have stitched the broken pieces of my heart back together so gently, I didn’t even notice it at first. But when powerful emotions knuckle-punched me where I am the most vulnerable, I couldn’t deny the obvious any longer. My dopey heart was alive again and feelings came back rushing through my veins, tickling beneath my skin and clouding my brain. I think I am OK with that – I was always supposed to be a cry-baby anyway. And I would take anxiety over indifference any day… I guess.

All I want to say, really, is thank you. I am so grateful for the incredible memories, the awesome friendships, the extraordinary encounters, the delicious food, the gorgeous landscapes, the lovely strolls, the fun times and the unpredictable spectacles. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I appreciate your colours, your brightness, your magnificence. You are the most inspirational and eye-opening city I have had the chance to live in. I miss you – the frustrating and the amazing, the rude and the friendly, the excess and the glory. I now hope that the next time we see each other, I will have made some of my dreams come true. And then you’ll be happy to know, it was all you.

New York, you were my collateral beauty. Thank you for giving me the strength not to give up and to let it all go.

With all my love,

Yet another French girl.

6 thoughts on “Open Letter to New York

  1. Quel bonheur de te lire!
    Malgré mon petit niveau d’anglais, je t’ai compris :)
    Ce que tu dis est vraiment très beau et surtout, ça m’inspire!
    Selon tes anciens écrits, j’ai pu voir que l’on a des points communs dans nos histoires et ça me fait du bien de lire tes mots.
    En 2014, j’ai pu réaliser mon rêve en allant à New-York une semaine et j’y ai vraiment laissé un morceau de mon cœur car je ne rêve que d’y retourner et surtout, de partager ça avec ma Maman.
    En janvier, je me suis faite opérée d’un bypass et j’ai déjà perdu 51 kg. C’est ce qui me permet chaque jour de tourner des pages et de changer les choses qui me minent. Même si le chemin est encore très très long et que j’ai plein de choses à accomplir pour me sentir mieux, petit à petit j’y arriverai.
    Je te souhaite de parvenir à réussir tous tes objectifs dans le bonheur et la sérénité :)
    Bravo!
    Gros bisous!

  2. Your English is so lovely (please read that with the British posh accent, of course it sounds more authentic).
    You wrote such a great article Justine. First because it’s personal (and pretty well-written) and because it gave me goose-flesh. I follow your vlogs and I always feel like you’re a very brave girl. I’ve been following your blog and your videos for a while now, and though you told several times that you felt a bit lost with all of that, I just had the impression that it was even more interesting, because it was spontaneous.
    Anyway I’m saying a lot of crap tonight but I’m really impressed and I just wanted to tell you that. Because I’ve been through a depression myself a few years ago now, and I began a new life, in a new city full of expectations as well. And a lot of things happened, but not what I had expected. But actually, I was so surprised that I think it was even better. Now I live in the UK for the year, and I totally feel the same way that what you describe !

    Merry Christmas Justine, and all my best wishes for the future from a redhead that has bought too many books because of you !

  3. c’est marrant, j’ai lu tes phrases en entendant ta voix ; je crois que j’ai compris l’essentiel même si mon anglais est moins bon que le tiens ! Joyeuses fêtes de fin d’année !!!

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