Postcard Moments in NYC

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Postcard Moments from New York City
Here is a snippet of my big city life:
A few days ago, I went on a day-long rug search.
I was walking down the street nearby Chinatown and staring at the ground in a typical Seattle fashion - keep your head down and shoulders tight so no one notices you. In Bellevue, we try to slip gracefully out of existence.
But, in a momentary upward glance, then I noticed.
No one else was acting this wa. I am no New Yorker, by far, but I realized that hunching myself down was even more conspicuous than standing tall. Amidst the clamor of signs in Chinese and English, hawkers of African, East and South Asian descent boasting their wares, and people who walk well within your personal space bubble, it was almost fatal to portray yourself as weak. It makes you a target.
So, as I continued on my rug search, I straightened ut my spine and walked with a swing in my hips. Even if it started out as pretending, I felt more like a confident New Yorker - hell with it if I got on the wrong train or pushed people into the street along the way!
Alas, I still didn't find a rug.
A small niblet.
Today I make my foray into the philosophy of women's health.
On campus, we have a program called Well-Women, whose primary focus is providing education about womanhood (though they do provide condoms and lube as well, haha).
I had been interested from the first health forum I attended during orientation where a bombastic woman boasted of the office where they treat you to, among other things, massage chairs and dark chocolate. So today, after figuring out their office opened at 1pm (I had mistakenly come at 12:40pm) and returning then, I was greeted by a sweet receptionist who led me to a couch and a book called Our Bodies, Ourselves. Now, I had remembered tiheir director (that bombastic woman from before) touting this hefty tome as she espoused rapid-fire Well-Women specs - but at the time, my head had been a whirlwind of shiny new information about my college at large. I had no space for a book on my own health.
Now, however, when the swelter of newness abated, in this comfortable office with shelves and shelves of books, stress balls, chocolate offerings and couches, I was ready to investigate.
The first chapter, on body image, was of particular interest to me. A psychological journey into why we objectify ourselves was presented. Why are we sexy or pure? Why can't regular-sized women feel attractive? Amidst common answers, there were also new insights. It was empowering to read the words of such dedicated women - for us and no one else.
Needless to say, I picked up my own copy of the encyclopedic-width book and toted it home on the subway.
An eye into ourselves is the most important eye of all.

I've been working on getting back into the writing habit - this is what I have to present this week. Alongside that, I am drawing nearer to the idea of personal wellness - we have to take care of ourselves first!

Want to read more about my college experiences? Check out my posts about Barnard and NYC.