To Be Alone…Or Not To Be Alone

Given that Hurricane Sandy destroyed some landmarks like the boardwalk at Seaside Heights, I’ve been thinking about something lately.  That something is enjoying life before it’s too late.  This summer I tried to recruit numerous friends to take a day trip to the Jersey Shore, specifically the boardwalk at Seaside Heights.  I also tried to get someone to accompany me to City Island for seafood and to Totonno’s in Coney Island for coal-fired pizza.  I didn’t want to go by myself, so I wound up not going because I couldn’t find anyone to go with.

Now, the boardwalk is destroyed, changed forever, and Totonno’s has had major damage, as well as City Island.  If these things do get repaired, will they be the same?

When I think of living life to the fullest, I think of my friend Mona and our New York City adventures.  She is a woman of my own heart and enjoys life and loves going out and doing and learning things.  Unfortunately for me, she lives in Atlanta, so I can’t share my NYC adventures with her anymore.  I remember a conversation we had where we were both in agreement that it was hard to find people to hang out with, that we both liked going to numerous and diverse events and often found it hard to meet likeminded people who were socially active in the same way we are.

I remember back when I was at NYU, I wanted to go to the New Yorker Festival.  I asked so many people if they wanted to go, and all said no.  So I didn’t go.  Well, I felt that I had missed out on something, so I vowed not to let being alone dissuade me from doing things I wanted to do.  So what followed was a string of my doing things on my own (see my very first blog post on the chocolate Bruno).  This included restaurants, bars, clubbing, events, fairs, festivals, lectures, parties, any and all kinds of events.  I’d rather go alone than miss out, and that is what I’ve been doing since then.  (Of course, I’m not always alone, but if there is no one to go with, I still go.)  And I have a lot of fun and many adventures and meet interesting people.  I know that if I went with someone else, I wouldn’t meet half as many people as I do.  But I do have to wonder, are my interests so different from so many other people’s that I’ve wound up going to many events alone through the years?

They say everyone loves a parade, but I can’t ever get anyone to go to one with me–except Mona, who went to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and St. Patrick’s Day parade with me.  I love parades.  I dressed up for the Easter  and Halloween parades and marched.  I love being a spectator at the Columbus Day parade and I’ve caught others like the Scottish, Polish and Veteran’s Day parades.

I love ethnic festivals like the Giglio in Brooklyn and San Gennaro in Little Italy (both of which Mona came with).  I love the festive music and the parade down the street.  There’s a Peruvian church nearby that has beautiful processionals.  I’m not Peruvian, but I love the music.  It brings tears to my eyes, and I love being part of it.

I let myself slip this summer.  I should’ve taken the train one weekend and had Totonno’s myself.  I should’ve taken the bus up to City Island and had seafood.  I should’ve gotten the Zipcar down to Seaside for the day.  Hurricane Sandy was my kick in the pants, like the New Yorker Festival of years ago.  I can’t let life slip by–because it is so fragile, and those good things in life may not always be there to enjoy “someday.”  Carpe diem.

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