Taking a bite of the big apple
Updated: Sep 21
It was in April 2003, I noticed a big shift taking place within. I was in New York City for about a week to do a little research for my exam-paper to my Swedish Master's degree, on using "Dialogue as a tool for different professions", focusing on coaching as the new and emerging one in Sweden.
I usually have jetlag for two days, but on the third, I usually jump out of bed, all refreshed and excited to explore where I am, ready to refill myself with American inspiration and energy. But, this time in 2003 became different.
Before I left, my mother didn't want me to go. Perhaps because she couldn't, and we both had to realize that there would not be any more trips for her. It was an awful time because it felt like she didn't want me to be happy, since she couldn't. I just wanted a break from her cancer and indeed start my new career as a Professional Lifecoach.
My interviews went well. I was grateful to have my trip partly paid for, by my university as a project for developing a plan to include coaching for graduating students at our career center. And I got to listen in on an actual session.
I made cool finds shopping trendy things as usual and find myself hearing this song everywhere beginning in the cab ride from the airport, that I later introduced as something that must be on its way to become big, when I came back to Malmö and wanted to buy the record. And I cried standing at Ground zero after seeing the sot on the wall of the one left building, and seeing the one pair of boots left from a firefighter on the fence outside of a little church nearby. A man dressed in a suit and tie came from Wall street on his lunch break, standing next to me, too crying.
New York City wasn't the same as it had been to me. More quiet, less people out and more apprehension. But also, an initiative by a woman teaching me how to pronounce "Houston street" the Newyorker way at a crosswalk, and someone walking with me through Central park to help me find the horse stable there, as seen on the TV-show "Sex and the city". It was a man who had been to the Swedish ice-hotel up north, just being right there, right then. It made me believe in Divine orchestrated meetings.
At the YMCA where I was staying, there was a music video recording at the floor above with a group of skateboarders, shootings close by one night, and an old lady waking me up with a hallucinating sight of blood in the shared bathroom. But, also a group of people inviting me over to another hostel to go jazz-clubbing, which we did.
Yet, I found myself laying on top of my bed one afternoon weirdly exhausted and stalled, while a French girl in a wheelchair got dressed with her assistant next to me, to continue her brave journey. I got a case of allergies like never before, or whatever it was, like the jetlag never stopped. I couldn't wing it. And the whole atmosphere in the city had definitely changed,
When I came back home, I showed Mum my photos and talked about my trip but she didn't want to hear about it. Instead, I had to help her getting dressed before we drove to get a coffee and talk about her funeral.
Nothing became what I wanted and hoped for. The university flunked my paper even though I had both outdone myself academically like never before, their outreach department for networking with businesses and internships had paid partly for my trip, and had regular meetings with an instructor, who later quit.
Instead I went to Hawaii the year after to grieve, after my mother's funeral.