One of the many reasons I love New York City is the fast pace. I am by nature a very fast walker. I like to get from point A to point B quickly. I like to receive my coffee immediately when I’m feeling groggy. I like to have virtually anything my little heart desires readily available…and quickly. The pace of things in this crazy city suite me well. I moved to Brooklyn two months ago and for the first month I often felt like I was speed walking while everyone else in my neighborhood was moving at a snail’s pace. Things are slower here than they are in Manhattan. I feel like over the last month I have shifted into a slower pace. I allow myself more time to get from point A to point B and I meander, get sidetracked, and enjoy my surroundings more. I thought I had finally slowed down.
My dear friends from San Diego, CA came to visit last week. After only one day of walking around with them I realized that while my pace may have greatly decreased it is by no means slow. I was Speedy Gonzales compared to them. Granted, they were on vacation and we all tend to slow our pace while on vacation, but I was ridiculously fast at my “slow” pace. Southern California rolls along at a much slower pace than New York City. I lived there for a good chunk of my life. I always felt speedier than the rest, but I think I may have actually known how to roll at a true meandering pace in my San Diego days. San Diego folk will wait a minute, or ten, for what they want. New York City folk, don’t just want what they want now, they want it to have arrived a minute, or ten, ago.
So why all this rushing? Am I more productive? Happier? Do I simply not know how to slow down? Am I product of my environment? I am comfortable in my fast pace, but am I truly happy? What am I missing while going at warp speed? I don’t know that my experiences are any richer or fuller, or that I actually accomplish more than those going at a slower pace. I think I did manage to slow down a bit by the end of my friends’ stay, but they were still rolling along at 25 mph while I was zipping by at 60 mph. I suppose the bigger question I should be posing to myself is: Why is it so hard for me to slow down?