Friday, August 31, 2012

Stay awhile--watch the sun go down...

Copyright: Libby Segal All Rights Reserved 2012

The sky reflects pink and the city's stunning skyline echos brightly below.

The wooden planks rattle as bikes roll across. The wind blows my hair into my face. 

I look up at the arches of the bridge and imagine that if there is a heaven, these must be what the gates look like. 

Copyright: Libby Segal All Rights Reserved 2012

As the sunset on summer approaches, I take a breath and begin to reminisce on the times that have resonated these last few months. What a beautiful--delightful summer it has been. 

Copyright: Libby Segal All Rights Reserved 2012

I've had a lot of favorite moments this summer--from stunt jumping, to taking on a new job, to my acting classes, to buying my new bicycle--but none stands out more than one particular night that reminded me to stop rushing--actually--one particular night that reminded me to just stop at all. 
On July 5th, even time began to stand still. Walking through Brooklyn Bridge Park, I felt at home. I always feel at home in New York City--but this time felt different. Much of this had to do with the epic view of the most beautiful bridge in the city, but a lot of it also had to do with the company I was in--someone who knows a lot about enjoying and living in the present moment.

As we continued along our walk, we stumbled upon a free screening of E.T. We stood wondering if we should stay--or we should go. Many times--in this world--people to leave, to say "I'll do that one day--but not today." However, on this night we opted to stop--we opted to stay.

That night, following the film, my friend sent me a note about the "stopping" experience--the lesson learned:

"Because we know that we have grown accustomed to moving too fast--when we want to leave something because we think we don't have time--just wait a little longer...Even if you need to lay down and take a couple deep breaths." - Rachael C. Smith

The rattle of wooden planks brings me back to the current moment--here, and now, where I am sitting on a steel beam that separates the pedestrian area from the traffic below.

I watch the clouds turn back to white from their pink, and the sky glows a mix of purple and blue.

Copyright: Libby Segal All Rights Reserved 2012
Stay awhile-watch the sun go down-even a big city has the warmth of your favorite small town. 

I opt to stay and take a few deep breaths. I am present. I am home. 

Copyright: Libby Segal All Rights Reserved 2012

Monday, August 27, 2012

In Transit

The wheels churn. I feel my body begin to vibrate. I hear a cry for money from the same unshaven man--who tries to sell newspapers, each night to support his family.

I hum along and nod my head to someone's iPod that is on just a little bit too loud. One of my favorites is playing. I smile.

I smell a mix of cologne, perfumes, and morning cups of Joe.

I lick my lips and pop a piece of gum in my mouth.

And I watch.

I watch the women with strollers. I watch the hipsters who swear they aren’t hipsters. I watch as people laugh. I watch as people read. I watch as people watch—people.

My favorite place in New York City, I imagine, differs from many other people’s favorite places. I love the New York City subway: the energy of the subway stations on a day where the train schedules run just right (which as rare as it is—is always a treat); the upbeat drummer on the L train platform at 14th and 6th Avenue; the break-dancers on the upper platform of the Union Square Station; the guitarists trying to make it; the smiling mariachi band; and of course the ride—one that’s always unique and it’s own.

I love the people—the performers—the beggars—the readers—the conductors—the families—the diversity.

I love the way the wheels rattle and seem to synchronize with the beat of my heart—and that bassy hum that accompanies.

I love the opportunities for shared moments—glances—eye contact—giggles—the chances for true, pure human interaction with complete strangers.

I love watching people—and writing stories—creating alternate worlds where I know the families and lives of each of these straphangers.

And I love the alone time.

I love sitting with myself; I love disappearing into my music or a book or my writing; I love the morning meditation—the evening energy escaping my limbs as I lean my head back; I love feeling so private yet in such a public space. I love this shot at being a fly on the wall—at taking it all in—at observing—at breathing.

I often miss my stops. It’s okay, I am the earliest person you will ever meet, on most occasions—and I know the subway like a doctor knows the veins that run through a body. This is part of my home.

The doors open—the doors shut. I don’t actually notice. I am enthralled in my thoughts—my ideas—the people that I am seeing. I feel myself breathe. I love this. I am in transit.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I believe in you. I believe in I. I believe in us.

"I got off the train and the only person I wanted to see was you."

I thought about sending this to a good friend one day, but somehow I am sure that person already knew. Because it's that one person that we all have but may not have found just yet.

A soulmate.

I believe in love. I believe in you. I believe in I. I believe in you and I. I believe in soul mates.

I believe that a soulmate comes in all shapes, in all sizes, in all genders, in all ages--that a soulmate is not necessarily the person you feel so deeply connected in and routed to in a sexual way--though it could be--but most definitely in a way in which you feel a deeper connection spiritually. A connection that helps one to see the true size--the true spirit that resides within.

I believe that TV and magazines sell us false images of a soulmate as the person we marry--or fall deeply in love with. And while it may be true--I'll never be convinced it is, because often this attraction we have--becomes a de-attraction after days, weeks, months, years of dating--or even marriage--and then we are off soul searching again.

I know. I am 24--what the F do I know about soul searching and soul mates and life. I'd like to say a lot. I am living this life, so I hope I know something.

I believe that we all have magic powers--a sixth sense--that is ignited when that one person--that soulmate--finds their way to us--or we find our way to them.

I believe that what we can tap into with human interaction--at all--soulmate or not--is of such magnitude that we have yet to see the results--and that if every person found their true living soulmate--that the power of this world and of our existence would only intensify at speeds greater than we could even imagine.

I owe Marina Abramovic a lot for my deeper thinking here--I guess. While not my soulmate, she has captured a bit of my soul. She's an extraordinary woman and artist--who created an exhibit that called for interaction at the deepest level possible. (The Artist is Present)

No--not sex.
No--not speaking
Yes--sitting idle, face to face--eye to eye without words. 

It is in the moments of silence--the moments of looking into a person's eyes--the moments of taking all attention off yourself and putting it on another person--that I believe we can truly find that soulmate--that one person that just by existing--no matter the the proximity or distance--makes us a better person.

And above all, I believe the force between these two souls that have somehow managed to find one another in this beautiful chaos comprised of billions of people--can forever change the world.

I believe in you. I believe in I. I believe in us.

And that's a lot to believe in.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Who knows where life will take you, the road is long, and in the end... the journey is the destination.” – One Tree Hill

My sunglasses are down, the roof of the car is open and all there is ahead of me are two lanes divided by a double yellow line. This is a sort of freedom that I've come to know really well this year...

I look to my left- I look to my right. I check my mirrors and I smile. An Usher song is blasting but because of the wind, I can barely hear more than a bassy beat echoing through the car. I love it: the disorientation, my hair blowing from side to side. I feel my hamstrings begin to sweat from the humidity that is inescapable. I check myself out again (hehe), and I think about how I got here-to Houston- in August- in this mustang convertible.

This is pretty amazing.

I decide that I got here by focusing on what I call “yearSelf”-- yes “yearSelf”. Many people have often said to, "focus on yourself more Libs" so I made "yourself" into a yearlong quest. A yearlong open road with, a yearlong road trip—where I am always in the driver’s seat, only envisioning one lane—the one that goes forward, rather than back.

A lot’s happened this year—but to look back on it—to be nostalgic about it—would be a bit hypocritical of that last line. But sometimes, in writing, it’s okay to be a bit hypocritical—and why? Because in writing, we can make our own rules (and why? Because I said so). So here goes:

I started taking acting classes in January and made an incredible group of friends that I now consider family.

I took up a yearlong challenge to try one new thing a week—starting in February, that I pre-conceived in January.

I’ve dated—and had a break up.

I’ve called home more.

I've worn bright colors (and yes this makes a huge difference in life)

I’ve ran my second half-marathon—this time with a good friend.

I’ve meditated.

I’ve written more.

I’ve taken time for me.

I’ve had dizzying discoveries, and beaming break-throughs.

I quit my job in July.

I took a freelance job in August.

And it’s ONLY August.

That’s how I got here. To this moment. In this white mustang convertible, that we’ve rented for work. That’s how I got here—to this open road ahead, both literally and metaphorically. And I’m not so worried about any forks, because I’ve made some tough decisions this year too. Ones that I have yet to regret—and don’t for-see regretting anytime soon or ever--cause *Life is too short to have regrets.*

But the only decision that’s mattered—truly mattered, is the one where I decided to take the year—to focus on myself. To make 2012, my open road—my metaphorical road trip—my journey--my “yearSelf.”

I challenge you to take one of these yourself—without any destination in mind—because really—the only destination—is the journey.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Cloudy with a 100% Chance of Smiles

It feels great to be up in the air again, to watch the clouds, for a short period of time from above--rather than below; to see the world--the most beautiful canvas that there is just full of opportunity for growth and life.

A lot of people don't like to fly in planes. I love it. It's the one time I can disappear and enjoy a brand new outlook--a new view--a new perspective. It's one of the few times I can disconnect from all outside wires of communication--and access only myself.

Solsbury Hill comes on my iPod, and I smile. I love this--this freedom--this beautiful-eye-opening freedom.

I close my eyes, "my heart going boom, boom, boom." I've been to this place before, THIS place, way up high. Not just when I am literally in a plane, but every-time I close my eyes and get lost in my favorite place.

I've always had an obsession with the sky. When I was young, the trim to my room was the blue sky and clouds. I didn't want it any other way. I was stubborn. In 7th grade sewing class, when we were asked to buy patterns for the pillows we'd later be making, I chose the fabric at the store that had a sky print. When people ask me if I could have any power in the world--that's easy--flying.

I close my eyes, and I am on a cloud. It's simple and soft. I use it like Aladdin's magic carpet, until I want a new view--Then I just pop on over to another cloud. I float over New York City, and then somehow teleport myself to my hometown--and time travel to when I was in high school. I watch my mother out in the yard-and see my friends and me playing sports at the high school.

I breathe it in. I breathe it all in.

I feel myself smile, and then I let out a little laugh. I feel my eyes twitch. I am present, but yet so far gone. This is what it means to go to my favorite place in the entire world--to feel present--and know that this place, this amazing ride through the sky is simply one ME moment away-that I can take off any time I want.

I come back to myself and where I am. This time I am lucky enough that when I open my eyes--I am still up in the sky--still up above the clouds--still smiling.