Dear Diary: Flying To New York

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It’s quarter past eight at home, according to my laptop. And I’m sat somewhere between Ireland and Canada, despo for a wee and fiddling with a spot on my chin with no idea if it’s at a white head stage yet and crying out for a bit of squeezing-in-the-loo action.

Maybe that was an overshare. Soz.

I’ve just eaten a cottage pie and had a cup of tea and watched How To Be Single, which, just FYI, was all kinds of awful and brilliant and is it too much to watch it again? It made me do happy tears and sad tears and snigger irritatingly in my window seat and you need it. You need it with pizza and excess hormones and a pal or two. I’d put it up there near Bridesmaids and Knocked Up. Just sayin’.

And I am excited. So excited in fact that I can feel my second OMG ALL THE EXCITEMENT AND ADRENALINE headache coming on. I also feel exhausted. But that sort of exhausted where you know you’ve got to stay awake for approximately another eight hours but at the end of that eight hours there’s going to be Five Guys and Times Square and you’ll probably cry because ISN’T LIFE JUST SO AMAZING. The type of exhausted where you can find some spare energy hidden in a secret compartment of your brain because magical things are so, so close.

I woke up this morning feeling a bit deflated. We had one of those awkward pre-holiday mornings where we didn’t need to leave the house until midday and we’d packed the night before and we were kind of just sitting around twiddling our thumbs, chasing the cats around the house and refreshing social media.

It’s amazing that even on the cusp of embarking on your dream holiday, social media can still make you doubt whether you’re good enough or doing life right.

It can still make you question yourself, your happiness and your abilities. And I wondered, as I wonder often, whether my time on the internet is up. Whether it’s worth the self-comparison and this unshakeable feeling that you’re always switched on and on the edge of burning out. This feeling that you’re no longer doing the internet right and you’re irrelevant and what’s even the point?

But I love the internet and I love words and I love the excitement and unpredictability of what I do. And I think sometimes I need to teach myself to stop devoting so much energy and thought to the wider picture – to eyeing up what other bloggers are doing and what people think of me. I need to continue to just do me. Because just doing me is where I’m happiest, and arguably, it’s where my best content comes from. When I block out all the outside noise of the internet.

Anyway, this isn’t a post about my place on the internet or my place in the world. This is a post about New York. A post about the importance of living, about exploring, about finding time and money to do the things that the make your life feel the most rich.

Life isn’t about which career path you choose, or whether you buy your own home before you’re 30 or never at all. It isn’t about whether you ever own a bag that costs more than your monthly phone bill or whether you can ever get your hair to a place where it doesn’t split into awkward strands whenever someone takes a photo of you, it’s about moments.

Creating moments that etch themselves onto who you are. Moments that stay with you forever. Moments that you carry about with you like little photos of your children in a drop down photo compartment in a wallet.

I can’t deny that some of the best moments can happen without planning. They just, well, happen. But when I think back to the best moments of my life (lemme do a little sick here and roll my eyes a bit) and ignore all the cliché things like YEY I GRADUATED AND YEY I MET MY BOYFRIEND AND YEY I GOT A GOOD JOB, my memories are always in places that took my out of the ordinary.

They are me sitting in yoga pants and a sweatshirt whilst eating Jambalaya and admiring the changing colours as the sun set on the Grand Canyon.

They are me drinking champagne and laughing over old tales with a best friend as the twinkling lights of Paris and the Eiffel Tower watched on.

They are me playing cards and eating pancakes in the humid Polish summer air with my grandparents.

They are me getting drunk on too-expensive red wine and steak and sharing my soul with Chris in a restaurant in Dublin.

They are exploring the world with people who mean a lot to me.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you ever feel like you shouldn’t be spending the money you work your ass off for, on taking time out from the ordinary, with people who make your world a better place, to explore and adventure and create memories, then you are wrong.

Because life isn’t about spending most of your waking life working and making money and building a career – it’s about those moments. Those moments that make every stupid email or annoying client or irritating boss, worthwhile.

The moments that justify how hard you work and how stressed and overwhelmed you sometimes feel. The moments that restore balance to your life. The moments that, well, make life worth living.

Mate, I’m going to stop reading like a self-help book and think about taking a nap.

But seriously, I’ll be your holiday enabler if you need it. I got your back, gal.

See ya in New York x

P.S. Follow all my lil NYC adventures on Instagram at @hannahfgale, and Snapchat at ‘hannahfgale’. Oh and you can follow boo on Instagram here too.

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