The Big Apple Part 5

Blog / Saturday, June 30th, 2018

Hi Everyone,

I like doing my blog and telling my story. I never thought I would be a writer but I do enjoy writing about what I’m doing but I’m gutted that ANOTHER two weeks has gone by. It’s going too fast. The people who know me really well know I have spent the last 10 years going ‘anywhere and everywhere’ trying to find the PLACE I want to be. Maybe the journey is all the travelling around and experiencing lots of new things and I have no regrets (‘non, je ne regrette rien’ and all that), but I really feel I have found where I want to be and in two and a half weeks I have to leave it. I HAVE TO LEAVE!!!!!!

New York is a big fat pot of the most vibrant and crazy positive energy and it just wraps you up and you get caught up in it. You never know what you will get when you walk out the door or what will happen. Everyone is ‘hustlin’ in some way, and I am getting better at ‘hustlin’ myself. Everyone does it. Give me some money please people. I was singing for the Belgian Chamber of Commerce the other night. The other musician had this electronic ‘dipjar’ where people just put their credit card in and gave him 10 dollars. He had no shame in saying ‘yeah, just put your card in and I get 10 dollars’. Thanks. I was like ‘woah, the Brits would never say that’. I wouldn’t anyway, but I thought ‘ok, Nick, do it.’ I was like ‘I don’t have one of those machines but don’t be shy in getting your money out and putting it in a good old fashioned tin for me’. I do notice I am different here. I’ve opened up more. I’m letting go in many ways. I just find I have to. I’m being ‘me’ more when I sing. I sang in a theatre last week on the Upper West Side. I was asked by a guy I met a few weeks ago who listened to my story about getting rid of my things, having no home etc……and just coming to New York because my gut told me to. So he put me in this show.

I just had to turn up with some sheet music and do my thing. It was more of a Broadway feel. The other singers were all Broadway singers so it’s not my comfort zone but I loved it. They were great and everyone had their own style and way of doing it. It was like a talk show too with two hosts who asked questions and made a story of it. It’s just a bit more ‘tits and teeth’ and less formal and that’s what I like. It was good to tell people about my story and I did my ‘I could have danced all night’ Julie Andrews thing. This is the theatre I want to do my show in later in the year. The guy is on holiday right now but I’ll be contacting him next week to see what I can organise. I can ask some managers to come and see me then. Just keep taking every step to move this all on and get things up and running officially over here.

I also have to just ‘LET GO!’. Let go of expectations and outcomes and the way this is all going to unfold and being in control of it. I have to just ‘trust’ really. That is really hard at times. I do cry my tears over it and I do just ‘wonder’ what I am doing and if I have the strength to really do this, but at the same time I’m in it and I have no choice but to just carry on with it. It’s not like I can just say ‘ok, I’ll just go back to my life in the UK’. There is no life. I didn’t make one when I was there in one fixed place because I knew in my heart I would be coming here at some point and this is where I will be, so I feel like I live ‘everywhere but nowhere’ and that I have a life here but can’t stay but have no life anywhere else. Not an easy feeling to deal with, believe me. I wish I was someone who just didn’t think so much in life but I am a deep thinker. Every day. I’m not an ‘on the surface thinker’. I’ll be coming back to the UK for 6 weeks soon and will stay in about 16 different places whilst I’m back. I don’t actually know where I will stay when I come back here in September either yet. This is my life right now. Just keep trusting….. I am making it happen……

I cannot even tell you how grateful I am for the people I am meeting here. I’m grateful to the two elderly ladies (Norma and Rhoda) who are helping me. I’m grateful to all the opportunities that are coming my way. I sang in two senior centers this week (old folks homes to us). One was on the Lower East side in an area of ‘project’ buildings (council estate). I love it. I love going in where it’s a less affluent area. Oh, they gave me a big welcome. Really positive place. One thing that does annoy me every time I go in these places is that they all eat from plastic plates. I’m like ‘woah, can they not give them food on normal plates?’. For me it’s a lack of respect and dignity for these people. Just wash some plates for them. I wouldn’t want to eat from plastic plates all the time. But I did my thing and came away with a massive bunch of flowers and they had a whip round to send me off with some cash too,

and lots of warmth and kindness and smiles. Simon the guy organising it sent me this:

Hi Nicola,

Thank you very much for joining us yesterday. You were amazing! We had so much fun and I really enjoyed your artistry, which went beyond music. I loved your storytelling. Thank you very much. You really touched us in every single way possible and I can’t wait to welcome you back. Thank you, thank you.

He’s sending me photos next week. That’s the thing. It’s hard for me to take photos of me actually singing, but I’m too busy ‘doing it for the people’. I’ve been busy this last week singing for parties, in the park and at the senior centers so I’m happy. At least I am doing it and people are asking me to come back. Just keep sharing my gift and helping others. That’s my aim every day and I’m getting positive feedback everywhere I go. That makes me proud.

I’m also so grateful for the friends I am making. I don’t go and talk about ‘on the surface’ stuff and it can be hard sometimes to meet people I ‘vibe’ with but I seem to have met a few here. I spend a lot of time alone but in my downtime I love meeting up. Here’s my friend Marc and me

in a place called Brooklyn Heights where you get the most amazing views over Manhattan and the Brooklyn bridge. He said to meet him near there and I was early so walked down to the boardwalk thinking ‘god, I have to wait an hour now’. I’m always early for everything, and then I walked out and saw this and was like ‘yeah, get this. No probs sitting here for an hour.’ I even came back to watch the sunset there later in the week.

I’m time rich at the moment. I have the time to just sit for 3 hours and wait for a sunset, or to people watch in Union Sq or wherever else in New York. There’s so much stuff to do for free here that’s entertaining. Opera (I went with Marc last night and warned him I may ruin his experience with my continual comments and analysis of what I am hearing), people dancing, Shakespeare in the park, free concerts, people watching in general, going to the beach. People are not shy to just get on and do their thing wherever they are so you see tons of creativity everywhere. I also love walking. If I need to clear my head I just get walking and walking and walking so I passed a few nice things this week on my way down the ‘blocks’. Here’s a bit of Times Sq (watch your money though for pickpockets), and here’s a few crackers I’ve taken throughout my week too. Even though I do find it hard at times there’s not a moment when I wish I wasn’t here. If I stay ‘in the moment’ everything is fine. It’s only the fear etc…that comes in and spoils the moment. I think back to how I was 2 years ago and I had choices and could have stayed in Belgium and ‘played it safe’ but I am glad I’ve done everything I’ve done and am doing. I am certainly a different person and wouldn’t want it any other way really. I just wonder how many ‘parts’ of The Big Apple blog I’ll write. Who knows…..Enjoy your day peeps wherever you are. I hear the sun is shining back in Europe. Woohoo!!!!!

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3 Replies to “The Big Apple Part 5”

  1. Hi it’s Leighs daughter in law Susan.,,,Lovely blog Nicola…. great to hear about your adventures and your strength oozes from the words. Good on you girl xx

    1. Hi Susan, I just see these messages when I sign in to do the next post. My last few days here. It’s been amazing. I’m back in Hebden in August. Will be nice to say hello if you are around. Hope all is well. Nicola

      1. Sounds great see you in August Nicola, will be lovely to see you and hear more about NY x

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