But there will be no denying: we will make one another better. We will be each other’s superb add-ons.

via weheartit.com

Falling in love with a boy is ten times easier when a mariachi band shows up in your subway car to provide background music.

Yes, that is right, I fell in love the other day.

To be completely honest,  I am waiting for Apple to come knocking on my door asking me to be the spokes girl for the G4 Christmas commercial. I was totally the girl in a snappy red coat and snow cap, waiting for the four train. iPod plugged into David Gray. Ready to leave good ol’ Manhattan for a pair of warm wool socks and hot chocolate at home.

But as visions of a warm mug danced in my head, he showed up next to me.

I looked over. He glanced over. Our eyes met and then there it was. Two Brilliant Smiles.

Caution: Be wary of watching that ridiculous commercial where the boy changes his train ticket right quick to slide next to the girl who will one day be his wife. You know the one where they grow old together and have these beautiful remarkable Nobel Prize-Winning children. Just be careful of that or suck in your bottom lip when your Subway Lover does not pin his number to the window as you step onto the platform.

But back to the Love of my Commute: I had to resist the urge to scoot closer to him, compliment his Mets hat and then say, “Did you know that you have the warmest face in New York City?” Of course I didn’t say that. Friends, I am not that crazy.

He was wearing dirty jeans, a T-shirt coated in soot beneath a North Face jacket, and construction boots. A Hard Worker with a Warm Face and a Brilliant Smile.

Side Notes:

One) I adore the fact that I can write about him because I have not a clue what his name was. He looked like a Rich, or maybe a Matt. They are all named Matt, right? Well, chances are “Matt” won’t be stumbling upon www.HannahKaty.com anytime soon. Unless, by chance, he Googles “Hard Worker” “Brilliant Smile” “Girl with iPod” “Love at First Sight” “4 Train” in which case I will appropriately tag this post as such. (Hi Matt?!)

Two) I don’t think I loved him for his Beautiful Smile but for the fact that in a crowded 4 train, with a mariachi band playing in the background, he made me feel like I was the only one. And any New Yorker can attest, there are days when it feels glorious to feel like you are the only one.

And he also made me curse the day where I never lived on 125th street and could not leave the 4 train with him. But he smiled as he left, a Most Genuine Smile, and it got me through the day.

It is the question I receive the most: Have you met any men? Any love in a coffee shop lately? I laugh over the fact that most of my girlfriends will text me if the song “Love at a Coffee Shop” ever comes on and the thought of me slides into their head.

I could talk about brilliant love stories every single day. If someone would let me, I would take every morning to write silly little love stories and plaster them all over the sides of buildings in Manhattan. But, as much as I pray for the day when I have my very own love story, my very own “boy meets girl, girl loves boy, boy cannot live without girl” kind-of scenario, I don’t need it right now. Surprise, surprise: I am the girl who wants a love story but does not need one right now.

A role model of mine once talked with me on matters of life & love and a sudden romance that can make the two hold hands with one another. She said the most meaningful kind of love that I would one day encounter is when I am fully full, wholly whole. And I reach out my hand to another who is fully full, wholly whole. And together we will not complete one another. But there will be no denying: we will make one another better. We will be each other’s superb add-ons.

New York City is a thoughtful teacher when it comes to matters of learning how to fall head-over-heels in love with yourself. With your Potential. Your Capabilities. Your Place in This World. It gives you enough people to smile at, enough hands to shake, enough stories to hear to leave you tossing and turning at the end of the day, anxious to wake up already and see where you will fit into someone elses’ life in the following day.

One might say I am having a wild love affair with myself these days. Waking up to my own heartbeat, roaming with no direction around the city, smiling as I plug my soul into classic novels like Lolita & Beloved and plug my ears into rap music.

Being a girl who loves her place in this world in every position, from the child’s pose at her Bikram yoga class to sitting Indian style  on the floor of her prayer room.

Being a girl who loves her place in this world at any time of the day, from the sound of her alarm clock ringing at 5a.m. to her commute home at rush hour.

Being a girl who loves her place in this world with anything on her feet, from a pair of lime green sneakers to a pair of rain boots especially manufactured for puddle jumping.

Being a girl who loves her place in this world with anything in her hands, from the holiday Starbucks cup that makes any New Yorker feel home to a pair of barbels that make her feel empowered.

Being a girl who loves her place in this world with anything on my heart and sleeves, from the friends she loves deeply even when at a distance to the MDGs that line her heart.

Being a girl who lovers her place in this world during any conversation she is holding, from one with her preschoolers about Spiderman & Santa to one with a beautiful friend from Brooklyn, over a glass of Chardonnay and a big bowl of guacamole.

Being a girl who loves her place in this world and all the of the unknown people within it, from the homeless man by the train stop to the lonely business man waiting at the intersection.

Being a girl who loves her place in this world along with the mystery of not knowing whether a great love story will occur in the very place that she is in.





29 thoughts on “But there will be no denying: we will make one another better. We will be each other’s superb add-ons.

  1. Oh, how I love and hate the days where the mysterious stranger boards the train and believe that he will be the one I marry one day. I have encountered three of these men. And each time I pray they will get off the train at the same stop as me. I make simple conversation and not before long it’s “I am the next stop” which I know from the very beginning is happening, when I always make my tag line “where are you getting off the train” in hopes that he’ll say “Well I will be switching to the N at 59th out to Astoria…” Of course now it’s “I hope some beautiful man is switching to a plane at JFK…” Ha.

    A great love story will come–whether it is at a coffee shop or not…Just keep loving yourself and the life you are living and the rest will fall into place. Who knows maybe Matt will really be a matt….Until then you could always ride the same train at the same time, and hope he is there–though…Well… I guess thats creepier than being a Facebook stalker. But they’ll be more Matts in mets hats on the train–as long as it’s a New York train 🙂

  2. there’s a song lyric i loved in high school: “i took what i wanted, put my heart on the shelf, but how can you love when you don’t love yourself?”

    i had to learn this lesson the hard way. and it’s funny; now that i have really taken the time to get under my own skin and figure out what’s going on in there, i’m finding love. real, true, honest-to-god love. it’s such a nice thing. so good on you for taking the time to love yourself. it matters.

    1. My mom said it to me a few years ago: “You cannot expect someone else to love you until you love yourself.” I finally know she’s right.

      It takes a very strong and special person to acknowledge that you are able to make yourself whole and not rely on another person to do so for you.

      1. But wouldnt it be sooo much easier if we could be oblivious to this whole self discovery thing? Ha it would save a lot of heartache and soul searching. But I think it is quite worth it.

      1. Amen to that. I wouldn’t mind a few minutes a day to be oblivious and adopting the concept that not everything happens for a reason.

  3. I love this line –

    “And together we will not complete one another. But there will be no denying: we will make one another better. We will be each other’s superb add-ons.”

    I never wanted anyone to complete me because I never thought I needed completing. And you my dear are complete – completely amazing. You would be a superb add-on to anyone, but my hope is that you find someone who is as superb as you. You deserve nothing less.

    All my love,

  4. Oh my goodness Hannah I am absolutely in love with this entry – one of my favorites by far. I especially love the “Matt” part, how fitting!

    I have no doubt when you are ready your “Matt” will find you. Until then I love that you are enjoying every moment of your life in NYC. I miss you so much! All my love.

  5. Hannah, thank you for putting many of my thoughts, feelings, and experiences into words. This comforts me in so many ways

      1. life is always better with a crush. enjoy it. and i won’t judge you for doing a double-check everytime you see a Mets hat. In fact, you better look for “Matt”.

  6. Not an easy lesson to learn, but isn’t it sweet to be able to have small little moments on trains with strangers you may never see again and not let it break you? I hope that Train Boy googles that though. That would make for a wonderful story.

  7. I recently found your blog through another one I read regularly. Just read all of your posts. You have a wonderful voice and can put words to vague feelings/thoughts in my head…like your post about putting the cellphone under your pillow and how those missed calls made you feel good enough (maybe those are my words). It was my AHA moment. Didn’t even realize that I was doing that. Every post of yours that I read, I just say “Yes”. Yes, you’ve captured it. Yes, you know. You really really know. Thank you.

  8. My dad gave me the very same advice after my worst break up ever. That the next person would not complete me, but would be an extension of me, a me that was fully complete – someone who would add on and make life that much better. I’d spent so long looking for someone to “complete” me I’d forgotten I had the power to complete myself first 🙂

  9. My first reaction was, she would manage to fall in love in a train wouldn’t she? But I decided a bit more explanation is necessary, as simply saying “oh, you would,” probably comes across as though I think you’re shallow or something (as if). But you seem to have a good knack at reading people, and I’m not surprised you can “fall for” them so quickly.

    I am glad to see that you love your place in this world, we always knew you had the ability and I’m happy to see you fulfilling it. Certainly better than some of those dark moments we’ve all fallen into.

    And here are the words that stood out to me — “Surprise, surprise: I am the girl who wants a love story but does not need one right now.” I have a feeling you are not the girl who this applies to, but rather one girl among many, and yet the girl who has taken time to realize it.

    Cheers to loving life in NYC!


    1. Touche, touche. I like your points love. And thank you for taking the time to write them.. One of these days I really will fall in love on a four train. I can pretty much guarantee it.

  10. Ok, first off, I love this blog and I love this story and as dark and twisty as I am right now, I also now that I’m 100% a total believe in LOVE, LOVE, LOVE and that I’ve had these moments and SECOND, I love that song and Landon Pigg happens to be one of the most adorable musicians ever, I interviewed him once- he’s a charmer that one.

    1. Perhaps you could set me up? Or just coax him into singing at my window? It would drown out the sweet Dominican tunes that bump until 4a.m.

      And thank you love, so happy to have you reading.

  11. I love this post. Completely and truly. And I love that love can pop up, just like that, in a single moment and make everything feel just a little bit more fairy tale-esque and okay.

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