Human beings are experts at NOT being human. We are hopelessly codependent on the on the love of our lives that continuously gets the sensuous touch of our fingertips and that long, passionate gaze. I’m not talking about your gym crush, high school sweetheart, or adoring partners. I’m referring to something much more demanding, our wireless devices!
Technology has taken us on a love affair ride throughout the monotonous, amusement like attraction we call life. It allows us to stay connected, informed on current events, and titillate our needs and wants, but it can also be responsible for something more sinister to our overall wellness.
The world we live in, mainly the cities we call home, often provides an abundance of events, local historic treasures, and natural wonders that often goes unnoticed. In a culture that has ditched library books for quick, salty, blog opinion pieces, if technology wasn’t a permanent fixture in our lives, would we be able to get the same satisfaction from the urban surroundings around us?
I took a walk one day when the pressures of life became too overbearing. It was a beautiful spring day. The kind of day that you would snap a pic of and lovingly refer back to in a haze of nostalgia during one of February’s snow covered days.
As I fell in love again with the magic of of the New York City skyline, I felt energized, renewed, full of inspiration and wonder. My mood had completely shifted and the beauty of the day had included me fully in its natural to do-list of just being! I felt in the moment while watching the stillness of the Hudson River. I then thought to myself, this was enough! Enough to place a smile on my face where their wasn’t prior to me venturing out into the day. Enough good thoughts were now flowing when I had once disinvited them from my headspace.
I also saw various people out and about. An older married Latino couple very much still in love, a construction worker who like myself, wore the pain of his world in the folded layers of skin above his brow. As I began to think what might be troubling him, I wondered if he too came to the same outlook spot to gain some guidance and much needed clarity. I prayed that he too was feeling a sense of life on this beautiful day. Especially if he’s enduring a personal storm that seemed intent on destroying everything in its path.
I eventually found a park bench, sat, and listened to my 90’s R&B slow jam playlist. As the soothing sounds of Jessie Powell’s “You” softened my posture and provided me with a sense of calm, I was grateful that on this day, my neighborhood and New York City was giving me what I needed. My problems weren’t solved, the pressure wasn’t relieved, but I was content in the energy that surrounded me, and it changed everything without changing anything. I began to wonder, regardless of where anyone lived, was their city giving them what they needed to keep going? If not, how were they coping, and did they dream of a place that could be of comfort when escaping outside of their own world wasn’t an option?
I stopped thinking so much because even those questions were becoming stressful. I could only handle my experience of the day and how it was everything to me. I will however, encourage anyone that if you can’t find a place of refuge that can be your safe place in your city, make arrangements to find it elsewhere. Be willing to get out of your physical dwelling to be part of something amazing to elevate your spirits without any heavy lifting from you. There is something very grounding about being a small piece of something greater around you and if you let it, can temporarily shrink the very pain that torments you.