“Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it” ((Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, 1986)).
I spent this past week in New York visiting prospective universities for my younger sister. Beyond where I spent this week geographically, mentally I was elsewhere...pondering my own experiences both good and bad with education and the inner conflict I struggle with regarding formal academics. It’s weird to come to terms with the fact that my sister and I are vastly different people who want to gain different things from the world around us. I want to relate to her own process with college, but I know in my heart that what wasn’t right for me could be perfect for her and vice versa.
As someone observing these tours as a wallflower, as someone who has already been through this process, I feel alienated. Although I am secure in myself and content with my current intellectual pursuits, the atmosphere here is outside of my comfort zone and leaves me feeling disassociated and confused.
Despite this feeling, my passions have been reinforced this week and I was reminded of my love of photography. I was appreciative of museums, architecture, people, nature, and clothing. I found joy in observing strangers interactions. Above everything else I was reminded that I like space and freedom and with those things I am capable of being creative. I am enamored with California...and nowhere else makes me feel at home in the same way.
New York City has this weird energy. There’s a heat, but unlike heat travelling from the sun it feels like the quantity of people and buildings emit their own warmth into everyone and everything. New York has its own unique personality and it seeps into every aspect of your day. Simply by walking around, you lose track of your goals and inhibitions. There’s a constant feeling, like you have a need to incessantly reach a destination as quickly and efficiently as possible. Nobody slows down to enjoy the journey...people don’t even wait for traffic lights to change let alone anything else.
I am so lucky to be in a position where I get to experience different places. I am also insanely lucky to go home to the most beautiful place on this planet. Looking forward to being home I feel particularly happy to return to a world where the pace is slower, the energy is calmer, and where I feel the most authentic.
The world is a big place full of magic and beauty. Take the time to compliment a stranger, to pick flowers, to watch birds and butterflies, or simply to pause until the street lights say to walk. Wherever you are and whoever you are, remember to slow down your thoughts and your actions to look around.