My first trip to New York City is coming to a close. I’m writing this from JFK while I wait for the flight to take me back south.
Manhattan is a marvel. There’s a new culture and experience on every street. I was lucky enough to be able to see Wicked, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the Metropolitan Opera. I’m broke, but it was an amazing experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
I’ve always heard people complain about New York. The masses of people, the cold attitudes of the natives, the endless concrete, the buildings so high they block the sky, etc. The list of complaints is quite lengthy, but one has always intrigued me.
Manhattan is a work of man. Most islands are filled with trees, sand and other natural things. In New York even the parks were planned and planted by a person with an idea.
I can see the problem with this. Nothing is native. Nothing is natural.
But can you see the beauty in this? Everything was imagined. Everything was created.
I could easily slip into a comfortable job near my hometown if I only did what was natural. I’m sure I would live a wonderful life with a beautiful family. That’s great.
But I have another option. Like the visionaries who made New York City what it is today, I have the power to make my life whatever I want it to be.
I can decide where I want to go, and I can build the roads to get me there.
I admit the metaphor is a bit wide, but that’s how I’ve felt this entire trip. Sitting in Central Park looking out over the reservoir, I realized New York–and the rest of the world–has room for me.
I can take any part of it.
I can become an important part of it.
According to Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Meyer Berger, “each man reads his own meaning into New York.”
This is mine, and it’s life-changing.