I spent a week in New York City, on a bustling adventure in the city that never sleeps, with my toddler as my travel companion. Together, we flew across the country in one seat to explore the neighborhoods of Manhattan.
My daughter and I enjoyed afternoon tea on the Upper East Side, perhaps the wealthiest neighborhood in the world. We ate vegan food on the Upper West Side. We sought out the prettiest brownstones and the grandest architecture.
We took the subway and taxi cabs, but mostly, I walked, pushing a stroller or carrying a 23 pound baby on my back. I walked so much that I returned with blisters on both feet and tendonitis in one foot.
On the streets, I was awestruck by random displays of art.
In Times Square, I was dwarfed by consumerism.
In the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I was intrigued by statues of the Buddha and paintings depicting Jesus Christ acting like a real human baby. (In case you were wondering: he didn’t cry, but he did nurse.)
In Central Park, I played with my girl.
From the top of the Empire State Building, I peered across the heads of millions and marveled at how vast the world is, how small each person is. And yet we all matter. No matter how miniscule one person’s efforts are in the grand scheme of things, together, we can build a skyscraper. Our collective power is without limits.
There are billions of people out there. People suffering, people laughing, people loving, people hating. People writing, people blogging, people reading. People following dreams, just trying to make it. I woke up this morning in an introspective place, wondering about this life, where I am headed and how I should spend each precious day. I wonder if I am doing everything, or anything, right. I don’t want to waste time. The universe is eternal, yet my time here is short.
Cast into foreign surroundings, I learn a little more about the world around me, and about myself. My trip to New York City, a place obsessed with “making it,” further demonstrated something I’ve been turning around in my head for a while now: my life is simultaneously inconsequential and momentous. If no one reads this blog today, I will go on, it will make no difference to that which matters most to me: the happiness of my family. If someone reads this blog and they’re struck by my words, inspired by my thoughts or photographs, a light could go on and a life could change forever.
Perhaps there is no such thing as success or failure, there is only fate.