Perfectly synced and timed every time. Every conversation with every friend ended with a hug and a firm grasp, looking into each other’s eyes as we exchanged those words.
More powerful than the fragility and fear that still lingered in certain areas of the city.
I needed this. I needed what it gave. I needed the city.
Only this time I realized that I couldn't be here to take. Now is not the time for that. For the first time, I needed the city just to be there for it. It was there for me, always, during my time of need. It placed beautiful people in my life. It gave me an abundance of inspiration to create whatever was spoken to me through those busy streets.
But the streets weren't busy from what I could see.
And this is where my pandemic journey shined a light and said:
You suddenly moved to a desert with nothing, pitched all of what you could give and made something out of it. Now make something out of this!
...I'm not here to take.
...I'm here to give.
I rushed over to Times Square to find whatever tickets I could get for a Broadway show I had yet to see.
Support the arts
I ran up through Central Park all the way to my old stomping grounds, paying tribute to all the milestones, thankful of how so many challenges birthed so many lessons there.
I met with friends to engage in those deep conversations - sharing our darkest thoughts when the whole world went dark. The raw, vulnerable moments we revealed provided a love, compassion and understanding much deeper that I could have ever imagined.
Suddenly, I realized in the midst of giving...
...I was getting
...I was afraid to come here...I was afraid of myself.
Had I changed so much to a point where I’d be hardly recognizable to the people I love? True, I am a far cry from the helplessness that often drove me to do better and be better.
But did I change...for the better?
I had no idea...but I knew still wanted the same things..
Now that I was there, I see that this change in me was needed to feel helpful instead of helpless.
The desert has given me the platform to transform myself into taking charge, taking control, over how I want to spend my time and to be present with that growth in the place that felt so much helplessness.
Once I explained this, one of my friends exclaimed:
What you are giving is powerful and I've needed this!
He followed that with the same tight-squeezed hug, eye-to-eye contact and the same I love you I experienced from all of my friends there... and I must say, this could not have been a more powerful give and take.
Because being present face to face, we were perfectly synced in the reality that life can turn on a dime.