I leaned up against a gut-high table on the second floor of a bar in Manhattan. The room was packed full of people I admire, celebrating a landmark event with adult beverages and camaraderie. The glass of water I held made my hand as cold as the ice floating inside it, while everything else slowly danced around me and I felt like I was standing there isolated in my thoughts.
After over thirty trips to New York City, it’s still one of my favorite places to visit. That hasn’t changed. But for some reason, this latest trip had me completely disenchanted. The beauty and character was in my blind spot. All I could see was the excess and vanity, the never-ending cement and asphalt, the piles of garbage on the sidewalks.
I stared out the window at the white clouds that peppered the blue sky during the entire flight home, thinking about nothing in particular. I was just happy to be putting miles between the biggest city in America and me.
The wheels touched down and I headed home to my little piece of Minneapolis. I stayed long enough for a shower and to check-in at work, before dumping my bag out in the laundry and refilling it with fresh clothes.
I tossed the Vera Bradley duffle in the back of my car and opened the door so my dog could ride shotgun. I slipped into the drivers seat and pointed my car towards the interstate.
The sky grayed as I cruised north, the city skyline in my rearview mirror got smaller with every mile and the number of buildings decreased simultaneously with the daylight. Before I knew it, I was gliding through the countryside with the only light coming from the headlamps on my car. I felt relief when my tires turned off the asphalt and onto the dirt road that led to my cabin. In less than twelve hours I had gone from one extreme to another.
As I made my way back into Minneapolis this afternoon, I realized I was simply trying to regain my sense of balance.
I smiled as I pulled up to my house, knowing I had.