While sitting in Madison Square Park today with Momo we decided to count the statues of iron men that are located on top of the surrounding buildings. My curiosity got the best of me so I Googled the exhibit to find out the artist's purpose for displaying them in such an odd way.
Here is a link to the exhibit itself http://eventhorizonnewyork.org/From the point of view of someone on the ground, the statues look as though someone is on top of these very high buildings ready to jump. But Antony Gormley, the artist, says that
Isolated against the sky these dark figures look out into space at large asking: where does the humanity fit in the scheme of things?This really got me thinking. I have always considered myself as someone with a good head on their shoulders who knows up from down, left from right and right from wrong. But perhaps I am wrong. I have the amazing opportunity to live in, what I consider to be, the greatest city in the world. New York City is a place where one can accomplish anything and I am fairly certain I take that for granted. While trying to locate the 31 iron statues with Momo we found ourselves looking up and realized we hardly ever do that. We noticed bridges that connected buildings to one another, trees that existed high up on the roofs etc. While these things aren't necessarily very important, it made us realize that we spend most of our days just getting by. We move along with the fast pace of New York City and don't take as much time to appreciate the natural beauty in the simplicity of what surrounds us.
When Wild Child came to visit we had an incident while walking to meet some friends at a bar. A man was hosing off the sidewalk that we were walking on and shut off his hose as we passed by. Wild Child thanked him. I did not. I don't consider myself to be a rude person, but by not thanking this man I was being extremely rude. It was as though I just expected him to shut off the hose as I passed. I said something to WC about it, and her response was that she is polite. Since then I have been very conscious of people doing kind things towards me, small or large, and make sure to say thank you.
A good friend of mine, JZ, just got back to New York after traveling around South America working in hospitals in the most devastating of conditions. He would send emails about once a month to update his friends back home about his experiences. His most recent stop was Port-Au-Prince, Haiti and the way he described the living situations there is not only too unbearable to even attempt to describe but it's almost hard to believe. I always talk with JZ about how I admire what he was doing in South America and how I wish I could do something to make this world a better place but just don't have time. He said to me last night, and has to me many times before, that not having time is not an excuse and that he doesn't know for sure why, but of all of his friends he really expects more from me.
I shared this at the park today with Momo and I came to the conclusion that I really do want to contribute to making this world we live in better. I don't think I have to travel to a different country to get this done as there are plenty of people who need help right here in New York City. Of course I already make donations, I give that $1 at the supermarkets or at Petco towards animal shelters or whichever charity is being helped and I try and help out the homeless with whatever spare change I have in my purse - but none of this is enough. I realize it is not only about money. My biggest problem with donations is that I always want to give more and I just don't have more to give. I have an English degree and am thinking I would like to volunteer at libraries or schools and possibly read to or tutor adults who have never learned to read. The illiteracy rate for adults in New York City alone is extremely high, much higher than I would've expected.
I move through life making spontaneous decisions and always searching for instant gratification. But I wasn't always like that. I used to find excitement from being challenged, would sign up for more difficult courses in college or always choose the path least traveled, but since graduation I have lost my way. I have since been complacent with where I was at, i.e. having an apartment, a job and living in NYC like I had always wanted.
I have also spent a lot of my days hating on America and what it stands for, but this July 4th as the fireworks were going off and the bar I was at was playing "I'm Proud to be an American," I got to thinking, in what other country could I, especially as a woman, say out loud how I truly feel about our government? I am fascinated by conspiracy theories and still believe our government is corrupt. But we really do live in the land of the free.
For me, it comes down to realizing that not all dreams can come true but we all can make some kind of difference in this world if we truly want to. I don't think I will ever finish my novel that I have started and deleted and started again at least a dozen times since I was a sophomore in college, and I don't know if I will ever go back to school to accomplish my dream of becoming a professor of English at a university so that I can discuss my favorite books "The Great Gatsby" and "1984" with students that I feel will actually want to be in attendance. I also don't know if I will ever be financially well off enough to open up/start up the foster home that I had always wanted to establish. But I do know that I am extremely lucky to not only be pretty, kidding, but to live where I live and to be healthy and to have amazing parents that support me and a huge loving extended family as well as a ton of fantastic friends. I also know that while my current situation does not allow me to pick up and travel to another country to help those far less well off than I, there are those right here in the very city in which I live that need help as well - and I can, and will, do something about it.
I have been fortunate enough to grow up in a family that is extremely liberal and open to all different types of people. I admire my grandparents for being so excepting of having a gay son and two of their son's that married outside of our religion. They grew up in a time where these things were not accepted by society (unfortunately they still aren't entirely) but showed us that true happiness is much more important than living your life for someone else. About a month ago I got my 4th, and yes mom it is my last, tattoo. It is written in cursive Hebrew which is essentially lowercase to represent the laid back low stress life style that I like to maintain, but what it says is "If I am not for myself, who will be for me?." I just think it is important to be happy with yourself, realize all that you have, appreciate quality, not be judgmental, follow your dreams even if they can't be reached and support those that you love. I believe that if this can be done than the rest will all fall into place.
Sorry for the deep post. If you are still reading, I'd just like to say thank you for essentially listening to me ramble. I promise to drink an exorbitant amount of prosecco tonight and follow up with a drunken, silly and spazzy post. :)