There are times when I can hardly even stand the beauty that has surrounded me. There is a feeling of expansiveness that can almost be painful. And yet I don’t mean this in a negative way at all.
I consciously choose NYC as a home base- part for family, part for accessibility. But the limitations of being in a place measured by blocks, short and long, and stops on the subway, will always leave me a bit claustrophobic. This is where my wandering nature comes in, I suppose.
As distance starts to be measured first in tenths and then in miles, as the sight lines become longer, I can feel my mind open and my body relax. Without the need to be constantly on guard- holding one’s own space takes up a lot of time and energy in New York. Out west, along with physically being able to look further afield, I take deeper breaths.
But it is beyond the corporal state.
I’m a New Yorker through and through, but yet can realize the bias that we inherently hold. There is a superiority with which we conduct our lives. We are at the center of the UNIVERSE for goodness sake. Just ask us! When seemingly anything one could need is within reach, that conclusion is easy to come by. And it is not necessarily space I am after. (I happily live in a near shoebox apartment, and crave an even smaller shoe box.) I believe it is the sense of ease. Of having less to choose from, so the mind can settle more quickly. Of having a longer lens to view any topic, and seeing more sides.
There is nothing wrong with sticking to NYC. You could spend every minute of your life there and never run out of things to do. But I highly recommend getting out into a place where your eyes need to adjust to shapes and colors that are unfamiliar. Where the landscape holds almost no words, so instead your mind needs to come up with them. There is so much to see and appreciate.
Edited to Note: after I wrote this post, I was in Jerome, AZ at Passions Cellars and had a conversation with the lovely Rhiannon. She had moved to Jerome from Nashville and described her eyes changing and adjusting. I knew I met a like soul.