The single most admirable quality of babies and small children is their curiosity. Every thing their eyes fall on is brand new. A fresh experience. The smell of banana bread – a new experience. The taste of dirt – a new experience. The texture of birthday cake gushing in between their fingers – a new experience. The sound of thunder and rainfall – a new experience. The soft beauty of a succulent – a new experience. The emotion of finishing a puzzle – a new experience. The ability to sound out letters – a new experience. We sit back and smile and tear up because of their innocence, interest, and enjoyment. It’s all new; it’s all perfect; it is constant beauty.
I have lived in Indiana, for just about the entirety of my life. I have lived in New York City – the center of the universe – for less than 200 hours. And I feel like a child. The chaotic bustle of urgency that powers the subway lines – a new experience. The unending maze of massive buildings whose tops are invisible from street level to remind you of your finitude – a new experience. The snark and bite in people’s eyes – a new experience. The fashion statement(?) to wear shoddy sneakers with three piece suits – a new experience. The rats that indicate life and trash and an opportunity to eat – a new experience. The city water that tastes cleaner than mountain water and feels like silk running through my hair – a new experience. The street cats that don’t back down or run off and the laziness of city dogs – a new experience. The helicopters delivering the richest people in the world to wherever they’re going – a new experience. The dollar slice of pizza – a.new.experience.
I wanted to publicly meditate on the wonder and awe I have of NYC so far, because just like the child, my touristic curiosity will inevitably thaw out and become the ‘norm’. I’m writing to remind 2018-Josh that this city is always changing but stays the same. This city – as frustrating as I’ve been promised that she will become – is remarkable and full of energy and possibility. This is a reminder to respect the Always New that I am experiencing now. This writing, though, is not just for me. Your world is beautiful too. You’re day-to-day schedule is swollen with excitement. This post is a reminder to the future Josh when things aren’t so new anymore; this post is a reminder for you who might feel like Indianapolis or your job or your relationship isn’t so new and exciting anymore.