New York did a number on me this last week.
I got rejected from jobs (I’m looking at you; largest social network in the world), from people, and halal carts that didn’t take American Express. Between job interviews, dates, and complicated friendships, growing up is hard and a lot of days I wonder if (and when) I’m going to get it right.
But then I remember it’s not my job to figure it out... it’s my job to live, to love, and enjoy the nights with real friends that bleed into the morning.
Sometimes though, it can’t help but feel like life is coming at me like a hurricane and instead of dancing in the rain I’m swallowing hot lightning.
Many years ago, an old friend walked me down to the East River, to the sleepy Heights, a place where Brooklyn meets the water. It’s the place I love to go when the city becomes too much, the streets start to smell like hot garbage, and I need a moment to myself.
This place– the Brooklyn Promenade–during the day is filled with Lululemon moms pushing Graco strollers alongside stoned hipsters who’ve wandered too far from Bushwick.
Tonight though, 11 PM on a Thursday, it’s mostly deserted, and my little bench on the water overlooking Lower Manhattan may as well be a pew in St. Peter’s Basilica.
As I take in the kaleidoscope of light before me, any anxiety I have is gone. There, on that bench, breathing salty air, the graffitied wood beneath me feels like my own intimate miracle.
Here, gazing at Manhattan lights, I feel like I'm showering in the Cosmos.
Growing up, I always thought miracles were about water-into-wine or the raising of the dead… but moving to the City, I’ve realized miracles look like what we need them to look like, and life is, more than anything else, a collection of them. Miracles don’t have mend bones or cure sight… they can be the shelter of a stranger’s umbrella when it starts to pour. Miracles come with French Roast coffee and finding a Shake Shack with gluten-free buns in stock.
I think miracles, true miracles, are found in the fleeting glimpses of eternity found in the love, beauty, and the joy we reveal to each other every day.
So, maybe despite the cynicism of the media, we should celebrate those? Because miracles it turns out, are moments, and moments happen every day if we choose to spot them.
What you were struggling with a year ago isn’t what you’re struggling with today. And that is, in its own way, a miracle.
It’s a beautiful life you guys... let's breathe and celebrate what a rare, beautiful, and miraculous thing it is to truly exist.