Perspective: (Merriam Webster) The interrelation in which a subject or its parts are mentally viewed.
(Urban Dictionary) Point of view.
Six year ago, I was living and working NYC. Almost exactly six years ago I was struggling with a lot of different things. My job was turning into a dead end waste of energy, my relationship to my then boyfriend of almost five years was quickly falling apart, and the city I had dreamed of living in since I was in middle school was becoming one big headache to navigate. I was trying my hardest to deal with everything the best way I could but I began to feel so alone, isolated, and overwhelmed. Since the weather had been warmer, I would take the train home from work and get off one stop early so that I could walk a few extra blocks home. Even the beautiful weather in NYC couldn’t cheer me up. To say that I was depressed was an understatement.
One day on my way home from work something inside told me to get off at a different train stop and walk the rest of the way home, but on the other side of the street. I’m not sure exactly what made me do this, but I got off two stops early, walked up the subway stairs and crossed to the other side of the street. It was almost as if I had fell down the rabbit in like Alice did in “Alice in Wonderland” and entered a totally new neighborhood. Mind you, I have walked down this street for almost an entire year, I just had never walked on THIS side of the street. I was amazed by how many shops I passed that I have never noticed before. It was almost as if the sun was shining brighter. I even discovered that this entire time I had been living right down the street from a Sprinkles cupcake shop. I even went in and bought a cotton candy flavored cupcake. I will never forget that day.
As I continued to walk home a sense of calm washed over me. I felt joy and content for the first time in a long time. I wasn’t crying. I wasn’t angry. I was actually taking everything in and living in every moment. I didn’t care about my failing relationship. I wasn’t stressed about going to work the next day. I was truly appreciating life. It was an indescribable feeling.
Oddly enough, that walk home on the other side of the street ended in a classic irony. As soon as I got home I received a phone call from my then boyfriend telling me that he wanted to break up with me. He gave me the typical, “I love you but I’m not IN love with you” speech. As much as I knew that our relationship was unraveling, the news still caught me off guard. After getting dumped and ending my phone call, all I could think about was fate and destiny. Any other day of the week I would have taken my usual way home, and missed out on all of the new discoveries I made that day walking the other side of the block. Something told me to walk on that side of the street for a reason. Clearly the universe knew that my relationship was about to come to an end, so maybe this was a way of showing me that there was greater stuff out there for me if I would just take a chance and step outside of my norm. It’s amazing the things that you can learn about yourself and what is going on around you if you just use a different perspective. I had been living in a routine for so long that my own narrow perspective kept me blinded to everything else that was going on around me. It almost saved me in a way. I could have continued living my miserable life and going through the same routines and being unhappy had I never got off at a different train stop and walked across the street.