How The City of Philadelphia Saved My Life


Dear person who is reading this,

There are some things in life that are bigger than you & I. These things are not limited to our resources, our imagination. They are not bound by the arbitrary societal constraints that suffocate us. No, these things have a mind of their own, a childlike innocence that recognizes no rules, no laws. It doesn’t stop them from being, well, them. I like to think that my dreams are one of those things…they are ridiculous, exhilarating, fascinating, colorful and impossible. And big. Oh, how big they are! So big that If I were to try to accomplish all of them, I’d turn to dust and wither and decay and die…but that’s exactly what makes them so fucking incredible. What good are they, if they’re easy and boring and attainable and simple?

But isn’t it human nature, to dream? To think of the impossible & to have the hope that it will come true? No matter how stupid or impractical? By that logic, I wasn’t human. Not until I visited Philly, that is. Because I had never dreamt…and that made me miserable. Because if I lack the purpose to achieve something unthinkable, or maybe even remotely exciting, then what am I even doing? What is my purpose? To live? But how do you even ‘live’ and who decides if you’re ‘living’ or not…some questions are too big in life. Bigger than you & I.

My life was going on and on…but I wasn’t ‘living.’ I have always identified myself as a realist. I didn’t allow myself to hope to achieve something that was out of my reach. The impossibility of it all made me skeptical and I think, it was a defense mechanism. I thought of it as self-preservation. But in doing so, I was losing the will to live. I wasn’t suicidal, but I was worryingly welcoming of death. I mean, we were all gonna die anyways, so what’s the point, right? But that’s wrong, so wrong! Because we all have a purpose. We don’t know what it is, because in figuring it out, we get to know ourselves. Now, that may sound odd. Of course, we know who we are. But we don’t. Self discovery is one of the best experiences of our lives. And this journey never ends…it’s constant and it’s bigger than you & I.

The first time I visited Downtown Philly, I felt myself breathing, what was perhaps the first, breath of fresh air. It smelled like freedom and it tasted scary and it made me dream with my eyes wide open with wonder and awe. I wanted to live in that Condo, I want to go to that school, I wanted to work at that firm and I wanted to dream…but I already was. I had seen everything with such clarity, life was so much more vibrant and wonderful and awful, but I was living! And I haven’t stopped since and I’m as happy as I am scared. But its a good scary. Those buildings that touched the sky had never looked so magnificent. I had thought to myself, ‘I would be the biggest idiot in the world to give up all of this, just because I couldn’t get my shit together.’ This euphoric feeling of finally allowing myself to think that I could somehow do big things in life was so much bigger than you & I.

You see, my dear reader, if we stop dreaming, we start harboring the rotting carcass of ‘what could’ve been’, and the stink of it will strangle our very being…


A dreamer

Art Source: No Life Doodler on Facebook


About bookishendeavors

Broke college student who likes to read.
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