By Justin Cude
It’s been about a year, a little over a year now, since I moved away from the city I have always been pulled to, even as a little kid. The one I learned to love for what it is, not for what I attempted to make it to be, for the attempt to do so would prove useless. It did and I learned and I loved it more for it.
Remaining the romantic I tend to be, for the attempt to be otherwise would prove useless as well, a classical array of Frank Sinatra numbers have always, and I believe will continue to, keep me current with the city’s lasting allure, even in my current absence. For me, no other artists have truly captured this. No other songs have ever embodied it, though I will admit there are a few honorable mentions, but who really wants to be caught on that list? This piece is about more than music though.
Though at the moment I am away from the city, I never fully left, as is true for any great romantic relationship. Much like the loving and romancing of a great woman, you’ve spent time exploring her, only to find as your knowledge of her grows so does your appreciation of her, and fortunately so does your awareness of your ignorance of her vastness which still remains. There’s still more to find.
And, not only that, but you’ve experienced with her. This life, her emotions and yours. This life, its highs and its lows and everything in between. Apart from her or entangled with, you can’t remove what has already happened, and nor should you try.
In many ways I am still there, and for the enduring and strengthening few with time, I will always remain.
But over this time many things have changed. It’s remarkable when you do take the time to reflect on the passing of another year how many things do. Some we have been aware of, but for many we only realize upon looking back.
Many say looking back is wrong. I’ve never believed this, but I have realized how heavy it can be.
That heaviness though I have always enjoyed.
I’ve never been one to believe life needs to be happy all the time. I’ve never been one to want that for myself either, though I have caught myself deep in the trap trying to make it that way. I don’t think I’d like it if it always was. I don’t believe many do trying to make it that way.
Sometimes I want the unhappy, the sad, the crazy and the impossible, the yearning, the past, the pain. It reminds me of what has happened, and it makes me appreciate every part of it more; the happy and the sad, and everything in between.
Sometimes isn’t right. Usually I find I want it more. It makes sense if you think about it. Maybe I’m wrong. But, it tends to make me feel everything more and I don’t want to be numb all the time attempting to ignore that.
Anyways, I sit here now, thousands of miles away from that city, in another one, another big one even, but its not quite the same.
Things feel different. I feel different. Not that this is wrong or bad, just different. Like anywhere else, somedays are good and somedays are bad, and some are somewhere in between.
I watched a video earlier today, one I had made the day I left a little over a year ago now, and it made me feel that way again. I know I’m not the only one that city uses. Countless eyes had seen it before me, and countless others will after me. Countless lives have enjoyed her before me, and countless others have and will after me.
But, nonetheless, I felt captured, and there, though only for a moment in the grand scheme of it all, captured felt right. Everybody wants freedom. I’d take, even if only a little, that kind of captured again. This piece is about more than just a city though.
Still sitting here now, writing this, it hits me how much truly has changed. People, places, thoughts, wants, truths, and so on.
It’s easy to think everything remains the same. It’s hard to notice the changes. Most aren’t big enough to wake you up at night. No, most are subtle. But, once noticed, their acknowledgment proves to be impactful.
Around this time last year I was leaving somewhere. This somewhere now I am thinking of leaving again. Those I guess you could call examples of the big ones. All the things that have happened in between these two points though, I wouldn’t say they add up. No, when you think about it, things just sort of happen.
Some add. Some take away. Many just happen. Many just slip on by. It’s up to me to notice what I will. It’s up to you the same.
I miss that feeling, but I wonder how many feelings I have missed since then, ones I would have appreciated if I had only noticed them then, if only I had not been caught up with just the one.
Though I can’t live them again, though I cannot go back and really feel them, I notice them now, at least I am trying, and at this now that trying is enough.
But that’s life. You notice what you notice. Who knows exactly why?
Days come and so do nights, and then they go and maybe another one comes around. It’s easy to think another one will, but things change, you never know. And if another does come around, its easy to think it the same as the last.
Again, its hard to notice the changes.
Ignorance towards thinking things will never change, or ignorance blinding you from noticing what has.
I’ve missed many moments thinking things were the same, or at least thinking they hadn’t changed. I don’t want to miss anymore fighting this alone. There’s really nothing to fight anyways. You’re making it up. You think there is, but there isn’t.
There’s only change. Don’t take that on. You’ll lose.
Yeah, sure, I miss that feeling and I miss that city, and I probably always will, but constantly chasing the highs it evoked, or believing the lows it did as well to be only unique to its confines, both of these are wrong. It’s highs were high and its low were damn low, but most of my time there was spent somewhere in between, and most of that time I let slip away, unnoticed.
Again, its up to me for me, and its up to you for you the same, to notice what you will. I’ll still acknowledge the highs and I’ll still endure the lows, but moving on I simply want to notice more of the in between.
Because that’s life. Most of it happens somewhere in between.
We tend to avoid or pursue the highs and the lows.
Invite them, welcome them, sure, of course, but don’t hold on to them. They don’t last. They fade quickly. Feel them when they are around, but let them go.
Again, most of life is found in between. Try to notice the life in that. Don’t become numb to it. Become very much attuned with it.
Life is largely about realizations and we all feel more alive in the moments of our deepest ones.
Or maybe in the moments of our most simple ones.
We’re too blinded during the highs, too emotional during the lows to have these. Most happen after. After some time has passed. After we have gained sight again. After our emotions have leveled off. Most happen somewhere in between.
Most happen in the quiet. Quiet can be good. I’ll try to write on that sometime. That’s enough for now.
Most of all of this happens somewhere in between though. That’s the main idea here.
Right now you’re probably somewhere in there. I know I am.
Don’t let it slip away chasing the next high or avoiding the next low. Those you will meet again. Don’t worry. Don’t be scared. Those will happen again, because that’s life. But, there is so much more in between, and that is usually where we tend to be.