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New York City: The city of lonely people.


May 15, 2017

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Sunday nights in New York City are the worst. The city surrounded by darkness gets quiet, people are going to bed early and preparing themselves to meet their “favorite” day of the week, but I stay awake. A Full Moon glances at me through the cracked glass window and with a judgmental look hides behind the clouds. I hear the wind playing with the tree in front of my building and leafs are dancing perfectly synchronized with one another. Nights are getting warmer, but I still feel little goosebumps on my skin so I put on my comfy pajamas and get under the blanket.

I open the laptop and start scrolling down my Facebook timeline, hoping to find something new. Annoyed by Tasty and cat videos, shared by my friends multiple times, I turn on Netflix and put on cheesy romantic comedy that would probably make me feel even worse than I already am. I pick up a glass of red wine from my bed stand and take a couple sips. It feels nice. This is what I was waiting for the whole day.

Wine became my friend, my lover and my psychiatrist for these past years. It’s the only thing that makes me smile, warms up every part of my body and helps to forget the reality I’m living in. New York can be very cruel to people. It gives you everything you want from tremendous opportunities to unlimited entertainment. Although, in order for dreams to come true people sell their souls to the devil and become trapped within themselves and within this city. People stop following the rules and forget about limits. Sucked inside the jungles of stone eventually they become numb, careless and empty inside. And that’s where the loneliness comes.

I check my phone for any missed text messages but seeing an empty screen doesn’t surprise me. I shouldn’t even look. Does it bother me that no one cares about me? Not anymore. After a certain time, you just get used to it, and maybe even enjoy it to some degree. Having more time for yourself and doing whatever you want without being judged doesn’t sound too bad after all. You can concentrate on your career and passion, leaving behind every distraction. And only when it’s already too late you realize what’s been missing from your life all these years.

How could you feel lonely in a city with so many people? I wish I knew the answer.

I walk through the apathetic crowd every day, realizing I’m one of the million people who are just as lonely as I am. I put on my headphones and slowly move in a stream of city zombies, following the energy of this town. My feet are vibrating from the train passing under the ground and honks of the cars in a traffic mess up with Spotify music I’m going in rhythm with. Cab driver yells with his broken English at the lady crossing the street on the red light, but she’s too busy staring at her phone and sipping Starbucks coffee. The smell of bacon in the air gets mixed up with a smell of a homeless person walking against the crowd and cursing about his life. I get hit by a huge backpack of one of the tourists who constantly takes photos of all the surroundings. And then I STOP.

I pull my head up, take my headphones off and look around me. I take a moment to myself and close my eyes. And then, something magical happens. I feel how the wind is playing with my hair, how the sun is warming up my skin, I feel the ground and the movement around me and then… I breathe. Finally, a smile appears on my face. In the city that never sleeps and is constantly moving, we forget to stop and just simply breathe. And maybe it’s not the answer to my question, but it is definitely the first step to mindfulness and recognition of a beauty in simple things around us, that we tend to forget.

And just when I think I’m still alone in this world, I open my eyes and see another smile.

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