It was the type of morning that was handcrafted for a seven city block stroll to an independent coffee shop on 12th and locust streets. I would pass Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, and a cafe/bakery to get to Square One Coffee. But there was a cup of ginger peach tea with my name on it and a community table where I could pull up my seat and breathe.
As I walked the seven city blocks between my hotel and the coffee shop I noticed banners adorning the tall lamp posts on the sidewalks that boasts of a downtown club. I smiled knowing that a guy I dated several years ago was undoubtedly a member. I laughed knowing I just couldn’t be. It wasn’t for me. It seemed a little exclusive. Had the sign read “Community Club,” well then that would be the place for me…and not for my old boo. I walked past the park and noticed the families, the folks with their dogs, and the folks that I presume were without regular lodging. “They’d probably like a community club,” I thought, and kept making my way to Square One.
As I sat and sipped in the city I have appreciated being from but could never return to live, I couldn’t help but wonder how there could certainly be people who have the same mixed feelings as I about Philadelphia, but certainly there are people who undoubtedly love it and maybe even those who undoubtedly hate it. The thoughts, feelings, experiences, and expectations of the city would depend on perspective. Our thoughts, feelings, experiences, and expectations of people, relationships, jobs, opportunities, and ourselves absolutely depends on how we look at it, how we interpret it. There is what is and then how we perceive what is.
Some of us are holding our breath as the year takes it last few breaths and births a new year. We are beyond ready for all that we believe the new year will bring. I hate to break it to you though, it won’t bring anything you can’t perceive. The clock will strike midnight and a new day will dawn, but if you don’t perceive the moment, day, or year to be ripe for the difference or new you need or desire, it will be continuation of the same. If you don’t conceive the possibilities It will be the downtown club you know is not for you without the imagination of a community club which would be perfect for you and others finding their way.
My hope for you as the year comes to a close is that you open your mind and heart to envision something different for you in the coming year. My hope is that you dream some of the sweetest dreams to date and hush the voices of the naysayers, self included. May you courageously craft what you desire and need to make the rest of today, tomorrow, and the new year one steeped in a commitment to be, do, and LIVE well. And when things get tough, just keep it all in perspective.