While immersed in the daily grind, it’s hard to see outside its framework. It’s Groundhog’s Day all day every day. (Luckily for Bill Murray, he’s been released from his duties and we’ve assumed the role.) We know that there must be another option or way of operating, but either we’re too entrenched to deviate or plainly, we’ve resigned ourselves to believe we’re just not able.
But what if the universe decides to present gifts, new opportunities, or personal challenges for our continued growth? That if it throws a golden brick upon the road that is under constant construction and sometimes could even be hazardous to our well being? We’re forced to see at least a glimmer, even if we try to shield our eyes. Sometimes routines and habits provide a false sense of safety. The mere thought of stepping outside of ourselves and what we have always known could be too overwhelming. Even if the current reality is unbearable and painful, the idea of the unknown and change could be viewed as the more dreadful option. Certainly there are many outside sources such as family, work, and numerous responsibilities that gives structure to our lives, but it’s also the release of self imposed and external pressures. If we can manage to shift ever so slightly, we can be more inclined to allow the new and unimaginable—how big or how small it may be to unfold. Also, being OK with it.
My best friend, Matthew, refers to my golden brick moment as the one that turned my life upside down at the age of 26. My road “under construction” used to be countless hours of traffic on the 59th Street Bridge and L.I.E. While in my thoughts, I would resist the possibilities of entertaining a life anew and created many road-blocks of self doubt and fear. At times, I would even try to run as far away as I could. But then again, the golden brick would somehow reappear and signal me to follow it…and I would see glimpses of the beauty it possessed. It was just enough that it kept me on this course and dread turned into goals and dreams.
The L.I.E. has now transformed itself into the cobblestone vie and vicoli (streets and winding alleyways) that I pass across by foot and public buses. There are of course passageways that are under construction and uneven. One misstep can cause a twisted ankle or broken heel, but the recovery has a quicker turn around. They also possess the most incredible history and after a rainstorm, glisten in the warmth of the Roman sun…forming golden bricks as far as the eye can see.
This happened to me this morning. After my two hour commute from the sea to the city, I descended off the packed bus and took cover under my umbrella. The chill of the November air paired with the heavy rain only added to the usual morning grind that starts at 5:30 a.m. But by the time I headed over the bridge by foot, the clouds broke and I couldn’t help but stop and look. The sun returned and the rain continued to fall, but with radiance. It was the best gift of the day and a gentle reminder. My golden brick is still in sight and I choose to follow it.