I find it peculiar and ironic that I am writing a blog entry in the woods, miles away from the nearest computer. The concept of “blog” and social media is totally contrary to my experiences with NYC, wherein I and my compatriots are spared the stresses and distractions of the life electric.
It is no stretch to say that in comparing my life in civilization of daily showers, internet access, and toasters to my life in the backcountry of intense labor and weather exposure; the less stressful of the two is the one in which I live a Spartan, almost ascetic lifestyle without the messes, complications and smog of the city. I breathe easier, both literally and figuratively.
This is the reason I keep coming back to NYC during my summers-I am as I write this midway through my fourth session. I can list many other reasons for choosing to come back; such as the excitement of exploring new places; the growth of strength both physical and mental; the experience of being one of ten people who turn from strangers in to a crew, into a family. The untaxed stipend also doesn’t hurt. There is one reason for my presence here that I cannot list, but only because I don’t know what it is yet.
Allow me (not that you are capable of raising an objection) to elaborate. In each of my prior NYC experiences I have come away changed and improved, in a manner I could never have predicted. I went into my second session expecting more of the same and found myself growing. Not as much in ability, but greatly in personality. I went into my thirds session unsure what I would find. I found humanity.
I won’t know until afterward, when I have reflected what it is that I have achieved in my time here that is truly lasting and unique. I’m excited to find out. But the point is this: every time I come to NYC my life changes. The clay from which my nature is hewn is molded, partially into the person that I am going to become; that I should and must become.
And that person is freaking awesome.