Archive for June, 2013

putting problems in perspective

Friday, June 14th, 2013

image courtesy of ny daily news

i recently came across a quote by regina brett: “if we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.” this really stuck out to me – especially because i am the world’s biggest complainer, always forgetting that there are bigger problems than delayed flights, broken phones, and the entirety of my purse spilling into the rainy streets of the city.

i’ve been living here in new york with my dad’s best friend’s family. it’s been a hassle trying to live around them, and i feel like i’m always in their way even though they tell me i’m not a burden. through all my complaints about it, i forget how fortunate i am. their son suffers from a very rare genetic neurological condition, familial dysautonomia (fd). he has an insensitivity to pain, can’t produce his own tears, has unstable blood pressure and gastrointestinal dysmotility, along with many other setbacks. he was diagnosed at birth and his family has had to revolve their lifestyle around his needs for over seventeen years. they do everything in their power to help him lead as normal a life as possible; and they have done an extraordinary job in doing so. he has surpassed his life expectancy, has done things his doctors told his parents he would never be able to do, and has been accepted into a 5-day college program in boston. however, living with this family has made me realize how much i have to be thankful for and the excess of things i take for granted.

in the wise words of regina brett, “life isn’t tied in a bow, but it’s still a gift.” at the end of a bad day, remind yourself that it could be worse. i’ll admit, this is one of my biggest struggles… but let me tell you, once you realize that, it’s amazing all of the things you begin to appreciate.

~miller

making the city smaller: HONY

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

image courtesy of humansofnewyork.com

with its fast-paced rhythm, it’s almost impossible to feel truly alone in the most populous city in the u.s. it took awhile, but i no longer have shame in eating lunch by myself, hopping from one subway car to another, or whipping out my map in the middle of soho. sure, the noise might keep you up all night or wake you at the break of dawn, but it also provides some solid entertainment when you feel “alone”.

my all-time favorite form of entertainment in new york comes from people watching, and sometimes making up stories about the interesting people i see here. it’s definitely a when-harry-met-sally way to pass time and makes you realize how “usual” it is to be unusual in nyc. i did this with one of my friends at lunch one day and she mentioned the facebook page called “humans of new york”. started in 2010 by brandon stanton, whose inspiration as a photographer led him to an incredible interest in the people who roam the streets of new york city. his story is an interesting one and worth reading; he essentially started from nothing and built his own career in a city that made his dreams attainable. humans of new york (hony) posts daily photos of bizarre or notable people (and sometimes animals) with either a description of the photo or a conversation stanton had with the person in the photo.

on my days filled with extensive people watching, i will sometimes find the people i saw photographed on hony’s website. my friend who lives here even mentioned that she has some friends who have been tagged in hony’s photos on facebook (his facebook page has almost 800,000 likes now). hony not only ties the loose ends of my made-up stories, but it also makes a city of over 8 million seem, well, smaller.

take a look and see if you recognize anyone. or if you ever miss the humans of new york, check out hony and do some new york people watching no matter where you are.

~miller