One of the main reasons my husband and I decided to move from NYC to Atlanta was to be in a more friendly environment. There is something about the Big Apple that teaches people to close themselves off, to protect themselves. And while it is good to me mindful and self-protective, I fear there is something lost when one builds up multiple layers of protection around one’s soul and self-expression. As illustrated in the following example:
I was walking to school with my baby daughter one morning and a woman called out from her car, “Excuse me, Miss!” I ignored her, as my 8 years of living in NYC had trained me to do. Again, I hear, “Excuse me, Miss!” I decided to evaluate my situation and thought, “What could she possibly be trying to help me with?” And so, before I crossed the street, I noticed that my daughter had taken off her sock and thrown it on the ground. I picked it up and heard the lady in the car say, “Yes, that’s it!”
I thanked her and wished her a good day. I appreciated her candor and care for my belongings.
While my first impulse was to self protect and act from fear, I melted away the layers of self-protection enough to be somewhat vulnerable, and in the end, it paid off.