Saturday, November 19, 2016

Gaining Perspective on Top of the Prudential Tower

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I almost didn't go. Already slightly apprehensive about doing something that I deemed as uber touristy, half of the observation deck being closed for a "private event" was pretty much the confirmation I needed to revert to plan b. But as I sat down to a super late lunch and tried to quiet my annoyance/hangriness with a cobb salad I quickly realized there was no plan b. The entire day had been organized around watching the darn sunset, per usual as anyone who's ever traveled with me can attest to, and I'd wanted to see the sunset from that tower.

Rather than come up with an alternative I went back up to the customer service agent selling the tickets to the top, I'm positive he began to smirk when he saw me coming back.

"Can you see the sunset from the side that remains open?" I asked.

"The best view is from the side that's closed, but you'll still be able to see it from the corner" he replied as he pointed to the diagram.

At that point I figured that was better than nothing, besides there was a discount for the inconvenience. As I purchased the ticket he reminded me it was good for readmission.

"After the sunset be sure to come back later. It's beautiful at night."

Up I went. My ears popped the higher the elevator rose. Once on the skywalk my first glance of the city was as it was bathed in the warm light of golden hour. What a show off. The buildings glistening in the sun seemed to go on continuously, whether along the rivers or into the distant mountains. The first task was to find all the places I'd already been. Some were easier than others, everything was so tiny after all, so tiny it was awe-inspiring. The streets I'd walked down, the cathedrals I'd stood beside and strained to take it all in, could easily be overlooked.

That's kind of how problems are, right? At face value they can be so intimidating, it's hard to take it all in. Looking at them from a different angle though, shifting the perspective, sometimes that's all it takes to realize perhaps we were just looking at it all wrong or allowing our current perspective to overwhelm us.

Then there's the quantity of things in this world. Sitting there looking out the glass it hit me how tiny I was, and how beautiful that truth is. So many people were making their way through the city, each with their own joy and their own struggle. What a miracle it is that all of us are unique, every last one of us trying to get through life, each with a different perspective to offer the world.

So the sun started to set and I claimed my space in the corner to capture it. At this point it was getting crowded, I'm not the only one who chases sunsets. There was the couple on their first date (major props to that guy), the blogger with the enviable camera, and the family with the toddler who enjoyed banging on the glass.  Different perspectives, different stories.

Once the sun was completely gone I went back out on the street in search of a bar. It was all big again, the same as before, but not overwhelming. The same streets and the same bustle, but in a different light.

A couple hours later I was back in that elevator while my ears popped, back to the top to get another glimpse. Everything was lit up.

Same city, but in a completely new light.

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