Paradoxes for Young Citydwellers

There’s nothing like living in a city in your early 20s.

The feeling gets better if you’ve never lived in a city before. The bigness of everything in Atlanta is still awe-inspiring for a country boy like me.

If (like me) you freely chose to come to your city – if you chose to take an adventure to get there – you’ll probably have noticed the same odd feelings about your new home. There are some paradoxes in how you experience your city.

You still feel small compared to the bigness of your city. But the bigness of your surroundings also makes you feel larger and more significant. Those skyscrapers and high-rises are made for people like us.

You still feel like a stranger in a strange place, but the city feels like exactly the place you belong. Those offices and restaurants are at once foreign (you’ve never been able to afford to be in any of them, probably) and familiar.

When we’re young, we’re well suited to take on these paradoxes. The bigger the city, the better. Sometimes it takes all  of these new, big, foreign things to turn us into explorers again.

That’s why we can be confident that even when (or even especially when) we feel slightly out of place in our cities, we can be getting closer than ever to knowing the heart of things.

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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