Touring Your City

How much of your local scene are you really aware of? I’m not talking just entertainment. I mean your current place of residence. I know I’m notorious for covering other places often. Other parts of the world intrigue me, but there’s a gap I create for myself when it comes to discussing local issues and highlights. You get used to seeing your hometown every day and after a while, you just stop noticing certain things. It’s after you have a visitor that you rediscover your surroundings.

In my current town, I’ve made a note to purposely walk around more than normal and stop by every local establishment. I may never return to some. I may add many to my list of new favorites. The fact is that it’s amazing what escapes our radar when we settle into comfort of what’s known. You don’t even realize it’s happening at the time.

My bowling party last night was actually at a sports center I pass by frequently. I thought it was just a bowling alley–yeah, not the case.  I also found a few restaurants (and a community center) I never noticed in the short drive. Let’s be real for a moment. I’m not saying that if you don’t notice every changing detail in life, there’s something you’re falling short on. But, there’s something to be said about awareness as you let your guard down.

When you fall into a pattern of any sort, you start anticipating the expected result. Anything unrelated slips out of frame so you can devote attention to where it’s needed. I can get into this rhythm of monotony with certain parts of my database work. The keyboard strokes are so natural, I don’t question the sequence. And then the day comes I didn’t notice the UI update. A warning alerts snaps my attention back to the task and I start absorbing everything again to make sure this change isn’t widespread.

The world’s large and we support this ideal, which I really do embrace, of reaching out across distances. Apply it to your subject of choice. It’s a beautiful experience. But as I grow more interested in finding that “perfect” space for me to settle down in, the hometown ideal makes more sense. This is why people get so involved in their neighborhoods and general community. “This is my town“, is always proclaimed with pride in ownership of being a resident.

I just feel like when I get to that point, not only do I want to shout it–I want to know I really mean it. That when I’m speaking of my city, I really know what its essence is made up of.

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