Last weekend we went for dinner with some friends- a restaurant we’d never tried before, touted as Italian-ish. Basically, it meant that pizza and pasta had unexpected flavors, such as cardamom with my tortellini (delicious by the way). The rustic and chic place was located in a hotel which housed a rooftop bar. It was a clear, warm-ish night, so in a fit of bonhomie, we headed up to the 31st floor. In an outdoor space deprived city such as New York, we tend to over occupy any area where we can see the sky above or the grass below. But early-ish, the bar was not yet flooded with people- we even found a table. Looking around, we saw the glittering skyline, the shining half moon- the world looked different from up there- the air was filled with possibilities.
Then we noticed the glass floor. There was a section of the bar that had a glass floor, enabling one to see 31 floors down to the street. The husband and friends practically danced over, begging me to come over. I hesitated. I am scared-ish of heights, and falling from heights. Curiosity overcame me- I slowly edged out onto the floor. And it was incredible- to be standing directly above a city street, the see the tops of cabs and cars and people- it’s a whole new way of looking at something I see every single day. The shapes, the colors, the proportions- everything was altered.
The husband couldn’t believe I actually ventured onto the glass- and he told that to the ridiculously attractive couple who had chosen the seat right on the edge of the glass. He explained to them about my fears. He also explained to them that our teenage daughter thought we were lame and old, and she was never going to believe that we were at this bar, let alone that I was standing on a glass floor. The couple just smiled- they were the exact opposite of old and lame- chic, stylish- the kind of couple where you develop crushes because they just epitomized “cool”.
We went back to our table and talked about how life is good, not good- ish. Then, we heard the opening beat to “White Lines”. For 4 people who came of age in the eighties, this was like an anthem. We all knew the words, something most of the people in the bar didn’t, as they were probably all born post 1983. And as we knew the words, we sang. Not loudly, and without breakdancing, but we sang. And we smiled and laughed, thinking about happy memories from the past.
And the ridiculously attractive woman came to our table and said:
“Tell your daughter you are neither old or lame. You are sitting at the top of the world and singing Grandmaster Flash. Every word. You were cool in the eighties and you’re cool now.”
That’s when I realized- your life is how you view it. And sometimes you have to view it through someone else’s eyes for just a moment. Look right instead of left- up instead of down. It’s easy to lose perspective, because we often do things by rote. We wake up at the same time, travel the same route to places, eat at the same restaurants- look at things the same way.
So when bad thoughts creep in, or you’re just feeling out of it- look at something from a different angle. You might like what you see.