A Not So “Ordinary” Girl

A new follower caught my attention the other day. She did so not so much because of her amazing blog. Rather, I was struck by her utter lack of one.

In her WordPress gravatar she calls herself an “ordinary girl” and writes that she’s not social, but uses social sites to explore. She says nothing about her age or where she lives. She also notes she hopes to travel someday, but hasn’t had the chance.

Statue of Liberty and World Trade Center's Twin Towers, from the Liberty Island ferry. [Photo by me, 1991.]
Statue of Liberty and World Trade Center’s Twin Towers, from the Liberty Island ferry. [Photo by me, 1991.]

That self-description got me thinking about this.

As you may know, I was born in New York City and grew up there. To my friends and I back then, it was simply home. It was nowhere particularly special to us . . . while to others

Excerpt from "Passports." Click to expand.
Excerpt from “Passports.” Click to expand.

In fact we often wanted “to see the world” but for a variety of reasons most of us did not (or we did not see very much of it). Eventually, though, I began to encounter those who had traveled from afar to experience our city because they were actually massively interested in it and in us. I began to realize many foreign visitors were riveted by my hometown in ways that I as a teen and young adult had often been by their home cities and countries that I had never visited.

We often think little about where we are from and even take it for granted until we see how curious others are about it.

I find now that I am fascinated by where I am here in England. To those born here it’s simply home as New York is to me, and many of them “dream” of seeing parts of New York that I meandered around largely unthinkingly as a teen and a young adult. Yet to me their home here is somewhere new, intriguing, and someplace I wish to learn lots more about…

Hertfordshire, England countryside. [Photo by me, 2016.]
Hertfordshire, England countryside. [Photo by me, 2016.]

That “ordinary girl” I suspect is not nearly as “ordinary” as she thinks she is. Indeed none of us are really “ordinary” people. We are all distinctive and interesting in our own unique ways.

And she may well live somewhere I have never been and might wish to see someday. Maybe she will eventually blog and share insights into her home. She may not be able to travel anywhere else herself just yet (I did not set foot in Europe until I was in my middle-20s), but thanks to social media we all now can learn far more about the many places we will never be able to visit.

Hope you’re having a pleasant Sunday, wherever you may be. πŸ™‚

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