They say you will always be a product of your environment. If you spent years barely getting by in state prison, it’s likely you’ll become accustomed to the prisoner’s mindset. If you spent your whole life living in luxury high-rise condos in the city, you’re likely to develop a taste for expensive pleasures. No matter who you are, your environment will influence parts of who you are. It’s for this exact reason monks will live up in the mountains with a simple but isolated environment. It will be much easier to clear their mind in that environment.
So if environment is so important to our development why don’t we spend more time assessing it. Most people grow up and die in the same small town or city they were born in. They never venture out past a few hundred miles for a vacation once a year. On the other hand, many successful and high level individuals live in different places and move quite often. It stimulates their mind and ensures they evaluate their environment. You should do this often to continue to grow in life. So do you like the city or town you live in? Why or why not?
Here’s a short story on why I do or don’t like the city I live in.
My experience with Atlanta has always been a love hate relationship. Growing up it was cool to hear about things like Underground Atlanta and Coca World. And of course there was the infamous Fernbank Musuem with a state of the art planetarium. As a kid it was awe inspiring to see the stars light up above us and learn about constellations. Not everybody has the luxury to go to these one of a kind experiences to learn about the solar system. It was amazing the first two times but then every single year the school system would subject us to this same musuem with exact same presentations.
And now if you meet anyone whose grown up in the Metro Atlanta school systems there’s a 99% chance they’ve been to Fernbank Musuem. So that love for science and learning in Atlanta quickly turned into boredom. But that was just school. As I got older, everyone I met would exclaim how they loved visiting Atlanta. Some people were even jealous that I got to live in such a great city. And I thought, “If everyone else loves it, it can’t be that bad of a city.” But then I’d drive into the city for a day and leave with my blood boiling after dealing with the traffic, parking, road rage, and overpriced everything.
And somewhere along that timeline I decided that I hated Atlanta and all cities in general. Then one day in the recent years DeAsia decided we should stay in Atlanta for our anniversary. It was sweet but I was completely against it. But somehow she convinced me to give it a shot. We stayed at a nice hotel right in the heart of the city. And she booked a fancy room on one of the top floors. Every night I would look down through the windows and fall asleep to the lights of the city. It inspired me day and night having such a mind-bending view.
Then in the daytime we went to restaurants that were local and had high ratings. There was an amazing steak restaurant down the street we loved. And another day we ate a unique mac and cheese restaurant right underneath our hotel. It was all so delicious and we had so many different cuisines that were all authentic and fresh. Normally, we’d stick to the classic Chick-fil-a everyday for lunch. But it was fun switching it up and trying new foods. It felt like a limitless supply of cuisines to try and we always left full. Not to mention we could eat late into the night because everything was open super late.
Then we went out every day to explore the city of Atlanta for things to do. Of course we’d seen it pretty much all before. But we had city passes so we were going to explore as many attractions as we could. We got splashed by dolphins at the Georgia Aquarium. We dabbled into the many flavors of the world at the new and improved World of Coke. And we had a blast playing and learning about football at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame. We had never even heard of that one before that day. And that was just the tip of the iceberg. We did scavenger hunts, CNN center, and the popular Skyview ferriss wheel.
And all of that led up to fireworks at the world renowned Centennial Park. It was so much fun that weekend. And the crazy part is, it was all within a few hundred feet of each other. We walked almost everywhere that weekend. And that simply means there was no traffic, parking, or road rage for us. I still hate cities in general. But I now know your impression changes depending on how you choose to experience a city. For that reason I can proudly say… I love the city of Atlanta and it will always be home!
Thanks for the special weekend, DeAsia!