Attending university in Philadelphia, completing my first corporate internship in New York City, and studying abroad in London; over the past four years, I have lived in some of the world’s most stimulating and exciting cities. I am overwhelmed with memories of friendships, falling in and out of love, studying all night, going to museums, taking spontaneous road trips, and always squeezing time in for shopping.
Yes, I have felt unstoppable, but I would be lying if I said there were not times of struggle. Living in a city isn’t the easiest place to make a home, day to day activities are by no means always a walk in the park. Sometimes I would ask myself questions like, ‘why does the city of Philadelphia write me parking tickets as if they were love letters?’ and ‘how do you press the snooze button on construction noise?’
I found that whether my situations were up or down, I needed a sanctuary or place where I was comfortable enough to reflect on all of this “cityness,” sometimes also known as craziness. Coincidentally, my sanctuary of choice happens to be a park. In the past, I have spent a significant amount of time unwinding in these oases of natural beauty: renting bikes in Hyde Park, reading books in Central Park, and most recently taking these photos in Valley Forge National Park.
Valley Forge National Park is known for the American Revolution and in the fall it becomes a canvas of red, orange, and yellow. Inspired, I spent this gorgeous day enjoying the landscape made up of 3,500 acres and used it as my place to reflect. I styled an outfit that camouflaged with the autumn scene captured, by putting on a neutral crewneck sweater to not take away from but complement the grounds, combining a pair of ripped jeans that sent a little breeze to my knees, and matching my red lips to the scarlet maple leaves.
In a place with such a stirring history, I could not help but think about the evolvement of American society. Today’s pace of life doesn’t leave much room for our well-being, generations are constantly plugged in and by going through these motions we forget the value of our presence. Even though I am posting this on a platform that requires you to be plugged in, I encourage others to every once in a while create an uninterrupted and unplugged safe haven. So in instances when life doesn’t give us a walk in the park, to save our presence, we will create our own.