Long ago - let's say 6 years if you want to get technical - I ran up the stairs of the Empire State Building. 1,576 of them. 86 flights into the ether. 19:01 minutes of slow, raw pain. More of a climb than a run, and more of a battle than a race, I found myself alone on the 86th floor observatory, stairwell dust in my lungs and the sting of winter across my face.
I knew why I was there. I was fighting the sadness that had taken root in me. With each step I was trying to get back to myself, to prove I was stronger than the part of me that wanted to collapse or simply submerge below the surface. I had to find higher ground.
And there she was in the beautiful cold quiet. My city, frozen. I could not tell if I was looking down on her or she was looking up at me. Still, for a moment I believed we saw each other and an understanding passed between us - an understanding E.B. White defined even longer ago...
It is by all odds the loftiest of cities. It even managed to reach the highest point in the sky at the lowest moment of the depression.
Sometimes being alone in New York is the only way to find yourself again. It isn't easy, it might even be devastating, but when you fall down, she will be there to lift you back up.
Don't forget, my friends. And don't ever give up.