I just wanted to go for a walk, that’s all. As we all do when we begin to feel suffocated by the four walls that surround us and trap us in like hamsters spinning in circles inside their plastic cages. And because the weather was nice, and living in NYC that is something you so swiftly hop to take advantage of.

It was a simple walk. Head phones clogging my ears, sneakers holding my feet together. Walking with purpose to conquer blocks, let off a load of steam, inhale the misty air of this city that musters the clingy smells of urine, beer, garbage and good ol’ body odor–all shaken together like a fresh cocktail.

Waiting for the little guy on the crosswalk sign to tell me it’s time to get moving, i stepped down eagerly on the road, and looked down.

I looked down.

And then all of a sudden i felt a fast gush of wind, heard girls beside me screaming, and i looked up and jumped backward with a split second to spare before the giant bus that was speeding by, rubbing its tire to the curb, would have struck me.

I was looking down…and this bus….with one second. I was looking down.

I don’t normally write to evoke emotions as serious as these. I write to make people giggle, to make them know that they are not alone, to have them feeling warm and fuzzy and wrap their arms around themselves to say with relief, “I am glad I am not as awkward as this blonde-haired fool”.

But i felt i needed to write this. To share a glimpse into what i so shakenly had to come to terms with last night.

We find ourselves walking on the edge of the yellow line on subway platforms, texting while we drive, drinking until we are unconscious, stumbling into the center of an Occupy Wall Street protest just so we can feel alive, so we can feel in control of our lives. We can be as adventurous as we want, but remember–my friends, none of us are invincible.

I woke up this morning thinking how lucky i was–how lucky i am for the things i have in my life– until i found myself looking in the mirror shouting back at the once so fearless human being with chaos and mascara tear stains in the corners of her eyes.

You’re not “lucky” for the things you have in your life, i told myself.  You worked hard to discover them, harder to maintain them and even harder to have them grow beside you. And it can all be gone in an instance so don’t call it luck, call it life, and don’t be lazy while living it.

I will never look down again.

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I’m Jen Glantz. I’ve been a published writer for over 13 years, spilling my words into magazines (ranging from style to scuba diving), newspapers, websites and even this one time, a speech, for someone who didn’t speak a word of English. What drives my words, my site, my writing, is the power of relating to people. I find that many people, especially young girls, feel so alone and quite often they feel embarrassed. I want to shatter those feelings! I want them to read what I write and understand that it’s okay to be a little outside of the box, but most importantly, that it is okay to just be who they are.

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