Who is the first person you want to see when tragedy strikes?

The Boston Marathon explosion put everyone in a state of unrest yesterday. Normally a lively office, PolicyMic was silent all afternoon. When we weren’t frantically live blogging updates and news on the disaster, we were texting and calling everyone we knew who may have been in the area during the bombing. I contacted my entire family in Massachusetts, relieved to hear they were OK but unsettled by the increasing number of people injured from the blast.

At around 6:30 p.m., one of my colleagues suggested I pack up and go home. We’d had a long day, and it was time for the both of us to think of something else.

“All I want to do right now is head back to my apartment and hug my girlfriend,” he said.

“I hear you,” was my response, only I didn’t know what else to say. There wasn’t anyone I particularly wanted to see in New York. I’d texted everyone I care about, but most of them reside in other parts of the country, and there was no burning desire for me to turn to any single person. It made me a little sad and worried. Maybe if I weren’t in NYC, which can feel like the loneliest city in the country in spite of its energy and large population, I’d feel differently. Perhaps if I lived in the same city as my best friends, I’d want to hang out with them after a national tragedy. But I don’t know, and I think this calls for some definite changes in the way I look at and live life.

At the end of last year, I made a couple ambitious New Years Resolutions. The first was to finish “The Wingmen,” which I released just a few weeks later. The second was to get a job, and PolicyMic hired me at the end of January. I’m doing pretty well on the 2013 goals front, but the next step for me is to let down my guard a little bit and actually trust NYC people enough to want to turn to them when disaster strikes, because if there’s no one you want to see in your community when something terrible and sad happens, you should probably do some soul-searching. I don’t want to retreat into myself when somber in NYC. This doesn’t have to feel like such an isolating experience.



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