I grew up just south of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. I had always loved everything about the city. The electricity that seems to pulse through the open air, the people, the art, the theaters and concert venues you can just wander into, and let’s not forget the beautiful buildings that are all so beautifully unique, no building looking similar in any way shape or form. Back when I was a child, I always told myself I would move to Pittsburgh. Buy myself a dog and a nice bike to ride to and from classes and work, I thought I had it all figured out. Back then, that was the life I wanted and my ultimate dream, it was to get to live the city life in the city that I had loved so much.
While the architecture and the city skylines there are beautiful…my favorite part of Pittsburgh, or any city for that matter, had always been the tunnels.
In Pittsburgh, there is a tunnel that you most often than not sit in traffic to get into. The sights around the entrance are sores to your eyes, as you can only see the red of break lights, the cones that cover the edge of a runaway truck ramp, the ugly beaten signs, some with one flashing orange light as opposed to two, and the ugly brown outside of the tunnel itself.
Once you begin to move and can no longer see the sky around you, just the glow of the tunnel lights, everything is darker for a long moment of time.
The lights are florescent and the tunnel is darkened. Radios and phones no longer work once you get to the middle of the tunnel, and unless you have a CD in, your music comes to a halt and all you can hear is the echo of all the other cars roaring in the air around you.
On the insides of the tunnel, you are breaking free. The traffic is near in-existent, and your car just goes and goes.
You push on and you push forward, some vehicles moving faster than the other ones, and becoming blurs as they begin to pass you.
Sometimes, you move faster than the traffic in the other lane, and they too become a blur.
Then, it opens. The city air wraps around you and your vehicle.
You no longer see the ugly exterior of an open mountain and a dark, yet fluorescent, tunnel. You now see water, a brightened and illuminated yellow bridge that glows up against the sky. Your music picks up again and you can see all the skyscrapers that look as if they can kiss the clouds in the sky.
Some of the buildings look as if they are castles and some are large and intimidating, bigger than any man or woman to walk the earth. The city glows whether it is daytime or nighttime, and you can see twinkles of the lights of office buildings and of the stars in the skies.
The water is open and foreboding and even if the water isn’t always crystal clear you can still see the boats drifting in the open water, some spewing large amounts of white foam as they coast the water, others almost standing still that they move so slow.
Life, hardships, are much like the tunnel.
A stereotypical comparison, this I know.
Sometimes there is a cluster before the tunnel and you get moving smoother again, and your mind opens up to the beauty of life.
Sometimes, people are moving faster than you are, passing by you because maybe their tunnel is a little shorter than yours is.
Sometimes, you are moving faster than others, leaving them behind you as you move on and move forward.
Sometimes you hit traffic and come to a halt.
In those moments everything is at a standstill. The tunnels are dark and also foreboding. Things that bring you happiness such as music and service also leave your fingertips.
All you can sometimes see is red, red of taillights, and you no longer move forward.
Eventually, though, that tunnel opens up. You can see the sunlight. You can see the glows of the cities in those moments. You may be stuck in traffic, in darkness, for a long time. Eventually, your tunnel, your darkness, comes to an end and opens up into a huge world of opportunities.
The opportunities to feel on top of the world like all the skyscrapers your eyes can land on.
Sometimes, even after exiting the tunnel, your days can still be cloudy like the water underneath the bridges you cross. Sometimes you can still be at a standstill like the huge boats carrying large amounts of objects.
However, sometimes your days can be bright and vibrant. Your thoughts can be as clear as the water on a sunny day.
This is not the end, just a pause of darkness.
Always remember that eventually, your mind will leave its tunnel. It eventually will find light and beauty again.