Rob Knight

Atlanta in an unordered list

November 22, 2009

It’s been a couple months now since I visited Atlanta, but I want to share a post I wrote at 4 am on the last full night I was there. I had a great time and I tried to capture why. Sort of:

Once again, I’ve stayed up past my bedtime in Atlanta. However, tonight I did more thinking and less working. I love to travel because in every new place, there are thousands of places to stop and ponder something you may take for granted in your usual surroundings. Here’s my short list of thoughts from Atlanta:

  • I’m super, ridiculously silly-tired.
  • I sometimes use hyperbole abundantly when I’m tired.
  • My relationship with flying is still so odd to me. I love to soar above everything. I’ve been in a single engine propeller plane (Citabria) and all sorts of passenger jets. By far, I love flying more than any thrill ride at any amusement park. But it puts me in such a weird mindset. Before a flight, I think about every person I know and care about. I wonder if I’m leaving them well. That is, am I right with that person? I guess the morbid-sounding way to put it is: if I never see them again, are they going to remember me with a smile? I have trouble explaining it and I usually ends up sounding like I hate flying.
  • I’m always so grateful to the people who live and work where I’m visiting. I find that I say “thank you” profusely on trips. I’m just so excited to see new places that I want to thank every person I see for making my experience enjoyable. I need to do this more at home. Everyone should be thanked for making life enjoyable for others; whether I see them every day or once in my lifetime.
  • I like being tossed into new situations with no expectations. It scares the crap out of me, and I’m shy in new situations, but I really enjoy the experience of being up-ended by new surroundings.
  • I think an awesome gift you could give someone is a “Yes” coupon. The person you give the coupon to can ask you for anything (obviously, you’ll want to give this someone you trust) for a set period of time and you have to say, “yes.” I can’t remember where I first saw that, but I was thinking about it tonight and I think it would be an awesomely selfless gift.
  • Sometimes, you just have to keep walking. Last night, my conference co-attendee Tom and I walked to the Fox Theater. They were gearing up for the last night of The Color Purple musical, so we could not go inside to check it out. Tom had been inside the night before and he said I should see it. So we wandered around Atlanta until around 10pm, when the show let out. As the crowd began to stream out of the doors, Tom and I walked toward the door. Right as we got through to the inside, a door person asked Tom what he was doing and instructed him to leave. I just kept walking. I faintly heard the door person call me back, but I just kept walking. I turned back once and made eye-contact with the door person and I think he understood that I wasn’t going to turn around and leave without seeing more. I patiently waited for the crowds to come down the staircases and then went up each one until I was on the third level. I walked into the theater auditorium and was momentarily breathless. It is amazing. It looks like a hazy, evening sky. It’s like you walked outdoors on a perfect Georgia night. Unbelievable. If I had stopped when asked, I would have missed out on an amazing experience. It’s a sappy metaphor for life, but sometimes you really have to keep walking past those who would stop you or you’ll miss the pretty stuff. I’m so glad I got to see the inside of that theater. Of course, I profusely thanked the door person as I made my way out.

Thank you, Atlanta. It’s been real. And I still have one more day.