Why You Need To Pay More Attention To Life To Truly Live

Sonya Matejko is a writer who is vibrantly falling in love with life in NYC and around the world. Her writing is featured on a variety of high-profile platforms and niche blogs. Her most popular article has been shared over half a million times on Facebook alone. Sonya writes about the dating world as well as traveling the world. She founded her blog, Single Strides, as a home for hopeless romantics and wanderlusts. She believes passionately in love even if she hasn’t quite gotten it right just yet. Sonya steals lunch breaks and midnights to do all of this on the side of her full-time advertising career with the goal of inspiring others to believe in love and to believe in themselves.

I’ve been living in Miami for almost three years now. To say that the past three years have been memorable would indeed be an understatement. As I prepare to leave the city, I’m obviously reminiscing on my time here. Every day I wonder whether I’m making the right choice to move from a place that took years to make a home. I wonder, but then I remember that sometimes it’s okay to leave a good thing. Even more so, I find myself in moments that change my outlook on everything.

As mentioned, I’ve been here for three years. On top of that, I spent almost a year visiting an ex-boyfriend in the city prior to moving, so I’d consider myself well-versed in this town. Today I was driving down a typical road I’ve been down a thousand times. Along the road you pass this hideous, large, and slightly grotesque-style graffiti on the side of a building. I’ve seen the image many, many times. It’s a naked girl sitting in front of a moon next to a monkey who’s holding an insect. Sounds appealing, right?



The colors on it are all morose that it has never appealed to me. I’ve used it more as a sign post to know I’m close to home from where I was, and rarely looked at it for more than half a second. Yet today, as I was feeling just a little more nostalgic, I looked up at the painting while at the red light long enough to actually notice the entire point of the art piece itself. Up on the right-hand side there are words I’ve never paid enough attention to notice (no matter how many times I’ve passed it).

The words read:

Anything can be beautiful if you look at it with love.

Suddenly the piece not only made sense to me, but made my heart smile even as rain fell on my window shield. As the light turned green, I continued driving down the same road, but with a completely different perspective. I started to wonder how many other things I’ve missed in life because I didn’t give it a second look or even one really solid look. How often do we dismiss something? How often do we give up before we actually should? How often do we judge something or someone without having all of the facts?

And how often do we do any of those things without a filter of love?

So as I prepare for this epic move to New York City, I have decided to make a promise to myself. It’s a simple promise, and one I think we should all agree to keep for a better quality of life.

Plainly, I’m going to pay more attention, and I’m going to do it with my heart on my sleeve.

I don’t want to miss things, dismiss things, ignore things and oversee things. There’s so much beauty in this world that it would be such a waste if we never saw it because we failed to notice it right in front of us.

There are probably many things in this city that I have overlooked and would change my mind about something, fill my heart with joy, make me laugh, or any type of emotion that solicits a reaction the thing itself deserves. I don’t want to miss these things anymore. So I’m going to pay attention with love as the only filter. I have a little less than three months left in this city and a lot of groundwork to cover. I thought I saw everything, but I’ve come to realize I probably haven’t really seen a thing.

But it’s better late than never.

So I will love this city, even more than I do. And I will give it the time and respect that it deserves. I’ll look up from my phone, smile at more strangers, re-walk old paths and make new roads.

I’ll take the next few months slowly and treat them kindly — the way you would a lover. Because I love this city, and it deserves my compassion before I choose to leave it behind for another. It deserves this new perspective for the people, places, and things I’ve complained about or disregarded. All of those are probably beautiful, too, and in their very own way.

Now I’m going to look at it differently, and hopefully by the end, I’ll be a more loving and insightful person when I find myself in New York City. I’ll be a better person, hopefully. Will you try it with me? Let’s pay more attention. Because as it reads, anything can be beautiful when you look at it with love.


Source :

flickr, unsplash