Lost Girl of the Week: Meg Pier

Lost Girl of the Week — By on August 18, 2010 at 6:00 am

Meg Pier, this week’s Lost Girl, is the proprietor of www.viewfromthepier.com, launched in April 2009.  She is also a regular contributor to the website of CBS travel editor Peter Greenberg
www.petergreenberg.com) and the travel section of the Boston Globe.


I remember a particular business trip to New York early in my career, and being picked up by a car service for the first time at LaGuardia.  I breathed in the musky smell of the leather seats, greedily gulped down the proffered bottled water despite not being thirsty, and felt goose bumps of awe rise on my flesh. For a kid hailing from Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, whose first car had been a Pinto, riding in the back of a chauffeured sedan meant I had arrived.
Twenty years later, in the same proverbial seat, I had an awakening, a sad realization that I had come to view being whisked around in limos as the drudgery of just another commute, akin to hanging from a strap on the “T,” as the subway system in my adopted city of Boston is called.  After a grueling climb up the corporate ladder, I had reached the top rungs of my chosen profession, landing at the “destination” of a position as PR director and spokesperson in the financial services sector.
Yet after two decades spent preoccupied with shaping others’ perceptions, I found I could no longer trust my own.  I had become cynical, jaded and incapable of awe or wonder.  I had “been there and done that,” and was world-weary, with the weight of the world on my shoulders. I was indeed a Lost Girl, disconnected from whatever it was that made my eyes shine, pulse quicken and my heart sing.  Out of touch with my own essence and joie de vivre, I certainly couldn’t appreciate yours—in fact, if I felt you had that going on, I probably resented and envied you.
Then, in early 2008, a series of serendipitous events—or a cosmic kick in the pants—provoked a degree of humility in me that allowed me to see the world a little differently. I am now finding my own place in the world, one excursion at a time.
When taking a trip, I am in an induced state of anticipation and curiosity, and am open to learning.  I embark expecting to be in new surroundings, see things I haven’t seen before, hear different accents, taste exotic dishes, smell unusual aromas.  I am more attuned and appreciative of other ways of doing things and seeing life.  Gradually, the lessons of the road—spontaneity, acceptance and gratitude being big ones—are being diffused into my everyday attitude.
My camera has been a portal into seeing life anew, enabling me to examine more closely the passing scenery of my existence, wherever I am.  My view-finder allows me to apply a filter of wonder to the ordinary I often take for granted.  I’ve discovered how pleasing the prosaic can be: a still life of potted plants, keys dangling from a lock, a display of brightly colored scarves, a cat dozing on a window sill, a cluster of autumn leaves floating in the air.
And, of course, one of the greatest windows into the soul of a culture is its people.  As someone who at one time expected myself to have all the answers, travel gives me the freedom to be a kid again and say to the people I meet “I don’t understand—can you explain?” and then have the time and space to let a “foreign” outlook seep in and maybe marinate a little bit.
The idea of nurturing that sense of wonder and openness, of keeping the conversation going, and of passing on what is shared with me, is the point of www.ViewfromthePier.com.  By sharing my travel experiences and “channeling” those I meet, I am now finding my own voice.  The more I learn to heed my heart, the more I find I am heading in the right direction—be that Malta or Mexico.  And, I think I finally get it—that it really is about the journey rather than the destination
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  • Judy Saryan says:

    Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, taste, smell and vision of finding your way.
    I admire you, Meg.

  • Anne says:

    Great piece, and it just says it all!

  • Judy Anderson says:

    Everyone who has any sense of beauty, wonder, delight, inspiration, humor, and
    appreciation of the sublime should subscribe to Meg Pier’s daily ViewFromThePier
    email photo + quote ! It’s the first thing I look for each morning, or —
    appearing in subsribers’ inboxes just after midnight — it’s a delightful breath of rejuvenation when I’m (too often!) writing at the computer late at night.
    Her photos take me to foreign worlds I cannot reach other than virtually,
    and the wisdom or humor or poignancy of the many people’s quotes are at once
    refreshing and inspiring ! I love the gift she delivers each day, for free !
    and am inspired by her enthusiasm, her terrific writing creativity, and her
    intriguing life journey. It’s fun to share it with her !

  • Meg: You HAVE finally “arrived”. Congratulations. As with climbing a mountain, although the hike is often hard, you can see more at the top and the view can be spectacular.

  • Patricia McGrath says:

    How wonderfully written and beautifully expressed! It takes a lot of courage to search your soul to find your ‘authentic self’. But to find it, and live it? That’s what makes life worth living!
    (Love the pictures!)

  • Emily says:

    you musta been soooo brave!!
    cool pics!!

  • I saw this on another post and it made me smile

    If homosexuality is a disease, can I call into work ‘gay’? 🙂