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Dreaming of Las Vegas: The Sequel

Media From Wix.

I’m in Vegas again. A place of decadence, of undying exuberance, of illimitable beauty and sublimity —- a place which ceases not to enrapture me. Indeed, such a glamorous city is my sanctuary – my rock only second to the pastime of writing which I am eternally beholden to. As I write this letter, I am elated to share with you a couple of my thoughts in relation to the symbolism I ascribe to this desert city.

To me, Las Vegas symbolizes the unrestrained expression of pride and individuality. Today, the vast majority of America’s cities have become a monolith —-- a collection of colourless, sprawling corporate buildings. Las Vegas, on the other hand is a striking juxtaposition to your typical, visually unstimulating American city: the luminous, ingenious designs from the tropical Mirage to the charming Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas to the enchanting Fountains of Bellagio. Each feat of Vegas architecture presents forth an interpretation of unsubdued creativity unrivaled by any other city. Las Vegas is unique. Creative. One of its kind.

Unfortunately, the public perception surrounding Las Vegas is an unsavoury one. “Sin City” as they call it, is reputed to be a place of impulsiveness, pretentiousness, of so-called unscrupulous behaviors such as gambling, alcohol consumption, and partying. In overzealously denouncing the city’s sinfulness, individuals overlook the ingenuity of Las Vegas’ architectural design. As I look out my hotel window in the warm desert night —- I perceive neither sin nor overindulgence. Through eyes blurred with ecstatic tears, I see only ravishing, awe-inspiring beauty. An elegance unmatched by any other city — one which is individual to Las Vegas.

We live in a world that, while nonetheless has achieved impressive, redoubtable feats in all fields, continues to trivialize and suppress our individuality. Force-fed a cookie-cutter version of success, we are primed to get a “prestigious” degree, become married, start a family, and climb the career ladder until we reach the summit. Humility is pedestalled, while pride is subtly frowned upon. Talk therapy and medication has become the go-to, overused tools of mental health, and we are advised to rely on them over more personalized coping mechanisms. Symbolically speaking, we are encouraged to become a monochrome, unremarkable city over a colourful, one-of-a-kind one like Vegas.

Las Vegas teaches us to honour, hold space for our individuality, our talents, our aspirations. To establish our own definition of success, whether conventional or unorthodox. To saunter with pride in our day-to-day lives: pride for our personas, our strengths, the obstacles we have overcome. To not label ourselves as “treatment-resistant” should conventional psychiatric treatments fail to assuage us, but instead recognize that each of us needs individualized healing practices for our mental health. To be unafraid of living life adventurously, colourfully, and creatively. To be our authentic individuals: unique as Vegas is unique.

I cherish Vegas, for Vegas inspires me to be my raw, earnest self. I strive for my personal version of success: to empower my peers and honour their personhood, dignity, and limitless excellence – through my career, through my writing, through all in which I do. I do not hold back from being zestfully proud of who I am — for I know that my pride is not emotionally injurious to those around me. Writing —- a hallmark of who I am and the Bellagio Fountains of my life — is a passion I will hold onto interminably. I shall be me, and I will be as unique as Vegas.

Individuality. Creativity. Pride. Such is what I believe Las Vegas is all about.


The Zestful Writer

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