new impressions

I'm flying back to New York today. Having spent over a week at home in California, I have barely had time to breathe or think or blog. But miraculously, I've had plenty of time to eat. Dear Lord, I will have to kick my butt into high gear to lose my holiday pounds. Yeah, I've probably only gained like two of them, but being out of my routine of yoga at 8:00, tap at 9:30, dance review at 5:30, and all the other things that come with being a full-time conservatory student have left me feeling, as my good friend Lenny once so eloquently put it, "like a whale!" Well, being a fat kid again was good while it lasted.

It's interesting returning to a place I had previously never left. To see my home from an outsider's point of view gave me a lot of perspective on my new life. Looking out the window as my plane descended toward San Francisco, I realized that I had forgotten how green California is, with its endless fields, variety of evergreen trees, set against a background of curving hills and mountain ranges. On the other hand, things that once seemed so grandiose to me shrank and transformed into quaint representations of nostalgia. Everything was cute, old world, trying to hold on to something that might not longer be there. That's how I was once. Doing my best to prove that I had value, not ever knowing that there are much bigger things in this world.

I had made plans to see a lot of people, and for the most part, I did. However, some of the people I expected to call me never did. And some of the people I didn't expect to hear from made huge efforts to see me, even if it was just for an hour or so. I thought I would be more upset about this, finding out that the people you think care for you might actually not. But in reality, this sad truth didn't hurt me much at all. Life happens, things change, people move on. And while it's difficult to say goodbye to someone who was once a big part of who you were, it's important not to dwell on the things that have ended. So many good things happen to us each and every day, and we have to search for them, grab hold of them, appreciate them before they disappear. I'm thankful for those who have kept in touch, who did take the time out of their busy busy holiday schedules to share a cup of coffee, an ice cream sundae, a beer, a story, and a good laugh with me. You mean the world to me.

Being home for the first time in eight months means having to retell the story of my life over and over again. It sort of becomes robotic and mundane, and the more I talked about New York City, the less meaningful it became. It's hard, though, to transform eight months of magic into about three minutes of brief conversation. But I managed to surprise myself once. One of my friends asked me why I thought New York City was so right for me. And I responded: "New York is so competitive, and in order to survive, I've had to become competitive too. And because of the pace of the city, I don't have time to sit and feel sorry myself. It has built my self-confidence more than being at home ever could, and for the first time in my life, I feel 100% good about myself. I wouldn't trade that for the world."

So for now, at this moment in my life, I know I'm where I'm supposed to be. Being home confirmed all of that. I'm going to miss the simplicity and the comfort of this place as soon as I return to the city. But that's not what I need right now or what I'll need for the years to come. Much bigger things are waiting for me.

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