farewell, for now...

A bit of the parting message I left to my friends in New York City.


I'm a couple thousand feet above the ground at the moment, though by the time this message reaches you, I'll be safe and sound in California. I'm experiencing a slight sense of deja vu, as I recall being in a similar situation just about two and a half years ago, writing a blog post on an airplane about impending change. Back then, I was flying in the opposite direction, away from home, toward all my hopes and dreams. I had no idea what to expect; I thought that I might leave immediately after finishing AMDA, that it would probably be a year or more before I got my first acting job, and I assumed New York City would never feel like home. I now know that a lot can happen in a year or two, or even in just a few short weeks; that opportunities fall into your lap when the stars align, which happens more often than you think; and that home is truly where your heart is.

Moving to New York was a challenge for me in many ways that I know each of you can relate to. There was, of course, the fear of leaving behind a life that provided financial and emotional security. Then there was learning to adapt in a multi-cultural, multi-sensory, and multi-personalitied metropolis, the likes of which my imagination could only begin conceive. Living here is quite a trip, isn't it? There were other things I had to deal with too, like true independence for the first time in my life, with all its glory and unexpected letdowns.

There came a point during my time in Florida that I wanted to give up the fight, put aside my own happiness, and compromise for the sake of my own sanity. This is the primary reason I planned on leaving New York. What I would have done after that, I'm not really sure. I looked into masters programs for music education and simultaneously researched regional theaters in Southern California. Though nothing seemed very promising or enticing or as exciting as anything else leading up to this point in my life. And it made me seriously reconsider my decision to move back west.

Contributing to that was my "final" week in NYC. Parts of it were hell: downsizing from an entire storage unit to three suitcases and a duffel bag, getting yelled at by crazy people on the street, and spending way more money than my meager actor's budget can currently withstand. But all of that was countered by the time I spent with each of you. I had been so wrapped up in worrying about my parents and moving and trying to make ends meet that I forgot what it meant to feel so devoted to something that nothing in the world can stop you from achieving it. All of you reminded me of that, from planning and promoting your own show, to working multiple jobs at odd hours to support yourself in this expensive city, to doing unpaid gigs just for the sake of practicing your art, and to stepping away from this place for as long as it takes to come back to it. Despite all the difficulties that were evident and the challenges that were present in your lives, I truly cannot recall a time when we smiled or laughed more than we have these last few days. It was so refreshing to see such a vivid reminder of why I came here in the first place, with the belief that the only life worth living is one you're truly passionate about.

So, the point of all this is to say that my time in NYC is definitely not over. It is the place that challenges and encourages me to be myself, regardless of the expectations people have for me. I plan on taking this time at home in California not only to recharge, but to take charge of my own life. Then it's off to Florida for a temporary relocation. Following that, who knows where I'll end up? If I'm really honest with myself though, New York is the only place to be in this country, especially if I want to continue growing in this profession. Besides, despite the saying, "Once a Californian, always a Californian," I know that I've found home in all of you. You are all such an incredible inspiration to me, and I am blessed and filled with gratitude to have you in my life. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being your wonderful, beautiful, and generous selves. New York City is a much better place because you all have been a part of it.

I have nothing but respect and love for you all, and I cannot wait to see where the journey will lead us.

Till we meet again.

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