Spring 2014 with Alan Cumming as the MC!
In about 2 ½ weeks I will be leaving the only city and state I have ever considered home: my beloved New York. Due to corporate moves on my father’s part, I lived in seven states by the time I was nineteen, so I never felt like I belonged anywhere. Making new friends was extremely difficult for me to begin with and I could not blend in if I let me do me. New York was number seven and I have been here for over eleven years. It is the love of my life. New York taught me what bagels and pizza should taste like, ingrained in me an understanding of which corner I am on when I get off the subway, that you arrive at your destination faster if you ask your cab driver about his/her day and life story…
So, the highlights of the last decade+ and why I thank New York:
Hidden West Village alley
I didn’t really start to get a sense of who I was/am until I was twenty-eight and the man I fell in love with encouraged me to express my opinions and embrace my brand of crazy. He didn’t judge my quirks, spontaneity, dreams, ideas…he loved me more for them. It took me twenty-eight years to trust someone with every piece of my life…my secrets…my heart. It took twenty-eight years, but the first time I felt beautiful was the first time he looked me in the eyes. New York gave me 2 ½ years with someone who encouraged me to break down nearly three decades of walls and let my rambling, loud, neurotic inner ribbon dancer shine (and still fit in because New Yorkers are crazy!!!)…
NYU Hospital: my second home
I was a college dropout when I moved here, and after waiting tables became the bane of my existence, I enrolled in Hunter College as an English Literature, Criticism, and Composition major. I cannot tell you how amazing it was to be one of the oldest students in all of my classes. Contributing during classroom conversations (crowds in general, really) was a lifelong struggle, but because I was older, I didn’t give a sh*t about what anyone else thought because I had way more life experience. I intimidated my classmates and had no qualms about flirting with my TA’s because they were all around my age (and I love nerds). Hunter College also reignited my passion for writing and reading…turns out, my professors (and hot TA’s) didn’t mind my terrible grammar and constant overuse of dashes and dots. Going to school in New York gave me a voice and rediscover a passion.
Rheumatoid Arthritis hijacked my body while living here, but one of the most rewarding experiences these past few years was sharing my story with the Arthritis Foundation and receiving a call from Bianca, the Manager of Community Development telling me I won a free massage! The Jingle Bell Walk and Walk to Cure Arthritis were a ton of fun and raised my spirits. Seeing so many participants at those events reminded me I’m not alone in this struggle and there are men and women without arthritis who understand how important it is to find a cure and support those afflicted.
Walk to Cure Arthritis 2015, Brooklyn Bridge
Empire State Building…my neighborhood as seen from Roosevelt Island
Living in New York granted me opportunities to attend events and experience things afforded to a fraction of the planet: NY Fashion Week after parties, the Met Costume Gala, sing for one of the most famous singers in the world while on a date with a guy in his band, participate in crazy performance art outside without receiving a single odd glance…it has, at times, been quite remarkable.
I will miss the noise, the winter beauty with twinkling lights on every tree and christmas shops set up in every park, dragging my dog along on my 4AM visits to the pharmacy, watching Delilah waddling in snow boots like a platypus, being able to walk home, cabs, public transportation, singing with Peter, INDEPENDENT THEATER!, my eclectic group of fantastic friends who accept me, falling in love with someone on the street…even if for only ten seconds.
So, GOODBYE NYC. On to the next chapter…be back in a year (RA remission please!!!)…