New York City is extraordinary. It’s multifarious and bold. There are stories to be told all around you and expression is boundless. You can, however, easily get wrapped up in the bright lights and personal success that you forget to stop and smell the metaphorical roses. It’s a tough city to live in so it’s easy to shift perspective in relation to your goal and your ego.
The most important lesson I’ve learned here is vulnerability. I moved here when I was 17 and I was ready to see my name in lights. I was gonna take Broadway by storm, and be a star. The first month of being here, I got a heartbreaking phone call that my best friend Yumi passed away from a cerebral aneurysm. Not being able to say goodbye was hard. It reminded me to never cease an opportunity to express your love for another person due to fear, rejection, or justification. The incredible love and support I got from my friends and teachers was overwhelming. I’ve always been taught to repress my emotions, and I was given the freedom to feel. Four years ago, my parents got a divorce. It wasn’t peaceful. It was violent and my mom had a stroke and was hospitalized. I didn’t face the sadness and heartbreak of my broken family, I avoided it. That’s when my wall began to build. I stopped trusting people and New York City was my escape. I became a selfish person but by mercy I was fortunate to have met some of the most incredible people I am honored to call my friends. The humility I have learned from my dearest friends reminded me of the soft kindness that is so easy to miss in this edgy city.
If there’s one thing left to say before the actual word “goodbye,” it’d be from this Kurt Vonnegut quote:
I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.’.
The French word, “adieu,” is a form of goodbye not meant to be used lightly. It comes from “à Dieu” which literally translates as “to God,” indicating a lasting or permanent farewell. I don’t really think there is an English word that can describe such a bittersweet expression of parting. Letting something go is not my forté and for this reason alone- I bid New York adieu … To all of the incredible characters in this chapter of my life…thank you. Je t’aimais, je t’aime, et je t’aimerai. (I loved, I love, and will always love you.)