in singing out loud
in riding your bike with no hands
in peanut butter and jelly anything
in play dates with your friends
(so basically in all those things that define your childhood...and a few other things that make you so glad you're all grown up)
The past four years were rough but there definitely were things about it that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I met amazing people. And even in the darkest moments I knew I was surrounded by people who loved me.
This summer, in the car, my mom asked me if we had made a mistake. Should I not have gone to Juilliard? But god bless my parents because they let me make the decision--so if it was a mistake, it belonged only to me.
However, it doesn't matter, its done. And yes, I have my feelings about whether or not I made good choices along the path, but I made them and they have shaped the person I am at this very moment. And the thing is, for the first time in a really long time, I wouldn't change a thing.
Kahil Gibran's The Propeht says without sadness we could never understand happiness. In my moments of greatest calm, where the ego seems to have quieted down, I am possessed by a feeling that I can't name--its transcends happiness yet embraces the beauty of sorrow. It is overwhelming and beautiful. I know that I have a deep sadness within me--a sadness that isn't about the ego wanting to define itself as a victim, but rather is old and wise. It is in me, but its not mine, it doesn't belong to me. I love knowing its there because it is that very sadness that elevates my joy. It is a spring that nourishes empathy and creativity and allows me to fall in love with theatre all over again, every day (even if I'm not ready to admit this).
This is not to say that happiness doesn't take work. Its a daily priority and its about relinquishing--taking the unexpected rides and putting yourself in situations that scare you. Its about smiling at strangers and feeling the breeze in your hair (I'm really loving biking right now, and really jealous that Naomi is getting a vespa--god, i have to move to Europe) and listening to your gut and knowing that everything is transitory (the good, as well as the bad). But lately I've found my self smiling, a lot. So much so that I think people who see me must think I'm possessed. Maybe I am.
So lately these are just some of the little gems I've experienced...
1. I mentioned singing. Well, I have to say Kenny Loggins' Danny's Song has felt really good to belt out. Its a little country and alotta fun. You think you don't know it, but you do...
"and even though we ain't got money
I'm so in love with ya, honey
and everything will bring a chain of love
and in the mornin' when I rise
you bring a tear of joy to my eyes
and tell me, everything's gonna be alright"
Still don't know it? Then look it up on itunes. Its worth it.
2. Bicycling without hands, or with your feet straight out in front of you.
3. Summer evenings when you can feel Fall playing hide-and-go-seek with the inhabitants of the city.
4. Friends, friends, and more friends. Last night Justine and I had a sleep over, tomorrow Jonathan's coming to play with me and today I was a lady who lunched. I went to Bloomies for the first time ever: I oggled the Marc Jacobs bag (it has my name written all over it) and then I joined Naomi, Carolyn, and Vic for a two and half hour lunch at 40 Carrots, the store's restaurant. The poor waiter, I'm sure he was desperate for us to leave, but we were having much too much fun!