My feet hadn’t hurt this much in a long time, but it was nice to know that the soles of my shoes were on solid concrete once more. Walking up sixth avenue, I hadn’t felt this at home in a very long time.
They say New York City is the ‘melting pot’ of the world. When I was little, I pictured myself dissolving on the hot summer pavement outside of my ninth avenue apartment, dribbling into the gutter along with tattered newspaper and chewed up gum. I laughed about it as my feet seemed to sink into the warm pavement in late March.
I’ve seen and met a lot of people in Manhattan, encountered thousands of personalities. My first grade teacher was a professional juggler for the Big Apple Circus. My local bodega was run by an Indian-Japanese family, meaning we always had the best tempura and curry steps from our doorstep. My best friend in Elementary school was a Jewish Orthodox Christian, receiving presents during Hanukkah and Christmas. I was always a tad resentful of that.
But it is certainly defeating when you return home from the big city to a student body of 260 total. So I was out and about, taking a walk into the East Village, savoring every moment of the urban reality that I could.
While I waited for a slice of cheesecake at Cafe Reggio, I wondered what would happen once I returned back to the Academy. Things were certainly changing for me, and fast. It would be the last time I would return to campus. I couldn’t believe it, but I was graduating in three months.
How would I transition into a new life when the life I knew had been mine for so long? I guess we all face transitions at some point, and I was definitely ready to ‘leave the nest’, so to say, but the fact that my nest had been so high up and so different from others made me nervous.
Would it be different once the constant leash I was forced to wear was released? Would I lose who I was? Would I remember where I came from?
With all the drama that had gone on this winter, I didn’t have time to thing about these things. And now that it seemed that Spring Break was winding down, I had nothing else to think about.
Yet, just as I was enjoying the last real slice of pizza I would have in a long time, my phone buzzed with a message from Hannah Humphries. And, suddenly, I wasn’t so hungry anymore.