"you can get in anywhere, bria."
This is my good friend Christian.
I met him last year at the Richmond Ballet Summer Intensive. Somehow in those five weeks we became amazing friends and got really close. My last night in Richmond, he spent the night at the hotel with us. That night we went to the garage roof looking out at Richmond, and he held my hands like a good friends does. And at that moment, I knew that we had something special. The school year and distance made us separate a little bit, but not enough to keep us from keeping in touch always.
This summer he's at the Rock School in Philly, and he's werking. The Rock is fierce, and I know that he's getting better. And one of the field trips that the Rock students take is a trip to NYC. We saw this is the opportunity to reunite after a whole year of not seeing each other. We planned to meet right in front of Lincoln Center. When I was standing in front of the fountain waiting, I saw him from a distance, and, even without my glasses on, I could see him. My life became a movie for a few seconds when we ran towards each other and embraced each other in the greatest hug in history.
We took a seat under some trees to catch up and talk about the future. Christian is attending Butler University in the fall. He's worked so hard to get into such a good school, and I couldn't be more proud of him. He asked me what I had planned ahead of me, and before I said my typical answer (dance major at a school in California), I realized that my plans had changed. My stay here in NYC has really changed what I thought my future was going to be; actually, I think instead of changing, they became more clear. I think I kept saying that I wanted to go to school in California for the reason of going back to my hometown, when in reality my heart has always wanted to go to the big apple. And being here for the past 5 weeks has made me realize that I belong here. I love everything about the city (minus the occasional smelly smell), and it loves me (or at least it feels like it does). I belong here. I've never felt that way until now.
Another thing I realized in this fabulous conversation between Christian and me is that I've had an incredible reality check since I've been here as well. Reality check = there are so many people in this city that want to be a dancer, and there is so much talent. And I'm just another one of those people that want to make it. I always knew that I had bigger dreams than a little girl like me could handle, but in the end I'm just another dreamer in the concrete jungle. And although everyone here is trying to make it, they all just have to dance. They don't want to dance. They have to dance. Being surrounded by so many talented, passionate, and imaginative people I have ever met is both a slap in the face and the most inspiring thing in the world. And that is why I never want to leave this city.
After a glorious reunion (of about 45 minutes), we had to part with Christian. It was just as dramatic as our reuniting moment - more tights hugs, kisses, and promises of future get togethers. The way it should always be.
And so this begins week five in the big city. Let's make the most of it. Shall we?