Manhattan is undoubtedly momumental; a concrete jungle filled to the brim with basically anything you could want at a moments notice. It is yes and no all at the same time. You can feel like you have everything and nothing in New York. You can feel so suffocated yet so lonely in New York. You can feel so much freedom yet so much restriction in New York. New York City contains endless possibilities yet endless obstacles.
I have had many heart-to-hearts with a kindred spirit of mine, Hailei Moriah Call, who endlessly commiserates with me on many levels; but more recently the struggle of living in Manhattan while yearning for the escape to places outside of our itty-bitty city. After a fourteen-show stretch at CATS, we all needed a breath of fresh air. My breath of fresh air typically lies in the small town of Brookfield, Connecticut where I have spent the majority of my life learning and blooming into the person I am today.
Having two homes is simple and difficult all at the same time. When I’m in one for too long, I crave the other. And as I sit here in a Starbucks that lives on the corner of Route 3 in Rocky Hill, Connecticut rather than the average Manhattan street corner, I can’t help but wonder if my heart will ever feel settled somewhere.
I love my life in New York. I wake up in my sunny Manhattan studio apartment each morning feeling undeniably grateful (and a little hungover on most weekends). But as we ripen through our twenties to approach an age bracket where we should be “settling down,” are we settling for where we settle? Do we even have to settle? Or can we break the glass ceiling and choose to put roots down in multiple places that set our souls on fire when we need them to?
My father said to me today that New York is not a part of me. My heart almost exploded as I instantly went on the defense, because New York is a part of me. Three and a half years of mistakes, adventures, tears, and triumphs become a part of you and they will continue to as long as I allow New York to be a part of me. But the Statue of Liberty holding a chuck of my heart in her hands will never yank my roots out of the Connecticut soil, nor will it step on the roots I create anywhere else in my life. For I would not be the person I am today if I did not ground myself into various places of this world.