i like to think i’m adaptable. going from my childhood days in a one-stoplight town to the frenetic craze that is NYC, i think the ease of my transition proves me so.

now, this isn’t just a flippant statement based solely on my desire to see myself as an easily adaptable girl; it’s more of a realization, really, that suddenly dawned on me in light of this whole new manhattanite persona. i moved into the heart of manhattan with barely a blip in my psychological trajectory and i’m just loving life, happy to be fulfilling this chapter that i’ve prayed for for seemingly ages.

and it hit me yesterday that i’ve brought a story full circle, with this move to new york city: the story of my mother & i. where she began, i now pick up, 29 years later, a girl with her passion for dancing (albeit an entirely different type, as my mother’s former days as a ballerina was never part of my life story) and her love for people but with different eyes and paler skin, a little more brawn and a little less grace. nevertheless, i am part of her, and this reinvention in the city of her origin ties me even closer to her, bringing me back to where she began.

so i walk sometimes down Broadway, through Columbus Circle and Central Park, wondering if i’m tracing any of her same steps, paths carved out for me years ago when i was not yet a thought in young dancer’s mind. did she wonder if she’d one day have a daughter, a laughing girl to follow in her footsteps, to share her love for this city of endless life? she could not stay, as her story drew her elsewhere, but she began here, grew up amongst these skyscrapers and crowded streets, left her pretty mark on people she met, turned heads at street corners with her winning smile. she loved this city, and she gave me that, as much a part of my inheritance as the curve of her jaw and the slightness of her wrists.

in leaving, i’ve resurrected her in all her city glory, and  i often find myself seeing her in faces i pass. there she is, that laughing girl walking past with the tights and batons, leg warmers cocooning her thin legs; and there, across from me on the subway, with a sleek bun and perfect posture, well-worn dance slippers dangling loosely from her delicate fingertips.

i see her everywhere, and in this way, she’s never far. i can share with her this city she loves, this city i now love, this city we’ve both called home.

and i am thankful for the ties that bind, and the way we pass things along, one person to another, like pearls slipping softly between cupped hands. i am thankful for this new beginning, this dressed-up version of myself, and for the stars that have returned to my eyes. living means trying things, my mother said once, when i felt far too old for my years. you try something, and if it doesn’t work out, you try something else. you just do something.

i can’t wait to discover all the somethings i’ve yet to do.

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