In the past few months (and lots of therapy) I have been trying to embrace the stuff that makes me .... me. I have been having to retrain what I think about myself. To accept that my interests are just as valid as the next guys. Some people want to climb Mt Everest....I like meeting famous people. Some go on eco-friendly vacations to England.... I go to Disney World... and that is okay.
I have come to realize that I am pretty much the same person I was when I was 10 - which by the way was about how old I was when I first visited Manhattan with my parents.
Somewhere along my way I got confused, I lost my self-esteem and a sense of myself. I tried to be different. And in the difference I became unhappy. How could my interests and passions be wrong or bad? Were they any more a waste of time than someone elses? I let go of my dreams because I was afraid to try hard because they might not come true. I let go of my dreams because they were not 'practical'. I let go of my dreams because I didn't trust myself.
I tried really hard to beat into my head what some else's version of 'right' was. And for awhile it kinda worked. Plus, I had kids - and as most of you know - nothing can erase the self like a newborn can!
But all that is behind me now, and this NYC trip was how "Julia got her groove back". I went and did something for me that I love, that fills me up and that reminds me of who I am - separate from everything else. It was a much needed (on many levels) coming of age trip. It was like that old movie cliche of finally seeing yourself staring back at you in the mirror after all these years.
On the plane riding home I vowed to myself that I was done 'pretending'. I was going to be me... no matter what!
I have taken 4 trips to NYC in my life. 1) with my parents in December when I was 10ish 2)a school field trip for the senior acting class 3) a day trip with Mason when we first got engaged ... and this one.
I always have and always will love NYC. More accurately I love Manhattan (I have never been to the other Burroughs). I loved it since I can remember.... loved the noise, the people, the cabs, the subway, the food, the sights, the smells.... everything. NYC is everything I want to be all rolled into one... My big dream.... one that is back on the table... is to live in Manhattan...
Someday I will make this dream a reality....