So much for my big plans to blog every week… but here I am with a clear mind (and schedule) ready to recap my second New York summer. As mostly an end-of-an-era style reflection for myself, here are my top 3 bullet points of what worked, what didn’t work, and what I learned.
Last night I had the privilege of attending the Bernstein Centennial Finale concert, presented by Lost Dog New Music Ensemble in midtown Manhattan. They played new orchestrations of two of Bernstein’s ballets, Dybbuk and Fancy Free, both of which were originally written in collaboration with Jerome Robbins. While listening to his two works (which could not have been more different, by the way… check them out if you haven’t heard them), I found myself thinking about his life, particularly his teaching life.
It’s been 7 days since I arrived in New York City, and in that short time I’ve started my internship, gotten settled in my apartment, eaten some great food, and (of course) had some adventures. Over the course of all those adventures, I’ve gotten to reconnect with old friends who I haven’t seen in years. I’ve reminisced more than a 20-year-old probably should be able to, and I’ve genuinely had a great time with these people. And here’s why.
I’ve known since I was seven years old that New York City was my home, and today I cried about it. I found myself with a couple free hours in the city, so after eating my favorite sandwich at Pret, I hopped on the 1 train to go visit the block I lived on this summer. And when I stepped out of the subway, I had tears in my eyes.
Let’s just get this out there: I had the summer of a lifetime. I feel so incredibly fortunate every time I think about the fact that I got to spend my summer in basically the coolest way ever, and I can’t help but tell you about it!
It’s been over a year, and that’s entirely too long. So, old friends, I owe you an explanation.
I stopped blogging because I was fragile. Through a lot of my freshman year, blogging was a way of being vulnerable while validating myself and overall making myself feel better in the face of new and scary territory (and the insecurities that came with that). But then one of my closest friends made an off-handed comment about how my blogs gave off a sense of security, which I interpreted as an accusation about me and my ego. And instead of defending myself and my intentions, I became silent, paralyzed by fear of how others would see me (what else is new).
It's almost 2 AM on Saturday (Sunday?), and 12 hours ago, I was in the middle of my final performance of Sunday in the Park with George. In case you missed it, I've spent my past six weeks as an accompanist for the Intermediate Musical Theatre Production at Interlochen, which means that I've spent the past month and a half playing one of my favorite shows alongside 26 of the most talented young actors and actresses I've ever met... I would say it was a dream come true, but even my dreams couldn't have been as perfect as this summer was.
I walk around Interlochen's campus every day in a complete daze; this is home. I spend 5 hours a day with the most talented 13-15 year olds I've ever met, and they make me laugh so hard that I forget how much I hated my own middle school years. I have lunch with my friends in the admissions office, and I watch students' faces light up as they realize that Academy might be a possibility for them. But I didn't come here for all that; I came here to do my job, which has come with its own challenges and discoveries...
I've started and restarted and revised and rewritten this post more times than I can count. I've brainstormed titles, possible nuggets of wisdom, and jokes that I think will somehow be valuable to you. But I've come up with nothing that I felt was worthwhile to complete and publish (title possibilities have included things like "Highlights of my Life" and "Why I'm Suddenly Qualified to Buy a Lottery Ticket, Sign a Contract, and go to Jail"... Yikes.)