Dear New York City,

You’re something else, aren’t you? You never sleep, you’re constantly charged with energy, and you house a myriad of lives under the sparkle of your skyline. You present some of the greatest opportunities, some of the weirdest experiences, and some of the most creative people on the planet. You’re filled with glitter and poverty and everything in between. People say if they can make it with you, they can make it anywhere. You hold dreams in every crevice of your concrete jungle.

Two years ago today, I came to you. I had no idea what life with you entail, but I knew I wanted to learn. My dad bought me pepper spray and an air horn to come to you; I guess for preparation in case being 5’2” and feisty wouldn’t be enough. He’s a little protective of me, you see. I kept the pepper spray; ditched the air horn. My mom told me she wouldn’t miss me. Now before you say that’s not a motherly statement, you must understand her thought process. Missing someone, she said, was wishing they were with you, and Mom knew I needed to come to you to be happiest. I’m glad she doesn’t “miss” me, for if she did, I might not be where I am today.

You’ve been pretty cool over the past two years, New York. You’ve shown me a lady who plays a saw like a harp in Union Square and a guy who walks his cat on a leash in Central Park. You’ve let me attend meetings on 5th Avenue and helped me throw an awesome bachelorette party for my best friend. Because of you, I’ve made eye contact with Daniel Radcliffe and know a three-year-old who speaks three languages. Thanks to you, I am learning Greek from my next-door neighbors who teach me a new word each night when I come home from work. I’ve gotten to enjoy your view while attending receptions on rooftops, and I’ve had the chance to perform in multiple venues within your walls. You’ve helped me find a great dance company to work with, and you thrilled me with a piano bar rendition of “Country Roads”. You introduced me to some of my dance icons, and you’ve taught me what it means to be tired. Really tired. You’ve held my tears when I’m overwhelmed with life, and you’ve made me fall in love with you all over again by simply walking your streets. You’ve made me capture a sneaky cockroach with a parmesan cheese container (could’ve done without that, NYC), and you let me dance alongside a new friend visiting from Turkey. You showed me fireworks projected off the Brooklyn Bridge that illuminated the sky, and you showed me intricate sculptures purely made of sugar.

You do a lot of things, New York. You make eyes light up with wonder, and you make hearts break with frustration. Your beauty is found within the people who inhabit your world – people who have fallen in love with your busyness, your architecture, your underlying calmness, and the possibility to dream. I’m lucky to have been one of those people for two years now. Here’s to many more anniversaries, New York; I can’t wait to see what else we get to share. You’re one my favorite chapters in my story.

With much love,

The Tiny Dancer

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