The trips during which I stayed in New York City for longer periods of time created awareness for me. This time created a sense of self outside oneself, and a sense of chaos that was uncontrollable at times. The effort it took to try to control the chaos resulted in a realization that while control isn’t always possible, it may not even be necessary. New York City taught me the art of being by myself, and helped me cultivate an exploration of possibility rather than limitation within vulnerability. It taught me the beauty of being uncertain, and, beyond that, the beauty of the willingness to be uncertain.
Walking down the empty city streets at night taught me fear and confidence at the same time. Dancing among the greatest dancers in the nation taught me humility.
I could write similar lessons about life from the perspective of so many places.
I think back to 8th grade, when my mother gave us permission to board our first flight. I think back to freshman year of college, when my mother gave me permission to go to another country with a boy she had never met. To sophomore year, when my mother waved goodbye to me as I left to live away across the Atlantic. To junior year, when my mother listened patiently as I cried over the phone from across the Pacific about cultural and language shock.
Perhaps my movement creates an illusion of instability, of flight, of volatility, of inconstancy. On the other hand, when we think of the word “home,” we think of stillness, peace, contentment. Contrary to what it may seem, it is because of my movement that I feel more certain of my place in life than ever before. And to the thought about what it means to be home – often I consider that I will never take for granted how I have had the chance to make the world my home, and to give the world a home within me.