A Letter to the Big City: I am finally ready to change your name to "home."
To the Big City: I always imagined that the first time I gave my heart up without an expectation to get it back it would be to a boy. I pictured love letters, firsts of every kind and ultimately no need for a promise that I might get it back in one piece. Never to you though, I never thought that you would be the one to start my heart beating to a different rhythm. A Different Song.
I remember when we first met, how it happened nearly a thousand times. Every time I stepped off the train onto the platform of Grand Central Station there was tinge of hope that you would allow me to stay, that my off peak ride home would be nonexistent. I prayed you might let me dance along your sidewalks, let my heart drift away with the aromas of the city. I Prayed You Would Sweep Me Up With The Crowds And Somehow Make Yourself Home To Me.
The funny thing is how I fought with you for a while. It was a matrimony that I longed for, between you, the Great Manhattan, and me, the Little Dreamer. Like a big brother, too cool for a younger sibling, you never let me hang around for long, you always forced me back to a town and a place too small for the dreams in my head.
"I can fit them in your city," I would beg and plead. You shook your head and gave me no resolution or reason. You left me to pluck my own stars out the sky, to give up on the light that I always swore would be the end of my tunnel.
And I was dreamless for a while. Dreamless to a point where I said beneath my breath, "Perhaps, perhaps, I should have never dreamt this dream at all." I was very silly to plant you in my mind before I passed into a slumber every single night. Forget the skyline, forget the concrete mixed with the crafts of a million other passerbys. Forget the beautiful people. Forget that you ever thought you had a place in this Big City.
I cannot say what happened when I walked away, when I left you with my heart and you never whispered back that you would take good care of it.
But you did.
I am still learning Big City... I am still learning about reasons and truth, about times and places. I am learning to pick back up the pieces, to put back on the cloak of a dreamer.
Like a love lost, a love that knows my name, my heart, how I fill my spaces and what spaces still need to be filled, you found me again. You dared to ask me to pick up where we left off; you said you still kept my heart, you were letting it run wherever it pleased but that I might want to run with it.
Thank you for the invitation, here is my RSVP. I needed to learn on my own that if I don't follow my heart than I will never reach a point of contentment, a point where my full capacity is met, a point where I allow my dreams to breath and live. Maybe I needed to do my growing up in another city, in another place with different people, before you beckoned me to come shimmer in the skyline.
But you called my name, and I will be there... You Called. I'm Coming.
Quite possibly your biggest dreamer,
At the end of August I will be relocating to The Bronx, New York and will be serving for a year as the liaison to the Augustinians at the United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan. This is the beginning to a new chapter...