Hey you – YES YOU – do you ever forget…

10 Sep

*Who you are?

*What makes you smile?

*Your deep dreams?

*What you are passionate about?

*What you wanted to be when you grew up? What you still want to be when
you grow up?

*That everything is possible?


When I first moved to New York City I lived in a
apartment in a Luxury Building on the Upper East Side with two of my best friends from high school, and I was in acting school full-time. I think my rent was $500 even, or very close to it, and this was before I developed a Starbucks addiction, so my expenses were low. And I remember clearly, one shiny perfect back-to-school fall day, my first year living in Manhattan, crossing the street during my lunch break with a couple of friends from my class, and maybe our arms were linked or it just seemed like they should have been, because we – I – was having so much fun. And I was smiling, totally unselfconsciously, and just purely enjoying myself in a way I don’t too often do anymore, when a cop interrupted my state-of-bliss to ask me where I was from. “New York,” I told him, which actually meant the suburbs thereof, but I felt I could rightfully claim New Yorker Status having grown up a short Metro North ride’s distance from the big cit-ay.

“Really?” he exclaimed. “You don’t seem like it.” And then he said something about, you know, not losing “It,” whatever “It” was that made me seem more like a cheerful, wide-eyed, open-hearted, smiling Midwesterner than a tired, cynical, shut-down, grimacing New Yorker.

Well. It would be obvious to say that, at the age of 23, I never thought I would lose “It;” I believed I had an endless stream of energy and vitality and that everything would – always – go my way, and all my dreams would instantly come true. I believed that this effortless ease and a life populated with all my dreams and desires, without compromise, was what I deserved.

However. I don’t walk around the streets of the city smiling, my arms linked and intertwined in those of my friends anymore, and no one has stopped me to ask where I’m from lately. I feel, often, tired. I forget, frequently, who I am. What my dreams are. What it feels like to know that they are all possible. It seems like it takes all the energy I can muster to get from

Point A to Point B on my To Do list, and then I am pooped, and I need a nap. I don’t have the time to relish in my deep dreams as much as I once did, as much as I would like. This is not to say that I’m a craggy scraggly hardened New Yorker.

Most people who know me would likely describe me as friendly and warm, but I know that I used to be friendlier and warmer, and now I am, harder.

A few weeks ago, something happened to remind me of who I was, because as you well know, things happen, priorities change, disappointments come to pass, bills need to get paid, and it is far too easy to forget all this great important stuff about yourself for far too long, only to wake up to it all these years later and wonder where it had been hiding, and by the way, what happened to that person who was supposed to be guarding, taking care of, and nurturing your dreams? (Oh right, that was ME! Shit, I passed out, I haven’t been paying attention, I got distracted, etc. Sor-ry!) Dreams that you once held with the highest of enthusiasm and the best of intentions can get famously deferred, downgraded and compromised, reevaluated, and then downgraded again, until they (almost) don’t even exist anymore, except for barely, and by a thread. In short, hope, and and even more than that, belief, can get…lost.

I often feel like the New Year really begins in the fall, when you buy your fresh notebooks and unsharpened pencils and new back-to-school clothes and penny loafers, and wonder who will be in your homeroom class, and if the football team will be any better this year. So this year, my New Year’s Resolution (September-style), that I am very excited to share with all of you is this: to grab onto that thread, hold on for dear life, and REMEMBER.

And hey, if you feel like it, post YOUR deep dreams, especially the hidden ones that you may have forgotten about, and we can remember together!


Lots of love!

Jen xoxox


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