Today is my last Monday. For the last seven years I have worked at a prestigious dance school in the city of NYC as their Registrar. I’ve had an up close experience of the artistic side of the city, which has allowed me to work closely with some of the most incredible dancers in the world. Yet as time ticked by, I recognized a familiar longing deep inside. The desire to follow a road that wasn’t quite so mapped out.
As responsible adults, many of us have the pull between the reality of the duties and cultural standards before us, and the daydreams deep within our hearts. And many times those dreams are on the back burner. We put the seemingly unattainable on the pedestal of “someday”.
For as long as I can remember, I have had the dream to go to Italy on my own and experience it in a way that allows me to immerse with my Sicilian roots. Not as a short holiday from work to see one or two of the cities; that would seem like I was somehow cheating. Rather it was to take a sabbatical and travel with the focus of allowing the country itself to lead my steps. A pilgrimage of sorts, on my own and with no mapped plan.
In my daydream, I would end up in a small dark church. The kind with stain glass light streaming through the musty floating air. This particular church had been converted into a library filled with immense books. I would choose one of these timeworn giants, gently blow the dust off of the cover, and sit down at an archaic carved table to research my ancestry. Once I found them, I would show up at their doorstep and explain who I was. They would welcome me with hugs and kisses and open arms. It was a beautiful vision in my mind even as a child.
There are dreams that we all have, which seem lovely and perfect. Not at all messy. And that is because they sit safely protected within our minds. They sit there along with all of the fairy tales and Netflix movies as a sort of security blanket, watched from the comfort of our couches. Yet when you start to chase your dreams the reality of it is, they can become messy and complicated, and at the very least different than the seamless daydream you’ve created.
However the incentive is that when you take up that torch and begin the journey, it suddenly becomes truly yours. You are present, and it is no longer floating around in the abyss of daydreams and the unknown. It becomes part of us. Part of our memories, our history, and the story our lives tell. The reality of that to me is so much better than the daydream.
So. Today was my last Monday. And tomorrow is my last Tuesday. And that is melancholy in a beautiful way; because it is also my first Tuesday. My first Tuesday in an unknown chapter of stories yet to be told.