Big Lights Will Inspire You

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It’s weird being back in New York. I flew in yesterday afternoon, and today was my first day of class, though it didn’t feel like it because I only had one class and it was in the afternoon. I’m easing back into the grind of a new semester, but I want to make sure I do things right since I had such a difficult time in the fall.

One of my last weekends in the city before break, I went downtown and had dinner (Chick-fil-A, holla) with a couple of friends I went to middle school with who are now classmates at NYU. When you’re a sophomore in college, seventh grade can feel like a lifetime ago, and I’m pretty sure that was the last time we had been together. And now years later, here we were, living our dreams in the capital of the world. With everyday pressure and stress, sometimes I lose sight of that. How many suburban girls can say they accomplished their lifelong dream of living in New York- and by the time they’re eighteen?

Sometimes I forget that I can, because I did! I’m twenty years old, and here I am, living in New York City!! It’s be hard to wrap my mind around that sometimes. Catching up with my girlfriends was actually really inspiring, because it’s crazy how far we’ve come. (It was kind of serendipitous too, because we’ve all turned out to be aspiring journalist and occasional bloggers.) They motivated me to do better, and I’m ready to give it my all this spring. Not everyone gets the opportunities the three of us did, and I have to be grateful for that, and take advantage of it too.

People ask me all the time if I’m planning on staying in New York after graduation. The truth is, I don’t know. I have no idea where the future will take me, and that’s okay. I do know one thing: the day the skyline stops inspiring me is the day I have to leave the city.

“Of all the great cities in the world, New York is still the one that holds the biggest glittery, giddy promise of promise – the idea that if you have something to say, do, be, create, try, or conquer, you can do it here, that the romance of the self can actually be fulfilled. The young, ambitious types who set out for New York with movie-made notions of what’s to come discover that the city is in fact better than the fantasy, because there’s so much more to the place than they were able to imagine.”           ~ Roberta Myers

~ Sarah

A Very Florida Christmas

Dear lovely blog readers:

I hope you all are enjoying your holidays, relaxing and spending time with family and friends. Actually, some of you may not have a choice if you were snowed in during the weekend. As for me, I’m finally back home in sunny (and chilly) Florida. I’ve been MIA in the blogosphere and at home too. I spent Christmas weekend in Orlando. My family and I spent Nochebuena (Christmas Eve) in Downtown Disney. The place was all decked out and gorgeous- but freezing by Floridian standards! Christmas Day we headed to Magic Kingdom. I don’t even remember the last time I was there, so the park kind of felt like new. It was crazy packed, so we didn’t go on as many rides as we would’ve liked it, but there’s nothing like spending Christmas at the happiest place on Earth. The night ended with a fireworks display and an amazing electrical parade down Main Street. Certainly a Christmas to remember.

Like the textbook Virgo that I am, the rest of my break is pretty much planned. I’m leaving for Key West in a couple hours, where I’m spending a couple days, then coming back home for New Year’s weekend, heading to Gainesville to stay with friends for a week, and then one last week at home before heading back to UF. Wow, now that I type that, I sound very busy!! How are you guys spending your holidays?

~ Sarah

Strawberry Fields Forever

Strawberry Fields, Central Park | Shades of Sarah
Strawberry Fields, Central Park | Shades of Sarah
Strawberry Fields, Central Park | Shades of Sarah
Strawberry Fields, Central Park | Shades of Sarah
Strawberry Fields, Central Park | Shades of Sarah
Strawberry Fields, Central Park | Shades of Sarah
Strawberry Fields, Central Park | Shades of Sarah

I circled December 8, 2010 on my calendar back this summer. The day marked the 30th anniversary of the death of Beatles’ great John Lennon, and I was going to make sure to visit the Strawberry Fields Memorial in Central Park that day. Thirty years ago, my dad went to the park with my grandfather, along with countless others, to honor. There was a nice symmetry to that, knowing I would be there this year.

That Wednesday, a day most Fordham students don’t have classes, my friend and I headed to Central Park West. We’re both huge Beatles fans, and I was really excited to see the memorial for the first time. There must have been hundreds of people surrounding the “Imagine” mosaic, including plenty of journalists. After patiently waiting, we finally got close enough to see it. It was around noon, and mementos already covered the memorial: flowers, candles, apples, bracelets, a shirt, and yes, a Yankees cap. It showed how much the city embraced John Lennon: this Englishman became a New Yorker.

There were people from all walks of life at the park. The crowd was melancholy, but there was also something celebratory about the day. Lennon would have turned 70 this year, and the older people were happy to reminisce about the time when the Beatles ruled the world. Young children were there with parents and grandparents. There were guitar players in the crowd too, and people sang along with some popular songs. Not only did we not do the songs justice, but we weren’t even able to agree on songs — groups of people would start singing “Imagine” and then another group would start “Come Together.” We did sing “Happy Christmas,” which was very fitting. It was imperfectly perfect.

~ Sarah