Sunday, July 4, 2010

Brooklyn (a few photos)

park slope neighborhood

the steps of my local subway station

looking up my street

This is a PLAY ME, I'M YOURS piano, Sing for Hope put 60 pianos out in the city in public places for people to play. I've heard some pretty amazing music from this piano while eating lunch between classes. Sadly tomorrow is the last day, (

Brooklyn Bridge (duh)

the view out my window (not too exciting)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

AMR Beyond Words, Beyond Paper

It’s my blog, and no, it’s not really new. I actually set up this blog nearly a year ago with the help of my enthusiastic blogging sister and with the notion that I was about to move to Chicago to embark on an epic dancing adventure. With the adventure quickly approaching; my wild and very vivid imagination, that I would like to think would make any five-year-old jealous, was already picturing what amazing posts and pictures I would soon be submitting onto this “blogspot” and on to the computer screens of loved-ones far off at home. It tickled me the pinkest of pink. I was quite excited, and even though I had no cute pictures of my kids or husband to post (let’s face it, that’s what most blogs are used for) I was sure that my blog would be a force to be reckoned with. As these visions of conquest and greatness of moving and a new blog danced in my head, much like sugarplums on Christmas Eve, I didn’t realize that soon, I would actually not be moving to Chicago. [Prepare to start playing your saddest violins for I literally thought that my whole world had crashed, collapsed, imploded, and quite possibly spontaneously combusted, all at the same time. (An event that still boggles the minds of some of the most elite scientists in the world to this day)]

Needless to say, the blog stayed empty. What would I possibly write about, worth the reading eyes of my friends and family, about living at home, not having a dance job and feeling stuck? Or so I thought. Looking back, even though there were times when I wondered what in the past year would be worth writing about or what I could even wrap my thoughts around as it all was unfolding before me, I now wouldn’t trade it for anything or any other experience. I learned so much, and had so many good things happen that I did not expect at all. I was incredibly blessed by the friends that I was able to hang with. I have laughed more and felt more deeply in every emotion than I ever have before. On paper, I achieved little, but, off of the confines of paper and defining achievements, I learned everything; about myself, others and life. I learned the importance of making the most of situations, being positive, optimistic and open about circumstances that placed me where I didn’t want to be (the place I call home). I learned the meaning of loyalty and friendship by being blessed by those who were always there for me ready to listen and give advice, even when I certainly wasn’t very open to advice. I learned how tough I can be, and also how important it is to also be vulnerable, to ask for help and to let go of control at times. This year taught me to have more faith in my Heavenly Father, others and myself, as well as having hope and knowing that I can always work towards what I want in life, I just have to make the choice to do so.

In retrospect this is all very easy to say. It always is easier later on. The best way I can put it is that what we measure on paper is not what matters. This year I had no high GPA, no performance awards, I wasn’t the team-captain, player of the year, or president of the honors society. My dance resume barley grew and my work resume is less than impressive. However, I have never, in any year, felt that I have ever grown so much. (I use the term grown loosely for those who know me best may argue that I hardly seem any older or more mature, I might even seem to be digressing in age) However, I do know that in the subtle ways that are rarely seen or measured I have been blessed with challenges and the ability to learn and grow from them. As hard as it is for me, as someone who loves writing and filling blank sheets of paper with thoughts and words, to admit; it seems that what I have learned most is that what is not seen on paper nor measured in eloquent words is what truly contains the most beautiful events and opportunities in life. I learned that what we are actually made of will never be contained on sheets of paper, and that there is no tangible way to chart our growth or map our true achievements. How we grow and what we achieve in the everyday choices we make to try to become better are only palpable to our senses and minds. In the seemingly all too rare moments, where we allow ourselves to exhale, and let our minds reflect and digest, we have the opportunity to forge a new perspective of our world around us. We not only have the hindsight of things passed but also the ability to look forward to the things we want to become and create. These pauses allow us to retrace steps or leap boldly on. (I seem to prefer the leap).

Leaping forward I go, towards opportunities I thought were merely my lavish daydreams that would only live on in my wildest imaginations, never to become realized. They are here and existent, and would not be so if I had not had the experiences of the past year. I look forward, humbled, excited, and ready to continue working towards my expectations of what I want in a life that cannot be confined to paper. -AMR