The popular astrology app, The Pattern, tells me I am in a period of Everything is Possible. ‘If you’re looking for inspiration, think back to how you felt at age 18 or 19 and what excited you then.’
When I was eighteen, I clearly remember the day I moved into my dorm room my freshman year of college. The bed was made, the posters hung, my clothes in the drawers. I turned to my parents and said, “you can go now.”
I couldn’t wait to get out and say yes to anything and everything. That night, I gathered a bunch of us new freshman girls from my dorm to explore Boston. We learned each others’ names and where we were from. Together, we were nervously excited about what’s to come.
The next day, I saw my parents.
“I was waiting for you to call us at the hotel last night,” my mother said.
“I thought you’d be homesick.”
The night before, I had met a nice guy at a fraternity party. We danced. He brought me gin fizzes. He asked me out. Not once did I think about calling my mother.
Once classes started, I loved walking the campus with headphones plugged into my Sony Walkman listening to The Cars, “Candy-O” album. I learned the city, rode the T, visited Faneuil Hall, and hung out at the famous Cask’n Flagon pub. I spent my free time as the quintessential frat rat and studying by myself at the historical Boston Public Library.
I felt unencumbered, liberated, light on my feet.
Thirty-nine years later, I’m divorced, having raised two kids, and on my own in an apartment in New York City—something I’ve wanted to do since those days in college.
Last Saturday with no plans, I reserved a timed entry for one person to the Whitney Museum of Art and headed downtown. I plugged my earbuds in listening to the museum’s audio guide, and took my time revisiting my favorites and appreciating some new works of art. No one interrupted, distracted, or expected anything of me. My skin tingled with inspiration, as my heart rate slowed. My feet floated through the galleries, while my spirit was grounded.
Out on one of the museum terraces, I watched the sun dramatically set behind the Statue of Liberty. When I headed home, I left my earbuds in my pocket and listened to the city buzzing on a Saturday night, even during Covid—groups dining in innovative outdoor restaurant setups, music blaring, young people laughing. The traffic lights reflected reds, greens, and yellows on the damp streets after a warm day thawing the piles of snow. I jumped over small ponds of slush at the curbs. I stopped to take a selfie at a colorful public art installation not realizing someone else was taking a photo.
“Oh I’m sorry,” I said, stepping out their shot. “You don’t want a picture of me.”
“Maybe we do,” the guy said. We both laughed.
I walked away with a smile on my face, then was overcome with emotion. I was so ridiculously happy that I quietly cried. I was in my favorite city in the world spending the day doing what I love. I felt unencumbered, liberated, light on my feet. ‘How freaking lucky am I?’ I thought.
Just like nearly forty years ago when I happily ventured out for the first time as a young adult with no clue on what my future would be, last Saturday, I felt exactly the same. I still don’t know what my future looks like, but I know this: it will be inspirational, immersive, exciting, and all my own.
I guess my horoscope was right.