It was eight years ago this Saturday when I packed up two suitcases and headed for something unknown. New York was my freedom, a playground for the curious. When I stepped on that plane in the sleepy Winnipeg airport, I never looked back.
I did not stay in the city, as there was another place that had bigger things for me. But today, I am back to say hello once again. I am of course, much older, hopefully wiser. The visit to the city has allowed me to see where I had grown, and where I need to keep going. It also reminded me of a time when I was more fearless, ready to jump without a thought. I saw every colour and shine even when there were very little of it.
Now, I am rougher as I carry the wounds of growing up: heartaches, failures, loss. My eyes, though still wide, are no longer filled with wonderment but of wariness. More cautious than fearless, and no longer in awe of colours and shine the same way.
So before I leave the crisp, autumn air of New York, I shall bring back with me not of souvenirs that collect dust, but a little bit of that girl with two suitcases who never looked back. And the pieces of me that had long been forgotten.