I haven’t been to New York since two years ago when I was here with my mom. At that time, I was about to make the move to study in Paris, and it was the first time I was going to be going anywhere by myself. I was so excited, so naive, and so young.

This is what struck me as I landed in LaGuardia today. I am shocked at how much I have changed in the past 3 years, and I am shocked that these last 3 years have gone by this quickly. I entered the year 2007 not really sure if I wanted to dedicate my life to singing, not sure who I thought I was or what my defining traits were, and I definitely didn’t know what my taste in men was. ūüėõ While I definitely know that I do not have everything figured out, it is so interesting to come back to a place that you associate with a certain time in your life and reflect on how things were back then. In many ways, I feel that I have changed for the better; I am more confident, more street-saavy, more sure of my path and more focused, less flighty and more true to myself and my needs and desires. In some ways, I feel nostalgic for that time in my life – the time when even the most mundane things about the wide world were thrilling, the time when I did not know what to expect so I expected the best, and a certain constant joy that comes with naivit√©.

I think sometimes, in order to learn the most, one must fool oneself into ‘enjoying’ the moments that are really not particularly pleasant, like moments of struggle with a language or new skill. Sometimes it is valuable to try to reshape oneself instead of remaining ‘true’ to oneself, like in overlooking discomfort or pain in order to better recognize beauty in the outside world or in other people. Sometimes the most heavenly beauty comes only if you are able to look beyond your own momentary pain or emotional discomfort.

Tomorrow I sing for the first time in New York. I love this life. I love singing. I know I will sing well and I know I am ready for this. Bring it on!