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A Year of Yes: The gift of the cold gave me the view of Emerson Page

I got a gift from the frigid cold in New York City. It gave me the chance to physically walk in Emerson Page’s footsteps.

Walking down Fifth Avenue, the air was so cold that my lungs hurt. I couldn’t wait to get to the warmth of the Met a few blocks away. I tried to distract myself by looking at Central Park. Around 75th Street, I stopped short. People were walking on ice, but there wasn’t a rink there. I couldn’t believe it. It had been so cold for so long in New York that the boat pond was frozen. Not ones to be deterred by signs of danger and warning of any kind, New Yorkers were walking on the pond. I smiled and kept walking.

A few blocks away, I stopped. I turned around. In my novel, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, Emerson goes out into the middle of the boat pond when she’s most fragile, turns to face the Alice in Wonderland statue, and descends how into the Lake of Possibility where her life changes forever. This was my chance to see that view in real life the way I imagined it in my mind.

Was I really going to stand out in the freezing cold just to look at the view of the world from Emerson’s perspective? Yes. Hell yes. I ran back to the Children’s Gate entrance of the park and down to the boat pond. Like Emerson, I was a little timid in those first steps on the pond, and then glided my way to the middle of it. I took in that view of Alice and couldn’t stop smiling. My eyes got a little bit teary. It was just like I imagined it would be.

I said a silent thank you to the setting sun and to beautiful Central Park and to this amazing city that never stops inspiring me and my work. The cold gave me this magical moment to step into Emerson’s world, to be right in the center of it, and I was so grateful. Right now, I’m exactly where I need to be. Yes, this is home. Like Emerson, this is exactly where my life changed forever, too.

About Christa Avampato

The short of it: Writer. Health, education, and art advocate. Theater and film producer. Visual artist. Product geek. Proud alumnae of the University of Pennsylvania (BA) and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia (MBA). Inspired by ancient wisdom & modern tech. Proliferator of goodness. Opener of doors. Friend to animals. Fan of creative work in all its wondrous forms. I use my business skills to create passion projects that build a better world. I’ve been called the happiest New Yorker, and I try hard to live up to that title every day. The long of it: My career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, entertainment, technology, and financial services. I’ve been a product developer and product manager, theater manager, strategic consultant, marketer, voice over artist, , teacher, and fundraiser. I use my business and storytelling to support and sustain passion projects that build a better world. In every experience, I’ve used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, programs, and events. While building a business career, I also built a strong portfolio as a journalist, novelist, freelance writer, interviewer, presenter, and public speaker. My writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, PBS.org, Boston.com, Royal Media Partners publications, and The Motley Fool on a wide range of topics including business, technology, science, health, education, culture, and lifestyle. I have also been an invited speaker at SXSW, Teach for America, Avon headquarters, Games for Change, NYU, Columbia University, Hunter College, and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. The first book in my young adult book series, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, was acquired by a publisher and launched in November 2017. I’m currently working on the second book in the series. A recovering multi-tasker, I’m equally at home in front of my Mac, on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I also cut up small bits of paper and put them back together as a collage artist. My company: I’m bringing together all of my business and creative career paths as the Founder of Double or Nothing Media: • I craft products, programs, and projects that make a difference; • I build the business plans that make what I craft financially sustainable; • I tell the stories that matter about the people, places, and products that inspire me. Follow my adventures on Twitter at https://twitter.com/christanyc and Instagram at https://instagram.com/christarosenyc.

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