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A Year of Yes: Today, I’ve been back in New York City for a year

A year ago today, I moved back to New York after a couple of years away living and working in D.C. My time in D.C. was very valuable and though I thought about making it my home, there really was never any place for me except New York. The rhythm of this place, the opportunity and dreams it holds, and its energy are all the right match for me. What feels really good is that in this magical year, I learned for the very first time what it feels like to be home. Sometimes you have to go away to find out how much something means to you. I’ve left New York City multiple times, and I’ve always eventually come back.

What I love most about this city is that we’re all having a collective, individual experience. You get to have your New York and I get to have mine. They’re the same streets, the same subways, the same sky. But no two people have the same New York. Every inch of this city has seen someone fall in love, and someone have their heart broken. Every inch has seen the whole span of human emotions from happiness to anger, from hope and to despair. I used to tell people that I’ve lived most of my adult life in New York City. Now I tell them I’ve lived many lives in New York City.

I was coming home from a trip to Ireland last week, and there was a man from Dublin looking around JFK airport, wide-eyed and completely lost. I asked if I could help him navigate his way into the city, and he happily accepted the help. He said to me, “It’s always been my dream to come to New York.” I told him it was mine, too, and that it still is, every single day. And before we parted ways on the subway he thanked me for my help and said, “You’ve already made me love America.” For him, America is New York. And that’s true for me, too. I’m a New Yorker first, and an American second, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I love this town with an unbridled, unrivaled passion. And as hard as some days are, I’m always grateful and fully aware of how fortunate I am to live here. Thank you to everyone who supported me and cheered me on as I made my way back here a year ago, and re-invented a new life for myself these past 12 months. I couldn’t have done it without you. Here’s to another year of discovery and transformation in our wondrous, turbulent city.

About Christa Avampato

I make a living in business and I make a life as a writer, artist, and yogi. I use my business and storytelling skills to build a better world. My first novel, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, will be published in the Fall of 2017 by Thumbkin Prints, a children's and YA imprint of Possibilities Publishing Co. My creative career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, and financial services. In every experience, I have used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, program, and events to help people live happier, healthier lives. A recovering multi-tasker, I am a proud alum of UPenn (BA) and the Darden School at UVA (MBA). When not in front of my Mac, I’m on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I am proud to New York City my home, and I've been called the happiest New Yorker by friends and strangers alike. They're right. Follow my adventures on Twitter at https://twitter.com/christanyc and Instagram at https://instagram.com/christarosenyc.

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It’s difficult to put into words the emotions that surface during Derek DelGaudio’s In & Of Itself. Part magic show, illusion spectacular, storytelling night, and clairvoyant event, it is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. His poise, grace, empathy, and masterful command of the stage and audience are on a level of genius that I didn’t know was possible. I alternately cried and laughed for close to two hours, completely riveted by the through line and captivated by Derek’s presence. Mostly I sat there with my jaw on the floor because I was astounded by his work. * My friend and mentor, the incomparable writer and storyteller @tellingabetterstory, took me and our friend, @hellosemrick, to this show a few weeks ago and I’ve thought about it every day since. I will be thinking about it for many days, weeks, and months to come. Even now as I write this post, I keep getting chills down my entire spine. In & Of Itself is that electric. * Derek gave every member of the audience a gift, personal and perfectly crafted. I’m not quite sure how I’ll ever be able to repay him, and legendary director Frank Oz, for all they gave me—a stranger they will likely never meet—during this performance. Thank you feels so woefully inadequate, and it’s what I have. I mean it from my whole spirit. * Thank you, @Derekdel and Frank, for showing all of us what can happen when we show up with our whole heart, pay attention, and make purposeful connection with another person our single goal. It is the purest form of magic I know—to really see and be seen. * In & Of Itself runs this weekend at the Daryl Roth Theatre in Union Square. After Sunday, August 19th, it will be never be done again.

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