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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

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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