This morning while I waited for my coffee to be ready, I started cleaning off my refrigerator door covered with photos, school notices and postcards. My eye went to a postcard of an Edward Hopper painting entitled “Room in New York, 1932”, that my dear, lifelong friend Susie sent to me over 20 years ago. It has lived on at least 5 refrigerators from its original home in the Queens neighborhood of Astoria to my current home in rural upstate New York.
While I love the painting, it’s Susie’s message on the back that touches my heart every time I read it. She sent this postcard to my first post-college home. During a time that I felt lost in “what do I want to do with my life” angst, she reminded me of a time of clarity: my junior year abroad in Paris. She wrote:
“I have been thinking about when I went to visit you in Paris- I remember how impressed I was. You’ve never seemed more in your element than when you were there. I’ve decided that even though you are definitely well-suited for NYC as well, you have to go back to Paris at some point and live there again.”
Her awareness and naming of a time in my life where I discovered my place connects me to the adventure of life and beauty of the unknown. It reminds me of what a dear, thoughtful person she is and fills me gratitude for her lifelong friendship. While I may or may not live in Paris again, to this day, her words remind me of the possibilities that life holds and that the dreams that I sometimes keep hidden, are within my reach.