oh man… not sure what to choose. I think it was this:
It was 2000. I was hanging out with my friends Pete and Allie and a couple other people, I think there were five of us. We were hanging out at the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. It was a warm summer evening and we had gotten ice cream (well, Allie and I did). We all sat down on benches and looked at the lit up Manhattan Skyline. We started talking about our hopes and dreams and what we wanted for the future and where we thought we’d be in ten years.
Allie talked about finishing up her doctorate and becoming a forensic psychologist. Jason wanted to be a musician, but was stuck interning in an accounting firm. Brandon had no idea what he wanted to do. I wanted to be a working actress. And Pete wanted.. well, I remember him sitting there, looking out across the water, the lights shadowing his face until he looked up, his eyes vivid green in the lighting. In a soft voice, he said: “I just want to be. I want to see all my loved ones exactly where they want to be, and I want my mind to be at peace. I want to stop chasing whatever it is I’m chasing and have a life. We’re all chasing something and until we figure out what it is, we’ll never be the people we want to be.” We all understood exactly what he meant. None of us (except Allie) were anywhere close to where we wanted to end up. All of us were chasing something we didn’t really think we’d ever catch. But there we were, ranging in age from twenty-five to thirty-seven, all of us should have been at different places in our lives, but we weren’t. We were stuck in the same place, hoping and wishing, but not really doing anything about it. But we were there, together, making our vows and our pacts, with the lights of Manhattan as our backdrop.
It’s bittersweet now, this memory. Jason died in 9/11. Brandon is still searching for himself, now out west somewhere. Pete died this past April, but he had found what he was looking for before he died. Allie left her forensics job to teach college upstate, is married and happy. And me? I’m not an actress, but I’m happy where I am. Sometimes, like Allie and Pete and me, you learn to stop chasing and let life catch you for a change.