It all started with a cramped New York City hotel room. My family and I were on vacation in New York, and of course, the hotel was the size of a small closet. Now, with a family of five staying in the most claustrophobic space in the whole city, we were bound to get aggravated with each other. On the last day, my sister was crying about her blistered ankles, my mom and dad were yelling about the money we spent, and my brother was screaming because everyone else was. Before I knew it, I was in the middle of a three ring circus, and my ears were ringing. My blood boiling and my face hot as an oven; I got up and stormed out of the room. I normally never lose my temper, much less lose my temper to the extent that wandering an unfamiliar city sounded better than staying in that hotel room. We were staying in Times Square, so I was somewhat familiar with my surroundings but definitely not comfortable . All I wanted in that moment was a cannoli from Carlo’s bakery, and I knew exactly where it was. Walking a few blocks in a big city was nothing but exciting for me. With every person I passed, I felt the cool city breeze rush past my face. The sense of freedom that rushes through my veins while walking through the Big Apple inspired me. My daydream was abruptly interrupted by a faint sound of horrendous screams. A wave of panic rushes through my body, because I am now all alone walking through unfamiliar streets. In that moment, I knew leaving was a bad idea; mentally beating myself up for not just wandering the halls in the hotel, instead. Why did I have to walk halfway across the city; this is why I never do anything adventurous because something bad always happens. As I get closer, I realize that these screams are coming from the back door of a famous theater. Curiosity takes over, thinking it could either be a celebrity or something bad that is about to happen. I weave in and out of the ocean of people to finally get close enough to the mysterious commotion. Suddenly, my stomach turns inside out, and I realize who I am seeing: Taystee from Orange Is the New Black. My whole body freezes as I realize that my favorite TV character is right in front of me. My heart racing a million miles a minute, she looked me in the eyes and waved. I stood there in shock for what seemed like hours. I remember thinking “did this really just happen”, because encountering someone famous does not just happen everyday. For me to go out of my hotel room and walk in an unfamiliar city is unlike me. I do not step out of my comfort zone often, but on that day I did. Even though this was one of the most dangerous things I have ever done, it was one of the most memorable nights in New York. Something terrible could have happened, but instead something really great happened. This experience has taught me the value of stepping out of my comfort zone, and good things will come from it.
New York City
November 8, 2017