Friday evening, I had the honor and privilege to make my debut on the Radio City Music Hall stage, although, not in the way I imagined it would be. Instead, it was for the NYU School of Professional Studies 30th commencement, reminding me that sometimes things do not always go as we plan.
The majority of my childhood I spent dreaming with my dad attending college in the city, at NYU at the TischSchool of the Arts in hopes of making my way to a stage on Broadway and Radio City MusicHall. That dream came to a screeching halt and my plans changed as I got older and the winds of the universe shifted. NYU was no longer an option, and my burning pursuit of performing on a New York stage fizzled.
Flash forward five years as I am racing to the finish line of undergrad, with plans of moving to New york, but no career set in place, a terrified Liz applied to NYU grad school on a whim, after the application deadline. Two months later I checked my email and by some miracle I had been accepted. September quickly came and I began my first semester of graduate school and an internship. Each semester becoming more challenging not only balancing work and school, but a social life and my overall health. The past two years have been nowhere close to easy, but I wouldn’t trade them for a thing. As John F. Kennedy once said, “We choose to do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”
As I walked across that stage at Radio City Music Hall every emotion flooded over me. You never know what the universe may throw at you, where your path may lead, but know that there is a purpose , there is a plan, and you might end up right where you wanted to be. Just like me, my purpose on that stage was quite different from what I had imagined for most of my life, but it was just as fulfilling. The President of NYU said to us that night “It’s hard to not channel the people who have stood on this stage before you” and he couldn’t have been more right. I have now stood on a stage where so many of the greats have performed, from Adele belting Rolling in the Deep at the top of her lungs to the Rocketts numerous can-cans, when I walked across all I could think of was where that dream had begun, sitting on Row H as a fifth grader dreaming to be one of the greats. With those thoughts rushing through my mind I decided to make it memorable and did my thang like Miley with my tongue out and all!
Don’t ever give up on your dreams. I can guarantee your plan is not always going to go the way you think, but I can tell you will end up where you are supposed to be. As I step into this next chapter of life, I keep looking back remembering the trials and triumphs I have faced and the amazing people I have been blessed with along the way whom I would not be here without. Ten years ago if you would have asked me what I wanted to do the depiction of my life would be completely different, but I would not trade where I am now for anything.
So what’s next? Well, surprise surprise New York isn’t getting rid of me any time soon! I have accepted a full-time position at Estee Lauder companies, but before diving headfirst into full-time adulthood, I’ll be heading out on a few summer adventures, so stay tuned!