It was my first workout at the Y. For several days prior, I’d felt a little lost; a little far from home; like maybe the move to New York had become real, and I was sensing the distance (emotional, maybe more so than physical) from my friends and family.
My workout was done, and with it, any makeup I’d been wearing earlier in the day was also ‘done’ – long since wiped away along with my sweat, onto the YMCA institutional towel with the faded blue stripe down the center.
Looking around a few minutes before, as I neared the end of my thirty minutes on the elliptical machine, I realized that I was the target demographic. I was surrounded by fifty or sixty other mid-twenty- and early-thiry-somes who were probably living far from their own homes, chasing one dream or another. For maybe the first time in my life, I was almost precisely the median; more alike than unalike the people surrounding me.
Standing in the locker room post-workout though, hair freshly blow-dried and no makeup on, I caught my own eye in the mirror and it was as if I’d caught my brother John’s eye. The hazel center of my baby blues was unmistakably a mark of my father, and for a moment I was not only 100% New York dreamer and career chaser, I was also 100% connected to who I really am and where I really come from; my family.