This week, in honor of the Caravan Collection, everyone on the BuDhaGirl team is talking about their own personal journey - whatever that may mean to them. Today, Twyla, our Marketing Associate, tells us about a transformative journey that took her far from where she began.
Sometimes, a journey takes you right back where you started.
This August marks the six-year anniversary of leaving my hometown of Dallas, TX to go to college in the northeast. I knew from an early age that I wanted to go to school in the northeast, the birthplace of American academia. I longed to experience the colors of the changing leaves in the fall, the collegiate gothic buildings, weekend trips to Boston and New York City – the works.
So that August, after high school graduation, I packed up and made my way to Connecticut College, a picturesque campus in the middle of nowhere, Connecticut. While this small liberal arts college was everything I had worked towards, the journey was laced trepidation. Nevertheless, I settled in, made some friends, and lived that northeastern college life I had always dreamed about. I explored quiet coastal towns, watched massive snowstorms descend from inside, and spent long nights in the library writing art history papers on Rubens and Watteau. That being said, after a year, I was plagued with restlessness, a clear sign that my journey was not yet over.
By the following August, I was back on the path, continuing my college journey at Barnard College, Columbia University in New York City. From the beginning, it was clear that this school was a better fit for me. Not only were the art history classes challenging and varied, but in the city that never sleeps, there was always something going on just outside my door. At Barnard, once-in-a-lifetime experiences were a dime a dozen, but not taken for granted. I enjoyed art history classes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and was allowed access to the Conservation Room and archives. I took ballet class from a retired member of Twyla Tharp’s (my namesake!) dance troupe for three years. Once, I even saw Daniel Radcliffe – Harry Potter of the silver screen – filming a movie about the poets of the beat generation on the steps of Columbia’s Low Memorial Library steps. I pushed my way to the front of the crowd. I waved at him, he smiled.
While my years at Barnard and Columbia were crucial in defining and refining who I am personally, professionally and academically, I was in no way immune to the daily barrage that is New York City. I’ll be the first to admit that New York City and I have had a long-suffering love-hate relationship. The streets constantly buzz, the subways are packed, the food is expensive, the winters are long, and the living spaces are claustrophobically small. New York City is profoundly magical, and profoundly difficult.
When graduation rolled around, I was completing both my undergraduate journey and New York City journey in cap and gown. Weighted with feelings of ambivalence, nostalgia, and a bit of regret, I made plans to move back to Dallas. You know you’re on your right path and respecting the journey when everything falls into place with ease. As much as I tried to fight it, all signs pointed in the same direction: it was time to go home.
I never imagined I would end up back in Dallas, Texas, but sometimes you can’t control where your journey will take you. While to many it seemed as though I was waving a white flag, to me, arriving back in Dallas didn't signal defeat. When I met my hometown again, things had changed. After four years, Dallas had grown up, I had grown up, and I was able to start a new Dallas journey with a fresh perspective.