Take Me Back To Manhattan

In the past five years, I have lived in five cities. 

Meaning those “most important years of my life” (really just those crucial years of young adulthood in terms of identity and relationships) have been hectic, often lonely, and incredibly full of change I chose to accept and embrace. 

Central Park 2017.

To say it has been a journey would be an understatement, and anyone who knows me is undoubtedly nodding and smirking as they read this. 

To start, I was born and raised a first-generation American in the beautiful bubble of Ridgefield, Connecticut. Unlike other kids that were preparing for college and Greek life, the year I was graduating high school, I was pretty clueless on what my next steps should and would be; 

but as sunflowers face towards the sun, I tend to do the same with hope. 

Dom (left) and her sister, Natalia, in Central Park 2015.

After years of reckless teenage rebellion, I packed up two suitcases at the age of 17, and I moved to the Upper East Side of Manhattan for the cliché of chasing dreams and finding myself… which did not happen until a year later when I left New York defeated to return to my hometown of Ridgefield. 

After a year and a half of soul searching and trips to my homeland of Poland, I decided to attend Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland. These two and a half years were fast and can be summed up by hard work, passion, and finally, a few true friendships – something I lacked growing up. 

As life always tricks us when things seem to be going well, my world came crashing down in April of 2019 when I lost my first soulmate – my grandmother and the woman that raised me – to Alzheimer’s, and I was not able to say goodbye or attend her funeral. That same week, my parents decided to move from Connecticut to the Carolina’s for work within a matter of days. 

It all happened very fast, and I was pretty furious. 

But city number four, Charlotte, North Carolina, encouraged the healing I needed to finish blossoming and chase what I wanted and where I wanted to be – city number five.

I knew from the moment I applied to the Marketing Director position at the Delray Beach Playhouse in early October of 2020 that I would do anything to have this job. I still reflect on that moment almost every day to remain grounded and grateful.

I have been living and working in Palm Beach County for almost six months now, and it has been the most rewarding and fulfilling few months, thanks to my great boss and the team at the Playhouse.

The past five years were not “the plan,” but the only certainty in life is it will twist and turn in unexpected and often painful ways, but where it can lead is nothing short of magic.

Like any heartbreak, there is an excellent opportunity for growth, and it manages to break you open in ways that allow the light to shine through.  

There are few moments more humbling than to thank and welcome the unexpected with hope. 

The same girl that moved to Manhattan gets to look back and only wish she could tell her, “In just five years, you will design your first ad for a Main-Stage production called none other than 

Take Me Back to Manhattan.”

Dom’s favorite corner in NYC – the welcoming of Central Park amidst the Concrete Jungle 2015.

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