This past weekend will be remembered as one of the best memories of my years in NYC. Growing up, I spent a lot of time pretending, as most kids do, but I think my joy in the world of make believe lasted a bit longer than average. Even today, I don’t really feel like I’m officially an adult and can still very easily fall down a rabbit hole. The worlds that Jim Henson created were where I spent most of my daydreaming and playing. I wanted so desperately to be Sarah in Labyrinth, it broke my heart that I could never ride a Landstrider with Kira and absolute mayhem ensued when my VHS tapes of the entire Fraggle Rock series went missing (it remains a cold case).
Part of the reason I moved to NYC was because the Henson offices were here. I thought if I could get as close as I could to the magic they created, it would be a good start. For several years after arriving, I wrote letters, sent my resume, called every phone number and spoke to every person who would listen about getting an internship or job with the company. It never materialized and eventually daily life, finding a paying job and apartment took priority. I’m incredibly happy where I am right now but for a long time I was lost in an uninspired daily life and money became more important than my happiness. For more than a decade, I forgot what really lit me up inside. I’m just starting to rediscover the parts of me that were hidden - what my sister told me last week, is my authentic self.
I went to see Jim Henson’s Fantastic World exhibit at The Museum of the Moving Image on Saturday and then saw a 25th anniversary screening of Labyrinth. Brian Henson was there to talk about the film along with Brian, Wendy & Toby Froud. It was so exciting and moving. What made it even more special was that I was with my two sisters and my four year old niece, who is a big fan and my match for enthusiastically reenacting scenes from the film. I returned on Sunday for an incredible presentation by Brian Henson about the evolution of puppetry where he entertained us with stories about his father and the history of The Jim Henson Company and spoke so humbly about his own role over the years. By the time I arrived home on Sunday night, I was reeling. That sense of wonder which I had every day as a child, is still inside of me; and while I know there may be times that I'll stray, I hope I never again lose sight that anything is possible when I stay connected to my true north.
I recently read a beautiful profile of an Etsy shop owner that I can’t seem to find again. I wish I had bookmarked her page and told her how much the words meant. It said something like, "I’ve always been a creator but for a long time I forgot that I was.”