The holiday has come and gone. I hope that everyone had a great Christmas and a very happy New Year. I can honestly say that I had a great break. I'm ready to get back to New York, and start my baking and pastry class tomorrow. But as I tried to slip into a sleep that never really came last night, and as I pulled out of my driveway early this morning, I was overcome with a strange feeling of uncertainty. It wasn't necessarily a bad feeling, or a great one, it was just something I'm not really used to.
You see, this was my last official break as a student, ever. I have six months of straight school, no breaks, then I graduate. And hopefully, I'll be able to dive straight back in to the work force, and transition smoothly and quickly from Hyde Park to New York City. For the first time in twenty years, I am not sure when I'll be back home in Indiana. Could be a matter of months, could be a year or more. I'm not even sure if I can call Indiana home any more. Indianapolis will always be my hometown, but do I really live there anymore? I think the answer is no.
Christmas was great. Anna slept on my bottom bunk like usual on Christmas Eve. I woke up to presents and breakfast meats, and I even made a special breakfast for my sister, who lives on bread and cheese. Among some of the gifts I received were train tickets to NYC from Poughkeepsie, assorted Man United and Colts apparel, and enough money for a three Michelin Star dinner at the restaurant of my choosing. (That's what I'm planning to spend it on at least.) I took Anna's hint that she doesn't like my natural scent, as she bought me some nice cologne. I slaved away over a hot stove for a few hours and turned out some pretty decent food. I roasted off a couple of chickens (the white meat was ridiculously moist), made some gruyere potato gratin, fried brussel sprouts with mushrooms and bacon lardons, and for my picky sister I made Lobster Mac 'n' Cheese. Everything was a hit. And I succesfully corrupted my little nephew into an obsession with nerf guns. I'd say the day was a success. Not to mention one of my dad's gifts was a round trip ticket to NYC. Which means he'll be visiting me soon. I plan on blowing his mind food wise. Should be fun.
It was great to see all my old High School friends again. It feels weird to be saying that. It seemed like we hadn't really missed a beat either. It had been over a year since I had seen some of them, but that didn't change things. I'm still better than everyone at FIFA. We had our poker night like usual. The guys gave me shit for starting a "gay little blog thing". New Years Eve came and went and I learned that the people who couldn't handle their alcohol in High School still can't handle it after a year and a half of college.
I'm at the airport. Ready to say goodbye to Indianapolis for the time being. But I'll always be a Hoosier at heart. I watched the Reggie Miller 30 for 30 last night for the third or fourth time. The overriding theme of it is the contrast between the Indiana "hicks" versus the New York "city slickers". The idea that the small town dreamers can't make it in the concrete jungle is presented on multiple occasions. Then Reggie single handedly turns mayhem on Madison Square Garden on multiple occasions, and emphatically disproves any of those ideas. As I look towards my future, I want to take a page out of Reggie Miller's book. I want to show up in New York, work my ass off, make some friends, probably make a few enemies, fuck shit up on a fairly grand scale, leave my mark on that city, and make sure that New York remembers the name, Mike Kolodzej. Oh, and I'll rain three pointers on the folks at the Culinary Student Rec Center like its my job... but I already do that any way.
I'll miss Indy, but nonetheless I find comfort in the fact that later today I'll be swept with a new emotion. I'll see the statue of liberty from the air plane, it won't quite hit me then. I'll step off the plane at La Guardia, I'll still have that feeling of uncertainty. But as I step onto the cold pavement from the airport shuttle to Grand Central, and the crisp cold air hits my face, and the sound of a thousand taxis honking floods my ears, and a few well dressed young women walk past me, any doubts I may have about leaving home will be wiped away by a overwhelming sense of giddiness. I'm back in the city that I'm madly in love with, and God Damn it, I'm starving.