Had the greatest weekend in years. It was fun, but it was important for me too.
An organization working on various activism for/in Armenia invited me to a conference at Columbia University. I went alone to hear the presentations because there were some big names in Armenian academia speaking, and the person who invited me is a role model of mine. I intentionally stay unaffiliated with Armenian-American organizations because they're always politically affiliated somehow and I can't get involved in the mess of Armenian politics yet.
I opened the door to the conference, a lecture hall in the Columbia's math building, and my heart stopped when I saw 50-odd Armenian faces looking back at me. I realized that I haven't seen my people in years, apart from my mother, some family friends and my family back home on Skype. These were college-age Armenian kids, mostly grad/PhD age, all here from all over the country just to spend the day being American-Armenians in a room together. It's very difficult to describe why being a part of this conference was so significant to me, but I felt like I was in love with 50 people at once. Some of them were activists and good-thing-doers for Armenia, others were simply Armenians in America doing their thing, but they were all high-speed individuals doing big things, and it gave me hope for my people's survival and success in the future.
I went to the proceeding dinner/social event and introduced myself to everyone. A group of kids invited me back to their hotel, to "get over the politics and start this pre-game so we can fucking party." And party we did. We destroyed midtown Manhattan.
Then I met an Armenian girl who stole me out of the bar before I could even say goodbye to everyone, and took me dancing at a nightclub in Chelsea. Getting me to dance in a group is difficult enough, I was nervous about dancing with her alone, but I fucking danced yo. She took me back to her apartment near Columbia, where it turned out she was in a grad program on economic development. For the first time in months, I woke up calm and happy instead of wired and in a hurry. She said good morning in Armenian and made Armenian tea. I was in heaven. I left before breakfast to get back to school, but she told me to let her know when I was back in the city, which will be this weekend for spring break. There are two small red flags with her but it's difficult to acknowledge them in my current infatuation, I'll call them later-me problems.
Last weekend was the closest I've been to high without drugs, even better than some at that. I realized the gigantic hole in my heart for being around fellow Armenians. I got inspired by the fact that there are Armenians that are going to be leaders in their field, Armenians that will yield power for other Armenians, and that things won't be as bad as they appear back home right now. And as touchy as it is, this girl made me realize how low I was stooping with girls at my school just to get their attention, I don't respect them for their work or their general (lack of) ambition and dialogue. I'm linking up via e-mail with the kids and some of the professionals I met, and figuring out my own shit with this girl, and overall enjoying the view from cloud nine.