Everyone has a completely different fantasy or experience of what this city is about…
I was talking to a coworker who is leaving town soon. She’s from the south (of the US) and she is used to quieter places, a more relaxed life-style. She was telling me how she doesn’t love the city much because it’s loud, dirty, smelly, super expensive, aggressive, crowded… all those things that I know are true.
Her description was accurate. I get it. I could see it from her perspective and hate it. But, for most of us, all those “bad” things are just the price we pay. Or even the reason why we stay.
It’s common to say that it is one of those places you either love or hate. You either take it or leave it. There’s too much to put up with if you don’t love it.
I can say, with all my heart, that I love it. All those things she mentioned, can be ignored 99% of the time. They can also be celebrated. I like leaving my apartment and not know where I am going to end up. I love meeting people everywhere that are so weird, so weird, that I should probably run away if I wasn’t used to this craziness. You have to be expecting the crazy, the ugly, and the magical every second; and you better have your eyes open or you’ll miss it. You get used to walking around all day with your eyes and your heart ready. There is no comfort zone here. And I don’t want it. I love that I can get in a fight in two minutes, or make a new friend around the corner. You just never know which one will happen first. Ah, yes, always on eggshells.
Yes, if one thing, I’d say living here is exhausting. That’s my word for this city. It can be party/run-all-day-and-night exhausting, or putting-up-with-this-stooopidity exhausting. But I am ok with it. If sleep and rest is the price, I’ll pay up.
But I get it, when I leave the city…. it’s like going through withdrawal. I shake for a few days, crave it, and then I am over it. I get the toxins out of my system, I get some rest, I relax, I stretch out, and I don’t even want to come back to pack up my stuff… Like someone who’s scared of having to deal with crazy and is now happy, warm, and comfy. When I come back, ah, when I come back I always cry a little in the plane when I see the skyline. I always miss this. I love this mess. I want to lace up and go to the park. I really don’t need comfy for now. I want to go out and get lost in the random faces. I want to get in trouble. I want to go to the Met. Do some disgusting shopping. Talk to strangers. Eat burgers and cupcakes. Get in a fight and fall in love all over again.
I never said I wasn’t crazy. I have no problem admitting I do fit in here.
And being in a place where it is so easy to lose yourself, it’s also imperative that you find yourself. I really did find myself in NYC.