“What is it like living in New York City?”
This is probably my most frequently asked question and something I’ve been looking forward to writing about for quite some time.
Have you ever been on a treadmill? You know how you start off slow and you periodically raise the speed, and eventually you’re running? Now imagine that you get on this same treadmill and it’s already on its highest speed. That’s what it’s like moving to New York City.
New York doesn’t care that you’re scared, young, and unprepared. It doesn’t care that you’re broke. It doesn’t care that sometimes you’ll cry yourself to sleep, or get robbed, or that you won’t know how you’re going to pay the rent. In fact, if New York were a person and it could talk, I’m pretty sure if you told it your feelings, it would tell you to fuck off.
New York is everything that I expected it to be and nothing that I expected it to be at the same time. I didn’t come here expecting Sex and the City, or Friends, or for any part of this to be easy, but I also didn’t expect how hard it would be. And this is coming from a brat who lived in a luxury apartment building with an in-unit washer/dryer. But yes, it is hard.
It’s almost like when you’re first dating someone compared to when you move in with them. When you’re first dating, everything is fun. You have this idea of them that can’t be tainted. They are your dream person. But then you move in with that person and you watch them have their first bout of the flu. You see them without makeup, or without their teeth brushed. Raw. You still love them, maybe even more now, but you get to see them in a light unlike anyone else.
Today marks 13 months that I’ve lived in this stinky city and what I can tell you is this. This place is not all Broadway shows and sipping cappuccinos as you stroll through the Village. Sure, it can be that. But it can also be mean and ugly. There’s a reason they invented the saying, “in a New York minute”. One minute here can change your life. Hell, a year here changed mine entirely.
So in short, New York is everything that I expected it to be and nothing that I expected it to be at the same time. But holy shit, I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. (Not even the pee smell.)