The other day I put up a question box on my Instagram story and someone asked me why I’m still in New York. Part of me didn’t know how to respond, and the other part of me knew that it wasn’t just a simple answer.
I’m still in New York because I love this city. But, I ask myself the same question constantly, if I’m being honest.
Why am I here? I’m paying (what feels like) $1,000,000/month to live in a tiny shoebox. And the reason I’m paying so much per month is to experience the city outside of my tiny shoebox. And that city is currently shut down.
“But Kyla, you can still go outside.”
Yes. But I could also go outside in Charlotte, or Detroit, or somewhere that didn’t cost so much to live and the streets aren’t lined with trash bags.
But as many negative things as I can say, I find myself thinking about all of the positives, too. I’ve really gotten to know my city. I know what it feels like at 9pm in SoHo on a crisp Fall night. I know what it sounds like, too. I know on which nights the garbage gets picked up downtown, and how frequently the trains run on a Saturday morning. I feel connected to this place somehow. Like without it, I wouldn’t be me. Even though without me, it would still be the same.
Sometimes I forget what my life was like before New York. Sometimes I forget I even lived a life before New York.
But other times yes, there is a part of me, that remembers what it feels like to slowly pull into the driveway of my little house in the Midwest and stare at the dim living room lights for just a second longer, before walking inside. I could look up and see the stars and hear the crickets as I walked in. I could sleep with my windows open and let the smell of freshly cut grass come in through the screen.
And on those days, it’s hard. It’s hard to justify why I’m still here. So, who knows? Maybe one day I won’t be here anymore. But I’m just not quite done with this city yet. And something tells me it’s not quite done with me either.