I didn’t always want to live in New York. In fact, when applying to colleges I avoided New York City, and all major cities, like the plague. I’d been to the Big Apple only a couple of times and that was enough to convince me that the chaos, the bustle, the enormity of a big city like New York would swallow me whole and overwhelm my sheltered suburban self. But after going to school in a not-so major city, and thoroughly enjoying it, then subsequently moving home and quickly becoming maddeningly bored, I find myself longing to be swallowed up. I want to begin my adult life somewhere that is buzzing with life, somewhere electric. Where better than New York?
Maybe I’m being naive. I mean, part of me is terrified to start over where I only know a handful of people, have little to no job prospects, and could only afford the tiniest of apartments. But maybe I’ll take to New York, or New York will take to me. Or we’ll engage in this delightfully symbiotic relationship where we both learn a little something from the other. Now I know know I’m being naive; what kind of mark can a little girl like me hope to leave on the galaxy that is New York?
New York, I don’t love you yet, but I may yet. I certainly want to. I want to stroll down your streets and navigate the subway tunnels and live in my first apartment and drink coffee out of those little blue cups. Oh man, those cups. They’ve become the symbol of freedom, of independence, my own personal reminder that I need to get up and get out and start living my life. New York, New York, do you hold the key to my success or my downfall? Only one way to find out I suppose.
Two of my favorite movies take place in New York (they also both star Meg Ryan, but that doesn’t mean I want to be her – no offense Meg, but you peaked early in life). I imagine myself as a more down-to-earth, less fashion-obsessed Carrie Bradshaw, living and writing in New York. Or my life as a less scandalous version of Girls, because I’m much less self-destructive and I don’t alienate my friends and I am generally uncomfortable with nudity. Of course my New York experience will probably be nothing like they show on TV. I will probably hate it for a while. I’ll probably call my mother crying my eyes out, like I did a couple weeks into college. Despite knowing that the bubble will inevitably burst the minute I step onto the city streets, I’m going to hold on to my fantasy of New York for as long as possible, because that’s what’s going to get me there. It’s that hope that’ll keep me applying to jobs that I only half want, despite rarely hearing back from anyone and coming to terms with my inadequacies (maybe I should have listened when everyone told me art was an impractical major??). Because if you can’t love your job, you may as well love your city. New York, wait for me; I’m coming to drink coffee out of those little blue cups and be fabulous.