I’ve learned that you view New York as one of two ways: You either have a romanticized love affair with the city, something you’ve possibly spent years dreaming up, waiting for the day when you would finally be together, or to you New York represents a laborious day in and day out struggle to remain afloat. It seems to me that New York is either one large continuous party at The Standard or New York is a 5 am wake up call to get on a crowded subway.
Ask anyone that isn’t from the the city means it means to them, and they will most likely tell you that they have a great idea built in their head of what New York is. To most of us, New York represents a freedom not found anywhere else. A freedom of ideas, complete freedom to accomplish your dreams, to discover where all your passions and talent may take you. And although not everyone wants to live here, there is almost a sort of unanimous awe people show when they find out someone has abandoned their current, much more comfortable life, to move to New York. There is a tiny part of everyone that understands just how powerful this city really is.
It’s an interesting thing when you move to a city that you have spent a lifetime having a love affair with. You immediately feel a need to cultivate the dreams that you’ve spent forever dreaming up; those dreams that were just waiting for the day that you arrived in this great big city to make them all your reality. The moment that you realize you aren’t there yet, despite being in the place where your deepest dreams are supposed to be happening, you begin to feel a slight sense of failure. Not failure to anyone else or to the world or something all too ridiculous, but a tiny small fragment of your heart begins to feel as though you’ve failed yourself and your ten year love affair. It happens that quick.
But a smart person takes that tiny crack of failure and adjusts. They change course and find a new plan. New York isn’t about failure, well unless you want to just give up, but New York is about pushing yourself to much deeper levels of exploration and creativity. New York pushes back on you to see just how deep your love affair with it really is. Will you abandon ship when the going gets tough or will you stay and work and explore and see just how gorgeous this life here really is?
Perhaps New York is about lavish parties at The Standard and it is also about a 5 AM subway ride to work the next morning. Perhaps it’s about everything you never knew before; about reinventing what life and creativity and the pursuit of happiness really means to you.
The one thing that I do know for sure is that my love affair with New York has only scratched the surface of its passion.