I was sorting through my drafts the other day and came across this post. It was written back in March 2012, and it’s funny to see what I was thinking all those months ago, and how my view of New York has changed. Thought I’d share, because there’s really no reason not to!
First of all, I would like to assure everyone that I am very much alive, despite my lackluster blogging the last few months. The thing I’ve noticed lately is how much different a day in New York is compared to one in Wisconsin. Time moves infinitely faster, and you have to cram so many things into a day that others (blogging) fall by the wayside. So you’ll have to excuse my somewhere infrequent posts because the twenty minutes I could’ve used to write something mildly informative are often spent stuck underground on a train that refuses to move.
Having said that, things have definitely changed over the last two months. I’ve been living in New York for almost nine months now (I find this very hard to believe), and when I came back after Christmas I found myself in a rather uncomfortable position. I didn’t want to stay. I wanted to go back to Wisconsin, to my family, and awful Midwest winters. Granted, this was a momentary lapse in judgment, but for those two days it seemed like a legitimate option.
Then I got over it and things have been moving only upward since.
See, the thing about New York is that it isn’t an easy place to live. Especially if you aren’t from around here. DC was a nice stepping stone, but there’s really no comparison to living in New York City. In fact, I believe people say it takes about a year to adjust to life here. There isn’t enough time in a day to get everything done, people are constantly on the move, and there is so much to see that there’s no way you’ll ever cover everything. Movies portray New Yorkers to be somewhat rude and standoffish, but I don’t think that’s true. People are just busy. They have places to be. They don’t have time to chit-chat or give you directions. I know because I’ve been there. I don’t have time to stop and talk to People With Clipboards who want to tell me about the rain forest or the unkind treatment of silverwear. No, I don’t know off-hand where the closest Taco Bell or 6 train is. No, I don’t have time to look it up for you because I have a contract to deliver and you are standing in my way.
It happens. And for a while I wasn’t sure I could handle it. New York is full of glitz and glamor if you’re a tourist, but once you move here, it loses its shine pretty quickly (if only for a little while). You realize that finding an apartment is basically a full-time job. So is applying for said job. And then you get an apartment and said job and then you have to actually work. Which, for the record, is infinitely better than sitting in a classroom learning about blobs and organisms and goo. (I’m not much for science, if you couldn’t tell.)
Ironically, it’s also very difficult to meet people in this city. You’d think, with such a large population, it would be easy, but it’s quite the opposite. Lately I’ve made a very conscious effort to get out and meet more people, and see the ones I already know. I’ve also been trying to get out and see more of New York. I live in, arguably, the greatest city in the world — so why would I sit at home on a Friday night?
Now, with spring on the horizon, I feel like I’ve got a much better grip on life. I’ve met some really great people here, I’ve seen an obscene amount of Broadway shows (All within the last month and a half. I have a problem)…
I’ve been to new restaurants and can say that I have a favorite place to sit in Central Park. I have a deli that I frequent so often that they know my order when I walk in, and sometimes even give me free pastries. (Did I mention how much I love this place? Because I do.) I don’t need to pull out my phone to figure out where I am (Unless I’m below Houston, in which case those streets just don’t make any sense), and I have yet to get on the wrong train (knock on wood). It’s little things like that that make me love New York. Sure, the city’s dirty, and the A train never seems to run out of crazies, but it’s become my home. It makes me excited to show my family around when they come in June.
Roommate L and I were talking last weekend, and she said something that I think deserves repeating. She told me that one of the greatest skills she’s mastered over the years has been being able to pick up and move to a city, and somehow make it her home. And I think she’s right. Being able to adjust to a new place and find the little things that make it great, and to make friends there, is important. We’ve both done it enough that I feel pretty confident in my ability to do this now.
Thing is? I won’t have to do it again because I don’t plan on leaving.