I have had a love hate relationship with New York City since college. I know that statement will make people want to throw glass in my eye, but let’s talk after the post. My first experience with this city as an adult was right after graduating college. I was all dreamy eyed about my future and came to interview for a HUGE PR firm on Madison Avenue. Big leagues.
I had my hair done, my outfit was superb and I mostly answered everything right. I should mention it was January. If you've ever experienced January in New York City, you instantly recognized the weight of those words. It's cold, it's dark, it's depressing. I think it's part of what pushes people to succeed because you need a next-level focus to brave this city, much less alone, and keep going despite the fierce competition and gloom. I respect that part of New York, and I felt bad that it wasn't a place I yearned to be in. I graduated with a communications degree and wanted to become a published writer... why did I not want to move here immediately? It had seems like a no brainer and yet, I just didn't.
When you say New York City most people's faces light up from somewhere deep inside. This place speaks to people, truly. For me though, it's a cliched right of passage I don't need. It's also intimidating. I had gone away to college and backpacked through Europe, and the idea of facing this gigantic, cold, competitive abyss scares me. Since then, my sister will joke, I cannot get away from this city. I came here frequently when I worked in advertising and I find myself here now again for my freelance job.
So why write this? Well, I have slowly been feeling the flickers of electricity and excitement people describe to me. I've learned New Yorkers aren't mean, they're extremely focused. They don't pass you by rudely, they don't have time. I can respect that.
This recent trip has afforded me the opportunity to meet very distinct people, who I would never had been put in a room with. And so many of them inspired me. I know that word is used and abused, but I was honestly impressed by their stories. It made me want to try harder, keep at it and be better.
Creativity and new ideas begin flying around and all the doubt I had before seemed to have drifted off into the distance. I only feel excitement and good things coming, giddiness about the future but happiness about the present. The thoughts of how far away I am from my goals, especially compared to other experienced writers, melt away. And that right there is the New York City spirit. It may have taken me multiple trips and most of my twenties, but I finally get it.