I reached my half life in New York this past August. It was 15 years ago that I moved to New York to attend NYU, which is the equal amount of time that I lived in my hometown. Crossing the chasm to setting up and living in a very different world from my upbringing has been an asset in my professional life. The opportunities for growth have been numerous and failing is part of that glorious experience.
Moving to New York at 18 with no family here was a challenge but I wanted it so badly that I stubbornly fought to overcome cultural differences and academic challenges. I learned quickly that my public education did not come close to preparing me for university but I persevered. It took me two years to find my tribe of friends. I had friends before finding this tribe and met a lot of nice people. My tribe though made me feel at home with finding people I admired, trusted and could be as expressive as I wanted. Never underestimate finding your tribe.
I was listening to the Moth’s In Transit! episode and Roseanne Cash’s piece “Until the Real You Shows Up.” She talks about her time adjusting to New York and the life she was living. There was something lacking in being her true self until one day New York knocked her down. She talked about how New York pushes you to be the real you. This rang true as the rawness in New York forces you to try harder, work smarter and to be yourself. One can easily get lost in this city, but you eventually get presented an opportunity to be true. When everything goes wrong and you are forced to face the real you. What are you not owning that got you to this point? When you are trying to force something that is not aligned with who you are, be it work, friends, lovers, it eventually surfaces and manifests in way that you are forced to show up.
When people that don’t live in New York ask why I live here or how could I live here, I just know that it may not be for them. This podcast has a nice anecdote that summarizes that experience.
New York is diverse, competitive, cultured and you can walk most places. It is why I made New York my home and am raising my family here. I am so happy and proud to call New York my hometown.