I Love You, But I Hate NYC

Flickr / Relux
Flickr / Relux

I love Thai food, and I single-handedly ruined it for myself — I stupidly decided to announce my move out of New York to the boy I was seeing over weekly noodles. To be fair, he canโ€™t really say he didnโ€™t see this coming, given how ten minutes into our first date I fell into a trash pile and cursed the entire five boroughs of New York. My revelation was followed by a mortifying hour, punctuated with his various disputes to my claim that โ€œNew York is the absolute worst.โ€ This was made all the worse by the unwelcomed input of the patrons and staff around us. By dessert, all I knew was that mango mousse was gross, this boy would make a terrible life coach, and New York still sucked.

I get it: everyone dreams of New York, if you can make it here you can make it anywhere, blah, blah, blah. I did love New York. I loved it so much I broke some major cultural traditions by leaving my traditional Mexican parents sans only daughter. Iโ€™m not going to claim becoming self-reliant and exploring an entire city on my own wasnโ€™t exhilarating, because blatantly lying is tacky. For the first time in my life, I had a plethora of things to see and an arsenal of fellow art kids to see them with.

You know what no one tells you about always having somewhere to be? Itโ€™s downright exhausting. Iโ€™d spend entire days trying to consolidate all my obligations to the point where it was just easier to feign illness and stay home with Netflix. I had a full-ride scholarship and a job, yet I still had a panic every time Iโ€™d open my mobile banking app post trip to the groceries. I loved walking, but knew the combined forces of humidity and tourists would make me feel soiled before I had even reached the end of my block. I wondered when Iโ€™d have the breezy, spontaneous adventures everyone on Instagram seemed to be having until I reasonably concluded the world was a lie.

I could try to romanticized how in a city of millions, I managed to find the man struggling to construct counter-arguments between bites of fried rice. The truth is there was no New York magic at play here; this was purely timing and proximity. We were in a bunch of classes together and concluded we had enough in common to spend recreational time together. Did I care about him? Sure. Did I care enough to spend an additional amount of time in this city? Absolutely not. I knew my relationship with New York was on the verge of making me irreparably bitter, and staying would only turn my mild indifference towards him into pure resentment โ€“we could both do better.

Really, I know I should be thanking New York. If Iโ€™ve gotten nothing else out of this half decade spent with it, it did give me the perfect barometer on which relationships are worthwhile: do I love you enough to live indefinitely in New York? TC mark


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