1) You genuinely do not care what people think anymore. This is a city where a Starbucks is not just like any other of the 13,000 in the US, because at any given moment, someone can walk in singing their audition piece, barely causing a diversion. Instead of people looking at them sideways, or even looking up from what they were engrossed in, the most acknowledgment would be someone calmly saying, “that sounds nice.”
2) You get thick skin. Within a month of moving here, you’ll have sworn off several random people. It’s perfectly normal and even the New York way. Two months in and you’ve most likely been terrified for your life by some egregious act of someone at a subway station, heard at least a few gunshots, and have maybe even seen people get out of their cars to fight driven by traffic and road rage.
3) It’s like an instant cure of depression. Moving away after a big heartbreak is a common thing, and everyone is uplifted by different types of surroundings. But this is more so of a fire hose to the mouth. It’s like you stepped onto another planet and it takes you a month or so to even get your sea legs. Your mind is so busy adjusting to the new stimuli overload that never ends, the memories of your life before living here feel something like a billion light years away, no matter how recent your trigger or trauma was.
4) You’re inspired to do more than you have ever done in your life. It’s not called the city that never sleeps because everything stays open. I wish that were true, but most quality things shut down at regular evening hour. It’s because of the reputation this city has been built on, it’s the place you go when you’ve made it. So, you feed into it, and you’re motivated to do even more. You’re surrounded by people who have done way more, on a daily basis, and you want to be them.
5) You can’t imagine leaving. You go through a day here halfway with tunnel vision, and the other half is marveling at how life is more complex than you ever knew. You wonder how you’ve gone your whole life living somewhere else. NYC has a certain magic to it that no other city has. It almost feels like you’re in Europe or that you’ve left the US. Now that your life has expanded to this degree, it seems like regressing if you were to try to fit yourself into anywhere else.
6) You’ll be cultured. Not just by being surrounded by diversity and different cultures, but specifically with American culture. People still go see live theatre here, and they know what modern dance is. Even if you didn’t move there as an artist, you’ll be educated, and you’ll be educating others.
7) You become brave. You were brave enough to move there, and now you’re basically unstoppable.