New York: the home of the greatest cultural influences, musical geniuses, architectural wonders, business moguls, entrepreneurs, dreamers, schemers and performers.
The Center of the World. The City of Dreams. The Big Apple.
And I feel absolutely nothing for you.
Honestly, I was never captured by the romanticism of New York, the way some people are. Living just a few hours away offered plenty of trips to the city for performances, day trips with friends and mini-vacations with the family before Christmas. Come in, soak it up, go home. I moved here because it was where I happened to get my first job offer, not because it was a long-standing ambition.
Except now I live it and I breathe it, and the smog and the crowds and the subway and the trash aren’t the only things that are suffocating me, it’s what New York breathes into you, a powerful air of grandeur that builds you up and makes you believe that you can do anything, until you can’t. It can make you believe you can be anyone you want to be, until you don’t feel like yourself anymore. It’s just hot air that’s filling you up with nothingness inside, and that desperately wants to escape. New York is mean and discouraging and lonely and claustrophobic and wonderful and good and exhilarating and powerful. And exhausting. And it’s time to go home.
I think that the main power behind New York is that it gives you enough perfect nights, cool breezes, cozy snowfalls and interesting people for you to survive, but not to thrive. Most people come to New York to find themselves, but you can’t depend on a city to make you whole. And it’s not New York’s fault, and it is. And it’s your fault, and it isn’t. People need to have a want, a desire, a hunger inside of them to make a relationship with New York work, but I don’t have it. I’m not sure I ever did.
And feels odd and, to be honest, lonely, that a city that holds such significance for some people – the first big break, true love, first-time reality, freedom – has never done anything for me. It’s a place where I had a job, and where I had an apartment and where my friends happened to live, but it was never my home. It started my career and reunited me with friends and gave me new ones and broke my heart and stole it back and terrified and wounded and thrilled and excited me, but that hot air filled more of me than any emotion towards this city ever did.
And I wasn’t beaten up and swallowed and spit out, at least not more than you’re supposed to be here. I’m not broken or broke or sad or mad. I’m just… done.