Growing up, as I daydreamed about my future life, I never desired to live in Manhattan. That crazy, smelly, expensive place?! That’s not for me, I thought.
And lo and behold, after five working years inclusive of three living years, I’m still alive and flourishing here. But this isn’t about me. It’s about us. New Yorkers. (When do I officially call myself a New Yorker, btw?!) New York is more densely populated than any other American city and is among the most expensive in the entire world. And yet, over four million people come in and out of here every single day. This city is filled with every single type of race, nationality, ethnicity you could think of. I have seen the most grotesque, disturbing visuals of my life here, but I’ve also found beauty, wonder and peace of mind even on the busiest of days.
Even with the vastness of differences that Manhattan holds, we remain united. We all have something in common. We are crazy enough, passionate enough, curious enough, driven enough, wise enough, and weird enough to all be here. We’ve made it! And as they say, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. So even on the most abysmal days, as you pass stranger after stranger, we remain united.
This city is strong. Its strength has been tested time and time again. And though I was not residing here during that fateful day 14 years ago, Manhattan has accepted me with open arms and I’ve managed to succeed more than I once thought was possible. And for that, I am thankful and grateful every single day for this city. As crazy, weird, expensive as it is; when you find something resilient and beautiful, you never forget it.