I’ve lived in New York for 4 years. Last night I stayed up late reading my journals from when I first moved here. Oh my heart — this child had so much in front of her. So many highs and lows. She thought she was so old (a new 22, hilarious!). She was going through some heartbreak, and spent those first few months crying on the subway a decent amount. But never about New York.
New York was perfect. It was everything she expected and needed.
I am not the first person to compare New York to a soulmate and certainly won’t be the last. But that’s how it felt — all of this was ahead of me and I had no idea. None. How did I even know I needed to live here? I just knew. I needed it the way I need a large cup of coffee every morning.
I’ve met so many people over these past four years. I’ve sat inside so many bars and restaurants. I’ve wound my ways through the narrow streets of charming downtown neighborhoods, the boulevards of midtown, the small and hilly parks of up-up-up town. I’ve fallen asleep on the subway, I’ve sat on benches and watched the world pass by.
Life here just feels inherently more beautiful. Is that the snobbiest thing to say, or what?
It’s so hard to place a finger on exactly what I mean. Maybe it’s that the people I pass in the streets don’t look like me.
Maybe it’s that I’m thrown together every day with people from so many countries and cultures and socioeconomic statuses.
Maybe it’s that this city is steeped in so much history. The buildings are creaking with secrets from centuries.
And maybe it’s that the things to do and see here are endless. I’ve checked off many many activities and attractions of New York but you’re never done. Have I walked every street in deep Queens and Brooklyn? That there is so much left to do here helps me sleep at night. That I will never see the same things twice as I walk down my own block keeps me sane.
Who knows where life will take me in the next year, 5 years, 20 years. It could take me away from New York and I’ll get over that, somehow. The world is big and there’s so much more to experience. But oh my heart. This city is just it. It is. I’ve never felt more myself, more comfortable in my own skin, than the years I’ve called this magical place home.