My First Year in New York City

New York City is my abusive boyfriend.

It beats me down and then pulls me back up (which is great for the upkeep of my neurosis, by the way).

Maybe NYC is bipolar.  Or maybe it’s me.

I moved across the country exactly one year ago today to live in this magical, dirty city.  I spent my whole life dreaming of living here, and now I am.  The bright lights and the hustle-and-bustle really excited me.  It still does.  Sometimes I look across the skyline and have to pinch myself. The fact that a whole year has gone by makes me feel a bevy of emotions.

I left my family and the only place I’ve ever known.  New York slapped me in the face with disgusting, humid weather and on-the-verge-of-tears coldness (seasons!).  New York also threw at me a whole other breed of people.  People, who at first glance, seemed really rude and mean in my perspective.  The people are so vastly different than Arizonans.  More on that later.

This past year has presented me with some of the biggest hardships of my life.  I lost someone who I thought I was going to marry.  To recover, I threw myself into situations only that further worsened the pain.  Additionally, I moved five times across three different boroughs.  I struggled to find a day job.  I went to countless auditions.  My money depleted fast.  On top of all this, I’m out here pursuing a career that is so hard to break into - one that makes you feel the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.  A career that makes you question your talent and self-worth.  A career that is constantly breaking your heart - whether it be rejection because of your race in a white-dominated field, whether it be bad timing, or whether it be some other frustrating factor you can't control.  A career that makes you question everything - especially if you’re a rational, logical, planner-type person like myself.  But, I suppose, as creatives, we’re constantly questioning everything.

It took me a while to realize this, but New Yorkers aren’t mean like I previously thought. Aggressive, yes.  Everyone is here for a reason. NYC culture breeds work-a-holics because this is where dreams are made.  Everyone is here to become the best, most successful career person. They’re fast-walking people on-the-go because they have a lot of shit to do to make their goals happen and have no fucking time to waste.  Respect.  Everyone here is laser-focused, and I really admire that tenacity.  Everyone is on their own journey.

Continuing with NYC culture, I am honestly so thankful that the vibe here is very ingrained and accepting of the arts community.  You don’t know how good it feels to meet so many other artists exactly like yourself going through the exact same struggles.  Even those who aren’t creative themselves seem to “get” the arts and understand and realize its necessity.  Community is a great feeling.

Walking down the street, I’ve seen countless familiar faces: random, old acquaintances I knew from Phoenix; friends; A-list celebrities; and Broadway stars (ex-boyfriends, too, but I'll save that for another blog).  It’s humbling because all of these people are pounding the pavement trying to be the best *insert job title* like I mentioned before.  It reminds me that we’re all in this together on this little island we call home.

Despite all the hard times this past year, I regret nothing.  Moving here was the best decision I have ever made.  I have grown so immensely as a human, and I wouldn’t trade out any bad experience.  I have learned so much about myself.  Truly.  

It all was all worth it because I met some of my best friends and had some of the most exhilarating times of my life.  I am having the time of my life.  After all, I’m a sassy, single, 20-something living in Manhattan!  

So, cheers, New York, for always keeping it interesting and for always giving me an adventure.  I can’t wait to see what we do next.