New York

I got that OH MY GOD I NEED TO MOVE BACK TO NEW YORK IMMEDIATELY feeling today. Does anyone else know that feeling? Being away feels like being in exile. New York is inside the fortress, everything else is the hinterlands, and other snobbery. Partly this is because I did that dangerous thing where I started reading up on what other folks from my class at college are doing. How have they published so many articles, made so many connections? I guess you start small, but I don’t even know where to start. I get that feeling, again and again, that there’s a list somewhere of how to do things, and I wasn’t privy to that list. Instead I get to learn everything the hard way (i.e. the long way).
But New York feels like the center of things, like there’s so much anxious energy there that you can’t help but be on the ball, get off your a**, and try to compete. That’s the draw of it but it’s also repellent. When I was in it all I wanted was to be out of it. Now that I’m out I feel like I was pushed out, forced out, and I’m trying to figure a way back in…maybe swimming the moat…scaling the walls. People go to New York to make it, and I already did that and I did, to some extent. I had a job, a diverse social life, a band, a place to live, places I liked to write and spend my free time. I had a beach to go to when I was feeling sad. Can you make it in New York twice?
But in the spirit of intentional gratitude, what do I have now? Portland is the ultimate opposite, in many ways. Everything about it is casual. Casual employment, casual clothes, casual living situations, casual weather, casual friendships. Am I grateful for that? I don’t know. It rubs my overachieving, all-or-nothing soul the wrong way.
Mostly, I like how long the day is in the height of summer. I like that the streets are empty enough to bike on. I like flowers. I like bridges. I like the way the neighborhoods look at night in the summer. And I like espresso.

3 thoughts on “New York

  1. yes, this is exactly how i feel.
    “casual” is exactly the right word for portland.
    and i always feel like i should be doing something more.
    but after years and years and constantly pushing, i just feel really tired still.
    that’s why i like it here. everything is relaxed.
    but that’s also what kills me. everyone kind of coasts along at their own speed.
    i think i could get stuck here/ i think i need to do something more.
    let’s just grow a garden! it’ll feel like we’re achieving something.

    1. That’s why I moved here, too. To rest after pushing for so long. Only to discover that I thrive on work. ho hum. Yes! a garden!

  2. Saw your blog link when I was going to message you to thank you for the congrats. Just read your NYC post and you’ve described the feeling of leaving the city really well. I left three months ago and the first month I had symptoms similar to an addict in detox.

    Then after a couple months, I remembered why I was sad about leaving but more excited about the places I would go next.

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