AS I ENTER MY 17th YEAR IN NEW YORK …
I still constantly find myself utterly and fully in love with this city. To quote my friend Pony:
“Why the fuck would you want to live anywhere else in the world? Sure, income taxes are high, but we get a 24/7 city at our fingertips! Yes, eating out is expensive, but I don’t want to eat at an Olive Garden in the ‘burbs. There’s energy here, shit happens here. If I want to see an art house movie that opened the first weekend, it’s playing here. I can drag my kid on the subway to go see a giraffe or I can take a cab across town to the Met to show her mummies. Not for you? Go live in some Republican-governed hellhole and enjoy how the lack of public education funding has created a generation of idiots.”
Pony is a star DJ, has seen a lot in this city, knows most of it’s flaws and has a way with his no bullshit attitude that I just love. And it’s people like him, people with opinions and with an attitude to fill the room, and the drive, and the energy, and the adrenalin pumped pulse- that’s what makes this city so attractive and that’s also why for so many it ends in heartbreak. You have to be able to withstand the energy pouring into this vortex. You have to stand firmly and be determined to make it or you will be swept away by the stream of others making their dreams happen. You are either working for your own dreams here or you are building someone else’s dreams. Not everyone can hold up. But if you wanted to have a simple life, you would not have come here in the first place. And you know it.
Some will be swept away.
Some will linger for a while in a sort of limbo, waiting for things to start, not really a start line anymore, but no finish line in sight.
Others will leave with a broken heart and bitter taste in their mouth. They will blame New York for their misfortune, justify shattered dreams by blaming horrible people and bad luck. They will feel about New York they way they felt about the first person who rejected their love. They will resent this city, feeling deep inside that they are not good enough, having lost themselves.
But the rest will reap the harvest of their dreams. They will make it, they will find a way to do what they love, live it and make a success out of their journey. The only substantial life is the life that makes you feel truly fulfilled. Money, success, popularity don’t make you permanently happy. As long as you stay true to yourself and your dreams, work hard and never walk the same path twice, this city will gift you with your dreams. You have to just want it and want it fearlessly! You have to embrace it’s energy and ride the wave. Crack your lip on the hard sea bed sometimes, but get back up on that wave again; salt on your lips, taste of courage in your mouth.
New York is a place that attracts a certain kind of energy. You don’t come here to just be, you come here to experience. You know all the stories and you know most of the endings, so you have no excuse to not learn from those who paved the way. You have no excuse not to make your own legacy. In your own way. How you want it.
If you want to succeed you will, if you want to fail, you will find a way to sabotage every opportunity the Universe gives you, until you either break down or realize that you are not allowing yourself to aim for the stars. Realizing that you can aim for the stars is the first step.
So, whatever legend that this city is, you make your own reality and you manifest your own dreams, so dare dreaming and start your own legend.
Look inside and feel who you really are.
Accept your dreams as part of you, part of what makes you happier, better, more in tune with the world around you.
And start living. Travel, find your own place on Earth.
I have found mine.
New York, I fucking love ya!