New York City. The City That Never Sleeps, The Concrete Jungle, The Big Apple. Whatever you call it, I call it one of my three homes away from home.
I love everything about this city. I love the guy at the waffle truck in Central Park who always makes me smile, the Chinese food delivery man I can never understand but can always count on, the historical gems hidden between electronic stores and small family owned delis, the mariachi bands that hop on your subway train at the last-minute, the beautiful park in the middle of hundreds of dark skyscrapers, and the faith that there is either a pretzel or hotdog stand on every corner, no matter where you are in the city.
But mostly, I love who I am in this city. This city gives me a confidence I wish I could bottle up and send to every shy awkward middle school girl. As soon as you step off the subway, you know you have no other option than to walk with confidence or else the city will eat you up and spit you back out. And I love that. As someone who used to over analyze every motion for fear of embarrassment, it is incredibly refreshing to walk through a city where you will pass hundreds of people who you will more than likely never see again and who quite frankly, don’t care. You don’t have to worry about looking dumb or being embarrassed, because the people who see your “embarrassing moment” won’t give it a second look. And if they do? WHO CARES! You will never see John Doe in the black jacket who happened to witness you walk straight into a sandwich board causing a falling domino effect down the street, ever again. If you don’t like who you were on Monday, you can wake up on Tuesday a new person who will pass by a whole new crop of people who never saw you completely miss your mouth when trying to walk and drink hot chocolate at the same time on Monday. And that feeling means one thing. Freedom. The freedom to be the version of yourself you have always wanted to be, but were too scared to show people for fear they would judge you.
This city gave me the freedom to be confident in who I have always been. I felt a change in myself the first week I lived there. When I came home after my semester in New York, my friends and family all saw a difference in me. I was anxious to see how I would do in the city when I returned almost one year later. To my happy surprise, I fell right back into my NYC routine effortlessly, from the moment I heard the familiarmumbly language from the subway conductor on the 7 train. I got off, got my mint hot chocolate from Dunkin’ Donuts, a bagel from the guy on the corner, crossed the streets without waiting for the walk sign, walked right past the annoying guys in costumes in Times Square without them trying to stop me for a picture and even pointed several different confused tourists in the right direction. I was back and couldn’t be happier.
The pace of the city is one I wish I could take with me everywhere. Spending a week in the city was like the espresso shot I needed to jolt me back into the job hunt here in LA. So I want to thank you New York, for always being there when I need you, even when I’m not sure myself what I need you for. Whether it’s the Thai Food place that delivers at 2 a.m., the never-ending hum of honking cars, the frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity 3 that always hits the spot or the doorman at the Plaza wishing you a wonderful day as you pass by, thank you for never letting me down.