As anyone who has left their safe havens and come to New York for bigger and better will tell you, this city can be a serious reality check. Fantasies of living like the girls from Sex and the City quickly dissipate as you realize that there’s a lot that goes into living in NYC. It’s not all Manolo Blahniks and brunch. Paul Hudson at Elite Daily detailed these in his article, “The 50 Life Lessons New York City Has Taught Me.” Here, I examine five statements made by Hudson, that have proven themselves to be true in my life.
Space and quiet are two things that are taken for granted.
When I first moved to NYC, I lived on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. While my apartment was a block away from the train, it was also cramped and noisy. Coming from New Orleans, I was used to having room to breathe. Unfortunately, there was no such room here. With the train rumbling underground like clockwork, my neighbors playing music or fighting loudly outside of my window at night or having to crawl over roommates to get into the bathroom, I quickly realized that I really longed for being able to spend some time alone and it actually being quiet. After a few months, I headed out of the city to Brooklyn and found my own place. There’s still times that are unruly but they are usually contained to the weekends. Not to mention, my rooftop brings me a ridiculous sense of peace.
Public transportation will betray you, but it is still better than driving.
Anytime you really need to get somewhere, there will probably be a delay. If you find yourself late for work, you may find that the conductors are telling you that the station you just arrived at is this particular train’s last stop, despite it being far from the end of the line. Confused and pissed off, you will have to shuffle off of the train and wait for the next one to arrive. Sometimes it does actually take less time to walk crosstown than if you hop on the bus. But despite the sights, smells and random people that find themselves tossing out a sob story to you within the public transportation system in this city, there’s no way in hell that I’d drive here.
People will take advantage of you given the chance.
Don’t think that the sob stories are exclusively from people on the subway trying to rustle up some change. People will come into your life and drain you emotionally and monetarily, if you allow them. I know I have, before I realized that I was being far too kind. Buying drinks or meals for others while neglecting myself. The most important thing to remember, in this situation, is that just as these people are looking out for themselves, you should as well. Selfishness is not a bad thing, if you are out for self preservation. If someone suggests that you go somewhere, and then they casually drop, “but I don’t have any money,” it’s up to you to say no or forever be a door mat. A great test of this is when you go out with said leeches, buy yourself a drink. The way they look at you when you return with your drink will tell you all you need to know about said person. If they ask for a sip, that’s not so bad. If they look at you like, “why didn’t you get me one,” maybe you should start finding other people to hang out with.
You need to be on guard, most of the time.
I don’t necessarily mean crime-wise, although you should keep your wits about you in that respect. There is no shortage of assholes in this city and they will try to fuck with you. You may find that some random lady on the subway who is having a bad day decides to take it out on you or some jackass on the street has an inkling to act crazy; you never know what idiots you’ll encounter. The best option in this case is to project an aura of “you really don’t want to fuck with me,” and have a few witty retorts up your sleeve. They will not go to waste!
If you want it, you can have it.
It may be your dream job, to fall in love or just that kickass pair of heels you saw while walking down 5th Ave. Whatever it is, it’s possible in this city. Sure, you may have to pick up a few odd jobs or eat saltines and Vienna sausages for a while, but you can do it. Anything is possible, you just have to work for it.
Regardless of how hectic it can be, I wouldn’t trade the fact that I live in NYC for the world… because it is the world. DUH!