New York, I’m Breaking Up With You

New York and I had a whopping nine months together, and all I can say is we’ve gestated a pretty ugly baby.

When I was in college studying acting, everyone always talked about how they were going to live in New York after graduation. I tried to hop on that bandwagon, envying their starry-eyed aspirations and the glamorous outlooks they had for their futures. I made plans with friends to move to New York, to pound the pavement, looking for our big breaks. But in the back of my mind, I knew both acting and New York weren’t for me.

However, because the world works the way it does, I ended up having to move to New York City for a job.

Hi Jillian,

Will u go out wit me?

YES      NO

Xoxo New York City

Eh…I guess?

And so, I packed up what I could fit in my new tiny, overpriced room, and headed off to the big city.

In some ways, I was really excited about it. I had a lot of friends living in the city and I thought it would help improve my social life. Despite the fact that many people think I’m this really intense and serious person, I’ve never had much ambition when it comes to my career. All I’ve ever really wanted was friendships like the ones on I saw on TV. And if you ever did find me staring at you like you’re nuts, it’s simply because you’ve gone off script.

I’ve now found out that New York City friendships are rooted fundamentally in the, “You’re broke, I’m broke, and you’re either in another borough or a far walk from my apartment, so let’s just text each other occasionally” mentality.

And now, because fate is a fickle fiend with a twisted sense of humor, after nine months, I have to leave New York, once again for work. Because my boss no longer wants to pay a monthly fee that could feed a family of four for a cubby with no ventilation.

And while I’m always the kind of person who gets really anxious about any sort of change, and the kind of person who clings on to nostalgia, I can look around at my New York apartment, my first real adulthood home, and feel absolutely nothing.

I suppose in some weird way, I will miss being on the subway, told that I am being delayed because of the train traffic ahead of me, cursing the MTA under my breath, avoiding the overly affectionate couple next to me while I vigilantly scan the train for suspicious characters until some old lady does a hip hop dance for quarters. I will miss the constant threat of terrorism. I will miss how every Starbucks has an inexplicably long line. I will miss thinking I have money until the 1st of the month arrives. I will miss walking in the rain with my arms full of groceries. I will miss the church bells across the street ringing every hour, starting at 7:30am on weekends.  I will miss the tremendous sense of culture I felt whenever I got yelled at in another language. I will miss being enveloped in the hot scent of old sewage like a warm hug. And I will miss you, people who blast Kanye West out of your car at 3am, so loudly that my walls shake. You, I will miss most of all.

In a completely serious, non-weird way, I will miss the fact that Coldstone delivers. And speedily, at that.

To all of you tried and true New Yorkers out there, I am not mocking you. I have nothing but envy and admiration for artists, for dreamers, for those who can look at something like New York and see unending possibility, see home. I look at New York and see a TV show I might enjoy if I didn’t have to keep getting up to shift the antennae.

So…

Hi New York,

I have 2 break up wit u. I like da suburbs now.

Sry,

Jillian

P.S. As a small update from my last entry, I came home to find the dead bird had finally been swept off the ledge by the rain and is now resting comfortably in the grass. I like to think it was some kind of metaphor.

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