Ode to New York

June 7, 2012 at 12:56 am (Discovering myself by discovering the world, Domesticated Diva in Training, Dragon Baby, My life, and how I live it, Thoughts) (, , , , , , )

After 7 years in New York, I’m leaving.

New York City, what can I say about you. I came here straight out of grad school for my first job, outgoing and open, but innocent and naive. And you changed me.

I hadn’t been here for long when I met my first ‘bad boy,’ and my life took a turn in a direction my parents tried my whole life to steer me clear of. For several years after that, I worked a corporate job by day, and moonlighted as a Club Kid by night. As part of the ‘in crowd,’ I was offered connections to the rich and famous, a never ending flow of alcohol, and access inside a glamorous and alluring world I had never known. I was invited to private parties, offered front row seats at NY Fashion Week, no reservations were needed at any of the hottest restaurants, no velvet rope wouldn’t be unhooked to admit me instantly, and hobnobbing with models and celebrities became the norm. Growing up, how could I have guessed that one day, I would be sitting next to Leo at his private party in his club, or that David would offer to buy me a drink, or that Sienna would be sharing a chair with me at a crowded dining room table after a wrap party. Though I was spiraling out of control, drowning, not knowing which way was up, which down, I was on fire. This is what I had come to New York for, I had thought.

But I was wrong. You can’t live in the fast lane like that without it one day coming to bite you in the ass, and luckily for me, before I made any mistakes that couldn’t be rendered, I met The Honey, and again, my life altered courses.

The Honey was not part of ‘the scene.’ I tried to bring him into that world, but he was a nice boy from the Midwest who had come to the big city to pursue a higher education. He was turned off by the fake glitz and emptiness that follows a so-called spectacular night, and though I resisted (Oh, did I resist!), I left my world farther and farther behind, and slowly, I became what I am today: responsible, healthy, dedicated, someone I hope will set a good example for my soon-to-be born Dragon Baby.

Some people say New York City chews you up and spits you back out, but I don’t feel that way about my time here. I don’t resent that first ‘bad boy,’ nor regret anything that has happened since. He may have opened the door to that darker world to me, but I was the one who giddily took the plunge. Nevertheless, I still excelled at my corporate job, made amazing friends, and had life experiences not everyone can claim they had. In short, I came out of New York a little scarred, but a lot more well-rounded.

After 7 years in New York, I’m leaving.

I remember the first time I did laundry in the basement of my first tiny NYC apartment and saw a dead cockroach flipped on its back. I broke into sobs and wondered why, WHY (?!) did I receive a higher degree just so I can come pay such crazy prices to live in these crappy conditions. Now I understand, cause though there have been so many things about this city that I hated, there are just as many that I love.

I’ll miss my first tiny, tiny studio on the Upper West Side with a kitchen so small I had to chop vegetables on a stool. I’ll miss running out of contact solution in the middle of the night and having instant access to more at the 24/7 CVS across the street. I’ll miss taking the tram to my last home in NYC and watching the sun glisten off the East River from high above. I’ll miss people watching at the coffee shop on the corner of Broadway and Prince, going to The Met and pretending I know anything about art, food from any country I could possibly image, being surrounded by people the second I walk out of my apartment, hailing a cab when I’m late to work, walking amongst suits in Midtown on my lunch break, having a cocktail or brunch on a people-filled city street, being able to walk to shops, the gym, the grocery. I’ll even miss getting on the often unreliable, definitely unsanitary subway and having the doors open up into a completely different, diverse neighborhood from when it first picked me up.

Above all, I’ll miss the friends I’ve made here, mostly the ones from my normal life, and a few that have crossed over from my party life. These people have been there for me when things were not good, celebrated with me when they were. These people are my family away from family, so how do you say “see you later” to people who have so impacted your life?

After 7 years in New York, I’m leaving.

I resigned from my job, packed up my apartment, and am moving to San Diego with The Honey, to live on the beach, start new adventures, create new memories, and hopefully build a new life that is even more fulfilling than the one I’m leaving behind. I guess I did find what I came to New York City for after all: a career, a good time, a great love, and possibly the biggest gift of all, my Dragon Baby.

Oh, New York, I’ll always have a soft spot for you. One day when my child(ren) are bigger, maybe, if you play nice, I’ll introduce them to you šŸ™‚

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