Thursday, June 19, 2008

Comfortable Here

"There are roughly three New Yorks. There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born there, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size, its turbulence as natural and inevitable. Second, there is the New York of the commuter--the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. Third, there is New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something. Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness, natives give it solidity and continuity, but the settlers give it passion."
-EB Web, 1940

One of the questions I was bombarded with when I first moved to New York, was "Why did you move here?" And even though I had a million reasons, I always stumbled over my words and simply replied, "Change of scenery." And although that answer is a severe understatement, it's also very close to the truth. Not the sky scraping buildings, or the yellow taxi cabs and black town cars that line the streets. Not the endless rows of shops and mom and pop stores to browse through or the historical landmarks that sit in literally every corner of this great city. The "scenery" I'm referring to is me.

Finding a place in yourself that feels safe, at least for me, is an accomplishment that means the world to me. I've felt rushed my entire life. Like there was always somewhere I needed to be. If I didn't grab it, change it, find it or say it; someone else would. I thought the things I was doing was for my own benefit. But I realize that I didn't even know what I needed to begin with. In fact, I realized I didn't know anything about myself at all. When someone is faced with a life altering decision, one that will not only effect themselves, but their partner and future children...well, it's best to do a little self-analysis. It's a little difficult to stare into the mirror, when the people around you are twiddling their thumbs and checking their watches.

Enter New York. The strangest, dumbest, scariest and smartest thing I've ever done for myself. I risked absolutely everything and did the most selfish thing possible. I dropped everything, and went somewhere I knew nothing about. I knew I would be shocked, I knew I would be lost and severely inconvenienced to say the least. And I hoped, with all my heart, that I was right about my own resilience and strength. Well, I was.

I'll always be that girl who needs to be entertained. I know I have a slight case of ADD, and I tend to be impatient. But it's only because I have a passion of life. What I've realized is that since I've been here, I've been completely content with myself. When I'm not busy, I don't mind sitting in the quiet of my room. With my leather-bound journal filled 3 quarters of the way with my scribble in my lap; and the sunlight trickling in through my tomato-red curtains, I feel comfortable, and at ease. I know millions of Americans travel to places they've never been every day. And those people may not consider a 5 month stint in a foreign state to be a life-altering experience. Well, that's just too bad. I for one could never be that passionless.