July 25, 2014

A letter to New York (and the lovely people in it)

Dear New York,

Many have come before me to dedicate their love to you. I couldn't possibly rival their songs, films, art, and poetry about you -- instead, I come to you as someone who has only briefly stepped out onto those streets and tried to keep up with the current of people.

I grew here. California is my home, and will forever be where I grew up. But here -- in this city! This city played backdrop to a significant time in my personal growth. This is where I learned how to be independent and stand up for myself. This is where I came to terms with who I was and my quirks (or, at least, I was able to identify that I had quirks, which is the first step anyway). This is where I made some friends that I hope to have for the rest of my life, and for that, I am eternally thankful.

But even more, this is where I fell in love. And I'll always find the lights, the smell of halal street carts at two in the morning, the man in Washington Square Park with his colored sand, dazzling. I'll remember kisses in front of train entrances, walks along the High Line, and cursing whoever invented the vuvuzela the summer of 2012. I fell in love with friends, the wonderful people I went on adventures with. The dancer, the Hawaiians, all of the damn finance kids, the singer, the artist, the ones who kept me grounded in my faith, the runners, the friends, the family. A lot of people I am thankful for.

It's strange to be leaving. It's strange to not know that I will wake up in the morning and see Manhattan grow larger on my morning commute from Brooklyn. I won't be able to walk all around town and think, "That wasn't so bad." I'll no longer have the convenience of the trains, and my metrocards will get tacked up to the wall as little reminders to come back here someday.

So, New York, this is where I bid you adieu. Though next month would have marked the beginning of our sixth year together, we will have to take a pause. I hope to be back someday to feel like I can have everything that I want in this city, the way that I have felt for the past five years.

But, it's time for me to move on. I've used this city as a crutch for some time now, and it's time for a change. It's scary, but I remember being just as nervous when I first flew here, terrified that I wouldn't be able to adjust to the jarring change of pace. But I did it. And I'll do it again, and again, and again.

So. From brunch to 3am slices of pizza, so long, New York. I'll see you again soon.


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