Is the grass really greener on the other side?
Having just resigned from a position that was no longer inspiring me, in a city that I no longer desire to call home, I find myself questioning what I truly want as a result of my actions. I had initially thought of New York as this magical place of opportunity, a utopian society where “dreams are made of”—excitement on every avenue and street. But what is ‘the dream’ and why should we demand such high expectations from New York? Did this idea sprout from the industrial revolution? Is ‘the dream’ something that was sold to us through the lens of social media and Hollywood?
We are constantly exposed to movies and TV shows that choose to capture only the very best of Manhattan (and occasionally Brooklyn)—picture two lovers casually strolling down a brownstone lined street, birds chirping, no-one stands between them and their town. A fictional portrayal at it’s finest. On the other hand, we see countless Instagram posts of ‘influencers’, friends, family and acquaintances (whom we ‘follow’ because we just have to see what they’re doing...?) at the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, and Central Park—sporting the highly anticipated Yankee cap. New York is all of a sudden their “Big Apple” who they will be seeing again very soon (insert “NY I love you” or “you’ve been great”).
When you live here, more often than not, you don’t do those things. You realize the fundamental aspects of the environment around you, that you need in day-to-day life, could be of greater importance than initially thought. Fresh air, grass, the beach, or simply the ability to walk down the street without having your left atrium blown up by a passing fire truck… are important to me. I am by no means saying that New York isn’t a truly incredible city capable of making your dreams come true, nor will I ever regret making the move here, but maybe my dreams, hopes, and desires can be achieved elsewhere too. So here I am, unsure of what lies ahead once again, but eager to find out.
*I will always miss New York, and look forward to experiencing what it has to offer as a visitor someday soon.