'I don't feel like I live here.'
I kept repeating this sentiment during the first month I lived in NYC, much to the dismay of my lovely roommate, who thought that meant that I was unhappy or uncomfortable. I wish I had expressed myself more accurately. What I should have been saying was 'I can't believe I live here.'
After all, living in New York has been the dream since I was 13 years old--back when I dreamed of being a star on broadway, of lights and glitter and fame. Then when I was stufying theatre and dreamed of being a working actor, because being a star would be hard if not impossible. When I decided that I might want to be a full time actor, that maybe I wanted to both act and write. When I began to love writing and started dreaming of a potentially different kind of fame. When I decided I wanted to work in publishing. Now I'm 23. As my dreams evolved over the last ten years, the one theing that never changed was New York City. (Even when I tried to convince myself Chicago would be better, because I needed to be practical and I would never make it in NYC)
So when I'm walking down the New York streets as if it's a normal occurrence, sometimes my mind grinds to a halt, forces me to pay attention, and look around me with reverent awe. You are living your dream. I smile and keep walking, and I walk a little lighter with the realization.
There's also times when I forget, and suddenly it seems as if the time around me stands still. I'm trapped in a moment and I can almost feel the city orbiting around me, moving and breathing like a living thing, and I am in the center. Those seconds are infinite, monumental, and I know that it wouldn't happen anywhere but here.
Even though life here is tough. Even though it can be lonely. Even though finding a job may seem impossible and improbable. Even though I am stretched to my last dollar. Even though I am just one of so many million. This is New York City. This is the dream,
and I live here.