I was reading my old LiveJournal last night at 3 a.m. (narcissism!) and found this post from the end of my first year living here, when the boyfriend I had followed here from Ohio was moving back home and I was changing my mind daily about whether or not I would stay behind:
A year and a half ago, when my Best Friend 4 Eva™, Tracey, realized that her 1st year of teaching junior high was actually sucking pretty hardcore, she started talking to other teachers about how she was feeling. They tried to console her by saying things like, “It’ll take you about five years to get used to it, but after that, you’ll be fine.” And she kept thinking, “Why would I spend five years just trying to get used to something when I could be doing something I like right now?”
And so she quit. I’ve decided that’s how I feel about New York. Don’t get me wrong–I’m happy here. Some days, I’m happier here than I ever was back in Ohio. But for the most part, it seems like most of the people I’ve met here moved to NYC because they wanted to escape their old lives. They didn’t know anyone who thought like they did or all of their friends had grown up and gotten married or they’re introverts who want to be nameless and blend in. And that’s not me.
This year hasn’t been wasted for me at all. I got to experience a million things I wouldn’t have in Ohio, and some days I felt so alive that I thought I might burst. But it drives me crazy the things I’ve missed at home. Now that Tracey’s only working part-time, she has free time like she hasn’t had since we were in high school. And since she’s doing things that she loves, she’s a completely different person. She’s not dating her boyfriend-who-didn’t-like-me, so she’s going out and talking to boys, and I’m missing it. My friend-since-we-were-born Katie just got married to a boy I set her up with, and I missed her bridal shower and bachelorette party because I had to save my money to make it home for the wedding itself. My grandfather found out he has cancer last month and despite getting treatment in Mexico will probably die before I’m able to see him.
Sometimes I’m amazed at the number of people I’ve gotten to know here and will miss if I leave. On Friday, when I was 1000% percent sure I was moving back home, two of my co-workers came into the kitchen where I was making a warm beverage with the ridiculously awesome tea/coffee/hot chocolate machine and started talking to me about all of the reasons it’d suck to be blind when using the subway. I said, “Hey, guys, let’s agree not to become blind, okay?”, and one of the girls said faux-enthusiastically, “That’s a great idea!” And I loved her. And I thought, “If I leave, I’ll never have the chance to get to know this girl.” But it’s very obvious to me that I’ll never replace Tracey. And as much as I like my new job, its not like my old job at the library, and I don’t want to be a receptionist for the rest of my life. I know that eventually, all of my friends from home are going to be all settled in with real jobs and spouses and babies, and then they’ll be dead to me. That’s when I’ll make my escape to NYC. That’s when I’ll be ready to make new friends and sit in jazz clubs alone and spend two bazillion dollars on a one-room apartment.
People keep trying to console me by saying things like, “It’ll take you about five years to get used to it, but after that, you’ll be fine.” But I’m not sure that I’m willing to spend five years trying to build a life for myself here when I’ve already got a great one back home.
And now I’ve been here for more than eight years. And I have a hard time imagining living anywhere else.