I’m going to keep this one hundred by saying these past four months have been ruthless. I didn’t want to talk about it or write about it because I felt huge amounts of shame. I have cried more times alone in my room than I could count, and have apologized to my roommates for being an over-emotional nose-bleeding diva. I have spent weeks feeling worthless, ugly, and invisible. There are days that I hate myself for not wanting to be a doctor or a scientist, because writers never have a sense of belonging, which is why we struggle. College does not prepare you for this. It is not designed to, and for that I am grateful. New York City is beautifully tragic in a thousand different ways, and that is why I love it.
My incredible roommate told me that when you move here you lose parts of yourself, and a lot of your time is spent gaining those parts back. I had lost my desire to tell stories, because I was too busy trying to prove myself and resist being weak. I had forgotten what it meant to see a person and not just look at them. I was calloused towards my true self, and I stopped writing about things that stirred something within me. This changed when I stopped seeing New York as a feeding ground for seven headed snakes and started seeing it as a place that could truly change my life.
But I say here is to new beginnings. I’ve had to grow up quickly, say “I love you” on the phone more, and be proud that Harlem is starting to become more like home. I love speaking spanish with the ladies on the street, and hearing the bachata music blasting from our neighbors kitchen. I thank God for my ride or die roommates who keep me on my toes with their witty humor (insert every line of dialogue from Mrs. Doubtfire immediately). Here is to realizing that my identity is not in my success, but in my journey. Here is to allowing myself the ability to feel all the emotions, to experience the heartbreak and the joy.
If you’ve read Robert Frost, which I assume you haven’t, he says the best way out is always through. This is not to say that I’m trying to get out of the city. The hard moments I come across, the hard weeks I encounter can only be conquered by going through them.
Pretty serious, right? I know gross. No need to bunker down, I have plenty of stories about falling on the subway stairs, incredibly wild overheard phone conversations, and my encounters with strangers. I mean I saw Maya Rudolph in Duane Reade and we talked about shampoo a.k.a SHE’S GONNA BE ONE OF MY BRIDESMAIDS. Get it? Okay, you’re right too much. Annnnd scene.