I just read this ridiculous (self-congratulatory) article on The Cut about "quitting New York at 24." It went on and on about how exhausting or unfriendly the city can be, and I get that. This is not an easy place to live and I don't think it has ever claimed to be. Even I—someone who lived here for a few years during childhood—find it completely different and difficult as an adult. It's hard to make new friends (thank God for bloggers) and even harder to nail down a healthy, self-sufficient living routine in a place that can literally indulge every need with the tap of a finger on a phone screen (ahem, Seamless.)
I moved here in April, and it is taking me months to feel some-what settled. I'm not 100% there yet, if I'll ever be. There are still moments of loneliness and fear, but that's just part of being human. The location has nothing to do with it.
And that's just it. The article annoyed me for many reasons, but mostly because of this ridiculous notion that a place should make you happy, or that one is entitled to happiness outright. [See this article via Hanna.] I think one of the enlightening truths unveiled to us as adults is that you must choose happiness, no matter the circumstances. It is not giftable, earnable, or stealable. It does not come from Instagram likes, blog comments or retweets (even though these are fun.) It does not live in the future or on an unreachable ("the next thing to come") horizon line. Everything is fleeting, and finding/keeping happiness takes work because of that. The two fixed realities at any age are you and the place you happen to be, and I can (as someone who has moved many times) understand why it's always easier to blame the place than yourself as a temporary fix.
As for me, I'm finding a little more happiness within myself every day. I can thank my job/team at work for keeping me busy in a challenging but inspiring way. Getting to know the city better is also important to the process. It's like we're dating—the relationship is still new and it's taking some work. I've started to carry my (real) camera with me when I can. I thought it would be fun to share some of my snapshots with you (also, of course, on Instagram.)
Anyway, Happy Friday! I hope you're doing something fun and exploratory this weekend. I'll try my best to do the same. :)
P.S. This blog is so great...