“I love New York, even though it isn’t mine, the way something has to be, a tree or a street or a house, something, anyway, that belongs to me because I belong to it.”
It took me starting to reject New York for it to finally want me, go figure.
I had been desperate for New York’s attention for so long, and I knew it was obvious. My mom taught me when I was 14 years old that desperate is never attractive. New York is like the cool guy in high school that had it all going for him, so you never felt like you could impress him. One thing I learned from an early age is that as soon as you stop caring about being accepted, you become acceptable.
Nothing was ever more truthful about New York. The harder you try to be apart of it all, the more challenging the City becomes. You’re challenged to see if you really want it; you’re constantly tested. In my first few months I’d been subjected to some weird stuff. I saw a homeless man pull down his pants and start urinating on the sidewalk one day, and the next day I saw a sleeping man on the train urinate on himself on the seat across from me. I’d been yelled at and threatened by some crazy old lady on the street. One day while I was working, I stopped in front of a building to check my phone at the same time someone above me decided to water their plants. I got drenched in the middle of my work day. I was feeling unwanted but was starting to no longer care. When I started rejecting New York, I felt it start pulling me back in.
It’s just like playing tag on the playground when you were little. You run and run from the person that’s “it” until you can no longer feel them chasing you, and then you stop and look around to see where they went. It’s human nature. New York and I were playing tag and I was “it”. I was growing tired and starting to give up. Even though New York is not a person, it most certainly has a personality, and wants to be desired and adored most when it starts feeling rejected.
New York wanted to win me over again, so it shed the cold exterior and started warming up for me.
And so began my first New York Spring.