Saturday, March 9, 2013

What is it about New York?

I've felt a pull toward New York long as I can remember.
I know I'm not alone in that, it's a pretty popular city for people to dream about.
For a lot of people it's about the "big city" feel, wanting to be a star, or being successful.
I'm not interested in all of that.
I don't know what it is about New York actually.
I've never been but I know better than to judge it on the movies and what I see on TV. So what is it that I'm drawn toward? I'm asking because I don't actually know.
I've just always felt I was supposed to be there.

I thought I had my answer when I decided to go to grad school and originally applied for masters programs. I found one right in the city, one that didn't seem too far out of my reach, unlike some which I knew I didn't have a shot in hell at. I got all my application materials together and sent them off to let fate take its course.
There was no doubt in my mind that I was going to move from Hawaii to New York, chop my long locks to an adorable short style, and be an entirely new person on the east coast. It was, in my eyes, the natural progression of things.
I was so sure of all of it. It felt like that was exactly what I was supposed to do.

The rejection letter from New York stung in a way I didn't know heart break could. I watched that vision that was so vivid in my mind crumble in a matter of seconds.
Once I decided to go for my Ph.D. I knew I couldn't spend the next 5 years living 3000 miles away in a different time zone from my family again. Doing it in Hawaii for almost 4 years was long enough for me.
I opted instead to only apply to schools on the west coast for Ph.D. programs.
I was accepted to only one program, in California. The state I used to swear up and down I'd never live in.
Here I am 2 and a half years later, a California inhabitant.
It's never felt right here. Despite the fact that there are so many similarities here to my original home and my home for the previous 4 years, something here just doesn't fit me.
 I can't help but wonder if it's that New York pull.
I know now that whatever that force is I've been feeling from New York will likely never amount to anything more than a week or 2 vacation. I'm tied to California for another year and a half at least, and after that it's 1 year in who knows where (wherever will have me for internship) and then by all the power in me, I will make it back finally make a home.
I'm not foolish enough to think I could actually get my internship there. Like I said before, it's a pretty popular city to dream about, which makes jobs/internships/housing/living there ridiculously competitive.
What is it about New York? Why do I feel like I was meant to be there? It's not a permanent feeling. I don't feel like I should live my life there, because I know my heart is and always will be with my family so unless they're all (and I mean all, cousins, aunts, and uncles too) packing up and heading east, my home will be built with them in the west.
I don't particularly enjoy living in small spaces, being around a ton of people, paying more than Ross prices for things... so what's the allure? Obviously there is more to New York than those things, but those things impact daily living...on a daily basis.
I'm hoping to look back on this whole things 30 years from now and go "Aha! now I get it, now I know why" but until then I'm just left wondering.
I guess I can't say never about anything. I thought I'd never live anywhere outside my hometown. I never imagined I'd live in Hawaii and I swore I'd never live in California. 

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