New York was always meant to be a transitory experience. I moved here with the intention of only staying a couple years.
The city, while interesting, never captured my heart and/or soul the way it has others. I've been to many places more beautiful, cultural, fascinating; I know from experience this is not the end-all be-all that some people insist it is.
This place is loud. It is EXPENSIVE. It is materialistic and extremely ethnocentric.
Sure, there are well-known buildings, sights, museums, parks. And the hours are late. Yeah, there are lots of plays and shows. Yep, the public transportation is decent.
Meh, I say. This was never meant to be a place of permanence, it was never meant to be a place for me to set down roots.
Yet I've been here for four years (minus one month; my NYCversary is June 15). I've had the same job for four years! I never even attended a school for that long, ever. I've lived in this same apartment for two full years! This is a minor miracle, maybe a major miracle, if it heralds my ever-burgeoning adulthood. I love this apartment.
I have a wonderful relationship of over two years already, with someone who loves New York in all the ways I don't. Even more miraculously, I have developed friendships here in New York (all through and because of the internet; I hope the nerdiness of that reality is waning as it becomes more prevalent). I don't see any of them very often, but they're all wonderful and interesting people.
My apartment lease is up this month. It's one of many decisions I have to make this spring, but I've been pretending not to notice it. Every single aspect of my life, my future, is up for grabs in the next month or so. These decisions, the possibilities, the consequences are gnawing away at me, even as I try to ignore them all.
Here I must make a choice about homeostasis. Everything could stay the same--same cute apartment, same silly frustrating job, same long commute to see my lovely boyfriend. What does it mean to choose to continue to stay doing the exact same thing? Does it mean I'm scared to do something different? Does that show weakness?
Or do I take that leap into the unknown yet again? I've already quit a job with no safety net once before, I don't need to do that again. I've gotten far too comfortable with a regular paycheck. Do I abandon this job track and do something to pay the bills while waiting for career inspiration to strike? Do I keep looking for teaching jobs in other cities? Am I ready to abandon all the relationships I've built here? Am I ready to start over with apartment hunting, learning streets, finding interesting bars and parks, making friends, creating a completely new life for me, planting roots? Because I do want that, whether it's this year or the next one. I'm done with this temporary life.