New York… State of Mine

Lately, I’ve been seeing a pattern amongst my friends and some of their friends.

Many intelligent and amazing people have been exiting New York en masse to find new and improved quality lives beyond the Big Apple. The challenges of finding a home and work balance and true love in a city where millions are doing the same become increasingly more complex with high costs of living and scarcity of negotiable options all around.

Admittedly, as a native New Yorker, I have contemplated leaving my beloved home state. There have been days when I consider the uncertainty of many things in my life, and wonder if perhaps a change in scenery would be the kind of jolt I need to be inspired and motivated to successfully kickstart the next chapter of it. Admittedly, I would have to finally get that darn driver’s license I’ve felt little desire to get in my 30-plus years of life. When you are spoiled by public transportation and healthy strong legs, the idea of being confined to a vehicle and held hostage by traffic and the notion of paying as much for gas as one does for groceries is absurd.See, native New Yorker mentality (emphasis on “mental”).

Yes, I dream of a life where I have a fulfilling career, a doting husband and maybe a child or two (if it’s a twin — keeping it real). In a perfect world, I’d be spending my nights on the couch getting a foot massage after a home cooked meal, as opposed to watching basketball, eating take-out and perusing social networking sites… alone.

…But a girlfriend said that no matter where you go, you are taking you with you.

As difficult as living in the city has become over the last few years, I feel it’s every New Yorker’s duty to face it and endure — or risk betraying the strength and resilience the city and its people have become best known for.

Maybe in some cases, there truly is a better life beyond those bridges, but I’m personally not willing to give up on this place just yet to find it. This city is both cruel and good to me, and my love for it is strong to the point of unwavering at times.

Either I’m a glutton for punishment, or a hopeless romantic. One thing’s for sure: I am a New Yorker.