The thing is, I have a bad habit of qualifying my responses in conversation. If someone asks me what I do for a living I start by saying, "I work at an education non-profit" and end with ...I'm the chief executive's assistant. When I cook something for dinner and someone compliments the meal, I say, "Thanks, I'm glad you like it!" and then ....here are 4 ways it could taste better. And when people ask me how I like living in New York, my typical response is, "It's great! It's a great place to live... but it's really expensive/stressful/crazy."
Living in New York City is all those things. It is expensive. It can certainly be stressful. It is without a doubt crazy. But it is also really, really great. My bad habit can sometimes make it hard to see the forest for the trees but when I take a moment to examine my life at this very moment, on the brink of a fifth year of this crazy expensive stressful life, I have to be grateful, above all, for the opportunity to live in this city.
A brief random, but relevant, anecdote:
Around lunchtime today, my coworker Caroline frantically told me her pants were "broken". She realized a clasp had fallen off the zip and was mortified at the thought of her meeting at Google later in the afternoon. She walked down to my desk practicing a hunched-over version of her usual confident stance to hide the embarrassing zip-less fly of her trousers. By some stroke of luck, I had an extra pair of trousers at my desk which I had neglected to bring home last night. And by another stroke of luck, said trousers were of appropriate size and exact same color as aforementioned zip-less perpetrators. Caroline quickly changed and headed off to her meeting, crisis averted.
After this exchange and in thinking about this long overdue blog post, I had to laugh. Three years ago, Caroline and I did not even know each other (though we have since discovered many junctures at which our paths could have crossed). Now we can confidently wear each other's pants without blinking an eye. I have often thought about how hard it can be to make new, true girl friends after the somewhat forced close quarters of high school and college. I feel very lucky to be able to share pants with Caroline.
So, here's to another year of swapping trousers, of craziness, of stress, and of (moderate) expense. I hope I can finally stop qualifying those answers and instead, confidently speak about my job, my home, my cooking, my friends.
I look forward to the day when I up and move somewhere greener, quieter, cheaper. I am sure that I will be ready to leave New York behind. But now, four years in, I guess what I'm trying to say is that I am grateful for the friendships I have made and the path I have followed. And in its own way, New York has really begun to feel like home.