Like anything, it is only when you look back that you can understand all the lessons you learned from going through certain experiences. I grew up on Long Island, dreaming that someday I may have the chance to live in New York City. While it was never geographically far, it may as well been a million miles away. I loved being in Manhattan as a young girl, but I also knew it was the kind of place that required a certain type of moxie and self-belief to get the most out of the experience. I think every person in the world should live in New York City for a period of time because New York City is the world’s best teacher!
It’s the kind of place where you never feel alone. Whether you’re starting your own company, or starting over in general, often, this can feel isolating and consuming. In NYC, there are people everywhere you go. Millions of them walking and talking and laughing and doing things you have no clue about. If you ever feel lonely, just take a walk in Manhattan. Pick a block, any block, and for whatever reason, you feel better. The people that you will never know make you feel like you belong. And we all want to belong to something, especially when we are creating and reinventing.
In NYC, you do not have to do your own laundry, go to the supermarket, or own a car. It’s a city of conveniences. You can easily drop your clothes off at the dry cleaner on your way to work, have groceries delivered, order in from your favorite Sri Lankan restaurant and call Uber with a click of a button. The subway runs 24/7 and can take you everywhere. Time is the only commodity we can’t control, but we can control how we spend our time. When you start to focus your time on the most important things in your life, it’s easy to get used to outsourcing convenience for everything else.
While we all seek to have a balanced life, NYC can be a hard place to find it. The level of stimulation is out of control. You are always on the go, and for most New Yorkers, slowing down simply isn’t an option. I like to believe this pace keeps me young and sharp in my mind and body. Sure, you must work a little harder to find balance, but it’s not out of the question. If you can find it there, you will find it anywhere. I get a little better every time, but it is hard. Most things that are worthwhile take some dedication and practice. Balance is no exception.
Anyone who tells you, I hate New Yorkers, or New Yorkers are so mean have likely never been to New York, and certainly never lived in NY. New Yorkers love their city and the people that live there. There is a fierce loyalty that is unlike anything I have ever felt anywhere else. I am one of those people and am proud to live in NYC and even more proud to call myself a New Yorker!