It’s raining in New York City.
The early morning drizzle matures into a full shower before retreating back to a light rain. Abandoned umbrellas roll under subway seats as the endless flow of bodies shifts from train to platform and back again. The city is muffled by a grey sky and the slapping of wet, black boots on the pavement.
Halloween is over. Soon young couples will vanish, inclined to spend months together cocoon-ed in blankets of warmth and love; no world beyond the bedroom door. Parents are beginning to wonder where the past year has gone, how their children grew so fast, when they started getting old. The leaves have fallen and lie in small piles, turning brown.
In just two weeks, I will celebrate my one year anniversary in New York City. Here, in this city, I’ve received many opportunities while fighting internal confusion and constant doubt. I’ve watched friends struggle to find themselves, feeling overwhelmed and consumed by this cold concrete jungle. I’ve built friendships with those who want nothing more than to live and grow in this incredible and unique place. New York City seems to hold an incredible power over its people. The skyscrapers, the speakeasy bars, the cramped apartments. At any given moment, it seems a person could be on top of the world or crushed beneath the noise and the need.
“Well ambition’s not as bad as AIDS, I reckon. But it can be a whole lot worse than the measles.”
–Skinny Legs and All, Tom Robbins
I find myself caught up in my generation’s desperate unquenchable thirst to be or to have the BEST. We have a term: “Fear of Missing Out.” This frequent hashtag, #FOMO, appears across social media whenever an event happens without our presence. Fear of Missing Out…on what? On love. On a better job. On a nicer apartment or a higher sense of accomplishment. I’m ashamed that this idea even enters my brain but there it sits. New York City is so full of so much, an the endless supply of options, that we are constantly forced to decide when and if we feel fulfilled. How do we define our own success in this huge city, in the larger world?
November is here, signaling yet another month of beauty and change.