A few months ago, one of my students told me she couldn't believe I wasn't a native New Yorker. She said I seemed so "New York," and she kept forgetting that I had only recently moved here. October marks one year in New York. It's hard to believe at times that a year has gone by, but when I think of my old life in Florida, it already seems so distant. Making big changes always reminds me how adaptable we are as human beings. We can adapt to bad situations, and we can adapt to good ones.
this one year mark, I'm thinking a lot about what it means to be a "New
Yorker." There are few places in the country with as much pride as New
York. People often wear their New Yorker status as a badge of honor even if they no longer live here.
There's the saying that if you can make it here, you can make it
anywhere. In many ways, that's very true. Living in New York is drastically different from living anywhere else in the country, and it provides its own challenges. In exchange for those challenges, I get to live in one of the greatest cites in the world.
I've come to realize that
being a New Yorker is not simply living here in the city. In fact, I
would argue many people who live in New York are not New Yorkers. My
students, most of which are native New Yorkers, often comment on my New
York-ness because I exhibit a lot of qualities that are valued here, and I truly live in the city. I'm active, I know what's going on, and I participate.
last year in New York has felt like finding a home. I fit
here in a way that I've never fit before. My directness is appreciated
here. My intelligence is appreciated. My bitchiness is appreciated.
People don't get offended easily here and nor do I. My work as a writer is appreciated and valued. I've done more poetry readings in the last year than any other time in my life. What I'm saying is perhaps I've been a New Yorker all my life, but now I'm finally here.
To me, part of being a New Yorker is
also taking advantage of the city and truly living in it. Dustin and I love doing new things
and going to events, museums, bars, clubs, and restaurants, so we've taken major
advantage of our time here. In fact, we are constantly informing other
New Yorkers about events they've never heard of before. I don't
understand living here and not being active. There are endless things to do.
It's safe to say
that I've fallen in love, and I'm not going anywhere.
I'm happier than I've been in a really long time, and I'm very thankful
to have a husband who shares my passion for new experiences and enjoying
-Stephen (New Yorker)