Where I Belong

If you asked me 5 years ago, I would say that I have always thought that I was going to stick it through in NYC for the rest of my life. Sometimes I really don’t know anymore. Having lived away from the city for a while, I have come to see how vile and poisonous my heart has been. It’s always easy for me to slip back into the “New York State of Mind” every time I’m home, but after each encounter, I can only feel immense guilt for the way I felt moments ago, and a part of my gut keeps telling me that this is not who I want to be. Ok yes, maybe I’ve gone soft, because everyone knows that in order to survive in this urban jungle, you have to fight like hell against the status quo. You have to proudly be who you want to be without giving a shnat for what anyone else thinks. But now, having been an actual human for a few months, I come back to this life and I don’t know what to do. I chose to be away for school because I really felt like I would never otherwise leave New York to live elsewhere long-term. Yet now as much as I love coming home and getting back into a routine, all I can think about is getting out of this claustrophobic dump where people love you with obscenities. Everyday I commute and feel myself be desensitized to the world around me, a few years ago I wouldn’t give a crap because every New Yorker knows to just mind their own business; the best way to live is to not speak, touch, or make eye contact with anyone.

And then I went away and spoke to people. That’s when I began to felt differently. New Yorkers earn their strides, nothing is ever handed out to us. Thus, we have IMMENSE pride. The Cardinal sin is to let your guard down, because that is when people step all over you. The more pride you have, the more respect you gain. In living this way, I was able to fool myself for the better half of my life that I don’t need people around to be who I want to be. The unfortunate truth is that even today, I still find myself trying so hard to avoid certain groups of people. I wish it weren’t this way, but 90% of the time, I don’t feel compelled to further my relationship with some ‘friends’.

For a very long time now, I keep feeling myself fight this inner ‘demon’, this idea that I don’t give a rat’s ass about people and things that happen outside of myself. It is part of my intrinsic behavior to find reasons to not stay because I’m not content with something. An unfortunate result of that is that I haven’t felt like I have belonged somewhere for a very long time. As far as NYC goes, I still love this place. For the most part. When you are raised in the boroughs, it becomes who you are. But I can’t fight this feeling that I am not content living a cold-stone life with nothing but ladders to climb.

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