A Toxic Relationship

I am in a toxic relationship with New York.

I actually did not know what I signed up for when I hopped off the plane with my two oversized luggages, a backpack, and my pillow pet - Heath.

Iconic films and social media paints New York to be this glamorous City, with beautiful people waving down cabs yelling, “Taxi!” However, it was not until I became a local when I truly got a taste of the everyday New York life -  which is not-so-glamorous.

I understood what struggle meant, believe me, but the transition from the lax-West-Coast-vibe to a Hustler-City- vibe was quite a struggle.

There are details people omit when they’re trying to sell New York - no one tells you that you that it will be hard to make friends, the City can potentially make you become a jaded individual, and shopping at Whole Foods may not be the best destination for your wallet and time.

Even the slightest details such as on trash days, it sits on the sidewalk and not in blue, green, or black bins. It is just piled on the sidewalk. As for the job market, it truly is a dog-eat-dog world. I was not informed about the competitiveness and the quick turnaround rates - if I was not available to meet instantly with a headhunter, well there goes a lost opportunity.  

When I began to experience the day-to-day rapture, I ask myself why do I chose to be here. Why do I continuously let myself sacrifice an arm and leg for the outrageous rent, the delayed trains, the inauthentic “Mexican” food, the terrible dating patterns, and the populated city.

It was as if I was digging a hole for my own grave.

But here is the funny thing - moments where I want to escape the Concrete Jungle, find a quiet place with less clutter, I find myself bored and unproductive. I would squeal, “I’m so excited to go back to New York” before departure. A curse of living in a large city such as New York is when traveling to other major US cities, nothing compares - the lack of entertainment, eateries, crowds, and energy.

I can’t explain it, but New York makes me feel some type of way. It is one of those situations where outsiders don’t understand it, and insiders cannot explain. You would have to experience it for yourself.

Despite how much the City has drained every penny in my pocket, challenged my resilience, and question my identity, I remain committed. I am in a deep, toxic relationship with this city.

New York, I love you.


Written by Chary