New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down.

New York, I Love You
But you’re bringing me down

New York, I Love You
But you’re bringing me down

These words, sung beautifully by LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy, most accurately describes my relationship with the city I’ve called “temporary home” for the past 22 months.

Never have I had such a love/hate relationship with a Noun like I do with NYC.

When I’m in love mode, I’m the happiest guy in the world, but when it’s time to hate this place, there isn’t a thing that can be said to bring a smile to my face.

The memories I’ve collected over the past 2 years I can’t imagine having anywhere else in the world, and the new friends I’ve made I wouldn’t trade for anything. The random opportunities and professional connections that have presented themselves have done previously unimaginable things to my “career” and resume. To the outside observer, these have been 2 years of unheralded success and I have nothing to complain about. They aren’t wrong, but definitely not completely right.

And that’s the way I’ve tried to keep it. Unfortunately, the front I put up has, of late, begun to crack. The big smile, the strong posture, and the my overall confidence are all, at times, becoming things of the past and at times, it seems as if there’s nothing I can do about it.

New York, I Loved You
Why Are You Bringing Me Down

New York, I Loved You
Why Are You Bringing Me Down

To the outside observer, or even someone in my inner circle, thugs such as:

Bounced Rent Checks
The Occasional Turned Off Phone
Multiple Denial of Credit Card
Frequently Overdrafted Accounts
Denial of Additional Student Loans

wouldn’t immediately be linked to my “type”, whatever that may be. But doing things such as “pursuing one’s dreams” and “making short-term sacrifices for long-term gains” by doing something like grad school or working at non-profits aren’t easily rewarded in a place like NYC.

Additionally, those things listed don’t operate in silos. Just two days ago, I was attempting to send my resume to a guy for a job. This seemingly easy task became an ordeal because, for one, I no longer have a laptop. A week ago, it was stolen… out of my backpack… in a locked room… at my grad school… while I was giving my final presentation. So I tried to send it from my phone, but apparently an hour earlier, my phone was disconnected. So I scrambled around Columbia until I found an open public computer, paid my cell phone bill with a card I’m sure is now overdrafted, and sent the resume off.

By now, this almost comical situation is a common practice. It shouldn’t be normal, but it is.

The reason I bring all of this up is not to garner a smidgen of pity, but because this is a common NYC story that isn’t often talked about. You often here about the polar opposite groups, the poor continuing to struggle and the rich finding new, more awesome ways to stay rich and I’m the first to say that’s where the majority of the attention should fall. Very infrequently, however, do you hear about the “hard-to-pity” group of college graduates who, in some ways, are putting their futures on the line to one day have a future. Young, high-achieving people jeopardizing some aspects of their livelihoods to one day make a difference. Ones essentially going from advantaged to disadvantaged, as to help to truly disadvantaged.

And this is what this city does to us. This type of thing can happen in other places, definitely, but the cases are exponentially higher here, and happen to people living modest lives.

New York, You Hate Us
But We Can’t Let You Go

New York, You Hate Us
But We Can’t Let You Go

I want to run away from NYC, but I can’t. Not yet. On paper, I’ve made it here, but let me assure you I have not. Going to an Ivy League grad school, but eating 2 very light meals a day isn’t making it. Continuously building your resume but not being about to but your family Christmas presents isn’t making it. It’s not.

With that said, I can’t let the city win. I don’t really want to stay here, but I’m stuck here until I’m finally happy. Happy doesn’t mean rolling in cash. Happy doesn’t mean I’ve finally stopped grinding (I hope that never happens). The morning I wake up not stressed about how something is going to get paid for will be a great day. A happy day. That might be 6 months, might be a year, it might be 3, but I’m not leaving until it happens.

New York, I’ll Leave You
Once You Stop Bringing Me Down

New York, I’ll Leave You
Once You Stop Bringing Me Down

It’ll happen. I’m not worried. I don’t think.

I love you New York. I think.

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About Rembert Browne

NYC via ATL //// rembert.browne@gmail.com 500daysasunder.wordpress.com
This entry was posted in Cities, Important Ones, NYC. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down.

  1. talk123 says:

    I can TOTALLY relate to this. I’m so glad I’m not alone.

  2. Tana says:

    This hit the nail HARD on the head. I even tried to leave last year, after 7 years here, and ended up coming back on Dec. 29th, 2010. I wanted to make sure I spent New Year’s Eve/Day back in my city, with my friends, (and a job waiting for me) to kick things off right. I think I’ve almost made it, and I’m a little over 8 years in. I’m almost there. Don’t worry; it’ll happen.

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