City Life

For a long time I was set on moving to the city (Manhattan) and living there for the rest of my life. It was always a perfect fit. My mother worked in the city, so I got to experience it for myself all the time. I loved the rush, the sounds, the constant hustle and bustle. My mother would take me in, we would always take the bus and subway, and I would stay with her at her job; waiting and watching all the glamorous people walking by in the streets and thought, that’s going to be me someday. I dreamed of getting a high-profile, luxurious job. I dreamed of living in a brownstone with my family. I dreamed of having a little girl and getting dressed to the nines with her and going out to live our fabulous Big City lives. My mother would always say, “you don’t want to live in the city, it’s expensive, it’s crowded, it’s dirty.” Of course, me being young, ignored her and kept on dreaming. I attempted to go to LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, but before I could even audition, my parents talked me out of it. Instead, I went to a high school in Queens-and to be quite honest, I don’t regret it. Instead of high school, I finally got my dream to attend school in the city for college. I attended two different colleges during the five years I completed, and that is when my love of the city diminished. It was a major hassle getting around the city-with a car, with buses, with the subway system. Either there was a traffic jam, or the bus didn’t arrive on time, or the subway service was suspended, rerouted, or delayed. I’d have to leave an hour and a half early from my house to get to my classes by 8AM. That meant leaving my house at 6:30AM. When I finally finished my classes, I had to get on the train during rush-hour and deal with rude people, crowding, and no seats. I was not impressed. I would go into the city with my boyfriend (now husband) during the summer to go to the zoo or Central Park, or during Christmas-time, when the streets and windows are lit up with holiday cheer. We would walk down Fifth Avenue and ooh and ahh at the twinkling lights on the Rockefeller Christmas Tree, go into St. Patrick’s Cathedral, watch the Saks Fifth Avenue mini-show on the side of the building, and stare into the stores that we could never afford anything in. Yet, even that stopped. First we stopped going into the city during the summertime and then, about four years ago, we stopped doing Christmastime in the city. I really don’t know what happened…maybe it was me. Actually, it definitely was me. The train ride itself now gives me serious anxiety and I always have to take the car in. And a car in the city isn’t always a good idea. I am currently in a position at my job which makes me go into the city at least once a month – I always drive. It’s true that at times I have a yearning to enjoy myself like I once did in Manhattan, but that’s all it is-a yearning. Not an actuality anymore. I still love to spend Christmastime in Manhattan, but that’s about it. I no longer envision myself living in the Big City. That dream is dead and gone. I guess maybe I have grown and my dreams have matured. At least I hope that’s the reason.


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