I’m going to start off the post this week by just being completely real and honest, because I promised to show the real NYC in these weekly posts. And it’s not always so glamorous.
When people learn that I moved to NYC fresh out of college on my own, they’re amazed. They say “how brave! That’s amazing! How did you do it?!” And I always play coy. “It’s no big deal. I just wanted to. I saved up. It was worth it.”
This is my moment to stop being coy. This is me taking a second to just admit that yeah, it’s f*cking hard.
For all that I love about NYC, it’s hard. It’s not the most difficult thing I’ve dealt with in my life- it doesn’t even make my top 5. But don’t let that make it sound easy; let that just tell you a little something about my top 5. Because this is so difficult; every single day.
Every month, I collect rent from 4 girls, who may or may not have it ready for me on time. I collect an electric bill from 4 girls. I collect the cable bill from 4 girls. All paid separately. All going into my account that I am using on a daily basis to purchase food, clothes, etc. It is so difficult balancing your finances when money is constantly moving in and out on a daily basis in huge sums. I am planning to open a separate bank account for me and my roommates soon, as it’s just causing too much stress.
And speaking of stress- at the end of your lease, nothing is guaranteed. All 4 of my roommates got their 30 days notice last month. Now that month is almost up and I only just got all the rooms filled, because whether the apartment is filled or not by the end of the month, my landlord is still going to want the full rent, and my old roommates will still want their deposit back, whether I have the money or not.
I live paycheck to paycheck, counting change to make sure I have enough for groceries, bills, rent, clothes, necessities, food and litter for the cat, etc. And the cost of living up here is no joke. A lot of people think that the amount of money people make up here balances out with the cost of living, but that’s not the case. I get by. I don’t have to ask for help. But it’s a struggle.
You have no privacy. You live in a house with 4 to 5 other people- with a 70% chance that you’ll end up with someone annoying and dirty and dramatic and rude, because you can’t afford the cost of a one bedroom apartment.
The work hours are long and the work pace is unbelievably fast (which yes, I wanted that. But it doesn’t mean it’s not exhausting, physically and mentally).You can’t walk anywhere without some asshole hitting on you or trying to sell you something. Commuting is a long, drawn-out process that has to be planned into your day. You spend a huge chunk of your day just getting to and from where you’re going.
Yes, I love this city. NYC is great. It’s why I put up with all the bad. But, like in anyone’s life, there is bad. And it’s hard. And I must have been crazy to have done this on my own. But the next place I live will be a piece of cake after this.
I’m exhausted. I have had so much on my mind and so much to worry about lately, but the city is carrying on around me. I wake up, go to work, cook meals, clean the apartment, and try to just balance everything I have going on. I guess I’ve just been going through a rough patch, and I don’t feel like pretending that I’m not struggling with it, because I really am. This is hard. I don’t feel like being humble about it. It’s hard and I’m doing it.
BUT! There are good things about this city, which is why I put up with so much bad.
This week alone, I went to a Broadway show, went to Top of the Rock, went to a Yankees game, had some authentic NY pizza in the middle of Times Square with visiting family, and saw Jimmy Fallon and Caroline Rhea. And on Sunday, I’m strutting my stuff in the NYC Pride Parade with a dear friend. There are so many wonderful things that this city has to offer, that makes it all worth it in the end.
And just to give a little shout-out to the play I saw… The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime was so unbelievably good. I can’t say anything that would give it justice, so just go see it for yourself. It was beautifully designed, staged, and acted. I loved every second of it. I hope to see it again during its run.
One final note for you guys about my week: there’s one song that’s really helped me through the week and really embodies what I’ve been feeling. It’s on my Saturday Songs list for tomorrow, but I’ll go ahead and share it with you now and give you a sneak peak of my music for this weekend. Hope it speaks to you like it did to me. (Bet you didn’t know my songs weren’t just accidental, did you? 😉 Pay attention, people! You can learn a lot about a person from their taste in music)