Wednesday, May 30, 2012

NYC Living: The Battle in my 20s

At the moment, I am staying with my friend Lisa and her roomie Therese. Their apartment is in Manhattan's Lower East Side. It's so nice and the place reminds me of collegiate living. However, instead of college students the people outside are college students turned professional. There are families also living in the complex, which is weird because I keep thinking this place is a fancy college dorm.  As I fry spam for breakfast this morning the hustle and bustle of people outside has caught my attention.  I wonder for a minute what it would be like to live and work in the city. From my first two days, I love it already. I love city life. I love that there is something to do everyday. I love that it is so diverse. I love that I can go anywhere with just a metrocard and not have to pay for a car or gas.

However, my number one buzzkill thus far are the prices. It is ridiculously expensive to live in New York city. You will need to earn a 6 figure income in order to live comfortably. Most of my friends live on the outskirts, like Brooklyn, because rent is cheaper. Hence, if I really allow myself to consider living here I need to come to the realization that it will be tough on finances. I have to either find a good job right off the bat or intern (suffer for 3-6 months) and pray that they hire me full time on an income level that I can survive on.

As much as I love being young, going out, and being with my girls. I realize mid-20s can be tough shit. It is difficult to get noticed amongst the 100s of qualified job applicants. I have to learn the virtue of patience and determination in the face of constant rejections and no call backs. I have to chug out resumes and cover letters like a machine and send them to as many places I can think of. I have to reconsider interning in order to get my foot in the door. Essentially, everyday lived is a day of possibilities. Some days may have more bad luck than good luck. However, I have learned to take it as it comes and pray for the best.

This contemplation did not come from nothing, though I know it may seem kind of out there. The last time I was in NYC was for a cosmopolitan photo shoot. My friends and I won a a contest and we were featured in a Dove ad. I remembered our bright and hopeful magazine statements about our future and what what challenges we faced thus far. Our perception at that time was innocent and we never really understood the depths of those challenges until we lived it out of college. I know the challenges will always be there but I have learned that taking chances is important and I think above all else that is what separates our generation from those in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. Our generation is for taking chances and living a life that is often undecided and scary. However, the thrill is once in a life time.

Going along these lines, I remembered when I met my h.s. friend Joey for the first time in almost 6 years on Monday. He is an aspiring photographer working in the city and when I asked him how he came about his job now he simply said, "I had to lift shit."

Yes, he had to lift shit. He had to work his way up. He had to be the slave. He had to make due with what he can and try his best to earn the respect of his colleagues. That is the reality of our 20s. We have to take chances, move out on our own, and lift people's shit. I think that is a perfect way to end this overlong blog post. The reality of me moving to NYC will have to be understood before I make any real decisions.

Thank you concrete jungle for making me realize how thankful I am to be young and how much harder I have to work to get to where I need to go.

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