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NYC, The Life You Never Wanted

If you’re 20-something, your job stinks, and you probably haven’t washed your hair in a few days, this might be you.

So you’ve moved to New York with all your hopes and dreams and it’s gotten you nowhere. Keep reading.

Alicia Keys had it right when she sang “concrete jungle wet dream tomato.” New York is gross. The weather is only pleasant about 18% of the time, you have to ride the subways where literally everyone is insane, and pay for food you can barely afford. Oh, and forget looking good. You’re either bundled to the point where you aren’t recognizable in order to protect yourself from the arctic blizzards, or you’re constantly soaked from producing sweat in places you didn’t know could sweat. All of this to get to a job you either don’t care for or that you intensely hate, which pays so little you don’t know why you continue to do it. But you do.

If you make it back to your home town for a visit and relatives ask “How’s New York?” you say something like, “It’s cold!” or “It’s good, just really busy!” or “Fine… [insert awkward silence]” but what you really want to say is, “I’m poor and living in some crap neighborhood working at a job I don’t like and not doing any of the stuff I moved there to do I fucking hate it is there any more pumpkin pie where’s my mom?” which is coincidentally the same stream of consciousness you have on a daily basis. What makes it worse is that it seems like the only thing keeping you here is the fear of disappointment you’ll feel when New York actually wins and the people that said you were crazy for moving here were right. The truth is ugly. And you probably are, too.

The reason you know what I’m talking about is that you’re one of about a million people in the same boat. Which doesn’t suddenly turn that boat into a party yacht, but you can at least rest easy knowing you’re not exactly on the wrong path. You just have to realize it’s all in your head.

It’s not uncommon that people living in NYC are working jobs they hate. If you think about how many businesses you encounter on a daily basis, probably about .90653% of those people working are truly happy with their jobs (there’s a reason why customer service in NYC is almost non-existent). In fact, we can go as far as saying a whole lot of people are flat out unhappy living in NYC. Some people don’t have a choice because of family or other responsibilities, etc. In fact, those people are keeping it together in an entirely different way that many of us don’t even have to think about. But the point is, if you still have some hope for yourself that you’ll come out on the other side of this hell hole winning, you’re already headed in the right direction.

There are two things you need to realize. The first is that your worries about where your life is at this point are dumb. This “point” in your life is an arbitrary place in time you’ve come up with that you’ve somehow convinced yourself is the defining window you have to be at your most successful and prove yourself to the world. There is no scientific formula that tells you that you have failed, are failing, or are going to fail. The second point is that unless you are a serial killer, nobody outside your own head is that concerned with what you’re doing. Is everyone else’s life so boring that they are constantly monitoring yours? No, and if you think so then get over yourself. Everyone has stresses and everyone has problems. They are just different from yours.

I’m not sure what you were thinking when you moved to New York with the idea that you were going to rule the world on day one. If dreams like that came true on a daily basis we’d have a lot of fucking idiots in charge of things they shouldn’t be. The pinnacle of your life is every day. Nobody ever looks at where they are and thinks “Meh, this isn’t an important time in my life.”

All you can do is keep going. Your life is going to keep moving forward whether you want it to or not. The key is that if you have to work somewhere you hate in order to survive then find ways to do things that make you happy on the side. At least until you can do that thing you love full time. This is the real world everyone was talking about. Your life seems to suck because you’re not good at it yet. Be hopeful and make your life better in small ways on a daily basis. You can start by cleaning your room. It’s probably a fucking mess.

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