Tuesday, August 01, 2006

New York City--The Best Love/Hate Relationship I Ever Had!

My best friend just moved there. My mom is currently on vacation there. And I once called it home!

The Big Apple.

I lived there for three years in the late '90s. I look back on those as some of the best years of my life. I went to acting school there, booked my first acting jobs there, and made some wonderful friends there. It was a wonderful place to live, and one of the hardest places to live as well.

New York is a city of paradoxes:

So many people, yet oh so lonely.
A concrete jungle, with the most beautiful and enormous park!
Rapid transit that sometimes takes forever.

There are so many things I could write about my relationship with Manhattan, but the one that strikes me the most is how "the city" helped me know myself more deeply and truly. New York pushed me to my personal limits. For perhaps the first time in my life, I found my edges, so to speak. It is a city that requires a person to live under a lot of pressure, a constant rat race. It is a city where the best of everyone is competing in their given field. It requires your soul to find a way to thrive without being refreshed by nature. You learn how to sleep with constant noise outside your window. You learn how to function as an individual in a sea of strangers. In a nutshell, you find out who you are. What you can handle. What you can't.

I remember toward the end of my last year in NYC, I had been away from the city doing a tour of The Wizard of Oz. As I was coming back into Manhattan and saw the skyline--the skyline that typically thrilled me--I wasn't thrilled at all. I didn't want to come back. I knew it was time to go. The city taught me that, as well.

New York will always have a special place in my heart. Probably because I got to know myself a lot better there. Though I may never live there again, I will return to the city for visits throughout the rest of my life. And God willing, I hope I will have the opportunity to perform on one of Broadway's stages.


Cherry said...

This is a very well written piece. I love how you knew when it was time to leave.

Ally Bean said...

I've been the NYC once for a long weekend-- and, oh, what fun.

It's great that you've lived and learned there, and it's great that you've moved on. Seems like a perfect win-win to me.

Buttercup said...

That was a great post. "So many people, yet oh so lonely." This has been my experience in NYC more times than I care to remember. But with those challenges comes a lot of other wonderful things.

I also like how you knew it was time to move on. I haven't reached that point yet, but I bet I will have a similar experience some day.

Laura said...

I refresh my energy by being alone, yet I love big cities. I always wonder how I'd do.

Forky said...

Cool post!!!!!!

Autumn's Mom said...

I also spent a long weekend there. I was just saying today that I'd like to go back and take my daughter. I hope we can do that soon. Funny, I live near a major city here but don't find it nearly as appealing as Manhattan. I guess because it was different than what I've known.

J said...

NYC ROCKS! But I don't know if I have what it takes to live there...maybe.

Ad said...

I really needed this today! Thanks for the insight, Tray Tray. I'm glad you knew clearly when the time had come to go, and I'm appreciating how much others noted the same in their comments.

I had such a nice time with your adorable mom, talking in the air-conditioned Citi tower over a shared Diet Coke on 3rd and 54th. What a breath of fresh air she was. Of course we talked about you and missed you...

JeanKNC said...

"Best friends" Mom here -
as in the below sentence - you my darling girl have MUCHO callings!
I think you will WRITE some of what you show the world on the Great White Way! My love to you,
Owner of the Olive Boat

It requires your soul to find a way to thrive without being refreshed by nature.

Tracy said...

Awww! Thanks, Jean!!! That is very encouraging!

Anonymous said...

I feel ya. Love/hate. Of course, now that I've left the city, it's all love. Isn't that always the way?

Anonymous said...

And today is somebody's birthday! Happy Birthday!

Jenn said...

My family all come from "the city" and some of them still live there. I have no want or need to ever live there, though. To stressfull and fast for me. But it is nice to live within 20 minutes....so I can visit whenever I want.