What’s it like in New York City…

Man, it’s been a while.

I told myself I’d keep writing in this blog consistently, regarding my new New York adventures, on a bi-weekly basis.  But recently, I’ve learned something about myself as a writer (and as many other things too):

If I don’t feel like writing about something, I don’t force myself.

For me, this will only lead to text-book structured sentences, contrived feelings etched onto a computer screen, or my name doodled over and over again on a coffee-stained notebook.

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I don’t really apply this to when I’m concocting my unfinished novel(s), or when I wrote for school (okay, maybe that’s debatable..) – mostly because, when a goal is set, or an idea is already formed, usually word-vomiting it up on the page helps get the rest of the energy flowing.

And even if I’m too tired, or too uninspired to write…when it’s a story slow-burning inside of me, inspiration finds itself along the way.  I am a huge supporter of “Writing makes you a writer.”  So I always encourage myself and others, to write, even when it’s not easy or convenient.

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But when it comes to my emotions, my feelings, my thoughts about my life?  When I can’t form those words quite yet into something that when I reread it and go “YES that’s what I feel!  Those are the words!  All of humanity has searched for these words to express this emotion, and there they are!”

…that’s when I decide to take a breather that can last up to months.

I’m sick of putting stresses on myself such as “YOU DIDN’T UPLOAD THOSE BLOG POSTS THE WORLD IS ENDING,” when this life already brings plenty of those into my day, regularly.  Frequently.  Every second.

I dislike being my own worst enemy, and I so often can be.

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I made a life-decision at 18 when I chose my major, to make writing my livelihood (because 18 is apparently the perfect age to make said life-decisions).  So since it has and as far as I know, will continue to permeate my career choices, I still want to keep as much stress out it as I can, when it’s both my hobby and as my passion.

So since I’ve taken the burden off myself for feeling bad that I didn’t keep up a weekly blog for the duration of my internship, I can now talk about it freely.

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New York has been a monster.  Through and through – or rather, maybe let me correct that.  It feels more like New York is Victor Frankenstein, and I am its newly made creation, made from different pieces.  Different scraps.  Different places, different people (both who are me and who are not me), and different emotions.

New York does this to most people, I’ve noticed.  Found an outsider, someone who’s never stepped foot into the heart of its world – or at least someone who hasn’t significantly done so.

And without even so much as a warning, lightning strikes.  And the electric current pulses through and suddenly a new creature is born. (At least, this is how I think Frankenstein’s monster was made…the book and movies are very vague on the matter.  I’m committed to metaphors though).

New York is as gentle and serene as it is gritty and disgusting.  If you’re not careful, the authenticity of it all can keep mold ing this new monster that you’ve become into something unrecognizable – and maybe not something you intended to become.

Authenticity is a good word here, because the South can really kind of suck when you look at it in regards to this word.

“Bless your heart” and fake laughter starts to sting more when you realize you were often a part of something unreal and not quite meaningful for a good while.  I don’t mean this directly at any of my friends, or our friend groups.

Quite the opposite actually.  I mean it for the daily encounters, or the new introduction, or the forced group work with the girl who gives you that half-smile and that “sure you can hang with us” reply, but then forgets to text or to acknowledge your existence in front of others.

I accuse people of this, because I too fall into that trap, and it’s so easy to smile your way through and pretend you like people, and even force yourself to like them, when in reality, some people just plain suck.

I’m not comparing this to being nice to everyone.  Because up to a point, I think we all as humans, can and SHOULD try to be genuinely nice and polite to every person we come across.

But there is something so refreshing about NYC and how you know exactly where you stand with everyone you meet.  Laughter isn’t forced, it’s rightfully earned.  Compliments aren’t begged for, they’re given when they’re meant.  You’re not spoken to unless someone deems you worthy of his or her time.

I eat alone a lot, mostly because I didn’t have a roommate in NYC, mostly because it’s my favorite thing in the world to do (don’t pity me, I mean this).

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But New Yorkers have other plans.

Every time I’d go to a dinner for a quick meal, or sit at a large table in a restaurant, I could never rely on silence.  Another single patron would always sit near me, see that I was alone and easily strike up conversation.

A middle aged woman named Julie sat by me once.  I learned that she’d been in NY for her whole life, and has been married to her husband for 25 years.  She told me she liked eating alone, especially when her husband was away.

It became clear she didn’t like eating alone, and she desperately wanted someone to talk to.  “25 years with him…and you know what, Sarah?  I can’t say that if I could go back and do it all again…that I would.”

She questioned why they even got married when they had been living together for 10 years prior to that. “It’s not like we have kids.  I can say these things.”  She shrugged, just like that.

That’s one of my greatest and most inevitable fears – regret.  At this moment in my life, any choice I make is so crucial in determining what course my life goes on.  It’s kind of been like that since I was 18, but now it’s starting to hit me.  Especially since those four years of “study, go to school, hang with friends while you complete this small segment of a determined course of action” are well…over.

I’m so scared that every step I take, is going to take me down a path I didn’t want.  Do I want to do this?  Do I want to work for that company?  Do I want to be in that city?  Any choice makes my life into something totally new and terrifying.

I get that’s how life works, you never know, hindsight is 20/20, yadada I KNOW.

But I still want to whine about it.

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I don’t know where I’m going, or what I’m doing (this sounds painfully familiar.  See June/July/August Sarah) – and I just want to know.  And I just want to make the right decisions.

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So like I said.  The one thing I can control, and do have control over, is this blog.  And  I’m free to write on it when I want to.  And I can take off that unshakable feeling that everyone actually cares I didn’t update this (haha no one cares).  I’m free from one burden, but since we’re on that whole freedom subject…I guess this is just a great space to keep talking about my other mental burdens (“that’s what this blog was for Sarah, I’m glad you realize things after like, a year”).

Because, if we know me, my mind is never burden-free.  Because I’m a dweller 🙂  Maybe I can remember, this place was always meant for my dwelling thoughts and feelings.  Here’s hoping I’ll be back real soon…if I feel like it.

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this is literally me 23/7

– Sarahj

 

 

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