I have always held court with overachievers. Ever since my first year of high school when I realized resume building was considered an Olympic sport I’ve been ceaselessly doing stuff. This summer I’m working part-time, volunteering in a lab and assistant-coaching my high school cheerleading team, while still making time to go to the gym every morning, see friends, and blog. When I told my best friend about all my commitments he understated the situation by saying, “Me thinks it’s a little too much.” Don’t be fooled- I want to be doing all these things (I’m too close to having “to adult” to be doing meaningless resume building), but the truth is I’m getting old(er) and I can already feel my body starting to disapprove.
Now, if you are a person who is always doing stuff, there’s no place for you like New York City. For one, there’s never a shortage of things to do. For another, no matter how much you think you do, it’s a pretty safe bet that the person walking past you at the pace of a light jog is doing more. And if you’re not careful, that’s all New York can become- a race. People here race against time, colleagues, the stock market. The ambition of the young outstretches the cold, metal buildings they work in. New York is a life-scale model of supply and demand; every inch of the city struggles to cater to every need of its overpopulated streets and, when it cannot, chews up and spits out the unlucky along its sidewalks. Of course, I am generalizing the city, stereotyping it sometimes in the most crude and unjust ways, but this stereotype comes from the truth of my own experience . The city can be beautiful and exciting- but it can also be tiring, dirty, and overwhelmingly gray
It would seem that NY and I are a perfect fit- and we were. But here’s the catch- I believe we are all products of our environment to a larger extent than we’d like to admit. When I finally began waking up to life- when I stopped trying to always go somewhere or do something (this summer being a clear exception), when I learned to be comfortable in stillness and began to see how much of all this motion is actually running- from fear, from uncertainty, from death- it became a whole lot harder to be a girl who likes sleep in a city that doesn’t.
As the “Misplaced” before “Millennial” indicates, I do not belong here. And that leaves me with the question- where do I belong? In Europe? India? Australia? On a farm? Another city? A fucking rainforest? Somewhere people greet you as you walk past and actually want to know how you are doing. A place where life is slower, calmer, and more peaceful. Where nature is not fought back into a twenty-some block park and asking a stranger for directions doesn’t feel like walking into a freezer.
So my goal is to go- on adventures with friends, on retreats, on study abroad trips, basically using any resources I have. Where to? I’m not entirely sure yet. But you can bet that I will be writing a post the second I get there.
Until next time,
(Title based on Tomorrowland and Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss.)