Today marks my fifth year in Manhattan. Every year that I celebrate my anniversary with New York feels like another milestone. To be fair, it’s the longest consecutive relationship I’ve ever been in (key word: consecutive).
Like any relationship, New York is a commitment. You have to really love it or you simply won’t enjoy yourself. It has enriched my life, taken me on many adventures, introduced me to some of the greatest people I could ever hope to know, and cultivated a more cultured woman than the sheltered girl who arrived here in early 2014.
We’ve almost parted ways a few times – coming eerily close to imploding break-ups where one of us had to move out (that would be me). I have felt impossibly suffocated by it, needed to escape from it, but somehow always manage to find my way back.
New York isn’t for everyone; I’ve learned that the hard way over the past one thousand, eight hundred and twenty five days. I love it, so I expect everyone else to, too. When my mom visited my very first apartment in Harlem, I felt like I was introducing her to a new boyfriend she didn’t entirely approve of. But it grew on her. It’s grown through me – New York is a part of who I am now.
I am better for knowing you, New York. Thank you for teaching me to be a bolder, braver, more patient and steadfast individual. You have my heart.