NYC: Adieu

by - 5:02:00 AM

I have pondered about today since the first day I arrived. In my first month, I wanted to leave, but I knew in my heart I’ll say I want to stay at the end of my exchange. I was right. Fickle minded Shuwen.

This city has changed me. I used to hate the dirty streets, the crowd, the mediocre food. However I’ve gotten used to the dirty streets, learnt how to avoid the crowd and discovered hidden food gems but what do I love most about the city? Is it its excitement? The 134382492 lists of things to do every weekend that TimeOut reminds me every day? 

It is more than that. 

New York City inspires me.
Never in my life, had I felt the need to do things faster, be more productive, wake up earlier for work, achieve more. Before I came, all I wanted was a chill life. You know, live in a place where I can casually grab a cuppa before work (Melbourne hello) but this city has taught me that literally, if you snooze you lose. This city is a land of opportunities, it is also one of the most competitive places. There are things that needs to be done, and done now. That’s why people walk so fast here, and have no time for inefficiency.

All my life has been easy. Financially, I have been provided. Academically, I’ve always done well without actually putting in that much effort. I’ve realised how complacent, lazy and unmotivated I have gotten, and NYC was my refresher. People I've met read, discover, and learn not because they are forced to, but because they want to. Waking up at 5am to get to work on their long ass commute and sleep less than 6 hours a day, is a daily occurence, but they still pull through. Some people still have time to slot in a workout or two. This city is resilient, hardworking and driven.

New York has been the best decision of my life. 

I wanted to post this when I left, but JFK doesn't have internet (or free luggage trolleys, what even). So here I am, finishing the post up in a courtyard in Paris. I've been gone for only two days, yet it feels like forever. I miss NYC dearly, all the amazing people I've met there and the casual strolls through soho. I wonder to myself, will I have the chance to go back? Will there be a day I can finally say "I am a New Yorker"? (Hopefully in a SOHO apartment with massive windows looking over Broadway). Well who knows? We'll see where life brings me. 

Till then, adieu New York City.
I will write more about NYC in the following weeks. Stay tuned!

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