NYC: the Pros, the Cons, the Crap Shoot

23 May

I just stumbled across the old pro/con list I wrote for CityBoy back in January, when my anti-New York defenses first started crumbling.  We were looking at a whole host of potential relocation cities (including SF, Seattle, Portland, Boston and DC) but I think NY was always the top contender.  It’s a pretty comprehensive look into my brain:

Pros: It’s New York, for crying out loud. I don’t think I need to give you pros for this. But I will say that one of my regrets has been not trying NY, even if it was for the summer when I was younger. It’s the kind of place where you can really test your personal mettle. I just wonder if I’m too old and set in my ways to enjoy the testing.

Cons: I worry about a lot of things about New York, but the main ones are:

Affordability – I worry about making enough money to really be able to enjoy the place. I worry about not being able to find a decent job for myself. I worry about you losing your job. I think it’s pretty safe to say that I could not afford to live in NY on my own and that worries me because I’ve enjoyed a fair amount of self-sufficiency in the past three years.

Leaving my family behind – I’ve always been pretty independent but in the past few years, I’ve really come to value the time that I spend with my family, especially since new members seem to get added every few years. I’ve never been a kid person but my nieces and nephews are softening me and getting me used to little people and I like that. I’m also very close with my parents and siblings and have gotten used to being able to pop over to see them when I want to. I would hate to only see them a couple of times a year.

Crowds / weather / the whole New York-ness of the place – I love cities. I’ve lived in two major urban areas in my life, Boston and San Francisco, but I’ve never lived in a place like NY. I’m not a huge fan of crowds, I don’t relish the idea of trying to get to work in 90% humidity or sub-freezing temperatures, and I’m afraid that, instead of becoming one of those people who adapts and thrives in NY, I’ll become one of those people who hates it and is miserable. I worry that my misery would make you miserable.

Daunting, huh?  The truly crazy thing is that I still worry about the same old con’s and all these months of discussing moving with Cityboy have done very little to assuage my fears.

The really interesting thing that I have learned (or rediscovered) about myself this past year is that I don’t believe in fear.

Don’t get me wrong – there are plenty of things I’m afraid of (clowns, ferrets, horror movies, being old and alone) – but I don’t think we should allow these fears to cripple us.  (Except maybe the clowns.  They are so not cool.)

I was my most fearless self as a teenager.  I moved away from my parents, my family, my friends and all I had ever known to attend boarding school on the East Coast when I was 14.  It was one of the best experiences of my life, and certainly one of the most defining ones.

I’m sure this next move will be right up there.  So here’s to the Crap Shoot.  And mastering one’s fears.  And going big.  Because momma didn’t raise no chickens.

Rock on.



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