Tuesday, June 3, 2008

On My Mind: Why I Came to NYC and How I Made It My Enemy

So, here's my confession. Friends who've heard my latest theory, bear with me, but today, I'm feeling this to be especially true. I'm starting to believe my dissatisfaction with my life here in NYC is due to the fact that I still haven't achieved the goal I set out for myself when moving to NYC. I wonder if this is the case with other transplants who never quite settle in here. Don't most of us move here with a dream? And how many achieve it? How many let it go? How many can't live with letting it go and leave?

Without giving away too much , I'll say that I moved here for graduate school in the arts, and the idea was that I would not leave until I made it in my chosen field of art. In every field of art, there is a point at which you know you're legit, when you can go to a party, meet some strangers, and when they say "What do you do?" answer, "I'm an artist" and know you've got the goods to back it up. And what better city to become an artist than NYC, the birth place of so many of the world's most revered artists?

I'm close, but still no moose head. And being close never got anyone any respect. The closer I get, the more impatient I get, and when I'm all tangled up in my dissatisfied energy, I think maybe I'm just not happy because in some part of my brain, I think this city is a taskmaster who is keeping me from my dream. I know it's irrational, but I associate NYC with this grand dream that brought me here, with all the hard work, rejection and suffering I've felt because of it, and sometimes I blame the City for keeping the bar so high, and making it so hard to achieve. Because the thing at the core of my life here is unfulfilled, it's hard for me to look with love upon the things that surround the core. And so, until I conquer the city by making my dream come true, I don't know if I'll ever be content living here.

I fantasize that when I do achieve this dream, the city will suddenly transform. All the rats will turn into footmen and the taxis into carriages, and so on...I guess I won't know until I get there.

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