Yesterday morning, I was reminded of why I love New York.
I was on the train to get to my connecting train for the Jersey portion of my commute. If anybody has had to do that, you know if you miss that Jersey train you have about 30 minutes (or more) waiting for the next one. Anyway, I’m continuously checking my watch because I left my apartment late. Again. It’s raining. Crowded and sweaty trains. So, that also means it’s more humid underground than normal. The doors are about to close and move to the next stop when I see a woman walking towards where I am. I’m standing in front of people that are sitting and she collapses forward onto those people. They try to hold her up and she keeps falling and one of them get up to give her their seat.
Now people are looking on (while those who are close are helping). We’re trying to see if we should hold the train. That means you literally have to stand between the doors for them to stop, but because people sometimes try to keep the door open (for reasons like holding it for their friend, etc.), the conductor says “Please stop holding the door open” while pushing it closed. He had no idea there was a semi-emergency on the train.
They never got a chance to keep the door open for someone to get out and let them know we may need to hold the train for a paramedic. Then a guy comes out of nowhere and asks the guy why he didn’t hold the train, I have to tell him he tried so he wouldn’t keep going at him. I knew he was about to let him have it. Superman, as I’ll call him, then asks the woman if she needs us to hold the train and asks if she’s okay. He still stands near the door so he can hold the train if she tells him yes. She’s looking to be okay enough to make it to her stop and literally everyone around watches her until she gets off the train.
People always ask, “You’re not scared of riding the train at night by yourself?” You’re not scared of blah blah blah. No. When I first moved here, of course I was. It was a new area for me. There are places I won’t go, like any other city, state, country. Overall? I feel safe here. That train incident was a good example why. I won’t know until something happens (knock on wood), but I honestly believe New Yorkers go to bat for anyone here. Yeah yeah, they do that anywhere, but I’m talking even more than other places.
I always talk about the things I don’t like about New York, but here are some of the things I love:
New York makes you a tougher person. You leave here with so much more than what you came with. I’m not talking about materials. I’m referring to strength (that you didn’t know you had) and didn’t believe you could learn.
I’ve learned to let go (one day at a time). I have in NO way perfected this, but I’m learning. There are people that were in my life past God’s expiration date and I could tell because I started to get miserable. It was tiring being the person they always knew. It’s like, they complained about me then AND when I changed through growth. At first, I didn’t want people to say I changed, that I’m “acting funny” or anything else. I had to realize, I DID change. It was a good change, one that I was proud of. I was finally speaking my mind and doing what I want, with no boundaries. I understand that was a shock to people as the quiet/timid girl they met before, but I needed this change badly to be the person I’m working to be. It’s all in me, I just have to let her out.
There are days when this city is just electric. Some feel like that everyday. I don’t, so I hold those days/nights close to me. These are the days that I feel the most free.
New York has taught me to be free. That can literally mean whatever you want it to mean. For some, it’s living a reckless life until you’re tired. For others, it’s just going with the wind. I think I’m a mix. Not reckless in the worst sense, because I’m still a planner and all of that. Freedom for me is doing what I want, at that moment, regardless of what others may think, say, feel. That, is when I feel the most free.
I cut all my hair off and had to learn how to love it, but not until 8 months later. I started therapy, something that has given me a different perspective on life. I’ve made friends that challenge me, and that I can challenge as well – this part feels so good.
There’s also a cliche’ statement that I had to learn was true when I actually went through it, another thank you to New York. No matter WHAT you do or don’t do, people will STILL have something to say about it.
If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere…