New York, New York

It seems that in a city of misfits I have finally found my place. I’ve found that it takes a conglomeration of oddities, of misfits and no-names, of dreamers and adventurers, to encourage me to pave my own path and acknowledge my independence.

In my days of living on my own, I’ve found a new sense of freedom. Not the sense that on one tells me when to sleep, what to eat, or where to throw my dirty laundry, but the sense that I have control over my life, that I can be whomever I want, rely on my personal instincts, and coexist with the rest of the world.

In the past week, I’ve been wholly responsible for feeding, clothing, and cleaning myself and my belongings, creating new relationships and maintaining old ones, and managing my time and money properly. Sure, I have many kinks to resolve and solutions to discover, but this new sense of self empowerment, the idea that I am capable of taking care of myself, that I am an individual with a true identity reassures me nonetheless.

I wake up every morning sure that there has been some mistake; I was not intended to live such a good life, my home was not meant to be so spectacular, I do not deserve to have such fantastic family and friends. And somehow among the sirens and shouts and distractions of the city, I manage to lie purposeful days, full of learning and loving and exploring.

I wake up every morning thrilled to be alive, curious as to what will fill my day, excited to feel the sun hit my face as I stand on the most beautiful campus in the world with the most intelligent students on this planet. I thank myself for working hard, for having ambitions, and to everyone who helped me achieve my dream.

I question my luck. Why me? Of the billions of people in the world how did I become blessed with such a beautiful life and why did it take me so long to realize how fortunate I really am?

How many changes must occur until a person can accept her personal happiness?

Because that’s all I really am. Happy. Happy and free and spirited and alive. I feel important and simultaneously carefree. A bright future lies ahead and there are plenty of good days to come, plenty of lives to change, plenty of people by whom I can be influenced. And while I know at times the going can get rough, I plan to remember these early days of independence, these days of focusing primarily on myself and my well-being, as every human should.

As I walk the streets of New York splattered with artists and dog walkers and interracial couples and immigrants and tourists and students and complete lunatics, I feel so fortunate to be alive. I realize that we’re all a bit different, a bit quirky, but in the end, it all works out. We care for ourselves, we care for others, and somehow we still manage to have a good time.