This afternoon I took myself out to lunch. I sat outside in the crisp autumn breeze with my fresh Panini and laptop resting on the metal table. A scarf looped around my neck and a pea-coat draped over my chair, I felt rather Carrie Bradshaw-esque.
I typed away on my laptop and enjoyed my sandwich, yet all the while I felt somewhat distracted. I continually looked up, observing dog walkers trying their best not to entangle all six dogs around a telephone pole, watching nannies walk uniformed kids back from school, noticing the oddly matched couples and speeding police vehicles merely skipping through red lights and promptly turning off their sirens.
Everything is so fascinating and interesting and new and exciting and brilliant! There’s so much to see and do and explore and understand that every moment is full of unrest and enthusiasm. One minute I’m studying Medieval history and the next I’m trying to beat my running time through Central Park down to the Metropolitan Museum of Art so I can spend a decent hour with the Impressionists (and perhaps grab a Crumbs cupcake before I leave!).
New Yorkers don’t stare. I’ve realized that as I gape wide-eyed at the daily habits and activities of my fellow islanders; I’ve noticed that as I whip out my camera to take a quick snapshot of the sunset over Morningside Park plenty of people walk by, oblivious to the magnificence right in front of us.
And so I ask myself, am I really a New Yorker? Does knowing the subway lines and best shopping locations and the most delicious restaurants and the ability to provide tourists with directions make me a New Yorker or merely an experienced/well-read visitor? When will I receive my full New Yorker status? When I stop ogling at the novel and exciting people and places? When I’ve lived here a certain amount of years? Lived in a certain amount of apartments? When I stop mentioning which Sex and the City episode was filmed in my current location at any given time?
The thing is, I feel pretty New York. I love it as my home, as the center of the universe. And truly, while I may not possess that super cool quality of obliviousness most New Yorkers tend to exhibit, I’m quite content constantly finding new and exhilarating elements in my everyday life, waking up looking forward to each day’s sights and adventures, and just being happy with where I am. For as long as a stay in New York, whether it’s merely a couple more years or the rest of the century, I hope to find exceptional joy in each day, appreciate my surroundings, and always acknowledge the wonderfulness in my life.