Monday, 25 December 2017

The New York City Outsider - The Real Truth About Living in New York

To the general public of the world, New York is made up to be a place where all dreams come true. What it hides, is a harsh reality of insecurity and loneliness. Behind every stone-faced man and sharp-tongued woman is a story of sorrow and longing for a fulfillment.

When I moved here 5 months ago, I too believed that happiness was geographical and not emotional. It was silly, but for the longest time, the idea of New York held my heart in a sharp grip and I ached to find myself in the city which I have now named the city of lost souls.

The harsh truth of it all is that New York is crazy expensive! I guess it isn't all that surprising and I guess a lot of people have talked about it before. But the posts that I've seen floating around always tend to glamourise the city and rightfully so as most people tend to visit as tourists and the glamour does tend to fade away after a week or two.

The hardest part, for me, is controlling my expenses. Living in New York is crazy expensive! For the most part, my money goes towards rent, food, and transport. And my phone, of course. It's very rare for me to go shopping or treat myself outside. Coming from what is said to be a "third world" country, the disparity in cost is so much more evident and I'm so much more conscious about my expenditure because of it. On the days that I'm forced to eat out, the guilt sets in quite quickly over the handful of dollars I spent on a meal. It seems irrational as food is a necessity but it is expenditure regardless.

This is more due to the fact that I'm on a student budget. The situation would be slightly different for someone working, but it is expensive regardless.

One thing doesn't change irrespective of your occupation and income, and that's the blatant loneliness in the city. New York is for the loners, but only those with a big enough ego to protect their wounded heart. People are a little too self-assure and full of themselves. Loneliness is a heavy cloud over the city. People walk alone, eat alone, go places alone, and that's okay. It just how it is. I don't know if that's how it is in every large city in the world, but to me, that's quite depressing.

Don't get me wrong, I have friend in the city, but at the end of the night, it's every man for himself. You leave your group and make that journey home alone. And that's how every night ends. And it gets to me after a point.

For it doesn't matter how many friends you have or how many dates you go on in a month. People aren't the sort to talk or text all the time. And I guess, in some ways that's good for everyone needs their space. But for someone who likes being surrounded by people, it's hard to find that level of comfort.

As for dating in New York, again, it isn't like it is in the movie. Maybe that happens to some people where you meet someone, fall hopelessly in love, and stay together for the rest of your long, sordid lives. Since most people are here for work and on a temporary basis, no one looks for anything long term. Again, I'm generalising, but this is what I've found on Tinder and other such dating apps.

I'm at a point where I'm completely bored of dating apps. Most people are super fickle where they match based on your appearance so there's really no point in adding a bio. Not to say that I'm not fickle but I can safely say that I'm not as bad as most.

After all the negativity, I'd like you to know that I still enjoy living in New York immensely but I stand by what I said at the beginning of this post: it's not like it's made out to be. Given the right company and situations, any place in the world is the best place in the world. New York isn't the only place in the world where happiness is found. That being said, it's a place to see at least once. Don't go to the touristy spots or the shopping destinations. Spend your time and money experiencing the city. Travel, eat, drink, and meet people. Do things that you wouldn't typically do that's unique to the city. That's my recommendation for you.

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed today's slightly morbid post on my life.

[Pictures from a longer photo essay. Stay tuned to my Instagram to see them all.]

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