• michaelakzee

I Love You NYC, but Quit Whooping My Ass

I ended my first year of college while working two jobs and moving into an apartment. Although I enjoy the euphoria of adulthood and independency, there are moments when that feeling promptly dissolves. New York City does whoop your ass. I've been spit on, harassed, and even attacked by a dog. This all occurred within a month of living in the city alone (and will most likely continue for the next few years).

However, those feelings of bliss and sometimes shock envelope your conscience as well. I am here. I am weaving through 14th street on my way to work with heels and a notebook in my tote bag. I know my way around the subway system and how to cuss like it's a reflex. I've even dealt with a lizard problem in my apartment; not a rodent or cockroach––a LIZARD.

There is something off-putting though about how I've supposedly reached this level of maturity (got my own job, used my own money to furnish the apartment, etc.) and yet I cannot seem to grasp this transition. I was told by my companion several days ago that I seemed very put together for someone who is only 18. He commended me for what I've accomplished so far within my first year of college and my current experiences now. But he was saying this to me while I was in tears.

He had just given me bad news. It is frustrating that no matter how much you believe you can endure, something disappointing shatters your supposed NYC exterior and makes you feel weak. It is not a weakness to cry, but you still feel small and the toll is briefly "unbearable." I didn't yell at him or kick him out though, I simply cried. Maybe that's the silver lining of maturity? When a slammed door in someone's face is not involved, but rather just a temporary sob.

I undergo the cliché that, "These are the lessons in life." To be frank, I loathe that statement. I don't want to think of my encounters as lessons for the future. I'd rather think of the negatives as a juicy rant or piping tea that you eventually make peace with. Somewhat half-empty but optimistic at the same time. Is that a lesson? Either way, there are mixed-feelings about these bitch slaps courtesy of NYC (a.k.a adulthood). But I appreciate the fine-tuning of my mentality.

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