On Leaving NYC

| Personal

It’s not how I thought this would end. 10 years ago I had no idea that I would spend almost the next 10 years in New York City. So little idea that in June of 2010 I bought a brand new car six months before moving. My decision to go to NYC for an internship lead to some of the most amazing moments of my life, which included: (finally) working in high tech start ups, building a friend and professional network, re-meeting my wife and subsequently getting engaged, married, and getting a great puppy.

I’ve always heard that to be called a New Yorker you need to spend at least 10 years there. When I started this journey it felt like a really long time, something I might not ever achieve. Here we are 9.5 years after I moved to New I York and I’m leaving. Well, actually, I'm gone now. We got out of our lease and moved our belongings to my in-law's basement. We know that the next three months we'll spend in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, and beyond that, we're not sure.  

I’m leaving because the thought of walking down the street or getting on the subway gives me fear. I’m leaving because there’s no green grass. I’m leaving because it’s something we always talked about and the global pandemic helped push us out of the city. Between my wife and me we love to take adventures, we’re up for almost anything, but we’re also in bed at 10 PM these days. We look at our move as something that could be temporary until COVID passes and the city is back to life. It also just might be time for something else, the end of our time in the most dynamic, exhilarating city. When the world is your oyster and there’s nowhere to go there's fear. I'm lucky to have an amazing wife to process it all with.  

An Andy Grammer song that I've recently enjoyed reminds me of how I feel about leaving NYC- “Don't Give Up On Me”. As Andy Grammer said: “I think it’s one of the most basic parts of being alive with other humans is not giving up on them when things get hard. Sticking with someone through the hard stuff.” I think about the “other humans” in this statement as the City, the liveliness, the restaurants, the beautiful people who suffer through the grit for the glitz.  

I will fight
I will fight for you
I always do until my heart
Is black and blue

We all came to the City with a purpose, a dream, and goals. We fought, and we will fight, for what we want.

As I listen to the song, it brings back new NYC memories each time and I already get nostalgic. Part of our process has been that we've already had two months to grieve NYC, and all that once was part of our lives for so long.

I'll leave with a question, for NYC and all New Yorkers: Will you round up to 10 years so that I can proudly call myself a New Yorker too?