Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Go to New York

Williamsburg, 2014

Gah! I love pretty much every word of this essay, about a mom's wish that her kids will move to New York one day.

When I was a teenager and in university, I knew that someday I'd move to New York. There just wasn't any other option I could envision. Today I'm such a different person than I was when I arrived here at the ripe old age of 22, and my days of walking every square inch of Manhattan to avoid the subway fare seem long distant.

But if there is ever an act of faith it's choosing to raise your kids here. And yet I sometimes lament that by giving Axel and Oscar a New York City childhood, a Brooklyn childhood, I'm depriving them of the sheer joy that comes from discovering the place for yourself as an adult.

I guess someday they will discover it on their own terms, and that will be enough. Here is a little excerpt:

"I think about what I want to really tell them, really teach them, and it is this: Go to New York.

Go there in your 20s and be like everyone else who ever packs a bag and wonders if they’ll make it: Sit with your own uncertainty. It is the first thing New York City greets you with and you should know this feeling because most of life is spent in the gray and you won’t always succeed. You’ll need to tease out that feeling. Will it be fight or flight? Do you run when you don’t know the answer or outcome? Or will you stay, not knowing how it will all turn out, not knowing if any of it will be good, certain all of it will be hard, but just staying because you have mettle enough to find out."

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