New York, I Love You, But You're Bringing Me Down


I took a bit of a hiatus from writing and this blog. I won’t bore you with too many details, but there has just been a lot going on in my personal life, almost all of it good, including some traveling. But I’m back in New York for awhile…

Although at the moment, I cannot say I am thrilled to be in New York. I just spent a week in Hawaii, and it was a thoroughly magical place. Pristine beaches. Warm weather. Lush mountains and forests. Relaxed people. Star-filled skies. And more importantly, lots of silence. It was another data point on how I’ve changed. I’ve sent more time in nature this year, and I’ve felt more connected to it.

Part of me feels more and more done with New York. What was once attractive about it— the constant hustle and bustle, the unlimited culture, restaurants and bars available— has lost much of its appeal. Now I see its flaws more clearly. Besides the fact that it is unsustainably expensive, especially for anyone trying to raise a family and who doesn’t make 200k a year, it also lacks what I need more and more of daily: silence.

Silence can mean many things. New York for example is a loud place. Even on a quiet street, the constant humdrum of cars and people speaking or arguing and air conditioners blasting. It is very hard to escape the city especially without a car. That means we’re subjected to an endless fusillade of sound. But I also mean internal silence that is harder to find in New York. I mean the silence away from our phones, and our televisions or anything else that we use to occupy and spend our time. It has led to me a feeling of always being distracted and unaware of life’s poetry.

But alas, I do not plan to leave anytime soon for various practical reasons. But I am working harder to find my silence and peace amongst the din of this city. Without it I feel lost. And I wonder if that feeling is true for a lot of us who live here.