Escape from New York

Though I won’t be going with Kurt Russell, I am leaving New York. After five years as a NY resident, I have just one month remaining in the city. I’ve tried to leave for years, but doing so can be more difficult than you can imagine.

New York is a place we both love and love to hate. Often, the things we love about it are also the very same things we hate about it. I love that I don’t need a car. I hate the MTA. I love that there is always something to do. Sometimes I get tired of all the events—the friend’s birthdays, the friend’s band’s shows, the friend’s theater productions, the happy hours, the movies, the art shows, the seemingly endless parade of things that keep me from lying in bed watching Netflix. My liver hates this as well.

Yet, when I came to NY, I knew no one. My first semester here I was bored and lonely with nothing to do and no one to do it with. I sat in my huge Forest Hills apartment wondering, “Why the fuck did I come here?” In these last five years, my group of friends has grown exponentially and now I find myself sad to say goodbye to them all. They are people I love, some of whom I expect will always be a part of my life no matter how far away I go. I wish I could take them all with me, but there are new friends to be made and impending visits to be had!

I’m leaving New York because I am tired of wasting 90% of my income on rent. I’m leaving because I don’t see myself ever finding a good enough job or wanting to raise kids here (or finding a good man to do the raising with). I’m leaving because I don’t see a future for myself here. There can be no better reason to leave a place.

My mother says, “I wish you were going at the right time.” What’s the right time? If you always wait for the perfect situation to do something you’ve always dreamed of doing, you’ll just keep dreaming.

When I tell people I’m moving to Oslo, everyone always asks, “Forever?” or “For how long?” Stupid questions. How can I possibly know? Maybe I’ll stay for a little while and find, as my mother did, that I don’t actually like living in Norway. Maybe I’ll meet a gorgeous Nordic man, fall in love, and never leave. As much of a planner as I am, and perhaps because of it, it’s the not knowing that excites me.

I know I’m ready to say goodbye to America. Maybe for now, maybe for always.


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