Dear New York,
My love for you will never fade. While it goes without saying, you were a great lover and your beauty will forever be carved in my mind. Your enchantment. Your excitement. Your incomparable energy. I will always remember.
New York, please know I’m leaving a better person than when we first met. And that’s because of you. You challenged me, on a daily basis. You taught me how to be daring. How to take risks. How to not settle. You empowered me. Because of you, I am more confident. I am more courageous. I am fearless. I am on my way to becoming the person I’ve always wanted to be.
Our relationship was by far no Sex in the City scene, but it certainly was unforgettable. As dreadful as your winters could be — heck, you practically gave me frostbite on the regular — I’ll never forget the beauty you brought forth with the cherry blossoms in the spring. You taught me the true meaning of bagels. Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and as big as your head in size. What a brilliant masterpiece. While you tended to reek in the summer of decomposing garbage, I’ll forgive you of the smells since you did introduce me to bottomless brunches. Although I never fancied being packed into a subway car like a can of sardines, it sure was fun decoding your what-seemed-to-be intimidating transit system.
You provided me with the best places to meander and people watch. And how could I forget your 24/7 convenience. You granted everything right at my fingertips, ready for disposal. But most importantly, you gave me a plethora of inspiration. From captivating broadway shows to countless street performers and subway jam sessions, you were the true muse of creativity.
Of course, we had our share of squabbles, as any lovers do. For one thing, you were exhausting, mentally and physically. There were so many instances where it was so hard to keep up with you, as you never, ever sleep. Funny thing is, I don’t ever see that changing. You were ruthless. Conniving. And sometimes, flat out mean. You preyed on insecurities and spit up the weak. Yet, I forgive you for those traits, as I’d never want you to change. That’s who you are, and because of it, you taught me how to be stronger. A better version of myself. For that reason, I will always love you.
Despite your dark side, you were always so welcoming. I remember when you opened your arms and welcomed me into your kingdom several years ago. As the plane landed in Terminal 2 of JFK, I immediately felt your warm embrace. To think back on our magical journey together brings [happy] tears to my eyes. You were more than just a city to me. You were my dream. You were my home.
And while our time together has ended, I want you to know the decision was not easy, but it was necessary. No offense New York, but you have this gravitational pull that coils people in, deep. Two years turn to five. Five years turn to fifteen. I needed to get out while I still had a chance. There is so much more of this world I’m seeking to explore, and if I stayed, I know I would never have packed my bags.
It wouldn’t be fair for me to leave you without expressing my thanks. Thank you for allowing me to dream big. Thank you for the endless possibilities. Furthermore, thank you for introducing me to the handful of friends I could call my own. Out of the 8.4 million people who reside in your presence, you somehow managed to carve the path for me to stumble into these incredible individuals. They were my rock. My anchor. My very own New York family.
New York, you certainly are the one of the greatest cities in the world. But, I’m sure you already knew that. While some might just think of you as rats, rudeness and corner bodegas, I’m forever thankful I was able to get to know the real you. The beautiful you. Please know I am leaving with a suitcase full of memories and a heart bursting of gratitude. Thank you for allowing me to have the opportunity to call myself a New Yorker, even if it was only temporary.