New York felt like a dream. An enormous concrete monstrosity that beckoned me with its sirens. I don’t want to sound cliché, I don’t want to sound cheesy, but there’s no way of describing that city without doing so, I think in that sentence alone I finally understood what Nick Carraway was talking about. It was so large and intimidating, whilst somehow making you feel wholly accepted and at home simultaneously. The endless parade of faces meant there was no time for passerby’s judgement, which was a welcome relief from the relentless social scrutiny I experience in my small suburban home.
I think I did every touristy attraction imaginable. I visited Times Square, the Museum of Natural History, Central Park, Grand Central Station, Fifth Avenue, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the Lincoln Tunnel, the World Trade Centre. I saw SoHo and Brooklyn, and Staten and Manhattan. I saw a Broadway show, I ate a hotdog, I walked through Rockefeller.
I met so many people and saw so many faces. People going to work, and school, people moving in and moving out, people selling their skills and buying their wares, promoting themselves and performing in squares. Constant commotion and screeching sirens, to say this city is a melting pot would be the understatement of the century.
Somewhere among the intractable crowd, I became a part of it, and somehow, for the short time I was there, I felt at home, more at home than what I felt was a long time, a year to be exact. These millions of faces and masses of people made me feel small and insignificant, in a good way. It reassured me there was more than just the inside of my head telling me I couldn’t do it, that there was so much more than just me, that there was some bigger plan. There has to be. I mean, look at us all.
It wasn’t about seeing the biggest statue, or visiting the most iconic places, it was walking through the streets, it was just being a part of it all that made me realise something so important that I had forgotten. Life is way too short to spend it being miserable.
That was it, my mind was made up, ‘Should I Stay Or Should I Go’, I was going.