I can see the barricades being set up for the parade outside my window. I’m writing this post a few days early; like most people, I’ll be spending time with my friends and family this Thanksgiving. I’m thinking about how jam packed 34th street will be with Macy’s just down the street and how in the world I’m ever going to leave my dorm room without being squashed to death. Even when it’s not Thanksgiving at Macy’s, it’s easy to complain about where I live right now– I’ve learned that Times Square is for tourists and Midtown is busy as hell all the time, 24/7. The sirens are never ending, spiraling together with the whirring sounds of buses starting and stopping. The ads are always too bright. The people who live next to me like to take loud showers at 2 in the morning.
But I am truly, honestly thankful for this city (Is it cheesy to be thankful for NYC? Is it a cliché?), and for where I live. I’m thankful that I have a subway station next to me. I’m thankful that I live right in the middle of the action, every day. I’m thankful that Maja and I can watch the ads change while we’re drinking tea. I’m thankful that there’s never a boring moment; or at least, there’s never a moment where everything around me is changing. For better or for worse.
I’m thankful for the support that I have from my friends; from the people who I’ve met who are driven and intelligent and feed the part of me that’s hungry to keep learning. I’m thankful that I’m working in an industry that understands my John Green obsession and that stories and books are a valuable use of our existence. I’m thankful for all the strangers that give me advice on where to shop and that my bosses will take an hour for coffee with me or just to talk.
There are times when New York is exhausting and moving so fast that I wonder if I’ll just be left in the dust if I decide I need a break. And there are times when I take the long way home because I still can’t believe that there’s a billboard with a drag queen advertising for a storage facility and that it’s a miracle that this city even exists, with all it’s people, with all the millions of lives. And at the end of the day, the city is still just a place where I live. Even so, I don’t think I’ll ever stop being in awe.
Written by: Natali Cavanagh