Tonight I want to reiterate the fact that I love my town. Sometimes I am a little disheartened when others visit New York City and don't really like it here, or don't even seem open to visiting the city and giving it a chance. New York is certainly not for everyone. I get that. But it is for me, at least for this time in my life. I fell in love with this city and I am truly happy to be here.
I will obviously never be a native New Yorker. I'm not even sure how many years I have to be here before long-time New Yorkers will truly feel I am worthy of the title "New Yorker" (if ever). I will always be a native Kansan. Kansas is my homeland, which I also love. El Dorado and Wichita have been long-time and life-shaping homes for me. And I know I always have a home waiting for me in El Dorado or wherever my parents reside. The word "home" can carry various meanings. I want to stake my claim where I am and be a part of what's going on around me, and I like to make a home for myself in that place. And right now, New York City is my home.
I feel like some people will not understand this, and I guess that's okay. I don't mean to offend with these statements. But sometimes I want to throw these thoughts out there and let them be known to whoever happens to stumble across them. And maybe in trying to express myself in writing, pieces of my life will become clearer to me, and to others if they want to follow along.
My dad and I were recently laughing about how we used to say, "I'll never.... [fill in the blank, i.e. go do such-and-such, or live in this place or that place, etc...]. We've learned we ought not to say that, but when we do, we quickly repent and say we didn't mean it. I have come to the understanding that I can rarely predict what will happen in my life. And I see that life has a way of surprising me with what's next. And even though sometimes that seems really crappy, it can also be really exciting and positive.
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
So I plan to be in New York City indefinitely. I refuse to use the word "never" when trying to make decisions and plans for my future. I don't know what's in store. But for now, I am happy to be at home here. And even if this town is not for everyone, I hope that when people visit, they will discover some of the things that I think make this place really wonderful.
By the way, I seem to recall saying on more than one occasion that "I could never ride a bike in New York City. Those people are crazy!" Click here to read how that turned out. Or here. Or here. Or here.