I am sitting alone in the intern “cave” at the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago just staring mindlessly at my Styrofoam cup of cold coffee. I have one of the worst headaches I’ve ever had and my glands are swollen to a point of no return trying to recuperate after a 24 hour finals flu that plagued me two days ago. There is a empty 32 FL OZ bottle of lemon-lime Gatorade to my right which I hastily picked up this morning before trudging to work because I didn’t know what else to sooth my sore throat with. My Droid is lying perfectly on my lap. And all of a sudden, I realize that I am going to New York City tomorrow. And I’m scared.
Why is this significant? New York City is my crack. It literally is the driving force behind every single task I accomplish and every hour I spend staying up late to finish work. It is the reason I am graduating from DePaul University in 2 years and one quarter. I’ll just be turning 20 when I graduate. It is the reason I took on internships as a freshman and have not gone a single month without one since. It is the reason I left Maryland as soon as high school graduation was over.
And now I finally get to go back to the city that changes me.
My whole entire life has been centered around this ridiculous notion of becoming a “New Yorker”. I printed out Gawker’s 123 Reasons to Love New York Right Now, put it on my fridge, and read it every single day until it was internalized. I forced myself to love coffee, which has now backfired since I am dependent, because that is just what people in the city do. I was from a small town and lived on a farm. I work black heels to school and dressed usually in business casual. I was an outsider but to me it was just myself preparing for NYC.
And then came Chicago. When New York schools were too pricey and DePaul University offered me a hefty scholarship, I packed my bags with the understanding that I was headed to the “third” best city in the country. In the Midwest. And it annoyed the hell out of me. But Chicago slowly grew on me like the way a new apartment slowly begins to feel like home once you have moved in, unpacked, and decorated to your liking. I’ve had so many different experiences here and I know all of the history after working for Chicago’s First Lady Architectural Tour my first summer. I’ve lived on the epic Lake Shore Drive for a year and now it is finally time to move out. But to where?
I am visiting New York City this weekend to help my roommate get the lay of the land and figure out if FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) is the right fit for her to transfer to. Secretly I feel like I’m coming along to remind myself of the power the city holds over me. It’s unexplainable but I would pack up and leave for the opportunity to live and work in NYC regardless of how cozy my situation in Chicago becomes.
Because I adore New York City & bright lights.