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Dear New Yorker...

by Li Chen

Do you gaze at the sky in NYC?--by Vincent Desjardins via Flickr

Originally from Long Island, Li Chen recently moved to New York City and is experiencing the New York life first hand. She shares her early encounters in the form of a letter.

Dear New Yorker,
When was the last time you gazed at the sky? I am assuming rarely, since when I bump into you, you just quickly brush me aside. 

Why the grumpy face? Is it the never-ending list of groceries? I thought you realized that you'd have to pay more than just rent the day you moved to New York City ($800 a month for a bedroom carved out of a living room and shared common space with three roommates and roaches).

I see you on the subway listening to your iPod and sipping your coffee as if other people around you don't exist. You were probably different two months ago when you first arrived but now you're defeated by reality. 

New Yorkers wear iPods to tune people out.--by ceegee-ceegee via Flickr

Since you already have a gray cloud over your head (like one of those Jimmy Dean commercials), let me remind you of two more facts: you’ll always have bills to pay and you’ll always run out of toilet paper --no matter where you live. The sad part is you can’t do anything about it because nothing is free in this world and as you already know, almost everything is overpriced, especially in NYC.

You didn’t care about any of this before. You wanted to seek an opportunity. "I want to follow my dreams" were the exact words you said to your parents. Don't turn your back now. No, don't say it! You are broke, but you need to stick it out. 

You are only 23. You have approximately 40-45 more years to work. Are you worried that you are not working hard enough? Yes, you live paycheck to paycheck and yes, your current job may not be your first choice, but I promise it's not the end of the world.  Besides, you are one step ahead of your peers because you went after your dream.

Remember, you only live once --- unless you live in the virtual world of Super Mario Brothers (video game) where you can eat a mushroom and level up, which we all know doesn't exist. Bummer.

So, I say, take that tango class that you always wanted because of your admiration for Jenna Dewan from Take the Lead.

Take a tango class!--by Rene Mayorga via Flickr

Overcome your fear of heights, needles, or whatever it may be. 

Do something extraordinary. 

Ask that girl (guy) out for a date to a burlesque show. 

Want to go to a burlesque show?--by Paul Lowry via Flickr

It's okay if you fail because we all fail at one point or another. Be familiar with the taste of failure because it will only make you stronger. 

Brands and labels do not define the person you are nor do the numbers on your bank account. Experiences are more valuable than possessions. I am not envious of your possessions, but I admire your stubborn yet positive attitude. 

No matter what, don't forget --- you live in New York City.

Another New Yorker

You live in New York City.

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