Just recently I sat with a friend that I met shortly after I arrived in NY a few months back. She had also moved from their hometown to NY a few years ago. So we shared our experiences on the matter: the conquering of the city.
She mentioned to me that someone had asked her if she had in fact "conquered New York City yet?". Since we spoke my mind has been puzzling around this idea that cities need be conquered at all. I mean, what does that even entail? When I think of city conquering I think of old Ancient cities in books by the great philosophers and playwrights from Theatre History class. I don't think about my little actress self.
There's some strange idea buzzing around that if you move here you're out to rule the world. I suppose it comes from that old idea that "If you can survive here, you can survive anywhere". I'm not sure if that's true. Ok, I KNOW that it is NOT.
There are plenty of cities all over the world that deserve the title of the "harshest" city to live. Yeah sure, it's dirty, it's loud, people are mean (sometimes obscenely so), and it's really expensive. But it's not much different than other big cities. I moved from Boston because I was tired of it and needed a change. I wanted to meet new people and see what other people are doing in the world. Also, I went to school here briefly so I knew the city a bit and it's a great place to be a performer. Do I have intentions on conquering it? NO. The idea is so grandeur that to me it makes no sense.
When will I have conquered it when I land a solild job that pays $100,000/yr? OR when I move into a closet-sized apartment that rents for $2,000/month in the Upper-Ease Side? I mean, what are the terms here? I feel accomplished by the fact that I'm still breathing and I have my dignity. I think that's more than enough for now.
The fact of the matter is, I choose to live here because it suites ME not someone else's idea of what living in NYC is. If/when I'm ready to move on from this city I will. It won't have anything to do with any of that extra nonsense. I could do the same things that I'm doing now- ANYWHERE. I simply choose not to.
...Maybe if people stopped putting so much pressure on themselves & the "idea" of being successful they could actually accomplish something.