New York, Five Years Later #159
October 30th, 2021: Greetings from Connecticut. We’re headed to get our second vaccination today and will be hanging out here for a week before moving to New York.
I wasn’t intending to write anything this week but had some thoughts on how I felt walking around New York City yesterday.
🗽 By the way, if you are in New York for the next two months and are interested in getting together for a meal, coffee, group get-together, or meetup, reply. I am still figuring things out but planning on doing my best to get all you amazing people together!
Yesterday I woke up and walked around Midtown Manhattan with Angie. She lives for Dunkin Donuts’ Croissant honey maple sandwich and this is always the most important mission when we arrive back in the US.
As we walked around the neighborhood I flashed back to five years prior when I was still working in Manhattan. I was months away from quitting but had no awareness of that future event. I was still searching for the next job., the one that would finally make me happy.
Instead what was really happening was the beginning of me leaving that path. I was burned out but not fully aware yet. I was disconnected from my successful worker identity. and cynical towards my work. That turned into an email where I didn’t think I was quitting but my manager thought I quit. I guess I really did quit when I never took action to stop him from informing everyone else. My body knew it was time to go but my head was still catching up.
My final eight months in my job in New York are hard to think about. It was painful and confusing. I was starting to untangle my many hidden stories about how I thought of myself as a worker and person. I didn’t have friends doing what I was doing and had no way of figuring out how to make sense of it all.
Every time I’ve come back to New York City, I wanted to run away immediately. I would feel exactly the same emotions as that final year. Expensive prices were reminders of my money insecurities after leaving my job. Crossing Park Avenue brought me back to the floundering of those final months in my job. Random bars reminded me of dates where I was embarrassed to say I was quitting and didn’t have a plan.
Yesterday as we walked around, I was really freaking happy and I noticed that the anxiety of being in New York City was no longer with me. Maybe writing my book (almost done, I swear!) helped me move past it.
It reminded me of my first year in New York. Fueled by new city energy, I started to gain confidence after recovering from some health issues, bought some more fashionable clothes and upgraded my haircut after counsel from my friend Ian, and started to feel more confident about finding my way. It was also the year I started listening to my creative energy and which I can link most of the experiments I started in that year to my life right now.
This is great because I’m moving to New York for a couple of months next week. I’m excited. Some of my best friends and close family all live in the city. I’m excited to be back in the mix and in a way in which I can be fully present. Not to mention with my bad-ass hilarious wife as well.
I think most of us have a place like this. A place that is filled with the memories of a tough time. It can ruin the place and the only choice can be to leave. That’s what I did and I wasn’t sure if I’d be comfortable in New York City again.
Luckily, it’s just another city again. It’s still expensive and we probably can’t live there year-round right now but it’s worth spending a couple of months there to see what happens and to spend time with friends and family.
Last year I was really stressed about moving to the US. I was excited that my wife was going to be able to get a green card but I didn’t want to pick a place. Luckily, she reminded me, we can just move!
So we decided to approach the next year continuing to do what we do best, living in different places, experimenting with setting up our life and reflecting on what we learn along the way. Our planned destinations: NYC, Austin, Miami, and Boston.
Will we end up picking a place and staying? I don’t know.
But the benefit of this kind of path is that we stumble upon things we don’t expect. I’ve found that given enough time the answers always reveal themselves.
I’m just happy that New York is no longer a place that scares me, a place that makes me insecure about money, or a place where I am reminded that I once felt trapped.
🏢 Peter Gold had a great essay on his relationship with work
🌋 A natural experiment when people had to abandon a place after a volcanic eruption finds that young people benefit on average from moving to a new place:
The benefits of moving were very unequally distributed across generations: the household heads (parents) were made slightly worse off by the shock. These results suggest large barriers to moving for the children, which imply that labour does not flow to locations where it earns the highest returns. The large gains from moving for the young are surprising in light of the fact that the town affected by our volcanic experiment was (and is) a relatively high income town.
💵 What happens when you are rich enough from crypto that you don’t need to work?
I am not sure, but I hope to help people like this find a way forward…
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