There’s nothing I can say about New York City that hasn’t already been said. She’s been the hero and the martyr, the protagonist and antagonist of so many stories. Millions of people have walked her streets and marveled at her beauty, her complexity and her resilience. Millions of lives have been touched, challenged and strengthened, my own included. I may be a minuscule thread of the fabric that has made up this city, but that doesn’t lessen the impact it has had on my life. There’s no place like New York.
There’s this idea that New Yorkers are rude, uncaring and unaffected. Nothing could be further from the truth. Those that make the pilgrimage to New York are some of the most caring, inspiring, open and vulnerable people that exist. They lay their lives out to the city and say “mold me, take me, make of me what you will”. They walk shoulder to shoulder with others that are saying the same thing. They wake up every day and venture out their doors, not knowing what they’ll see or what might happen. Every day is a lifetime of its own. I could not be more proud to say that I was one of those people for four years. I carry each year like a treasure, holding it close to my chest, remembering the lessons that it engraved into my heart.
NYC will continue to overcome and prosper because of the people living there. They represent our country well, pursuing dreams with fervor, making great use of the freedom we are so lucky to have. Believe this: these people are being challenged on a daily basis. Those that stick it out, that stay and strive, are nothing if they are not fighters. I want to say thank you to New York, my friends living there, and those that are securing our freedom to pursue our dreams in this country. I carry you with me, no matter where I am.