Ever since I was little, I have always dreamed of living in a big city. According to my parents, I actually had this dream before most people even think about what they want their life to look like, back in early elementary school.
Both my parents grew up near big cities, my dad in a Chicago suburb, and my mom in a tiny town 2 hours away from New York City. My dad’s favorite childhood memories involved taking the train to downtown Chicago to go to museums, see a baseball game or just walk around. For my mom, every big event in her life coincided with a trip to ‘The City,’ as she and her siblings call it. They would drive into Manhattan to shop for prom dresses, see shows, visit friends and try great restaurants.
Since I’ve had the opportunity to visit both cities with them numerous times, and see the cities through their eyes, both places have become quite special to me, which led to me eventually wanting to live in one. I had always planned to attend college and then live in NYC after graduation.
As I got older, I’ve still loved visiting various cities. Spending a few days walking, instead of driving, turning corners and finding new areas to explore and soaking in the general hustle and bustle.
Recently, however, I’ve gotten a bit of a reality check.
I’ve realized just how much I like decompressing in my car after a stressful workday, and couldn’t imagine having to cram on a subway or walk blocks and blocks in heels in the cold. I’ve noticed how much I like the space of living in Colorado, and, though I now live in a neighborhood, my old apartment had a field out the window with nothing for miles. Not to mention the indoor space I have for a fraction of what even being comfortable would cost me in NYC.
There are certain things that I suppose I will miss out on, but as more and more of my friends are leaving or planning to leave the cities they moved to in the last few years, I’m realizing that high-rise, carless living must be as exhausting as I imagine.
All of these realizations have only upped my respect and admiration for those who do have what it takes to happily make one of these cities home, but it’s safe to say that I will get my fill of city life by visiting, frequently.