On the flip side my commute home that night reiterated how much I will not miss something else: transportation in NYC. The train platforms that are easily 100 degrees in the summer, the general lack of community and care between passengers, overcrowding, and so many other things there’s likely a Buzzfeed article about it. I heard a woman on a train last night say to her friend that they were experiencing NYC during rush hour. It was 10pm on a Thursday night. This wasn’t quite NYC at rush hour. This was NYC at NYC hour, which is practically every hour.
Despite my extreme dislike of commuting in NYC its qualities are much of what makes it such a great place for many other things, like live music. Here one can find the gamut of musical genres. This past year alone I’ve seen shows at venues like Barclay’s, Terminal 5, SOB’s (Sounds of Brazil), Bowery Ballroom, Mercury Lounge and Fat Baby. It’s been a great year for late nights on the Lower East Side, in Alphabet City, or off Bedford Avenue with nothing to dread but the commute home. And it’s been a bizarre year of bumping into old friends in random veins of this city time and time again.
On the topic of friendship, however, it has been a challenging year of growth. After college I expected all of my friendships to at least remain cordial, but some seemed to disappear all together. It was something I didn’t understand and it was, admittedly, difficult for me. I’ve learned from mentors that these kinds of friendship changes are normal. I don’t have to like it, but I am beginning to accept it. So for the bonds that have remained strong I used the time I had left in the US to meet with friends face-to-face, whether this meant hours on a bus to a different state or setting up a dinner date. I knew that for the next year our best source of contact was going to be via emails and video chats.
The weeks leading up to my departure has largely been a period of reflection. I’m becoming more aware of what I want. Just as importantly I am more willing to let go of the past. I’ve learned that at times letting go is truly just as noble as holding on. Now I am fully ready for my next chapter. In my new city abroad I will find music venues and make new friends. I’ll probably be annoyed by public transporation all over again, but perhaps for different reasons. I will keep in touch with the friendships I’ve had – some for the past decade – and I will accept growth and changes as they come. It’s time.