the first time I fell in love in this city, I was seventeen.
fresh out of high school, the world ahead of me,
a head full of dreams,
a pocket full of promises.
the lights of time square seemed too bright,
but they perfectly matched my spirit.
too bright, too authentic,
but too mesmerizing to not look at.
this city isn’t for everyone,
it’s too loud, too chaotic,
too dirty, too cluttered.
but I thrive in chaos.
this city is too rough,
it feels like sandpaper wearing away at you,
pushing you to do better, be better, want better.
but when sandpaper is done,
you’re smooth and shiny and exposed.
and I love being exposed.
I love the vulnerability that the city has engrained in me,
hidden by a tough exterior,
a hard candy shell that only select people have been able to get through.
this city teaches you the importance of relationships,
of heartbreak, of crying on the phone at 2am,
of laughing in the middle of a dark sidewalk,
and almost twisting your ankle
because you were too mesmerized by a small pocket of stars.
the sun cascades over the hudson river,
reminding you for a moment that there is a duality.
the architect of the manmade bridges,
and the ripples of water that existed way before this city was built.
inject the grit into my veins,
it helps me do better, want better, be better.
it pushes me to scream for what I want,
challenge those who try to silence me,
take up space.
this city reminds me that I deserve to be here.
you deserve to be here.
we deserve to fucking be here.