At a speaking event, I was recently asked by a student what it is like to live in New York City. And, without much thought, my response was, “You have to be insane to want to live here.”
You have to be insane to power through finding your first apartment when you are outright and to your face discriminated against because you do not already have an address in NYC.
You have to be insane to be brutally beat down by finding every apartment after that and revealing more about your financial life to complete strangers just for the privilege of being their neighbor.
You have to be insane to find the sounds of sirens and taxi horns an appropriate soundtrack for falling asleep.
You have to be insane to love the idea of touching a minimum of 100 random people every morning as you pack yourself into a subway car for your daily commute.
You have to be insane to try keep up with the flow of bodies down 6th Avenue during the evening rush hour and not worry about how many times you were bumped into the street.
You have to be insane to love the idea of living on an island that is 12 miles long and 3 miles wide with 1,600,000 people.
You have to be insane to live on an island that gets hit by a hurricane and a blizzard within 10 days of each other.
You have to be insane to drop all pretenses about who someone is based on their race, religion, or political affiliation and just see them for who they are: a fellow New Yorker.
You have to be insane to want to day in and day out bring your absolute best to everything that you do because you know that everyone else around you will.
You have to be insane to believe that, amongst everyone else that has fought tooth and nail to make it onto that stage, that you’ll stand out and find your place.
You have to be insane to think you have what it takes to become the best of the best on the biggest stage there is.
And if you are any or all of these kinds of insane, you have to be insane to think that it is a great idea for you to live anywhere else.
Here’s to the insanity that that is my favorite place in the entire world.
Here’s to New York.