The end has arrived.
Today, I walked into my office for the last time. I listened to the man in the cubicle across from me objectify women and curse about life for the last time.
It’s time for me to go home.
My subway card even reminded me it was time to go home after I got an “insufficient fare” message on my swipe to work. I think the city is telling me it’s time to go.
I learned a lot over the last 10 weeks. I now know how to buzz myself into the bathroom at work. My first day on the job, I stood at the bathroom door for five minutes, waiting for someone to come out, not knowing that it wasn’t a one-person bathroom and all I had to do was swipe my card to get in.
Now I know.
I learned how to improve my writing. I learned about this great city. I even learned about myself.
Throughout the summer, I continually updated my Facebook with new status updates about where I was and what cool things I was doing. I posted pictures of my adventures around the city. Many friends commented on different updates, of course, and even people who I don’t talk to that often also threw in comments and questions every now and then.
And they were always the same.
“When do you come home?”
“I’m so jealous of your life, but I’m also so happy that you got this opportunity!”
“How’s New York City?!”
That last question was the hardest one to answer.
How’s New York City? What do I think of the city? Have I enjoyed my time here?
In short—yes. But this summer has been a whirlwind of emotions. I wouldn’t take back this opportunity for anything, however this has not been the easiest challenge by any means.
I thought my answer would be simple—“I love it! There’s so much to do, and I never want to leave! I’m going to move here some day. You just watch!”
But that’s not how I feel today.
One of the most important things I learned this summer, personally, is that no matter where you are in life, no matter how exciting the city or how rich the history or even how endless the opportunity is, it doesn’t matter unless you have someone there to share it with you.
Around the middle of the second week, I really started to miss everyone back home, which is kind of pathetic considering my Mom had been in the city with me the first week. What can I say? I love the people I surround myself with at home, and I need them in my day-to-day life.
I went to a concert one night at Rockwood Music Hall in the beginning of the summer all by my lonesome self. When I returned to my dorm later that evening, I had a bit of an emotional breakdown. I cried to my friend, Morgan, back at home over the phone. I realized this was going to be a hard summer.
I didn’t know anybody. My roommates were always too busy doing their own thing to hang out with me.
This was not going to be the summer I had imagined. I romanticized New York City too much. I let myself stay in a sad, emotional funk for a few weeks.
Then I got over myself.
I started to feel better, and I knew that I had to make the most of my summer. If I didn’t, I would only regret it. I might not ever be able to spend the summer in New York City ever again, so why was I wasting time being a grump when there was so much to explore?
There truly is a ridiculous amount of things to do and see in New York City. I think I would need years to see it all. Years and a whole lot more money.
I will come back one day. Hopefully I’ll come back multiple times. Now I have friends in the city. I know my way around. I know what to expect. I think future visits will be spectacular. I just don’t think I’d ever want to move here—that is unless someone came here with me.
I’m not quite as independent as I hoped.
But I’m proud of myself for coming here. I had to do this for myself. Even though I made personal and professional mistakes throughout the summer, I think I did pretty okay overall. And no matter what happened, I always knew that I had a gad of people supporting me. If I didn’t want to continue on for myself, I had to do it for the people who believed in me.
My mom sent me this card. In it she listed the names of a bunch of my friends and family members who she knew believed in me and supported everything I was doing. She sent me a box of cards to open throughout the summer. Some of them had gift cards or checks for spending money in them, yet that was one of my favorite cards.
I know that I have a fabulous support system, but it helped to see it written down on paper.
I’m so happy that I was offered this internship at 212Access.com. I wrote all summer. I saw iconic buildings like the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. I saw multiple shows on-and-off Broadway. I made friends in a new city. I had the summer of a lifetime.
“Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow…” when I board that plane and go home.
I’ll never forget you, New York.