Since moving to NYC, I’ve been frustrated by my family & friends’ perceptions of living in NYC. I’ve also really struggled with my NYC friends and acquaintances judging me for being from Ohio.
From the Ohioans:
· Oh my God, I could NEVER live there!
· How in the world do you deal with that many people? Isn’t it unsafe? Isn’t it dirty?
· You’re not staying there forever, are you?!
From the New Yorkers:
· Oh God, you’re from Ohio? No wonder you moved here, you must have been so bored!
· I can’t imagine living anywhere else than NYC, especially somewhere with nothing to do!
· So I am sure, you’ll never move back to Ohio now that you live in NYC, right? I mean, why would you ever want to leave here?!
I cannot begin to tell you how fired up I get when hearing these things. For years I’ve been defending both places. I simply perceive them as close-minded views and praise myself for being open-minded enough to appreciate the beauty of both NYC and the rest of the country!
Doing the best to minimize my angst, I’ve perfected my defense spiel for each of my “homes”, and let it roll off my back as much as possible. I just read something that is already helping me let go of these negative feelings all together. And this, my friends, is a huge joyous joy!
I’ve been reading a book that I don’t love, but am determined to finish. This weekend, I figured out why that book made it into my hands.
The story is about a young author, Mason, who is writing the biography of an admirable man named Harrison. Traveling with him for a year, Mason learns a lot about life and gains unexpected wisdom along the way. While in South Africa, Harrison tells Mason about his first trip to Botswana & Zimbabwe. He had gone home afterwards to show his friends and family his photos and share the adventurous details. Although most were excited to hear Harrison’s antics, one person made a comment that completely appalled him:
“Why in the hell would anyone want to go there?!”
I instantly sympathized with his aggravation! This correlates directly with my own NYC vs Ohio frustration!
Then Harrison imparts some wisdom that I also needed to hear:
“When I heard that, I thought to myself, “how simple-minded is that?” I didn’t understand objectivity then – I was just as simple-minded as she was.
I was thinking my experience in Africa was the most important thing in the world, and she was thinking her world was the only place to be. I was just as ignorant as her, really.
There are 6.5 billion people on the earth and every single one of us is different. For some, they feel peace and joy from looking at their children and seeing their own faces and their spouse’s faces in them. They couldn’t imagine a life without kids and experiencing that part of life. For me, if I woke up and found myself married with kids, living in the suburbs – I would have a heart attack!”
HA! This cracked me up and does each time I reread it. This is a great reminder of the saying “to each their own”.
I’m now recognizing the amount of energy I’ve wasted trying to convince others to see “my own” outlook. I’m officially letting go of this frustration and am excited to focus that energy elsewhere!