New York versus the world….
Growing up in New York City as a young child, I could not help but have dreams of moving out of the projects and experiencing the outside life. I say the outside life, because it kind of felt as if we were confined in this bubble of buildings built with bricks and steel bars covering windows. This reality we lived in was considered the concrete jungle. Where normal people would visit plays in a theater, our day to day theatrical event, was sitting on the bench, Or by the window, to see who would get robbed or shot next.
Reading my last passage, you would think that i had an awful childhood and that New York City is terrible; however, New York City is a place where you will learn how to survive, love, be athletic, become spiritual, learn how to grind hard all in one area and sometimes all in one weekend. New York is definitely the training ground for life. It is true, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.
As an adult, I now can admit that I truly did not know what an amazing blessing I was given, to have been born and raised in New York, specifically growing up and raised in Brooklyn, New York. As a child selfishly dreaming of getting away from the city that never sleeps, to a place where the grass is green, the air is fresh, and the night sky shines bright, was the ultimate goal. I always told myself, “Jose someday you will get out of here and make something of yourself and forget about this place”…but little did I know, forgetting about this place never happened.
Living and growing up in New York, you tend to adapt to the stresses of life and project it forward, hence the reason why people think New Yorkers are tough. We live hard times, work even harder, and pray to make it to the next day. As a young child, I was blessed with some athletic ability, which guided me in a path that led me to amazing people. Going from the projects to the suburbs, I definitely felt as if I was thrown a curve ball. Life became different, it became difficult because it was new. At this time, I did not know that my goal was being met.
Finally getting out, I was at an all time high and wanted to experience everything. I fell in love with the slowness and yet peaceful way of life. Where birds chirped at the crack of sunlight and everyone said good morning. Where at night the air smelled of cedar and the moon and stars were the suburbs version of street lights. I was loving my new life and felt as if my goal was met. Even when the dream becomes reality and everything was feeling amazing, the trials of life tested my faith.
There’s no place like home. One thing I have noticed through my constant travels in life, was that no matter where I was physically or mentally, every situation brings me back to my stomping ground. No matter where in the world I am, what I am Is a New Yorker.
The moral of my story is, New Yorkers are bred to be different, survive wherever and whenever, to be concrete soldiers and tough. To have pride and make known where we are from. So truthfully New Yorkers travel to places where dreams are made of, but New York travels along with us. So we never truly leave New York, because New York is in us. Once a New Yorker, always a New Yorker, Brooklyn born and raised.
I love New York and love being a New Yorker and because of my several degrees from the school of hard knock life, New York to me is not a state, but like the artist Jay-z says “New York is a state of mind”. If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere…