Once upon a time, I wanted to be Carrie Bradshaw …

Many years ago in a city far, far away, there lived a girl who longed to trade in a cushy life in the tropics for the drama of Carrie Bradshaw’s in New York.

Back in Manila, it all seemed fabulously surreal: this life of Manolo Blahniks, cosmopolitans and scandal-filled brunches with the girls.

It’s been five years since I uprooted myself from Manila and started a new life in New York and every now and then, I stop in amazement at how many moments I’ve had that make me think, “You really need to be careful what you wish for! You wanted to be Carrie? Well, that’s what you got!” It has little to do with Manolos and cosmopolitans (neither of which I’ve purchased since coming to New York), and everything to do with the unique people this city has ushered through my life in the five years I’ve been here.

I used to think that the dating world Carrie and friends described so vividly had to be a wild exaggeration but I’ve found that it isn’t. Starving artists and flush bankers, the French-cuffed and the tattoo-sleeved, creepy stalkers and dumbfounding Houdinis … oh yes, the city’s filled with them — and before I knew it, so were the chronicles of my single life.

But the upside of having the world’s most frustrating men seemingly corralled into the city I call home is that it makes for infinitely intriguing conversations with your most trusted confidantes. What New York seems to, at times, lack in quality men, it more than makes up for with consistently fantastic friends. As in Carrie’s life, the men may come and go but the jaw-dropping cocktail hours and facepalm-inducing salacious brunch talk remains.

And really, wasn’t that what was so fascinating about Carrie’s life? It wasn’t so much the parade of New York men that was so captivating but the rehashing and overanalyzing of every confounding romp through the dating labyrinth over mimosas and eggs Benedict that drew me in. And of course, the fact that the stage for all of this is that city of mad tough love, New York.

Living a life that feels like an episode of Sex and the City? It’s not for everyone but for better or worse, right now, it’s my happily ever after.

Originally published at www.thehappilyeverafterproject.com.