Oh hey again.
The clueless curly-headed buffoon jolly-romping around New York City and getting on all the wrong trains (still).
Because I only operate on a shit-show level of 57 and obviously need more things to fill my schedule right now, I thought I’d go back to my first posting back in July and see what I’ve learned now that I’m officially a New Yorker (just kidding Mom don’t disown me it was a JOKE).
Here are a few (more) things I’ve learned after roughly six months in The Big Apple…
1. All the friends you thought you’d see and hang out with every day like an episode of Broad City…you still haven’t hung out with. Because we live in NYC. And they, like you, have approximately a 20-minute window of time to offer on any given day, or month, maybe year for spontaneous social gatherings.
2. Renting an apartment in New York is exactly like Broad City told you it was though. Down to the creepy-ass apartment in a basement crawling with roaches that looked amazing in the photographs, quirky character realtors, and a sinking reality that you live in the most expensive city in the world, maybe even the universe.
Me: I need to make how much to live here?
Me: *starts laughing*
Realtor: What’s so funny?
Me: Oh, for a second there I thought you said $100,000-
Realtor: That’s correct
Me: If you’ll excuse me I’m just gonna- (approaches fire escape and attempts to leap off of it)
3. But when you do find a place in your price range (yes, it’s possible) you are expected to promptly hand over every tax return you never knew you had, letters from employers explaining how great of a person you are, and might as well be asked to do a backflip in the kitchen right then and there to get the apartment. Oh, and did we mention how much money you’re expected to hand over on the spot? Yeah, this is going to run you and your roommates (because you need those) roughly $8,000. Mmmmm feels so gooooood.
4. Just because Google Maps tells you that your destination is less than 3 miles away it doesn’t mean you’re actually going to get there quickly. Actually, I can pretty much guarantee that you won’t. The MTA has made damn sure of that.
5. While we’re on the MTA, it’s pretty much a known fact that it might take you five different subway lines to get to your destination because the one that would be the most convenient isn’t running today. Or it just isn’t running for your stop. Therefore, you should be fully prepared to take several different subways, walk to a bus station, get stranded in some random neighborhood, and just say fuck it and get a Lyft which is just included in your budget now and you’d be out of your mind to attempt any other means of transportation short of walking your ass all the way to the Upper West Side.
6. You have actually walked your ass up to the Upper West Side and it actually made your ass feel quite fancy.
7. Not every part of New York is like it’s portrayed in the movies. Sure, you get a thrill everytime you see the Empire State Building light up all cool-like. And maybe you think nearly getting hit by a taxicab is kind of nostalgic and Hollywood. But nothing can prepare you for the smell of trash day in NYC. Which pretty much every day in NYC. And no amount of romantic comedy watching can take away from the fact that there are gigantic, smelly trash-castles lining the streets of New York making you seriously question your life decisions and hold your nose all the way through Midtown.
8. Just because you’re from Colorado doesn’t mean you understand Winter. It turns out you know very little about Winter and will be smacked so hard into reality by “The Bomb Cyclone” that you start crying in the middle of the street because you thought this was your heavy jacket.
9. After the shock of humidity and windchill, you’re going to spend an hour and a half in a hot shower and immediately order an Arctic-level jacket, long underwear, and heated socks from Amazon using your Christmas money.
10. Real New Yorkers are going to take pride in making fun of said Arctic-level jacket and laugh at you constantly because it truly resembles a sleeping bag but you don’t give a fuck because at least you’re warm now. Until the weather shifts radically to the other end and you’re caught wearing Big Blue and are now sweating through it, leaving tiny drips of sweat behind you as you walk.
11. A “Do Not Walk” sign is a challenge to a New Yorker. And you don’t generally think of yourself as a risk-taker, but you sometimes find yourself following a brave soul out into the middle of a street because hey, you’ve got somewhere to be, right?
12. Food delivery services like Blue Apron are great for single people living in New York who don’t want to spend $1,000 on eating out.
13. Just kidding, you can’t do Blue Apron because some asshat on your block has figured out when you get yours delivered and is stealing them off your front porch while you’re at work. ENJOY THE FILET MIGNON ASSHOLEEEEEEE.
14. New Yorkers aren’t lying when they say it’s all about who you know. It seriously is. And even if you’re an introvert and don’t like talking to other humans, there’s this great thing I’ve discovered called Facebook Groups that allow you to network with complete strangers in New York who are somehow totally down to hook you up with all kinds of cool shit like jobs, gigs, apartments, and more! I’m not exaggerating on this one. Pretty much every cool thing I’ve found in New York (and most of my jobs I now have) came through hitting somebody up on a Facebook Group. You’re welcome.
15. Speaking of who you know, did you know that it’s entirely possible to get a book deal from meeting some random guy at an improv show who happens to know a publisher? I mean at least that’s how it happened for me. Which is pretty cool considering my method of cold-emailing agents and hating myself wasn’t really working out too well for me.
16. It’s entirely possible to end up living out the New York 20 roommates stereotype for a few months. And joke to all your friends that you live in a commune. Which you kind of do, let’s be honest. But this co-living lifestyle allows you to slowly start writing stories about the weirdos you live with which you plan on keeping to yourself until you move out in a month or so. And then there’s really no holding you back. You’ve got an hour-length comedy special about the weird shit that went down in that commune.
17. Sometimes you’re going to feel alarmed when a stranger smiles at you. Yeah, really alarmed. That shit’s weird. Where are we? In the twilight zone? Don’t you see I have my fuck-off earphones and resting bitch face on?
18. Homesickness will come and go at random times. In one moment you’re crying by yourself on a subway because you saw someone refuse to give up their seat to an old lady and the next you’re feeling like Jack in that scene from Titanic where he’s all like “I’M THE KING OF THE WORLD.” These two emotions will probably occur on the same day, if not simultaneously.
19. You’re going to try to get smart and use a different airport every time you fly home just to research which is the easiest one to fly in and out of. Which the answer is none of them. Especially since you don’t have a car anymore and will convince yourself that the public transportation to LaGuardia can’t be that bad.
20. You’re never going to get anywhere in under an hour. I don’t care who you are or where you think you’re going. It’s not going to happen for you.
21. Dating in New York is a joke.
22. Dating in New York is a joke.
23. Dating in New York is a joke.
24. It’s a joke because New York has this beautiful shiny glow to it that convinces everyone that there’s always something, or someone, better out there so no need to go past a first date really because who gives a fuuuuuuck.
25. For this reason you will spend a lot of time explaining to the 4-year-old you nanny why you don’t have a husband or children for him to go on playdates with.
26. It’s entirely possible to get away with not paying for a gym membership. All you have to do is sign up for a “free day” at every gym in every borough. You don’t even have to use a fake name. There are that many different kinds of gyms to try.
27. You eventually might want to get real and get a gym membership because all this 99¢ pizza has really gone directly to your hips and that’s just not okay.
28. You’re going to get sick virtually all the time. But at least you can try to convince yourself that you’re building up your immunity for the day when the next deadly monkey germ hits the East Coast.
29. Swallowing your sketchy bag of vitamins on the subway is a great way to get people not to sit next to you, but at least you know you’re getting your daily dose of Vitamin I Don’t Give a Fuck.
30. When you look back on your first days in New York, you laugh because you were SOOOO worried about getting a job. And then you have to stop laughing because you now have five jobs. All of which require a different part of your brain, separate skills, and will create quite the interesting story on your tax forms next year.
31. You were worried about running out of money and having to head home like a failure. And now you’re like “how many minutes do I have to cram this sandwich in my face in between my barista gig and my nanny gig?” and “can I make it to Queens for this comedy show after teaching my writing class?” and “should I take this $20 freelance gig and write a 400-word piece about how to winterize your pipes?”
32. The answer to these questions are “approximately five,” “yes,” and “hell yes.”
33. You always used to think about the word “hustle” in terms of drugs, as in, someone smuggling them across a border. Now when you think about the word, it’s just a gigantic picture of your tired-ass face plastered in a dictionary. Your parents might refer to you as “deranged,” but they’re also real impressed that you found a way to live rent-free in New York City for about six months (you managed the commune, like an adult RA, that’s how).
34. Time works differently in New York. Even though you want things to happen magically and overnight like they do in the movies, it doesn’t work that way. But patience is key. And your hard work will pay off down the line if you wait for it. I think this is why some people come here in the first place; they want an immediate change from the lives they’re living. They want that New York magic. And believe me, this place is fucking magical. But sometimes you have to wait a little longer for some stars (shit, half a star) to align. And when that happens there is no better feeling in the damn world.
35. If you don’t believe me, ask the guy that was sitting on the park bench near Prospect Park when I got the email that I was going to be published. I don’t know his name or where he lives or really anything about him. But he saw something amazing happen that day. And a lot of screaming intermixed with tears and more screaming followed by more tears.
36. You’re going to show up more on people’s radars now that you’ve moved to New York in pursuit of your dreams. Ex-boyfriends, old colleagues, some random person you met on a plane once. They’re all going to start dropping you a line and caring about your Snapchats all of a sudden. You’re fine with that. Except for the ex’s. You’d rather they shut the hell up and deal with the fact that you’re awesome (which you always were by the way).
37. Despite people finally realizing how cool you are, people are still going to flake out on you last minute. Because in New York, if I’m asking you to come to my comedy show, you’re definitely going to say you’re coming. But at the same time you can easily talk yourself out of it if you’ve had a long day at work. Or if you have a slight cough. Or if there’s something better to do within a closer proximity to you. It’s usually nothing personal. It’s just hard to convince a friend to come see you crush on a Tuesday at 11PM in Midtown. Ah, New York.
38. I’ll still be friends with you, by the way. But I’m just saying if Jimmy Fallon ever does call, I’ll be the first to forget to invite you if you’ve flaked out on me 5-7 times already.
39. Speaking of flakes…SNOWFLAKES. Ah, they’re so pretty in New York, aren’t they?
40. I apologize for that last one because I just decided maybe I’m running out of sage New York wisdom to tell all of you…
41. WAIT. Quit putting your MetroCard in your pocket! It’s going to get bent and then every day it works will feel like a god damn miracle! Get a nice plastic cover thing, or a necklace or something really nerdy but actually necessary.
42. You will trek back the to the bar in Williamsburg to find your MetroCard in a bathroom because it flew out of said pocket when you were taking care of business (#1 calm down, people!) and you will be so so thankful to be living on this amazing planet, I mean really that was a close call.
43. Even though I just said New York isn’t what Hollywood cracks it up to be, being a comedian in New York is pretty much just like that movie Don’t Think Twice and you’re pretty convinced you can be on SNL if you just dump thousands of dollars into the right improv theater or a big producer will just happen to be in the front row of your show and in dire need of a curly-headed white lady with a few hot takes on dating and yoga classes.
44. Speaking of which, you’re going to have to come up with some pretty creative responses to your grandparents at Christmas when they ask you why you aren’t on SNL yet.
45. Some days, you’re going to look at your life and not even recognize it anymore. Which is equal parts cool and terrifying. It’s cool because your “old life” or your “pre-New York life” seems like a lifetime ago and your “new New York life” is just so fucking awesome you can’t believe you didn’t think about doing this before. It’s also terrifying because you wonder if people know how unhappy and scared of life you were back there, and you wonder if others are experiencing what you did, and are struggling to break into something new. You hope they get their acts together and move to New York, or Start teaching English in Japan, or Whatever it is they're dreaming of doing someday.
46. Life can be pretty damn lifey. No matter where you are. And for me, New York has brought out the coolest and most awful experiences of my life and somehow smooshed them into a few quick months. When I think about all the lifey shit I’ve been through since making the jump, it’s absolutely amazing that I’m still alive. Really. I’m pretty sure half of you expected me to be taken out a taxicab by now.
47. While you’re off galLIvanting in New York doing your comedy thing, your friends’ lives back home are going to change too. They’re going to call you up and invite you to their weddings and tell you about the homes they’re buying and the babies they’re having on purpose. It’s going to feel a little weird at first. You’re going to second-guess your choices for about five milliseconds. And then you’re going to snap out of it, be happy for them, and continue sending them funny Snapchats of you drunk on the subway after a great set where you shared a stage with someone who was on Conan.
48. Being on Conan is actually a lot more common than you once thought. Which makes you feel kind of not as bad about yourself when you explain to your mother that there was only one person in the audience last night at your show. His name was Steve. He was really nice.
49. Your mother is not going to care about this detail because she’s so god damn proud of you. Yes, it stresses her and your dad out more than you will EVER understand (because you yourself don’t have kids that have run away from you to the Big Bad Apple), but the real truth is that they’re both up to their little ears in pride about what you’re doing with your life, even if they lightly shame you every once in a while or say “I told you so” every time your shit gets stolen off your front porch.
50. New York is going to be your best friend on your best days, and your worst enemy on your worst. It’s going to fill you up with sparkly magic and simultaneously kick the shit out of you on the curb in front of your cool new friends. It’s going to make you work for it. Because if you don’t, there’s just going to be a few billion other people who will. You’re going to get lost all the time and find yourself in ways you didn’t think were possible. New York is going to push your fucking buttons. But at the end of the day, you are still here. And you’re going to keep showing this city that you mean business because that’s what you were born to do.
Editor’s Note: This post was actually written in Denver, Colorado. Because as the universe would have it, I’ve been invited to audition with 79 other people for a speaker position at tedxmilehigh from 14,000 applicants. Updates to come if I made it in, but honestly who gives a shit when you look at those numbers? I am crushing ittttt.