A Wall Street Journal headline caught my eye: "When Workers Can Live Anywhere, Many Ask: Why Do I Live Here?"
So, why do I live here, in New York City?
New York City wasn't the easiest place to live in the pandemic. In the early days, I was biking with a mask, wearing gloves to walk my dog and Lysoling everything in sight.
I didn't quite realize how rigid my actions were until I left the city and visited my parents in Kentucky. Riding in a car alone, touching door knobs only touched by us, it felt good for a moment to not have coronavirus at the forefront of my mind.
Even when I stayed in Connecticut shortly, I took comfort in the fact that when I walked the dogs maskless, I would never pass another person on the small suburban street where I stayed.
So, why New York?
New York has my heart in more way than one.
I can step onto my fire escape to watch a protest march down the street adjacent to mine.
I can cover a BLM march from the ground, where the electricity in the air feels inimitable.
I can turn the corner of my block to hear Bill Withers blasted from a loudspeaker.
I can walk my dog in the park and stumble upon a socially distant DJ set, people separated in the dark but dancing to themselves. I can fall off my bike after a car pulls out in front of me and be helped by three complete strangers. I can see the warmth in the face of the man who works at my local bodega, even though it is concealed by a mask. I can pass a neighbor walking home and stop to catch up, feeling our shared camaraderie that we have one another in the city.
I may be seemingly untethered to this city as a result of working remotely, but I desire nonetheless to be intwined within the fabric of this community.
The resilience of a city that has seen so much death and pain as a result of coronavirus reminds me that I can be resilient too. I'm here for the people who are resilient, passionate and alive, and who inspire me to be the same.
It's good to find balance and I'm glad for the two weeks I spent away, but when it comes down to it, there's still no where else I'd rather be.
I'm inspired by these people. I'm inspired by this city.
And though I could live anywhere now, I'm happy it's New York City where I've landed.
Enjoying and learning from this chapter as the pages turn