Lesson #2: Making Community

I can’t stop raving about how great NYC is. Call it naive wonder or puppy-eyed love, the novelty of this glorious concrete jungle hasn’t worn off…yet.

Several natives have warned me that when I move here permanently, the dazzle in my eyes will fade as quickly as the fast-talking businesswoman who snaps at missing her train. Sure, it seems endearing now but wait until you are tired and cold and pissy- the New York mentality will seem far from comforting.

Maybe I’m too stuck in LALAland to care but I’d like to think I can avoid the jaded apathy.  I can see how behind the big lights, good food, and intense drive, there can be something dark and cold about this place. On second thought…nah. It’s all about attitude.

There are countless ways to immerse yourself in the environment. One friend mentioned Young Woman’s Council. Another mentioned a New York Night Owls session for nocturnal folk. There’s Skillshare. Food crawls. Meetups. Try meeting friends of friends. Before you know it, you’ve built your community within a mecca. It makes everything a little less intimidating and a little more manageable. It’s really not so different from living in your hometown with a set group of high school friends….except the fact that it’s New York. When you’re tired of them, go for a walk in Central Park. Eat a delicious Magnolia cupcake.

I believe the key to happiness is creating community in a stimulating environment. If you accomplish that in New York, to me, that’s the best of both worlds: comfort and familiarity in your personal sphere, plus ambition and competition in the outer sphere to keep you active and motivated.

I’m lucky to have friends in the city. They’ve welcomed me graciously- introducing me to their friends, arranging lunches, outings, adventures.  I realize that it’s not Central Park or 5th Avenue or even that incredible Magnolia cupcake that’s brought me happiness these past few days. It’s the friendships, the people, the community.

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