Misconceptions (The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place)

As a follow-up to my advice post about living in NYC, I felt the need to throw in some more personal advice to anyone seriously considering moving to a city like NYC. The old saying “if I can do it, so can you” has never rang more true than with me, since living here isn’t as different or difficult as one may think, and this is coming from a guy that spent most of his teenage life on a farm. Here are two of the biggest misconceptions that I’d like to talk about. For those with paranoid parents that hate the idea of you leaving for a big scary place full of crime, or for those just looking for validation that their dream of a change in scenery isn’t entirely impossible, maybe you can get something from this.

1) Not everyone in a city is out to hurt you/rob you/kill you

One of the biggest issues my parents had with me moving to New York was the fact that they were worried about me getting robbed or killed. Quite a few older southern-raised people I know have told me about how rude most people are in New York, and this is one of the main ideas I don’t entirely believe. The fact is that New York City is fast. Really fast. Fast enough that you will get under someone’s skin if you keep them from going about their day. I don’t entirely consider that rude, since people just want to get to where they’re going. I’ve learned so far that if you keep to yourself and don’t keep others from doing their thing, you’ll be left alone. Above all, have some common sense.

2) Yes, you can do this

I’ve had people message me on Facebook asking me what life is like compared to my old home, and I find that it’s not as harsh of a transition as you would think. For those afraid they can’t “make it” in a big city, there are two things I would tell them. Firstly, “making it” is a subjective idea and only you can determine what that means. Secondly, your happiness should be what you put above most things, and if leaving your current state to go elsewhere is what will make you happy, it is entirely possible if you put enough time into preparing. Saving money up ahead of leaving, planning ahead and finding good opportunities is more time-consuming than difficult.

In the past few weeks, I have met and spoke with numerous people trying to make it in the big city. It’s inspiring to see musicians, artists and even non-art people successfully moving up in their field or even taking that first big step. Even if I am not able to find any opportunities here, I know that I will find an opportunity elsewhere if I put in the effort and passion for success, and have no problem going somewhere else to find it, and that it ability is a freedom that I won’t ever take for granted.