Top of the heap, king of the hill? It’s up to you

NYC doesn’t care if you leave.

Every so often overhasty bloggers write about why they are leaving New York City.

Some of the pieces decry how expensive it is to live here, how the city’s creative energy has dwindled, or the city’s unfriendly ways, but in essence the posts are all the same. To their credit, the writers touch on the city’s wonderful things: the arts and food, among others.

One recent piece read: “New York has, to state the obvious, become the city of money. People say your rent should be 30% of your salary; in Manhattan today, at least for many people, it feels like it hovers around 300%.”

There’s a Facebook page with status updates about leaving NYC, and even book-reading events that offer a chance for up to 10 people to tell their stories — in five minutes or less — about saying goodbye to the Big Apple.

Here’s the thing: NYC doesn’t care if you leave. It wouldn’t care if I left. It’s a city, not your friend.

NYC is a hard city to live in — but that’s hardly a secret. You know why people say, if you can make it here you can make it anywhere? Because living here, succeeding here, is harder than anywhere else.

Yes, rents are high. Yes, apartments are tiny. Yes, it is noisy. Get over it.

NYC isn’t as simple as a rerun of “Sex and the City.” Stop expecting it to be. Stop expecting large apartments and shopping sprees in the middle of the day — on little money.

Sure, I could have a bigger apartment (probably a house WITH a yard) if I moved elsewhere. But I don’t want a big apartment with stuff I don’t need.

I’m not leaving NYC. Because I was born here. Because I never felt a need to leave. Because I want my child to experience the good things a great city offers.

I’m staying. Even if I have to move into a smaller apartment. Even if I have to suffer through the annoying subway break-dancers. Even if I have to accept that I’m not awesome at my passion and become a real estate agent. I’m staying.

If you want constant self-esteem boosts from where you live, move in with your therapist. Don’t blame NYC for your decision to leave. Don’t write about moving away because somehow New York isn’t good enough.

New York isn’t perfect. But if you give up on making it here, that’s on you.

Rachel Figueroa-Levin tweets as @Jewyorican and @ElBloombito.

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