Why, after a year of life, I still leave from New York
I sat down the other day to reread my posts years ago about my first impressions when I first flew to New York. When I read, tears of emotion came from my own naivety. I look like a child there, not yet beaten by the emigre life - I admire Empire, I argue that there is no “other mentality” and I enjoy my work. Oddly enough, but over the year I have changed my view on many things.
From the side it seems that the year passed incredibly fast, but for me the time went just as it should. And this year I experienced more events and changes than all my 23 years before. When I arrived here, I did not expect anything, did not make any plans and did not think whether I would live here or not. But by the end of the year I decided to return home to Kiev.
The creative director several times offered to stay, they were ready to apply for a new visa, and they wanted to serve me as a blogger (apparently with a hint that I have more merits in blogging than in design). But in the end, I still refused both the visa and the work contract. Why?
Work. New York is perfect for work and career, I already wrote why. Before coming here, I already worked in the office, and was a year and a half on freelancing (also wrote), and here again returned to office. For this year, again convinced that I was not an office man. Because at the height of success, I decided to end my career as a web designer. I can't work only for money. My experience here is invaluable, but when my career ceased to be a priority for me, I again decided that there was no longer any sense of sitting in an office, even if it was in New York.
Rent... Suffice it to say that I pay half of my salary for a room (!) In Brooklyn. Yes, you can advise me to find a better paid job. But then I will want to move into a normal apartment, which will cost half of my new salary again. Finding a job more expensive and staying cheaper? In theory, yes, but what's the point? Sleep for years on the floor on a mattress so that - what? To show on Facebook that I live in New York?
Medicine. This is such a pitfall that many simply forget. For me personally, medicine is closed here. Yes, I have insurance, but it does not cover 100% costs. A doctor's consultation costs $ 200, I’m not talking about the cost of any treatment or a small operation. Put a seal? Go for grinding? Delete a cyst? To make X-ray or ultrasound? Ahaha. I don’t have extra hundreds of dollars, but I’m not ready to go without examinations. My friends go home every six months, they run to the doctors and come back. For me personally, this is not the level of self-care I was used to.
Beauty service... Oh, this is my favorite topic. I'm sure many will not understand why the absence of this spoils my life so much. I often tell stories about the worst manicure. In New York, there is no good manicure (of the quality that we are used to in the CIS), styling is done here with the left foot (in hipster salons), in the cheapest salons, body and face care costs from $ 200 and more. I haven’t even cut my hair once in a year, because I’m just afraid. I generally keep quiet about depilation, massage and pedicure. Moreover, I am not the only one who notices this - everyone with whom I spoke in the United States, agree that the service here is of a strange quality. Yes, you can find Russian girls and ride to Brighton Beach, but again ...
Friends... You can prove to me indefinitely that it's easy to make new friends, and that I'm just not trying. I made new acquaintances with Instagrammers, talked a lot at my blogging events, I have a couple of good English-speaking acquaintances, but I can't call them friends. I wasn’t particularly eager to join the Russian diaspora, because being friends just because you speak the same language is a dubious pleasure. As a result, we constantly communicate with only one Nina. Once it seemed that I had two and a half friends in Kiev, but now I look from the outside and understand how many people are waiting for me, and how I miss everyone. And it is not Kiev as such that makes me happy, but my friends and family, who are all there.
Language. Once I condemned this in other emigrants, but now I realized how much I miss it myself. Due to the fact that English is not my native language, it is difficult for me to understand a person in intonation. That is, we seem to be communicating, but I do not understand his feelings at all, all the more so - we have such English as at school, “vari val oak table”. Yes, it will get better and easier over the years, but to be honest, I don't even have the desire to wait and hope that one day I will begin to understand emotions in a conversation. I manage to understand only one Frenchman from a half-phrase, with the rest it is difficult, even after a year. But this is my personal one, I know our guys who are absolutely comfortable making new English-speaking friends and only communicate with them.
Background Also my personal problem, but due to the fact that there are people from all over the world, it is impossible for me to communicate in everyday life. We have no common background (culture, childhood, etc.), and a new acquaintance always turns into an interview - what are you, and how are you, and how are you? And always the same questions. And if you do not watch local TV and local shows, then write is lost, especially if you find yourself in the society of American citizens, not newcomers. There is a joke on a joke, and you are like a ram at a new gate. So I need to integrate a lot to be comfortable.
People around... I'm only talking about my perception. At first I was delighted that people are open, they easily make contact, they easily get to know each other. But over time, I understand that I simply cannot live among these people. They are not bad - they are different. New York is a heterogeneous society, and I feel uncomfortable in it.
And so it turns out, rent is cruel, medicine and care are not available, there are no friends, people around strain, and working in an office is not mine. My soul does not lie in this country at all, there are dozens of other cool countries around, so I just don't see the point in staying here now.
So that you do not think that I do not like this city, I will also tell you about the pros.
Food. Just a stunning selection of everything that you can imagine, especially I am pleased with the meat without antibiotics and the availability of fruit in the winter.
Institutions. There are so many “right” restaurants, hotels, coffee shops in New York that even in a year I could not get around everything in my Forskvere.
Opportunities. Here you can fly to the very top, just by meeting the right people, but in this city it is easy.
Architecture. It has it all: from the magical underground in Brooklyn to the hi-end fashion in the Upper West Side, which only cost brown townhouses in the West Village and Central Park itself.
Freedom. Here you will not be judged for anything, they will not be surprised at your hair color or strange shoes, it is comfortable to be gay or to raise a child with two fathers. You can realize all the freest views in this city, the only question is - do you really need it?
State. I - even as an emigrant - feel protected by the state. I can complain about anything, and the truth will be on my side. Well, and the fact that the state is serious about the architecture of the city, public spaces, the protection of citizens, etc.
Well, I also like that parcels from Amazon and Sefora arrive in 2 days, that any new books can be bought on the day of release, any brands, any goods - everything is available. But a lot of this is available in Europe too, of course.
I have an eloquent story: a year and a half ago, I came across the LJ girl from Moscow, who lived with her husband and child in New York, and her last post was that she was returning to Moscow because she simply could not live comfortably in New York, does not want to raise a child in this city, misses friends and relatives, the Russian language and usual things. Then I read it and thought “oh my God, how you need to be narrow-minded to miss the Russian language! Do not want to raise a child in America! And friends? You can make new ones! ”.
Now, I think the same way as she did then: I miss my language, I don’t want to raise children in America, and no, I don’t make friends right away. This story very well taught me not to condemn when I myself have no identical experience. Anyway, do not condemn.
I notice 2 more subtle points. The first is that almost all of my friends have moved to the United States with their family, that is, husband and wife together. This is generally a key detail, because it makes you feel safe. And when you come alone, it's a completely different experience and different experiences.
And the second thing. Often on Instagram they write to me “Oh, I was in New York for a week and I fell in love so much, I don’t understand how you can want to leave this magical city!”. There are so many such comments that I am already laughing. Well, baby, you came for a week from a dull CIS city to New York, ate oysters here every day, walked around Central Park and Times Square, bought all the cosmetics, saw off the sunsets with a cocktail on a rooftop and then returned back to your rainy city ... Of course you will fall in love! For the first six months I also adored every little thing here. But sometimes people forget that tourism and emigration are two completely different experiences. Of course, I can write 10 more such posts, but until you feel it on yourself, you won't understand.
It was an amazing year - with a lot of travel, new discoveries, new experiences and impressions. But somehow everything turned too much and changed.
I love New York, I am grateful to this city and the people who brought me here. For invaluable experience, for the opportunity to travel throughout America. For sharing my life in Before and After. Thanks to New York for taking me out of my comfort zone, which in June brought me to the very bottom, which in August changed my outlook, which allowed me to become a blogger, which made it possible to open up and look at relationships from a different angle, which closed my Gestalt “I want to leave the country”, gave me money, showed what I can do, and opened up new opportunities.
Over the 2016 year, I visited Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia, San Francisco and rode Kubrick in New York State. And she sang along with Tom Radio on Radiohead, cried at Riana’s concert, admired Florence and the Machine’s voice, jumped at Bonobo at the club and, of course, went crazy and broke her voice along with Kanye West. Completely changed my wardrobe and thoughts, moved to a new apartment, 6 went to the gym every day, bought a professional camera, a fur coat and heels, every 3 month was on vacation, went ankle-deep in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, finished her career and finally figured out what i want Dad always joked: “Who understood life - he quit his job”. And now I think it was not a joke.
What am I going to do in Kiev? Maintain commercial Instagram stores and restaurants, advise designers on work in America and brands on design. And I will do my projects. And finally, just enjoy life. And then I used to constantly wait for something, now someone will come into my life - and everything will become cool, now I will move - and it will become cool, now I will find a new job - and it will become cool. Constantly in anticipation, but nothing inside changed. But the universe brought me here so that I, thousands of kilometers from my comfort zone, looked at myself from the outside, and New York itself became a trigger and an ideal place for upbringing to show me that anything is possible, that I can get everything about anything. I dream, if you are not afraid of change and do not come up with hundreds of excuses.
Of course, I don't talk about personal things in my blog, but there are even more changes and colors. So my return home is not the end of the tale, but only the beginning. And I myself can't wait to see how it will be. I know for sure that I will miss New York, but I will have all of Europe and Asia by my side! And for me it is much more beautiful and more diverse than America: ahead of Paris, beloved Berlin, London, Iceland and Dubai. The light did not converge like a wedge on one New York - and thank God. And I can return here at any time, so why make some kind of tragedy out of this, right? ?
And on Instagram my new adventures - @elenabazu.
Blog text published on Online Elena Base. Reprinted with permission of the author. The material used by the author.
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