Bluets II (Too), and the nature of pharmakon (A play in 46 points, in response to Maggie Nelson’s book, “Bluets.”)

ENTER: ME AND MY BAD JOKES

I contain multitudes, but so do you. Namaste. – Paulo Coehlo, The Alchemist.

(Just kidding, Paulo Coehlo never said that. Walt Whitman said “I am multitudes” or something to that effect, and I edited it a bit and added “but so do you.” To be exact, I think that’s what Walt Whitman meant anyway in “Leaves of Grass,” but I can’t be sure because I haven’t yet read it in its entirety. So perhaps this whole thing was Walt Whitman’s idea, who knows. I’m just doing my best here.)

ENTER: LOVER AND FRIEND

I am the universe. You are the universe. Inside of me and you, are universes. (Joan Sterling – Pulses) Do you feel less alone, and more perfectly imperfect? I hope so.

(BELOW IS MAGGIE NELSON, NOT ME)

ENTER: PLAYWRIGHT

Phaedrus, a dialogue, version II: Ride at your own risk. You’re getting on the polar express! Enter the laberinto of many tabs.

ENTER: OCD MARKETER

Note: The majority of the songs mentioned in this essay are direct Spotify links. If you do not have the paid version of Spotify, the link may lead you to the incorrect song. I have the names of the songs in parentheses after the links, just in case. 

ENTER: ARTIST / PHOTOGRAPHER / ADVENTURER

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Yes it’s true, I’m blue like you, and the beauty of life never fades for those who believe in wonder.

“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” -Roald Dahl

ENTER: GIANT METAPHOR THAT WRAPS ITSELF AROUND THIS PIECE LIKE A BABUSHKA DOLL OF CRAZY

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1. It’s best to read this piece after reading Maggie Nelson’s book, “Bluets” in its entirety. Otherwise it may not make any sense. If you’d like, listen to this song (Andrea Marie – Feel it All) by clicking on the link for some light background music.

Narrator: If you’d like, click on all the links in this piece in order while reading. This is meant to be an interactive art exhibit.

Warning: You will go through many tabs and many places and perhaps lose track of where you are if you do this.

ENTER: THERAPIST

Therapist: Sometimes it’s better to focus on doing one thing at a time. The music shouldn’t distract you unless you have ADD. Do what you need to do to feel better. Turn off the music if you feel like it. Do what’s best for you.

2. But if you’re impatient or you’re the type who likes to read the last page of a book before it’s finished, then what am I to do? I can’t help you.

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3. Therapist: Maybe you don’t need to be helped.

4. I distilled my thoughts the way you’d distill whiskey so you’d all understand, but some pieces will still be entirely mine. I’m not going to tell you what’s inside, (What’s Inside – Sara Bareilles) because this is personal. However, some of this is for you.

5. Therapist: What’s yours in life (and what’s yours in this piece) will be. Relax. This is not a test.

6. I tried to document every page and part in this book that spoke to me, but I did not know how much I would love it. To know the nature of a book ten pages in and before you finish it is to guess, or to judge a book by its prologue. Though I suppose, the cover of “Bluets” is initially what drew me in. (What can I say or do? I’m a lover of beauty.)

7. I’m not trying to document this book perfectly. I’m not trying to be perfect. I’m just trying to be real (true).

8. I’m just another lover in this world, but love should be defended like honor and truth. It is the truest feeling there is.

9. I knew as soon as I began reading “Bluets” that I was starting to read something really special. How special it would be to me, I did not know. I just had a feeling. That feeling was blue.

10. I picked it up “Bluets” by Maggie Nelson at The Strand in New York City; it drew me towards it. Or perhaps, more accurately, I drew it towards myself with my right hand. To be accurate and to remember the details is to be as close to the truth, and as blue as you can be.

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11. Therapist: A note on “disorder”: Don’t let them tell you that you have OCD. (Next to Normal, Broadway) You’re just neat and tidy. Out of balance, and into extremes is to need pharmakon. What is pharmakon? In philosophy and critical theory, pharmakon has a few potential representations: remedy, poison, or scapegoat. The first refers to pharmacology and toxicology – the second, to the Greek term φάρμακον, denoting any drug – and the third represents pharmakos or the scapegoat, representing the ritual of human sacrifice. In “Bluets,” Maggie Nelson compares pharmakon to writing, loving, and fucking. What is true?

Does your brain need help? If you are wise and balanced, you might be able to decide. If you aren’t wise and balanced, or do not know if you are – or perhaps simply if you’ve been out of balance for too long – then perhaps it is best to let a good doctor (psychiatrist, or psychotherapist) decide.

Therapist: What’s the best, most natural way to avoid madness? Balance. Balanced: eating/not eating, sleeping/waking, exercise/rest, social/introvert time, giving/receiving, focus on self/others. Balance in all things. Stay rooted in reality. Keep your feet on the ground. Pay attention to your needs. Meet your own needs – the practical and impractical. Simultaneously, or as a balanced pendulum swing. It’s simpler than you think.

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Therapist: The best way to avoid madness is using pharmakon when necessary (in my opinion, pharmakon is helpful when you’re extremely out of balance, or have overused neural pathways that are not serving you – when you are unable to get out of your funk naturally through your own means. If this does not make sense to you, and you are struggling, you may need pharmaceuticals). How do you get these? Through the help of a balanced, empathetic psychiatrist who isn’t out for money. How do you tell which is which? Intuition (lapis) and checking the facts – the logical ones.

ENTER: PHILOSOPHER

12. Therapist/Philosopher: Never risk madness. Madness is alienation, and alienation is the furthest you can be from love. (And isn’t that what we ALL really want – and all we REALLY want, in the end?)

13. Philosopher/Therapist: Love is light. Love is truth. Seek light. (There is no reason that this particular point is point 13. Things can be random. Things just are.)

14. Here are the pages I took photographs of that I love(d), (d) as in I still love them, but I’m staying in past tense. This is my response. Hopefully blue. Perhaps pharmakon (is writing true?) but as blue as I could get it. And maybe that’s all that matters.

Narrator: Spoiler alert below. If you plan on reading “Bluets” and don’t want to read the final page, (or any of it before getting the book for that matter), skip over these images below and on to point 15.
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15. Philosopher: A random thought: Do you want to be loved passionately, or do you want to be loved well?

16. Philosopher/Therapist: Another subsequent, random thought: Do you want to be loved passionately, and also be loved well? Let’s find the middle. In a sea of blue, let’s find cerulean. (Dialectical behavioral therapy)

17. [Cerulean] is by definition: A lighter shade of blue that is hard to describe with words, so here is an image.

It reminds me of the ocean. Not my favorite shade, but workable for this metaphor and just as beautiful. How do you like it?

18. Maybe we can splash some dark blue into the cerulean, at times. (Lapis Lazuli)

ENTER: METAPHYSICIST

19. What is Lapis Lazuli? Lapis is a deep blue stone with golden flecks and markings, used in ancient history to paint the eyelids of Cleopatra, and the tombs of kings. It is royalty. It stands for wisdom, deep intuition, and destiny. It is my favorite stone.

ENTER: PHILOSOPHER

20. Pharmakon can mean: pharmaceutical. Is it a cure or is it poison? Is writing pharmakon? Are we distilling blue? What is true?

ENTER: SCIENTIST

21. Scientist/Philosopher/Artist: Is blood actually blue? Some believe that blood is blue before it touches oxygen. Some believe as soon as it hits oxygen, it turns red. So one might gather that blood is blue on the inside, and red once it’s on the outside. But is this true? (NPR Article)(Is that why we call it “True Blue”?) This isn’t a double negative, it’s a lazy statement meant to say: Check the facts…and choose your perspective.

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ENTER: PHILOSOPHER AND (MORE) BAD JOKES

22. Is writing like fucking? Is fucking the truest thing there is? Does fucking leave the fucker and the fuckee the same, as Maggie Nelson states? Untouched? -Touched?

23. What is touching? What is sex?

It is as close as you can get to another human being on this planet.

24. Touching can be physical, and it can be mental.

ENTER: WRITER

25. I want to touch the things I love, and I want to devour you, as much as I can while I am a human being on this earth. I want to explore the depths of you.

ENTER: METAPHOR (DID I NEED TO SPECIFY?)

26. I wanted to devour this book, but I couldn’t fit it in my mouth.

ENTER: ASIDE

27. Am I nebulous? Certainly, and intentionally at times. (Don’t call me crazy if you don’t understand. Just move the fuck along.)

28. Is writing true? Is it more true, less true, or just more intense? Is intense true? Do you want the truth or something beautiful?

ENTER: WRITER

29. www.tellmesomethingbeautiful.com (Do not click this link unless you want to experience inception, and perhaps waste your time.) Hopefully, it’ll be time well wasted.

30. Do you want the truth, or something beautiful? Maybe they’re one and the same. Maybe it’s just a matter of where and how you focus. Wisdom is making the choice. What do you see?

31. As for me, I’ll remain a seeker of light and a seeker of blue – but this time, balanced cerulean. Dark at times, light at times, always knowing the difference and what brings me towards my own light.

32. What is cerulean? Is cerulean true? Cerulean, a lighter shade of blue, simply is what it is. It is not any more blue or less blue than any other shade of blue. (Alan Watts – Things are as they are.)

Therapist: You are perfect, just the way you are. In the same way a giant waterfall is perfect; regardless of whether or not it has been discovered, appreciated, or seen. (Mountain Meditation – Palouse Mindfulness)

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33. Therapist: Decide, with your lapis (lazuli) heart, what you want. Perspective is everything. Wisdom is knowing what you want. Wisdom is knowing what you need. True Wisdom is knowing what you want AND what you need. Lapis is knowing the middle. (Compromise).

34. Therapist/Philosopher: Is blue sustainable? Depends on the shade. Certain shades of blue tend toward darkness. Seek light. Seek balance. Too much blue can kill.

ENTER: NEBULA

Don’t forget to read Hard Rain Falling – Dan Carpenter

ENTER: ARTIST/WRITER

35. I don’t need alcohol when I’m already drunk on the stars, drunk on blue, drunk on you.

ENTER: NEBULA

Do you know what my ex looks like?

ENTER: PHILOSOPHER AND CURIOSITY

36. What color do you think the universe is? Hopefully, blue. (Cerulean? Who knows.)

37. Therapist: Lapis Lazuli is wisdom. Wisdom is choosing what works for you. Wisdom is knowing what “works” means. Wisdom is knowing what you want AND need. Wisdom is knowing who you are.

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Wisdom is seeing the elephant in the room and knowing when to turn away and stop looking at it. (Dad)

Hint: You are LOVE. Second hint: Wisdom is gained through trusting your intuition, that was never broken in the first place. Where is your intuition? (Body scan) Turn the page for the third hint.

38. Therapist: Third hint: Intuition lives in your gut. Don’t ask me where that is if you don’t already know.

ENTER: ARTIST

39. Blue Valentine, be mine.

40. Did you know this fact?

41. You are all the blue in the world.

ENTER: MOVIE BUFF

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

42. You are multitudes, and so am I. The color of your soul and mine are the same.

43. “Send me moon, empty the skies out…” -Sara Bareilles

A dream is a soft place to land, may we all be so lucky.” – Sara Bareilles

44. A lullaby, safe, next to my chest for however long you’re mine:

“Tell [me] everything. Everything damn, embarrassing thing.” – Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

(Elephant Parade – Score – Eternal Sunshine)

44. We are…

ENTER: WRITER AND VINTAGE TYPEWRITER COLLECTOR

45. Stardust 

45. And

ENTER: ROMANTIC

46. I’d risk them all, just to hang up the moon for you.

(Sara Bareilles – Everything Changes)

“An unsung melody is mine for safekeeping
And I will guard it with my life
I’d hang the moon for it to shine on her sleeping
Starting here and starting now
I can feel the heart of how

Everything changes” – Sara Bareilles

ENTER: ME, LOVER, FRIEND, DAUGHTER, SISTER, SISTER IN-LAW TWICE REMOVED (ETC), THERAPIST, WRITER, ARTIST, MUSICIAN, PHILOSOPHER…BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH WHO CARES.

(I mean, if you do, you’re probably one of my friends or otherwise someone who loves me?) Orrr, you’re just curious. Bugger off, then.

(Someone Who Loves Me – Sara Bareilles)

Sincerely, Michelle H. (And distinctly not Leonard Cohen, or Maggie Nelson for that matter.) (Better Than Ezra – Under You)


ENTER: MOVIE BUFF

Let’s just fall asleep Before Sunrise.


ENTER: SERIOUS THERAPIST; THE CONSTANT GARDENER

Appendix for those using this piece as therapy is under this line. For those of you wondering about my motives for the information below this line: My desire is to help and heal…and my desire is to practice.

For those of you reading this, please note I am not a licensed psychotherapist or psychiatrist. These are all merely ideas, not facts and are not all-inclusive. This is a place to START and reflects just my opinion. I could be totally WRONG! Proceed at your own risk

I am the constant gardener of your soul. I will tend to you like I do my plants – verdant and green. I will tend to you until you bloom. I want for you want I want for myself – abundance, love, peace, and prosperity. – MH

Loving-Kindness Meditation:

May you be safe. May you be free from inner and outer harm. May you be healthy. May you be happy. May you be free from anger, pain and suffering. May you live with ease. May you be filled with peace, joy, and compassion for yourself and for others.

May I be safe. May I be free from inner and outer harm. May I be healthy. May I be happy, May I live with ease. May I be free from anger, pain and suffering. May I be filled with peace, joy, and compassion for myself and for others.


 

Therapist/Scientist: CBT Fans:

  1. If you’re OCD, notice which links in this post open new tabs in my brain (or your computer’s brain), and which tabs don’t. Is detail necessarily bad? Maybe in excess, if it keeps you from your goals. Notice the details I kept / omitted. Did they help? Did they hurt? Up to you. (lapis)
  2. If you have ADD, did you open up all the tabs? Close all the tabs. Try reading it once more through, without opening up the tabs. Did it help? Feel less cluttered? What are your goals? Does ADD help you accomplish them, or does it hurt you? You decide.
  3. If you have depression, what does blue mean to you? Do you need a therapist or pharmakon? Or both? Do you know? If not, consult a professional psychiatrist or psychotherapist.
  4. If you have anxiety, breathe and know that anxiety is a natural defense mechanism we developed in prehistoric times to avoid danger. Anxiety, in most modern environments, is no longer a relevant defense mechanism. Use your intuition to tell if the environment is safe. Use science. Check the facts. Run tests (CBT). If anxiety is no longer serving you, try breathing exercises, dance, art, music, or whatever floats your boat. If you still cannot stabilize, try pharmakon (perhaps). Try meditation, yoga, or rock climbing (these all force intense presence and being here now, which helps with anxiety.)
  5. If you have bipolar moods and you opened up all these tabs, God save your soul. Close the tabs, focus on balance, and do one thing at a time. And refer to step 3 as well, even if you don’t have depression. Hypomanic? Focus on your logical, rooted, earthly human needs. Food. Exercise. Rest. Social time. You time. Sleep. Creative pursuits. Spiritual pursuits. Practical things you have to get done in life. (Take care of them!) Still going bonkers? Pharmaceuticals help.
  6. If you have borderline personality, figure out who you were and are before the trauma. Find it. Don’t steal it, beg for it, or fake it. Do the work. Enjoy the ideas in this piece, but don’t make them your own if they aren’t. Find out what stuck out to you, and figure out who you truly are and not who you want to be (unless who you truly are and who you want to be are truly the same.) Stop abandoning yourself for approval and love, and you will not fear being abandoned by others.
  7. If you have a narcissistic personality, it would help to figure out if and when trauma occurred and delayed normal adult development. It would help for you to practice listening, and balancing your needs (which are overemphasized) with those needs of others (which are equally important.) You (surprise), are not the center of the universe. If you don’t believe this, God help your soul.
  8. If you feel suicidal, know you are LOVED, PERFECT, AND BEAUTIFUL, JUST LIKE THE UNIVERSE. Please call the suicide hotline or someone who you know loves you, immediately. Or, just dial 911. Now.
  9. And to everyone I did not name, you are loved and most certainly not forgotten. I just haven’t studied enough therapy yet.

ENTER INSIDE JOKES – LAUGHTER IS MEDICINE.

One final piece of advice to everyone reading this (and special thanks to those who made it to the bottom here – wow, I’m impressed and you deserve a medal because this was one crazy ass M-Fing circus comin’ out of my mouth.)

Maps

Home is where the heart is, so they say.

But where is my heart? When the wind blows tumbleweed across the cracks in the sand, they pick up debris as they roll on by. Where is my heart?

“It is not down on any map,” as they say – “true places never are.”

And home isn’t the same anymore; it never was. It can be fleeting

flying

feeling.

We and the river are constant change – ever-evolving, turning a new leaf just as tiny roots stretch their newborn legs into soft, brown soil.

And still we chase, gather, hunt. Nostalgia. Birth. Rebirth. Brown, cracked leaves, brown leaves covered in rain.

(Is home an illusion?)

I reach down, frantically picking up dark brown leaves, shoving them in my pockets – some crack in my hands, some are wet and pliable and I gather them, desperate and hungry – barely noticing the feeling of wet earth between my toes.

“Home.” “Home.”  “Home.”

quickly!

gather

…please.

My pockets are full, bulging with dead leaves.

Is it down on any map?

(True places never are)

I just want to feel safe in the constance of your smile.

Something about the dirt between my toes tells me I’ve got nothing to do but be.

Something about the earth beneath my feet tells me I’m here.

Something about the sand inside my pockets tells me it’s now.

Home is where the heart is. But where is my heart?

I stuff my hands in my pockets and squeeze the soft brown leaves. If I close my eyes and breathe in the deep forest air, I know my heart is in the feeling I get when I hear you say,

“One of the happiest moments in my life was watching the sun rise this morning.”

My heart is in your laughter.

My heart is in “I love you.”

 

It was then that I knew,

Honey, I’m home.

New York: The Lover You’ll Never Forget 

DUMBO NY Waterfront

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I’ve been wanting to tell this story for a while now. Mostly it’s a love story, but it wasn’t always that way. It’s actually a story that started out with a decision that I thought would be one of the biggest mistakes of my life.

When I first touched down in New York City, it was a warm summer night and I went straight to a bar. It was a very New York thing to do, so I thought, and I was your typical west coast girl who’d decided to uproot myself to start a new life in the big city. I was bored. I needed some excitement and I had concluded that the best way to do this was to purposefully inject it into my life. I quit my job, gave notice at my apartment, packed my bags and left for – you guessed it – Manhattan. Little did I know, I was about to embark on one of the most tumultuous relationships of my life. I was about to embark on a relationship with New York.

The bar wasn’t anything special. It was a hotel bar. It had high ceilings, chandeliers and comfy chairs. It was, in my opinion, very New York and it kept me from seeing the reality of the city I was about to encounter. When I walked out of the comfort of the bar, I was immediately greeted by the sounds of angry honking, of blaring sirens and of traffic. People were rushing around in the streets like they really had somewhere to be.

I’d imagined leisurely strolls through the West Village and lazy afternoon coffee breaks at 4pm – no. I quickly discovered I had to be light on my feet to survive these city streets. New Yorkers have a way of walking that is unlike the way people walk anywhere else. They walk with a dogged determination – unwavering, laser-focused conviction and they threaten to knock anyone over who dares walk in their paths. You see, walking in New York isn’t walking – it’s bowling for people. And in this bowling match, you’re either a ball or you’re a pin.

I absolutely hated Manhattan. I hated the buildings, I hated the noise, and I hated the fact that everyone rushed around the city as if they were late to see the president. I hated that the people who were trying to make the 12:08 train would knock you over just so that they wouldn’t have to wait an extra minute for the 12:09. The intensity of the city compared to the relative peacefulness of San Francisco was almost too much for me to bear. As I lay down on my sister’s couch to sleep one night, the not so familiar scent of cigarette smoke wafted through the windows next to the fire escape. A siren blared off in the distance. I remember lying awake that night wondering if I’d made a huge mistake.

I really missed the stars. I missed the mountains. I missed the fresh Presidio forest air that would stream into my window at night. I found myself waking up every single day struggling to keep myself afloat with optimism. Hating New York became one of my favorite sports. I joked with friends in California about living in an overpriced rat hole. I joked about the trash on the sidewalks. I joked about how it cost $18 to purchase a cocktail, when in California you could get one for $8. I remember lamenting the fact that New Yorkers seemed to take so much pride in what to me was a sub-par city. I hated New York for 6 months straight.

What I didn’t realize was that New York is a gift. It’s a gift wrapped in deceptive clothing. It is nothing like you thought it would be, and it gives you things you would never have even thought to ask for. When you receive those gifts, you realize that your life would never have been able to reach its fullest potential without them. You feel more than you have ever felt. You know more than you have ever known. You realize exactly who you are. You understand exactly who you’re not. You’ve seen real pain, you’ve seen real joy, and you know that one cannot exist without the other.

Suddenly, something clicks. And it’s not the drinks that you’ve shared with the strangers that you’ve turned into friends. It’s not the amazing little coffee-shop/bar you found at 2am. It’s not those impromptu nighttime walks across the Brooklyn Bridge towards Manhattan. Maybe it is in part – but what it’s really about is the realization that New York is life itself – magnified and in extreme concentrate: flawed, imperfect, intense and incredibly beautiful and horrible at the same time. And in an environment of such intensity, you are pushed to your limits and you learn more about yourself and life than you ever thought possible.

Here’s to the things you’ll never forget.

The People

This is more of a love story. The first thing I noticed about New York was the people, and it has quickly become one of my favorite things about New York. I’d come from California – land of the “Hey, how’s it going,” “good, how are you,” “can you believe how gorgeous today is,” and the “let’s hang out someday (never).” I came to New York expecting rudeness, callousness and an overall disregard for others. What I experienced was the opposite. New Yorkers are some of the kindest, most helpful human beings I have ever encountered. You don’t get many congenial smiles from strangers while you’re walking down the street, but what you do get are the most inspiring acts of kindness.

Here, people open doors, carry your suitcases up flights of subway stairs and carry your groceries into your apartment all without expecting anything in return. Many times, they do these things for you without even a backwards glance. They just help. In California, people will smile at you all day long and tell you things you want to hear – but they’ll never go out of their way to help you in a way that inconveniences them.

In New York, I have encountered the most interesting people I have ever met. Musicians. Actresses. Yoga teachers. Burlesque dancers. Entrepreneurs. Artists. Scientists. Writers. There are very few people I have met who have not been passionate about something. The city has a way of weeding out those who don’t have some sort of dream. This is a city of people who feel…and as tormented as some of them might be, they all have fascinating stories.

I love the passion and energy this city inspires. I love that this city brings out the absolute worst and the absolute best in people – sides of people you might never see in any other city. But when you see the most wonderful sides of people, they are the most memorable things you will ever experience. There are so many beautiful souls in New York that it’s paralyzing just to think about all of the incredible people you might not yet have had a chance to meet.

Some of these people will leave your life as quickly as they entered it. Whirlwinds. You will experience some of the deepest relationships of your life – and these people will bless you with their presence, their love and their lives – and then they will disappear. You learn very quickly in New York to appreciate what you have when you have it, because people move in and out of your story at light speed. You’ll also learn that some of the people who make only brief appearances in your story leave the deepest marks.

The Stories

New York is a place of people and of crowds, and it is a place of stories. Every person you push past in the subway has a story, and all of the stories compound when you realize that everyone in the city has a story in which they are the main player. In a place as dense as New York, you encounter masses of people all in the midst of their own stories and you overhear dozens of conversations every day.

You see these people in every state – poverty, wealth, sickness, health – and you see them in every ethnicity, every size and every walk of life. Here, you are filled with the overwhelming feeling of being of the same human race. You begin to recognize the shared experience of suffering, of loneliness, of loss, of love, of connection, of desire, of want. You find that we are all a lot more similar than we realize.

The Music

New York is loud, alive, and filled with music. At 9am in Penn Station on your way to work, you are roused by loud Caribbean music playing live on the platform. 34th street is a party, and people are dancing. You notice a man playing the violin on the corner of the street at 96th when you’re on your way home from work, and you smile and drop a dollar in the bucket he has next to his case. One night at 2:30am when you’re least expecting it, you’ll stop dead in your tracks on your way up the stairs in the subway as a lone guitar player fills the station with rich, deep sound. And as his voice travels through the station and you make your way into the night, you’ll think to yourself, “This is why I love New York.” And it’s in these moments that you fall in love.

The Feelings

When you have bad days in New York, they are really, really awful. I’ve never cried harder than I have in this city. When you have great days, you feel like you’re on top of the world. You feel invincible. There is no in between. But you learn in New York that no day is exactly the same, and that as each day passes, a new one comes. One terrible day does not mean another one. In fact, a very bad day is usually followed by a very good day. You learn that stars shine the brightest against the darkest night skies.

The Life

You’ll never forget the life overflowing in this city – the swirling, rushing, spilling, unstoppable life. Life here moves forward at a relentless pace, and it vibrates with color and energy. Here, you can feel its force beating like a pulse. You feel the pulse so hard sometimes that it drowns out everything else. There are moments where it’s hard to believe that life exists outside of the city – and yet it does, in all its different shapes and colors and forms. But life outside of this city will never feel the same. And the colors of life in this city are colors so vibrant that they can never be replaced and are often the hardest to forget.

The Relationship

Here is the funny thing about New York. It has an odd way of turning the very things you hate about it into the things you love. New York is the urban embodiment of a whirlwind toxic romance that leaves you reeling. It is the lover who drives you mad. It throws you into pits of despair and then it lifts you to euphoric heights. If ever you thought you’d reached complacency, rest assured – New York makes you feel feelings you never thought possible. You will cry in this city, you will hate in this city, and you’ll be thrown to your lowest lows only to be returned to your highest highs.

You will complain about the noise – you will complain about the heat – you will complain about the crowds and you will complain about the stench – but when you leave, you will feel the absence of the clamor and the chaos so intensely that you will miss it more than you’ve ever missed anything else.

Compared to New York, everything else feels silent. You can’t help but wonder sometimes if you truly miss the commotion or if it’s simply an unhealthy addiction formed out of habit. At one point or another, each person who comes to New York makes the decision to either to leave the city or to settle down indefinitely. Many end up leaving. Only a very specific type of person can last a lifetime in the high intensity, polarizing environment it creates.

But whether your relationship with New York is short or long, one thing remains true – you cannot be unaffected. You don’t have a relationship with New York and forget it – you remember it for the rest of your life.

As F. Scott Fitzgerald once said:

 “There are all kinds of love in this world, but never the same love twice.”

New York leaves a mark in your heart forever. It is the lover who teaches us what we want, what we don’t want, and that the incredible beauty of life is found not in our surroundings or in what happens to us, but in what we choose to see.

When you fall in love with New York, you realize quickly that it’s not New York you’ve fallen in love with – you’ve fallen in love with life.