The Marvelous Struggle

Wednesday morning New York City really took it out of me.

"I'm running late due to THE COOLEST COMMUTE EVER." I texted my work partner while on the train ride across the bridge. "And I'm leaving this piece of shit city after today."

A water main broke at the West Fourth Street station throwing a major wrench into the entire system during rush hour. Meaning everyone had a terrible commute that morning, but let's talk quickly about my terrible commute. The frustration began at about 8AM while I was waiting to take the train into the city so I could go to spin class before work. Not one, not two, not even five but SIX completely packed trains came and went with nary a hope of squeezing on. With each passing train the 8:30 am start of spin class got closer and closer and I got angrier and angrier. After what felt like at least an eon, I accepted facts: I wasn't going to make it. I stomped angrily out of the station and back to my apartment, cursing this city the entire way. Once home, I threw my gym bag down and got ready for work - why had I even bothered to get up early?! My plans mean nothing to this town. This town laughs at my plans.

An hour later I was back on the same spot on the same platform waiting for the same train. It was deja vu as another five fully packed trains arrived and left. A slow rage burned inside of me. Finally, out of desperation, I knowingly got on the wrong train simply because there was room and it would take me somewhere closer to work. It stopped approximately seventeen times on the way into the city "due to train traffic ahead." The entire train car collectively groaned after each one. I got off at Union Square which was out of my way but I wanted to be off of the damn train and up on solid ground, moving toward my destination. I arrived at work at 10:37am. Annoyed, exhausted, resigned.  In the scheme of things I know it's nothing to complain about, nothing more than your run of the mill #whitegirlproblem.

But sometimes New York City just takes it out of you.

And you think "I should get the fuck out of this town. Go live in a normal place where they have cars and affordable housing and you're not out fighting life every day." Because that's just it, so many things in New York are a struggle. Traveling five miles to make an 8:30am spin class is just this week's example but so much of life is a struggle here. Getting to the grocery store, or the bank, or the post office. Finding a cab in the rain, or a job, or a place to live, or a restaurant to have dinner at. We all struggle. But there is something amazing in that struggle. No one would bother to stay here if there wasn't. The struggle reminds you that you are alive, that we're all alive and that we're all in this. An easy life sounds nice sometimes but it also sounds, well, easy. So we put our heads down and struggle through life here because it's worth it. Because we live in the greatest city in the world and sometimes you have to earn it.

So, I'm not leaving this piece of shit city anytime soon. This piece of shit city has managed to claim a big part of my heart in the past (almost) ten years. Nobody said it was gonna be easy. And if I have to sacrifice a spin class or two all in the name of The Marvelous New York City Struggle, so be it.