I Believe in New York City

I believe in New York City. I revel in the bright lights and the skyscrapers and the noises. Especially the noises. All the sounds of the cars zooming by or the honking during traffic or the sounds of all kinds of people talking all different languages and about all different subjects. New York City is fast-paced, never-ending and always changing. It’s the place where people go to find themselves, or maybe lose themselves too.

I believe in the feeling I get whenever I go to New York. The feeling of invincibility and wonder. The feeling that anything in the world can be done, because it can. New York reminds me that there is something more than what is in my little town of Westerly. New York gives me something to aspire to, something to hope for.

Most of all, I believe in the people inside of New York. I believe that anyone, of any religion, culture, or demographic can go to New York and be accepted. I believe that New York and the people inside of it are accepting. Growing up Asian American in a predominantly white town, I was always aware of how different I was compared to my classmates. At the time, assimilation to my classmates meant banishing my culture, my language, and religion. Instead of speaking Chinese at home, I would answer my parents in English. I would be embarrassed to have my mom and dad come to school functions and to this day, I am always aware of the accents my parents have when they speak English. Now that I’m older, I’ve become more interested in my language but the distance I’ve created between myself and my culture has turned into something of a chasm.

My fears of nonconforming have stayed with me as well, although in a more subdued fashion. But my fears have also shaped what I believe in. I believe in New York City with all its different kinds of people because I believe that one day I can accept myself too. There are 8,550,405 people living in the city today. 8,550,405 distinct people all with hopes, fears, and aspirations just like me. Because everyone in New York is unique, everyone is also the same. In the city, you could do anything. Being different is celebrated rather than ridiculed, so I feel a sense of freedom in the way I dress or act. I can truly allow myself to express my creativity there.

New York is everything that I want to become. I believe in New York because it is my future. I want to experience the bright lights and skyscrapers and noises. I want to build my career and start my family in the city that never sleeps. There is a sense of uncertainty that comes with New York too. Since anything can happen, the future is always uncertain. I don’t know what will happen in the future. But I hope to go to New York and maybe I’ll find myself there if I haven’t already. Or I could lose myself too.

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