Our brains are like bonsai trees, growing around our private versions of reality.
I now know my right from my left and my up from my down. Unluckily, my terrible sense of direction remains. For me, to live in New York City is to never be able to meet someone on the northeast corner. It is to never ever make a smooth entrance, always to get caught looking lost on the street.
Normally, I am a vocal advocate for 'looking both ways' and 'knowing the size of one's own body.' But working, socialising and simply running errands in Manhattan, means I am bound to break my own rules on occasion.
Some of the writers I admire who seem very, very funny and very emotional to me can develop a closeness with the reader without giving too much of themselves away. Lorrie Moore comes to mind, as does David Sedaris. When they write, the reader thinks that they're being trusted as a friend.
I have certain rules that I've established for myself that took a while post-day job to figure out. Everyone says people who freelance or are writers struggle with the structure of it. I'm not allowed to check email before a certain hour. I'm not allowed to run errands during the day. I have to write a certain amount every day.
Ah, the power of two. There's nothing quite like it. Especially when it comes to paying utility bills, parenting, cooking elaborate meals, purchasing a grown-up bed, jumping rope and lifting heavy machinery. The world favours pairs. Who wants to waste the wood building an ark for singletons?
I do think New York prepares you for the crossection of personalities and realities on display when you leave the country, and I'd live somewhere else if I had a reason or burning-the-the-point-of-discomfort desire to do so.
Everyone has been in a social situation where you say something and it goes unnoticed, then someone else says the same thing and everyone laughs a lot. You learn how to be more creative and whacky and amusing.
The year most of my high school friends and I got our driver's permits, the coolest thing one could do was stand outside after school and twirl one's car keys like a lifeguard whistle. That jingling sound meant freedom and power.
There's an 'Everything must go!' emotional liquidation feel to the end of your twenties, isn't there? What will happen if we turn thirty and we're not 'ready?' You don't feel entirely settled in any aspect of your life, even if you are on paper.