My motto for 2011 was "I can do hard things." I have decided that my motto for 2012 is "Fake it 'til you make it." Someone said that at church on Sunday in a discussion about being kind to people, even if they're mean to us, and I thought about how NYC is sometimes rude to me, but all I have control over is my reaction to its rudeness.
For example, I can't change the fact that NYC insists on me hauling four loads of laundry down to a cockroach-infested basement laundry room (rude), but I can pretend like it's amazing and I'm getting royal treatment, and that the roaches are my friends, a la "Shinbone Alley" with Carol Channing.
NYC insists on squeezing me into smelly, crowded subways with standing room only. But I can grin and bear it. Where else would I get to see a 60 year old man with long hair wearing glittery biker shorts and heels? How else am I supposed to learn what cuss words the kids are using these days. NO, thank YOU, NYC, thank you much.
And so on and so on.
But Hailey, you say, you live in the most amazing city in the world (it truly is). Surely you are being over-dramatic and really you are just spoiled. Maybe, friends, maybe. But I have to be honest. I went to Utah for three weeks this summer. I laughed, I ate, I sang, I improvised, I took in the views. And it was amazing. I can't ever change the fact that I am just a super Mormony girl who loves the kind of food places that exist between the realms of fast food and sit-down restaurants. Who loves to sit in on my friends' writing groups and offer ideas. Who loves to drive a minivan. It's who I am.
In my Utah ward in July, a lovely older lady turned to me and asked, "Is it true what they say? That New York City is both the best and the worst place in the world?" I said, "Yes!" That is exactly it. I have never loved and hated a place so much at the same time. I guess hate is a strong word. That's not very kind of me. OK, NYC, I don't hate you. But yes, sometimes you make it very difficult for me to like you.
And so I will continue to fake it until I make it. Hopefully, making it will involve me falling head over heels in love with this crazy place. I hope so. I do have moments when I'm walking down the street and this feeling of complete adoration for Manhattan will wash over me and it takes me by surprise. I ran into Lucy's Kindergarten teacher from last year this morning and I was reminded how much I loved her. My girls' K teachers were the best on the planet, and so NYC has come through when it really counts.
I'm so impressed with my many friends here in the city who don't have to fake it. They love it for reals and they're not ashamed of it. And if they don't, I would never know because they must be super awesome at faking it! Either way, they are wonderful examples to me in my times of need, and I'm lucky to have them. I also think it's hilarious that a friend of mine is coming to NY soon for a girls' trip and she sent me their itinerary and it looks like a lot of fun. Then this morning, I get an email from a friend here about going on a girls' trip to RI, or anywhere that is out of this place! Us city girls are dying to get out while everyone else is dying to get in. Oh, how I love irony...
And so my friends, please think of me when you're loading up your minivan trunk with Costco goodness or carelessly tossing your non-mildewed towels in your washing machine, and in return, I'll think of you when I'm sitting on a bench in Central Park in the fall, or eating pizza in Brooklyn. We can't have everything at once, right?