Ah, New York City. You fine metropolis, you.
I’ve lived in New York for over a decade, now. That means I’ve spent an embarrassing amount of money on rent, shoes, iced coffees and therapy and even though I almost completely failed at life in NYC in my 20s (no, like seriously), the lessons I learned along the way taught me how to not entirely fail at life in NYC by my 30s. Talk about a learning curve.
And I’ve been watching Girls. I feel like Girls should be in the gift basket of every 20-something-girl-NYC-transplant’s first “Oh my God, I can’t believe I’m living here” apartment. Why? Because, yeah, if you lived in NYC through your 20s, you’ve been through what the Girls are going through. I mean, at least I have. As the 20-something-NYC-girl’s Yoda, I want to invite every 20-something girl into my studio – I mean, like, 3 or 4 at a time, because that’s all that would fit – and hand out the following rules I’ve amassed after 10+ years of living here.
Beyond the practical rules, like it’s worth it to take a cab on the weekends when the trains are messed up, or it’s okay to have your mom send you Cheerios from your hometown because they’re like, $7 here, these are the emotional rules…
The How To Not Fail At Life In NYC In Your 20s Rules.
1. Even if you moved to NYC to be the next prolific <fill in the blank>, it’s okay to work at McDonald’s along the way. Or Starbucks or a restaurant or a bar in Midtown. I mean, obviously this is rarely a part of our prolific <fill in the blank> life plan, but it pays the rent (trust me) and if you get tired of making McFlurries, you can tell people the McFlurry machine is broken. Yeah, uh-huh, sure it is.
2. Always listen to strangers, especially when it comes to the people you’re dating. Seriously, I always talk to my cab driver about the guy I’m dating, because though occasionally English is a second language, they could all teach courses on how to spot a douchebag. They drive them around all day long.
3. Every time you have sex, you are going to automatically assume you are pregnant and/or you have an STD. You probably aren’t/don’t. Buy pregnancy tests in the 3-pack and don’t be stupid when you do it. Okay, that is a general life rule and not a specific NYC-girl rule, but whatever.
4. You’re always going to know someone who has a Sex and the City poster hanging in their room. And they have the boxed set and both movies and consider themselves a Carrie. Maybe a Charlotte, possibly a Miranda, but probably a Carrie. Nobody ever wants to admit that they want to be a Samantha (even though everyone actually wants to be a Samantha).
5. Heel height is positively correlated to both blister size and compliments received. Leave the house in a pair of 3″ heels, and walk home in the ballet flats you’ve stuck in your bag. Trust me on this.
6. Wear a skirt, get a cab.
7. Go into every relationship knowing that my friend is friends with the person you’re currently dating. Because it’s probably true. Everyone knows everyone here. Just look at Facebook – you friend someone you meet in NYC for the first time and it’s like, “31 mutual friends”. True story.
8. Parties held in Brooklyn are usually crazy. Parties in Queens usually involve a backyard and a BBQ. Parties in either borough will guarantee you a fun time and two hour subway ride home after midnight, no matter where you live.
9. You will be a successful writer/actor/director/model/dancer/musician. Maybe. I mean, it’s worth a shot at least. You can always get a real job, later.
10. For a lot of 20-something-girl-NYC-transplants, NYC never really feels permanent. It’s where you live, but it’s not. And then, at some point, the wheels touch down and the flight attendant comes on and says “Welcome to New York City” and you sigh and think: “I’m home.”
This usually happens in your 30s, after you’ve figured out how not to fail at life.
…and when it does, it’s awesome.
photo via televisionaryblog