As I write this, I'm sitting in my friend's apartment in New York City. I just landed a few hours ago and my heart rate has already shifted. The city gives me a kind of energy that's almost indescribable. Normally people can't stand the constant noise and bustle of the city, but I crave it. Sitting here, I realize that I've probably heard a car honk every five minutes or so. To some, it's a nuisance. To me, it's a constant reminder that I'm in my favorite place – my paradise. Every honk is a hello. It brings me comfort whereas the silence of the Midwest brings me apprehension. The city speaks to me. It says, "welcome home".
Of course, I realize that when I actually live here, the grind will surly get to me a little. People's icy remarks, the cold weather, and relentless rejection will likely dampen my smile a smidge eventually, but that's hard for me to imagine right now while I feel so full of life. There's a buzz in the air here in the big apple. I'm moving to the city in September because I will have finally graduated with a BFA in Musical Theatre, and just like everyone else, I want to chase my dreams. Over the past four years, I've been harped at countless amount times about how difficult living here will be. Others have seemed to lose their spark for the work because they're not even being seen at auditions. It seems right now that everybody and their mother want to be an actor right now, so the lines to wait for an audition slot are nearly impossible.
I understand their frustration, and maybe they're right. Maybe I will wither away. Maybe the big bad city will eat me alive just as everyone predicts, but as of right now, I'm making a promise to myself and to the city. I will not let this city tear me apart. I've wanted to be a New York resident since I was eight years old. "NYC" from the musical Annie really got my blood pumping and the city's been calling to me ever since. I won't let something so magical betray me like that. I am resilient. I looked out my plane window today and I am not exaggerating when I say my heart dropped to my stomach the same way I'd imagine it would when you experience love at first sight. The excitement and vitality that I gain from even the smallest peek of the city's skyline are unreal. This might sound crazy; I get it. I am crazy about this city, and I'd be crazy to let something that gives me such a sense of purpose drown me.
New York City may be smelly, it may be brutally cold, and it may try its best to swallow me whole. If it does, I'll find a way to get it to spit me back out again because this is my city. I vow to try my best to love it forever. Every time I feel overwhelmed or beaten down, I'll look back at this article and smile. I never want to lose the hopeful, happy Jenna who knew she held the world in her hands.