Bright Lights, Bigger City
When I visited my mentor for the last time in Pittsburgh, we talked about how I’ve grown, and as we were saying our goodbyes, she asked me a very simple question:
“Would you rather be a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond?”
Ever since I was little, I’ve known that I wanted to live in New York City while I was still young. I’ve had the good fortune to visit other great cities around the world, London, Paris, Rome, Beijing, Shanghai, and I know that I have more to go, but truly, nowhere has drawn me more than New York. There is a relentless energy that powers this city, an energy that is boundless and reckless all at the same time. For a long time I knew that I wanted to be there, in the middle of it, at least for a little while. Yes, I would tell myself it’s for the culture, it’s for the girls, the food, but deep down, it’s because I had to know if I could make it here.
This city, more than anything else, offers up big dreams and big hopes. Of course, it also serves to crush those same dreams and hopes. Like Sinatra said, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. I like to think that trying to make it in New York grinds away at you and reveals who you are at your core. If you survive the process, you end up polished and the very essence of who you were meant to be. If you don’t, you just crumble away.
I’ve been given an opportunity, and while it’s only been a few days, the grind is, well, formidable. I’m sure I’m just like every other kid that comes here thinking that they have something to prove. Going from Pittsburgh to New York City, it’s like going from JV to the Pros. This transition has been a whirlwind, and it’s hard to keep up. I’ve finally gotten the ebb and flow down after a month or so, so my posts will be ticking back up again.
But to go back to the beginning, I answered “Neither.”
She smiled and told me that was the answer she was looking for.
“Go be a big fish in the damn ocean.”
And here we go…