Missing the NYC Rat Race?

Every time I tell people that I don’t want to live in New York they look at me like I’m nuts. I mean it’s one of the greatest cities in the world, supposedly. A city that never sleeps with endless opportunities and countless unknowns to explore, rich with culture and diversity. Yes, it is all of those things, but with those things also come the endless work hours, cutthroat competition, an uncanny amount of people who try to take advantage of you, and a relentless pace of life.

I’m so grateful to have been born and raised in one of the best places of the world. It has done a lot to help shape my character and it is there that I gained all of my experience and skills that have allowed me to move on to the next stage of my life.

I knew there’d be parts of the city that I’d miss, and I am excited to get back to visit for the summer. But I wasn’t quite expecting to miss the rat race aspect of NYC.

Going from a 45+ hour work week to a 20 hour work week is a MASSIVE change. And while most people would relish it and are probably shaking their heads at the nerve I have to complain about having too much free time, the fact is that I just don’t feel as productive as I normally do and as I would like to.

Now I’m not sure where this mindset comes from. Many people say that it’s an American, and particularly, a New Yorker mindset. We don’t know how to relax, we don’t know how to be bored, we live to work, we don’t work to live, etc. That has definitely helped to develop a necessity to constantly feel productive. It also comes from my parents who are very productive, get things done, type of people. In the city I wasn’t only working crazy work weeks, I was still managing to squeeze in cello lessons and practice, orchestra rehearsals, Buddhist meetings, concerts and lectures, amongst other things.

You know how procrastinators say that they need the pressure of a dangerously close deadline to complete a project? I realized that that’s how I am, except that I need the pressure of having to juggle a ridiculous amount of activities to do anything, because without that pressure I now have so much trouble bringing forth any type of motivation to complete anything. I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t touched my cello in a while, my writing has become sporadic, and I find myself watching a lot of the Tonight Show.

So. What’s my problem? Well, bringing forth the motivation to actually take advantage of the fortune that I have in possessing a lot more free time. It sounds silly, but I feel as if I can’t completely enjoy my trips that I take because I feel so unaccomplished and undeserving of yet another vacation. Call it a guilt trip, call it being to hard on myself, whatever the case may be, I’m just a productive person that needs to do more.

Now I’m not saying that I’m ready to get back to 45+ hour work weeks. No thanks. I’m OK here with my shorter work weeks. But I do need to remember to do things that I’m passionate about and learn how to motivate myself how to do them without the pressure of not having time. I also need to remember to not take my fortune for granted, something else that has been happening for a while now.

First step, post this blog entry! Then write another!

Here goes! Back on the road to productivity without driving myself too crazy like I did in NYC.

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One thought on “Missing the NYC Rat Race?

  1. Olivia Meegoda says:

    Hi Nina!! I completely understand how you feel about NYC. After 3 and 1/2 year of it, I was burnt out and exhausted by the city. But I think after semester away from the city–in Jersey Farmlands:P, I am ready to try it again (only with a little more caution about how to avoid burning myself out). I am so excited that you are finding that balance and learning to enjoy life without the constant pressures of a thousand activities. I will be back in New York come August. (I got a job as a One-on-One teacher!!:D) and I hope I see you once you get back this summer!! Wish you all the best with the rest of your school year:))

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