I was reading one of my other blogs from a few years ago, and couldn’t help but feel sorry for the person I used to be. Love finally made it into my life, and even though it is at a great cost, years ago I would have killed to just have had the opportunity to experience it. There was a post of mine called “The Dagger” in which I glorified what it would have been like to kill myself with a knife – needless to say it was a very dark time in my life.
Plunging in my heart. I am here again. Loving so hard and so fast that I want to die. Bipolar. Pills. Do I go to my psychiatrist and tell him to give me something else? Or do I fight through this? Feel it. All of it. I want to be taken. Off this Earth. It’s the same old story. So much pain. What is this? Why does it hurt so bad? Feel it. Feel all of it. Let it kill me. Let it consume me. Feel it. Like a dagger. Like a dagger.
Want to be better. Don’t want this. I am envious of people that don’t feel. Live life through their texting, Facebook, and laughter. Marriage, children, and careers, and I am left behind. Can I have all those things? Where am I in this life? 35 years, 10 years in total darkness. Sex, alcohol. Drowning in pills. Like a dagger. Time, sneaking up on me. Like a predator stalking me. Why does he have teeth? Why is he biting down upon me? Take me from this life. This hell. Do I find Jesus? Will he be my salvation if I turn to him? I am too far gone into my hell to find him. Like a dagger. Take me, aliens. Take me up, change my brain. Show me what I am capable of. Make me an artist. Make me something more than myself. I feel like nothing. Drowning. More pills. Bipolar. Fuck. Just take me and kill me.
Pretty deep huh?
Even though I have been feeling down in the dumps lately, my life is so much brighter today. I battle with my bipolar disorder and the highs and lows that come with it, but my medication is on point and my CPAP machine helps me with restful sleep. I do feel tired though, and I chalk it up to just being sick the past week. I am noticing that I am dramatizing my life a lot more than it is or it should be. Not everything is a meltdown, and not everything is a travesty.
Perseverance comes through the strength of the spirit, and I have just been spiritually sick these days. My trust in God has wavered, and I feel like I have been losing my way. I have to be vigilant in my fight against the Devil – he’s telling me that I am going to fail, he’s telling me I am ugly, and he’s telling me I will never see my husband again. My fault is I have been listening to these horrible thoughts in my head. We know we shouldn’t listen to that “voice,” but we do every time.
I am coming home to the realization that I am going to be okay. I may not have a high-powered career like I used to, and make all kinds of money like I did in New York, but maybe being a Peer Support Specialist won’t be a bad alternative. I go to this place called NC Works tomorrow to talk about what options I would have for a career since my mugshot is plastered all over the internet and no employer will ever hire me. There I go again, thinking extreme.
It’s a vicious cycle, isn’t it? How on Earth do we break it?
Did you almost complete something? Have you always started things and never finished them? Have you always quit before seeing it through? This is me, and where I am at today. I was in jail for 10 months in 2021, and I remember the staff telling me, “well you need to go to a program for another 12-15 months.” My world imploded because I thought I could get out on probation.
Well, it’s 12 months later and I haven’t learned anything. I still feel my old self coming through with the same old negative behaviors. I put up a good front, as if I got it and I have it all together, but inside I am dying. I am screaming at the top of my lungs inside my heart and no one can hear me. I am almost at the end of this program and I feel like I am going to screw up and throw it all away.
I am suffering. I miss my husband dearly. We are separated by the system right now where he is in a hospital and I am in this rehab. On Sunday, when I visited him they wouldn’t let me kiss or hold him, and I wanted to die. This is so hard. I keep asking God why this happened to us – and then I realize we did it to ourselves. We drugged, we partied, we thought we were above the law, and now the consequences are so severe we may never recover.
I can’t go on like this. I feel completely ungrateful. I am underserving of all the good that has come out of this program as I am rebuilding my life. Why am I so unhappy? I know why. Because my whole life all I have ever wanted was to be in love. And now, it comes with a terrible price. I am so upset in my heart, I feel like I don’t want to go on even though things are moving in the direction that they should. I keep hearing that “it’s all in His Timing,” but I am tired of being miserable. What’s worse is I can’t even pray anymore because I don’t even believe.
I am trying my best, but I feel lost. I am almost through with this program and I feel like I have a high school senior’s sickness. I am ready to run out the door and go back to jail – why would I even do such a stupid thing? Because I’m bipolar and my highs and lows are so severe I can’t make heads or tails out of it.
If there is a God, please see me through this month, please.
Or at least hold my hand till the end of the day. Please.
Yup. It’s EXACTLY how it sounds. I honestly don’t know where 22 years just evaporated into nowhere. However, turning 40 isn’t as scary as it was turning 30. What is it about the Big Three-O that’s got everyone so shaken? Everyone, as in women, in particular.
I think for me, it was the fact that I was leaving my 20s behind, and there was just so much that I wanted to accomplish by the time I was 30 that I didn’t. You know, graduating college, meeting the love of my life, getting married, moving out, and so on and so on. The fact of the matter is due to this bipolar curse that was thrust upon me; instead of looking towards the future to acquiring all those things, I was continually being pushed back and back and back, with constant hospitalizations and traumatizations. Honestly? My 20s were a fuckin’ nightmare, and it lasted well into my 30s. I mean it wasn’t like I was poverty-stricken or anything, I was just in mental anguish all the damn time, and I wanted someone desperately to love me. Desperately, I say again, DESPERATELY.
Love was the only thing I ever wanted, and I would have sold my soul for it, sometimes I think that I had with all the creeps I had been dealing with, and The Devil was having his fun collecting his due. But that’s for another time. The volumes of my hypersexuality can wait till I am ready to talk about them – “bipolar slut ” is putting it mildly.
In this attempt to find love, I was doing basically what everyone is doing now – except without the swiping and the apps. I was on dating websites, filling out questionnaires, trying to make the perfect profile, spending hours perfecting the most flattering selfies to post on them, and trying to make myself stand out among all the other relationship-seekers on these sites. Now, we all know that girls get more messages than guys, but what is in abundance of quantity, is severely lacking in quality – much so as it is today. In my case, though, (and I don’t know if you guys are guilty of this too), I never went past the messaging phase, ie. I sat on my computer all day talking to guys and never meeting them. Ugh, no wonder I was miserable.
Why am I talking about this? Well, the sad, sad reality is, that the 22 years between my high school days, and my present college days, (getting my degree now, woohoo!), is that a whole lot of nothing happened. Okay, the drama with the hospitals, manias, car accidents, hearing Jesus and Aliens, and all that good shit aside, (I promise I will let you guys in on some of that insanity), but after all that had settled down and I was HEAVILY medicated, so I came back down to reality – it became quiet…..too quiet. I basically spent a bulk of those years drinking very heavily and screwing around online talking to thousands of guys, in which half of them were probably in relationships or married.
What kind of life is that?
This last hospitalization in 2019 taught me one thing – this shit has GOT TO STOP. Like seriously, I can’t be like a revolving door in a psych ward, come on already! When I got discharged, my mom came to pick me up, and on the drive home, she told me something that has stood with me and has been my driving force to do all the things I’m doing today. She said, “you messed up the first 40 years, make the next 40 count.” And that’s EXACTLY what I’m doing. I happen to have met the love of my life in there this time around, (go figure), and he has a whole host of problems that I don’t even know how I am gonna handle all his shit, my shit, money shit, job shit, apartment shit, and dammit, grown-up shit! And how am I gonna handle being someone’s wife???!!! ARGHHHHHH!!!!
What a title, right? To call the last two months, a lifetime of drama is an understatement. My relationship has been explosive, lustful, passionate, exquisitely painful, and mind-numbingly fluid in ways that have left every previous relationship a pile of dust in the wind. This man is a broken version of me from years ago, and all the worst parts that I see of myself. His addiction got him mandated into rehab, which I think is the best course of action for now. But there are elements to it that I am just not comfortable with.
He’s walked alone for a long time – alone in the streets, knee-deep in poverty, desperately hoping someone would love him. Then I came along, meeting him in the worst place you could possibly meet someone – the psych ward. Now, I know what you’re thinking, how could I make a relationship out of such chaos and dysfunction? Well, to be honest, my madness knows his madness like the man we all know who walked on water 2,000 years ago. I bring up that analogy because we both have a deep faith, we both have a strong passion and we both are exactly one year apart in age, (and one week apart in birthdays, how cool is it to find someone who is your zodiac sign?) This man knows the way my mind works, he once told me he loves the way my hip moves when I walk, the crookedness of my smile when I am sexy, the way my eyes widen when he fucks me, the way I sing my heart out at the same songs he knows – we are a match made in the stars, and I would be a fool to say I am going to walk away because he doesn’t his shit together yet – I frickin don’t have my shit together yet.
So would the analogy be my madness knows his madness, or does my failures know his failures, or do my inadequacies know his so well make sense? The last thing couples want to do is to relate to each other by their horrible qualities, but I think that kind of struggle and realness is necessary for the longevity of true love. I saw the rawness of him, and he saw the rawness of me from day one – we saw in each other all the things that people hide from each other in relationships, times ten.
Our relationship has been explosive. We have had painful fights and disappointments that would break up most couples. The fact is, though, we NEED each other. That kind of desperation is far from healthy, but that’s what we are. All of his dysfunction comes from his environment and his family, and since mine is moving down south, I think I am going to follow them and take him with me. I LOVE New York – I love everything about this city, and never in a million years would I have considered moving – but for him? I will drop everything and be gone tomorrow. I believe in this so much, I believe in him so much, that I can honestly say I can leave my whole world behind to start anew. A fresh start is what we both need badly because I think “people places and things” can also make or break a relationship.
And the sex is well – too good to even describe. I have heard stories about women who couldn’t orgasm from penetration, I was one of them – but with him – it’s earth-shattering orgasms with whatever he does. I never met a man who electrified my lust like him – and I have never had 4 or 5 orgasms in one night like it is with him. Is it true that crazy sex is the best sex on the planet? I am starting to think there is really something to that.
In all, I think the best thing for his recovery is a new environment – a new place where we can start over and build a life. I never thought I would ever leave New York – but to ensure my happiness with the man that I love? I am all for it.
I wasn’t going to talk about the fact that I have a mental illness for the purpose of this blog, but recent events (hospitalization) have changed that tune dramatically. I don’t think people realize the strength that is needed when you stay in one of those places for a long period, especially when it is against your will. There were nights where I just prayed to God to let me die and waking up in a foggy haze the next morning with a nurse ready to pump me full of medication.
It is an absolute nightmare, and more so, a humbling experience. I don’t accept the Bipolar diagnosis, but as I am approaching 40, I MUST. Some people have diabetes, my dad has heart disease, and I have something that impedes my most precious organ, my brain – trust me there were times I wished a heart attack rather than mental illness as crazy as that sounds.
I never had bipolar through my youth or my teen years, in fact, I did a lot of partying, and A LOT of drinking. The DRINKING was the beginning of the end for me because at 24 years old I went to a careless psychiatrist that gave me the pills that I added alcohol to that ended up serving me with this horrible death sentence – and for the past 15 years, I have been trying to crawl out of it. There is no end in sight, except I MUST take my medication like so many people these days have to do. The hardest part for me is never understanding WHY. WHY is the question that I struggle with. I can’t stop my brain from breaking or the universe from cracking, so WHY did our Almighty Father hand me this ailment?? I have come to understand that He knows WHY, and I am not the one who had to understand that question yet. I follow God, whatever and wherever he takes me, and if he decided to test me in blood, sweat and tears in a locked padded room for two weeks straight, screaming bloody murder for someone to help me or even just understand, that’s the trial I had to face.
I am out now, with a chance at a new career and a new lease on life. I just know my brain needs to work with me now. No alcohol, smokes, weed, NOTHING. I need to lead a healthy life now because, as my mom said, “you fucked up the first 40, make the next 40 count,” and that’s exactly what I plan on doing. This shit is so hard, I wish to God none of you reading this has to endure this kind of emotional stress and pain – it’s so much pain, and it runs so deep tears are welling up in my eyes. It’s as if someone took a deep spoon and dug a hole straight into your heart, dipping into the most embarrassing, darkest and deepest secrets for all the world to see. I have nothing left to give of myself. I would say this made me a broken woman, but it did the exact opposite – it made me more determined.
God Bless You All for reading some of my story, I hope I run into you on my journey. Spirituality is your way of salvation in whatever beliefs you have.
So I did it! And what a weekend it was! I can honestly say, it was the best weekend of my life, and the best one I’ve had in a really long time. This meant no phone apps, no streaming, and an absolute zero online presence. The computers and laptops were off, and I watched a lot of TV and listened to the radio, (today is National Radio Day, by the way). I did a lot of the things we tend to neglect, like going to a class to reduce your car insurance, drawing, and coloring and reading a book you have been carrying around for a very long time.
I read a book called “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran, on Sunday, that I have been carrying around with me for about 20 years and I never read. An ex-boyfriend of mine gave it to me and said it would change my life, and it absolutely did.
There was one thing in particular that stood out to me of what I read; it was a passage about houses:
Your house is your larger body, what do you have in these houses? And what is it you guard with fastened doors? Have you peace, remembrances, and beauty in your houses? Or have you only comfort, the stealthy thing that enters the house as a guest, and then becomes a host, and then your master? Ay, then soon it becomes a tamer with a hook and scourge which makes puppets out of your desires. Verily the lust for comfort murders the passion of the soul, and then walks away grinning at the funeral. You shall be free when your days are without a care nor your nights without a want and grief – and when they girdle your life, you will find freedom when you rise above them naked and unbound.
To me, that encapsulates what the internet as a whole has done to us, and what we must free ourselves from. I have never been more free in my life, and when I wake up now, I feel nothing but joy in my heart. Through all the pain and sorrow of my younger days, I am approaching 40 without alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, gaming, Netflix, my cell phone and everything else most of the world are slaves to. This is a new era, a new day, and tomorrow will be an even better one.
And in regards to friendships, Mr. Gibran shared this:
Let your best, be for your friend. For what is your friend that you seek with hours to kill? Seek them always with hours to live. For it is theirs to fill your need, not your emptiness. For the dew of the little things that the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.
Try it for yourself. Do all your work, write all your emails, put an away message on your phone, and plan to take a “vacation” from the internet. Maybe go hang out with friends, see a movie, or just do what I did and stay at home with your TV and with yourself. I can’t tell you how alive I feel after those three days.
Oh and one more thing: even though I am writing this in this blog, Mr. Gibran shared this with me, to remind me to always stay humble:
A good deed that calls itself tender names becomes the parent to a curse.
So can you? I mean no streaming, no phone apps, no email, no YouTube, no social media, NOTHING??? I dare you to try it! I am going on an Internet strike from Friday to Monday to see how life would be without the internet. I was talking to a friend today about all the problems in the world, and I wondered if God asked me right now if I could fix everything that is screwed up about this planet what it would it be?
TAKE AWAY THE INTERNET.
Simple. Straight to the point. Just kill the whole system, lock everything down, and the only way anyone in the world could use the internet is for work purposes ONLY. It would a tool, just like a car, or a screwdriver – when you need it to get something done you use it, then you turn it the HELL OFF. It was a radical idea, a random thought that just stuck in my head. All these terrorist groups, the Dark Web that steals all your money and identity, Bitcoin and their bullshit digital currency that has you spending all your hard-earned money on virtual air, Facebook stealing everything about you, Google tracking you and sharing everything – ALL OF IT- JUST DONE AND GONE –
I grew up in a time before the internet, so I know what life was like before it. We got around, we did what we had to do, we called each other on the phone, we hung out together, yadda yadda yadda – people are always talking about a “simpler time” but what does that mean exactly? When people say, “I wish it were like the old days,” what are they referring to? LIFE WITHOUT THE INTERNET, that’s what.
I mean, look I’ll give ya some freebies. In this “newborn no internet age,” you can have three apps. Just three.
Waze – (GPS and Navigation)
Skype (Telecommunications and Long Distance)
LinkedIn – To network – PROFESSIONALLY, seriously enough with the stupid memes already.
Would it really be such a horrible place to live in? My friend told me, as a species, we are not mature enough for all this technology. In every generation, there are a host of problems, but for all the things the internet has fixed, what has it taken from us? Do we smile at strangers while we are waiting in line? No, we are ass deep in our phones not even looking up when our order is called at Starbucks. Do we ask people out on a date or for their phone number if we see them and we think them attractive? No, because someone, somewhere will protest the shit out of your gesture. Do we even remember what an arcade is??? I give it to Dave and Buster’s, they are keeping the dream alive.
We are so stuck, so stuck in a digital world, that we have entirely forgotten what it’s like to be human. This is funny because people make fun of the Fast and Furious franchise, but not only was the latest installment, “Hobbes and Shaw,” entertaining as all get out, one of the underlying themes of that movie was family and heart. We have lost our soul and spirit and replaced it with an Avatar kicking ass in XBOX LIVE. We have eliminated game night and now chat on Discord servers as if that is healthy.
So I am doing it. After I post this, I am going to pose the challenge to my very few social media friends, some forums somewhere, and “go dark” till Monday. I will HAVE TO use the internet at least on Saturday to check my schoolwork, but I think I can get away with the app on my phone for that and THAT ONLY.
What am I going to do over the weekend? Pretend it was 1994 again. Plug in my stereo, tune into the local radio stations, break out my PS2 and play some Tombraider, watch some TV, (on cable, no streaming), and just hang out and read a book, or three. I may draw and color a bit, redecorate my room, and call up some friends, (on a landline), and see if they want to get together over the weekend.
So do you think you can do it?
I dare you!
Join me in a No-Internet Challenge This Weekend!!!
Is it Netflix? Is it gaming? Is it wasting time online in a black hole of Youtube videos? Social media posting? Or just straight-up wasting time on God Knows What? In recent days, I have definitely felt a shortage in time, and I am yet to find out what it is that I am wasting all this time on. I have gotten in the habit of sitting up in bed with my laptop and watching something that I am not really paying attention to and getting lost online in a world of boring chatrooms, or endless forums. I wonder, should I be spending more time outside within the three-dimensional world, rather than wasting countless hours on devices? Have we, as a society, become so hooked on devices, electronics, and gadgets that we’ve forgotten about our fellow man?
There is no doubt in my mind that we have lost the ability to relate to people. If we are not behind a screen, we have no idea how to talk to someone. I don’t have this problem because I grew up in an era where everybody played outside and the only device we had in the house for entertainment was the radio and TV, which absolutely didn’t have a remote control and you had to physically get up and change the channel to one of the seven only channels that were available. A phone call from a boy came in on the only landline phone in the house and you were always excited to hear what they would say. The MOST fun though was when said boy asked you out and you went on a fun date at the arcade or pizza place.
However, those days are long over.
In recent years, I have become fascinated with the online dating culture because I love shameless entertainment, (I find Reality-TV to fake to deal with); I would rather hear real-life horror (or love) stories that capture the heart and imagination. I have spent many hours on WordPress in the past reading about all the online dating adventures of singles from all over the world. Did any of you meet your significant other online? I have to imagine the answer is “yes” to that question because more and more people are meeting their partners online than in the more traditional sense. I would love to elaborate on this but I am going to end up going on a rant on how the whole #MeToo movement has crippled male confidence exponentially to the point they are scared to walk up to a woman and ask her out, buy her a drink or ask for her phone number. People just don’t do that anymore, and it’s just sad. I have bought men drinks and talked to them when I was out and about in the past, and it was always an exhilarating experience. There is nothing like getting an acknowledging smile or handshake when you compliment a person and let them know you would like to talk to them. I try and do that now and all I get are weird looks – go figure.
But yes, time, that’s what we are discussing. I find the fact that we are now in solitary relationships with our phones, entertainment devices, games, and TV, that we are no longer communicating with the outside world. If we are interacting, we are behind a screen sending ridiculous eggplant emojis to let the other person know we think they’re sexy. How awful is that? Let’s not even get into the countless exchange of genital pics, (it has become apparent that “dick pics” aren’t the only scandalous things being shared these days). I find it so sad that we are just wasting all this time and energy on things that don’t really give us anything back but a shot of dopamine and for every dopamine hit we get, we keep obsessing and going back for more like dopamine drug addicts.
Recently, I learned about an interesting hormone in our brain called oxytocin, which is more commonly known as the cuddle hormone. Every time we feel compassion or caring for another human being, like being affectionate or hugging someone, this oxytocin hormone is released in our blood and can actually help reduce stress in our daily lives. So for all the stress we are giving ourselves when one of our devices doesn’t work, or pulling our hair out because we didn’t receive a text, the best thing for our health would be to visit a real-life friend and spend quality time with them. This is vital to our lifespan and our growth as human beings and the more time we spent apart and locked in a trance of our electronic gadgets, the less human we are, and the more likely we could die earlier than we think.
So instead of laying in bed with your phone, or binging something on Netflix, go outside to a park or even just a Starbucks and sit there – just be around other humans at least for a little while; you never know, you make a friend or even get a date! Okay, that last part seems a little farfetched, but the whole point is you never know, and honestly, you have nothing to lose and a ton to gain.
How many of us have struggled with this? Are we in a relationship we loathe? A job we hate? A city or town that just reeks of disappointment? Why is it you think these things around you are happening or happening to you personally? How do we change our outlook? Well, firstly it starts with YOU. You are the creator and rule dominion over your universe, so you must LOVE the person you are before you can find any hope at a happy life. It is so cliché to just say “love yourself more,” so I am going to give you some tools to do something better – to love yourself the way you DESERVE to be loved. Here we go!
1)Do ONE thing for yourself every day. It could be as silly as buying something that reminds you of a happier time. (For me it was that copy of Super Mario World for my Game Boy Advance, yeah, I’m THAT old school).
2)Take 5 minutes a day for SILENCE. No phone, no TV, no games or apps in the background.
3)Create something you are proud of. Get a piece of paper and a marker, or pen or pencil and draw. It could be completely abstract or fill a bunch of hearts on a page and hang it over your bed. Seeing it every day will make you smile, I guarantee it.
4) Pay your bills. This one may seem like a stupid suggestion, but you have no idea how fulfilling it feels to know that everything is paid and taken care of. Nothing is hanging over your consciousness making you feel guilty or upset.
5) Take yourself out on a date. One of the most gratifying things I have learned in my life is to go out and sit and have a meal by myself. It doesn’t matter if people stare, you’re there for YOU not them. Oh, and if you want to wash it down with a glass of wine, enjoy it!
6) Luxurize your shower routine. Some people don’t have the patience for long bubble baths, but if you add some nice body wash or amazing shampoos and conditioners to your routine it will make a WORLD of difference. Don’t forget to get a nice Spa Cucumber and Aloe Lotion to add at the end.
7) Challenge your mind. Part of the journey of self-care is being mentally active. I am not talking about gaming, but things like crosswords or vocabulary games. If you have an Alexa, she is a plethora of challenging games and quizzes.
8) Change something about your look. A haircut, new lipstick, (or guys grow out that beard the ladies love it these days).
9)Surround yourself with positivity. It is no mystery that when we go on things like Twitter and Facebook, we can walk away feeling angry, upset or even depressed. I suggest finding chat rooms, (WireClub, Paltalk, Chat Avenue), or forums, (Hip Forums, Spirituality Forums, Blue Moon Roleplaying Forums, Elliquiy Forums, Forums at PsychCentral, eNotalone), to broaden your digital presence. The best thing though is actual real-life social networking, like mixers and Meetup.com for your area.
10) Make plenty of Lists. This one helps you get into a routine. It doesn’t matter if you do one or even anything on the list you make, it is a subconscious way of reminding yourself of what you want or what you want to make happen.
This may not seem like the usual list of ways to love yourself more, but I did it this way on purpose. Each of these things is designed to get you an immediate result. Things like losing weight or going to school take a lot of time and energy and even though they are fantastic ways for you to feel good about yourself, you don’t get that immediate sense of accomplishment. My tips are designed to give you peace, love, and self-reflection so you can be on your way to falling in love with the main person in your life: YOU!
Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your future. Make your hope. Make your love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen… yourself, right now, right down here on Earth.
Have you ever wondered? I know you’ve all seen Seinfeld, Sex and the City, King of Queens, NYPD Blue, and New York Undercover, (maybe, maybe not), but do those shows really represent what it’s like to live in the Big Apple? Or what about Justin Timberlake’s comments in “Freinds With Benefits?” You know, he rips on New York humidity in the summer, the overcrowdedness, and oh yeah, (because it’s worth mentioning twice), Seinfeld.
So what is it really like anyway? I am not going to say some bullcrap cliche line indicating it’s super awesome and so amazing and you should pack your bags right away, give up your job and your life, leave everything you know and love just to come and live here- although if you did actually do that, you’re a total badass and I want to be your friend 🙂 What I am going to do though, is be honest and give you the 411, (in true Mary J. Blige fashion), on what it has been like for me as a born and raised New Yawker, (yes they say it like that, its totally true, but it also depends on which part you go to).
I have lived in the worst of the worst parts of New York; growing up in the ’80s in the David Dinkins era, New York was one of the most dangerous places to live at that time. Even though there were flying bullets everywhere, hookers and thousands of drug dealers, I actually had a decent time growing up. There is something that must be noted when you talk about a community in a crime-infested ghetto: people stick together like it was the apocalypse – NO JOKE. I mean all the parents in the neighborhood looked out for each other’s kids – all the kids in the neighborhood went to the same public school and we would all feel safe either walking home or taking the bus even in though we lived in, what some would consider, a total warzone. And to be honest, growing up in Brooklyn at that time made me totally hardcore – I mean, I had Level 10 Grit before that was even a thing. I would take risks and ride that dangerous subway system all through my teens and adulthood, not even holding on to my purse tightly like they tell you to, (even though I did get almost-mugged once – I am sure he is still nursing his testicles all these years later).
Another thing about New Yorkers, is they are INCREDIBLY creative when it comes to eluding cops and being sneaky. I think if all these criminals got together and tried to go straight, they would either make amazing lawyers and stockbrokers – in fact, I think some of them actually are. One place in particular sticks in my mind when it comes to that kind of criminal creativity.
I had moved to the South Bronx when I was 19, and no, it was no improvement from my old neighborhood in Brooklyn – in fact, it was WORSE. The place I am thinking of was a Video Store that was secretly a weed spot. It wasn’t a Blockbuster or anything, it was one of those video stores that had the “backroom” with all the porn; god I miss those! Anyway, when you walked in and turned to the left, there was a huge wall of video cassettes to rent and what you did, was look for the movie “Blade Runner,” take down the box and a hand would come out where you would give either $5 or $10 for a nickel bag or dime piece. Yeah, cool isn’t even close to the right word for that. Also, if that store or anything like it is still there, sorry bro for ruining your business – but in all fairness, I have kept your secret for almost 20 years.
Being a New York native, and someone who still loves New York admirably, I can’t leave you without mentioning some of the touristy spots. So there are the obvious places you may have heard about:
The Bronx Zoo
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Museum of Natural History
The Hayden Planetarium, (my favorite)
The New York Aquarium
The Empire State Building
The 9/11 Museum and Memorial
The East and West Village
The South Street Seaport
Jones Beach, (near where I live now)
I am sure if there are other New Yorkers reading this, they KNOW I missing a lot on that list. But if you’re thinking of coming to New York City, and you want to go to the main attractions, that’s some of the most popular. For us nerds though, I HAVE to include these:
The big enchilada:
I mean if you skip all the touristy stuff and hit up these places, (which are my all-time favorite places), you would get your money’s worth when you come here. And not for nothing, city attractions cost money to go to, and for me, the best parts of New York is just getting on a train and exploring all of the city. In fact, if you study the map below, if you decide to come here, you will literally save thousands of dollars in costs for travel. You can get a reasonable place to rest your head in Queens, (probably the safest borough out of all of them, especially Forest Hills), and take the train everywhere you want to go for your adventures. You can easily take a cab to anywhere in Queens from JFK airport for a decent price. So be sure to study this survival subway map, (it’s not as complicated as it looks, trust me).
Oh, and I mentioned Forest Hills. Well, after my break-up from the Bronx fiancé, I moved to an amazing town in Queens called Forest Hills. It is expensive to live there, almost as expensive as living in Manhattan itself, but it’s such an amazing community and I had the best time living there. But there is one place in Forest Hills, that I MUST mention: The Irish Cottage. I have had so many wonderful memories at that place – with the great menu and the outside seating in the summer, it’s the absolute best place to be if you’re visiting New York. This is probably one of the best things about living in New York, little places like these:
And I know I didn’t give Brooklyn or Staten Island their deserved justice in this post; there are so many amazing places like Junior’s and Salty Dog out there, but I’m already at 1,000 words and I would like people to stay with me and not zone out when reading my blog, lol.
I also know I didn’t really explain what it’s really like to live in New York City because I got carried away with gushing about all the cool places, but I will tell you this – there is never a boring moment here. It is very expensive to live here, but if you find a niche somewhere or maybe buy a car, you can easily enjoy this place within reasonable financial means. As for me, well I live on Long Island now, and it would probably take me an entire post to talk about all the cool places, people and things you could do out here because it’s like a whole different world that I’m learning about.
Also, I am a very open, outgoing and friendly person, so if you ever need a tour guide if you decide to visit, I would gladly help. How could I pass up helping internet strangers?