As a general rule, I do not let song lyric dictate my actions. I make decisions based on carefully crafted Excel spreadsheets, in which point values are assigned to various pros and cons. In other words, I let the numbers speak for themselves– whichever column has the highest point value is the column that I will select.
To some this might seem arbitrary, but to me it’s the most rigorous form of decision-making one can possibly partake in. Hence my confusion with the results of my latest spreadsheet:”Where I shall live post-graduation.” Overwhelmingly, New York was victorious. Even though I know there is little rush to return to the City; that I have many years to establish a meaningful and sustainable life there.
And yet, despite this realization, I hesitate to invest in another city, an alternative post-college future– particularly one so temporary. The category that, perhaps, is responsible for this result is: City With Personality… and Spunk! (Yes, I use exclamation points in my spreadsheets. Please refrain from judgment.)
Just as I was about to assign values to the various cities I am considering for future employment, I read a blog post about a new rose art installation, set to premiere on Park Avenue on January 25th. Designed by Will Ryman, it will feature a series of 38 displays running from the Upper East Side to the Village. The beauty is undeniable.
Of course, upon reading the article, I called my mother to discuss the next possible weekend I could escape the Wellesley Bubble and return home to bask in the modern art-filled glory that is New York.
Now I know what some of my critics are thinking: there are equally beautiful and thought-provoking art displays in other cities. Art is not a justification for the umbilical cord relationship I have with New York. However, it is but another confounding factor in an already complex process.
My 2nd (London) and 3rd (Cape Town) choice cities lag significantly behind. I used to think I was unfairly attributing high point values to New York because it was a city I knew well, but having lived in England and thesised on South Africa, I am not convinced that intimacy is to blame.
One Beloved Roommate once attributed my obsession with my hometown to my propensity for fire escapes, particularly those featured prominently in the Heights. And there is truth in that. I am not seeking a piece of property with lots of land or a glamourous urban penthouse. All I want is a humble one bedroom apartment with a prominent rustic fire escape.
However, given my current prospects– an internship in Cape Town, a graduate school acceptance in London, and a job offer in San Antonio, Texas, I may have to reexamine my Excel sheet and redistribute point values. Considering the cost of a fire escape in New York, I will need to earn significant funds to support my city-specific addiction. And currently I have none.
I suspect the next step, as I begin spring semester of my senior year, is to track down a job in the City that Never Sleeps and fulfill the prophecy Diddy has set out in his new song “Coming Home“:
I’m coming home
I’m coming home
Tell the World I’m coming home
Let the rain wash away all the pain of yesterday
I know my kingdom awaits and they’ve forgiven my mistakes
I’m coming home, I’m coming home
Tell the World that I’m coming