117. Hate. Hate. Hate.
New York City has the unique ability to turn the grateful into the hateful. Not the kind of hate that automatically thinks or speaks negatively of someone purely based on race, gender, or sexual orientation. And not the kind that adds years to a felony sentence.
This is the legally acceptable, socially questionable, lighter side of hate commonly referred to as, hatin'. It's the overly critical, somewhat comical expression of displeasure with any and every thing someone else is, or isn't, doing.
Entry #24 of 101 Reasons to Leave New York is titled, "Goldilocks thinks you're hard to please." But, this is different. You've become an unrelenting, unapologetic hater. So it's not that you're difficult to please. Difficult-to-please suggests happiness and satisfaction are your desired endgame.
Oh no, you're just a hater. You don't want to be pleased. You will go out of your way to find a reason not to like something.
Somehow, somewhere, you began to feel as though it's your duty to point out the shortcomings and missed opportunities of others, and their efforts, because if you don't, no one else will. You identify with Chappelle's Show's Playa Haters Ball sketch. Your friends don't ask if you liked a movie, art exhibit, or restaurant, they ask you what you didn't like about it. When you see someone's new tattoo for the first time, you tell them what would have made it better. And right now, you're thinking there should be a few more examples to really bring this point home.
But, this is New York City. The shirt reads "I Heart New York," not "I Hate New York." So love it, or leave it.
118. You don't spend enough time in the mirror.
As a New Yorker, you inevitably spend the vast majority your days and nights chasing dreams, living fast and attempting to justify your existence. But from time to time it's wise and quite advantageous to take inventory. Not of your stuff, but of yourself.
Surprise! Surprise! Mentally, physically, and financially, it costs a lot more to live here, than anywhere else. That's why you have to stop, yes stop, long enough to candidly evaluate yourself and the life you're living.
Mirror-time affords you the opportunity to ask, and answer, "What am I really trying to do and what is it doing to me?" It also allows you to redefine your mission, refine your focus, and get control of things before they, or you, get way out of hand.
So, whether you're in the city for money, fame, love, happiness or some combination of the above, it's critical you make time and take time to ask if the price you're paying is worth the investment.
119. Fair Play
You're a faithful practitioner of the Golden Rule. You say and do the moral and just thing whenever possible because you truly believe honesty is the best policy. That's cute. Really, it is. But this is New York City.
The lessons your parents, grandparents, legal guardians, or whoever raised you imparted during your developmental years may have shaped you. But, it's time to get real, grow up and toughen up. If such a realization is enough to make you fall out of love with New York, leave and go somewhere where life is just a little more straightforward.
Here, there's no such thing as playing fair, because this isn't a game. Doing the right thing isn't enough. It's stops too short. You have to do the right thing, for you. Prison rules are in full effect. So, you'd be well advised to do unto others, before they can do unto you.
The idea of actually playing nice is quite noble. But, actually doing so will make you stand out for all the wrong reasons. Because in New York, the only good reason for doing a good thing is because it makes you look good.