It’s October 2nd. Your suitcase is ready. You still don’t know if the return will be in 6 months or in a couple of years. Worried? I know. You forgot to give the I94 back that day when you came back home in June. Well, that paper will change your plans. Don’t forget to bring the ID of the magazine.
Hey, it’s you. 10 years older, 10 pounds heavier and 10 thousand grey hair. Couple wrinkles, but I can tell, still looks like the old you.
Why am I writing to you? Just nostalgia. I miss writing. No, you will never go back to journalism as you hope to right now and I want to apologize. Your perspectives and priorities have been changed in all these years. But, good news. Finally, after studying in three schools, you speak English. Of course still afraid to talk on the phone.
New York is difficult. VERY. That is aggressive, intense, fascinating, noisy and extremely demanding, yes, like no other city in the world. Your life will be a challenge, full of ups and downs like a roller-coaster. Even though the patience, tolerance, and resistance are going to help in the road.
This is not a vacation anymore. You will live the other face of the coin when it comes to rent, insurance, MTA’s card and Federal and State taxes. In the beginning looking for an apartment will be your worst nightmare. Jumping between apartments at Queens and The Bronx will all be part of the journey. Unfortunately, the Upper East Side and West Village are still in your dreams.
You will be working in a bakery, selling ice creams, making Christmas baskets until one day will find stability in the Hospitality business. But with the time you will become an Immigration Lawyer, financial adviser, economist, travel agent, guide tourist, plumber, electrical technician, handywoman…
Without any doubt, you will love and hate the city, even on the same day or an hour. When you enjoy a night with a glass of Moet on top of a nice building and then you are stuck in traffic on the bridge or on the train. Your favorite season will be Spring (after the allergies), Fall makes you feel sentimental and the sad days are when you hang all the coats and jackets in your closet.
Your friends will become your family. During these years some of them will disappoint you. True friends will help you anytime, with hospital appointments, giving you a hand and a couch to sleep on. Likewise, you will be that shoulder. And with the time you will have a lot of nephews.
I will warn you, a lot of times you will be scared. But there is one particular situation the fear will run through your veins until it feels like you can breathe. Believe me, this event is going to change your situation for good. It will be the door of your freedom, to the world, and after that, nothing stops you.
You will travel like you’ve never imagined, visiting places you read about in books. A little bit of Asia, Africa, Oceania and more of Europe. Will love the sunset. Traveling will enrich you so much and share it with your family even more.
Now you are a ‘Newyorker’. People say it when you’ve been here for more than 8 years. You are always late or in a rush and never keep quiet. Know your rights and vote for Hillary!
Finally, you found that stability and peace that you were working hard for through the years. For moments you thought it was your biggest mistake. But trust me. You have learned to accept that life doesn’t follow a pre-determined plan. Every person and opportunity appeared and happens at the right time.
You and I love New York. I feel an immense amount of gratitude toward this city that helped me grow into who I am today at my 36th’s. It’s become part of my identity. There’s still a lot to learn and experience. More museums, streets, neighborhoods, corners, building, restaurants, bars, exhibitions. A lot to try and work.
You have no idea how much longer you’ll be here, but you are completely certain it will not be another 10 years.