Have you ever given up on something before you were ready to? I’m not talking about never finishing that book you’ve been trying to get through or quitting your diet before you reached your goal, but quitting something that you really loved before it had the chance to run its course? And if you have, and you’re having these feelings I’m having now, how do you get past them? Sometimes it’s not as simple as giving it another go. Sometimes life gets in the way, money gets in the way, insert-any-excuse-here gets in the way.
I’ve found myself in this situation only a few times in my life–standing at an intersection, wondering which way to go. I’m happy to say that the majority of intersections I’ve come across, I’ve picked correctly. The majority of these situations I look back at and am thankful I quit when I did. However, there’s one that I’ve never quite gotten over. One of the true loves of my life.
I quit New York too early. Looking back, if I’m really honest with myself (and you should always be really honest with yourself!) I never even gave New York a proper chance. I was in school all day and working on projects all night. Don’t get me wrong, I would never give up my experience at Parsons–it’s the one place I was actually able to meet people!–but I sort of wish I could have experienced moving to the greatest city on earth differently.
Maybe I feel this way because we broke up too soon, New York and I. Maybe if our relationship had been able to run its course, I would have come home and remembered the City as a concrete wasteland, a place where streets were cold and dirty, where you had to be packed like sardines in the subway on your way to work, a place that cost too much money and left you feeling empty.
But instead I remember the park in springtime with the tiny sail boats at the Conservatory, eating Shake Shack and watching the US Open in Madison Square Park just weeks after we’d moved to the city, the way it felt the first time my favorite bagel place remembered how I took my coffee (light and sweet), the Empire State Building all lit up after I got out of a late class, the crazy bar with the glowing dance floor in Time Square where my best roommate and I spotted ‘Prom Dress’.
I think about going back. A lot. But recently I’ve really been thinking about what that would mean. Another cross-country move. Another hopeless search for an ‘affordable’ apartment. Another start over. I’d be leaving behind my family, whom I cherish dearly; my friends who have been there since the beginning; a car and likely a dishwasher (such luxuries!). And all that makes me wonder if it’s worth it.
Dear readers, I do not have an answer for that tonight. What I do have is a wish that you never give up on anything too early. Be passionately stubborn and stick to your guns. Don’t look back later and think ‘did I give it my best shot?’
Don’t have any regrets.