The Liberated Passerby
Anonymity in the Big City
Monday, March 22nd, 2010
But I'm not complaining. I've lived on both coasts, and the anonymity of the East Coast is a welcome relief from my insulated life in Seattle.
Alone time where I'm from will never match New York's solitude. Perhaps that's why people come to New York—to be alone. Sure, it's noisy, it's obnoxious, and most people won't give you
the time of day, but I prefer that. Not being able to ask the average Joe on the street for directions to the local pizzeria forces self-sufficiency and reminds us of our own insignificance.
Living at home was a constant reminder of all my achievements (thanks, Mom), but in New York, I'm a stranger. I am ignored. It hurt at first, but moving to the East Coast reminds me that I'm lucky to even be considered.
In spite of the advances of technology and the growth of the city, barriers between people here aren't stifling. New Yorkers are united under a common front: Despite our seemingly continual ignorance of each other's presence, we all came here to get noticed. Actors, musicians, writers, dancers alike—we all want recognition.
I feel the energy of ambition from every direction. The bond is unspoken; we all know each other without having to speak a word. West Coasters like to talk about our goals, and talk and talk and talk. New York's disinterested attitude made me shut up and get to work. I like to go home and be reminded that to someone, somewhere, I still matter, but I enjoy knowing that in truth, I really don't. It keeps me humble.
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