New York City is unpredictable. You can't mash this many people together and not crank out some madness. And when the population hits nearly eight and a half million people, you don't dare say the word "bored". There is no end to temptation or opportunity, they're two sides of the same coin. You want to experience the intoxicating pilgrimage you'll be telling stories about for years to come. You want to see the role model you've always dreamed of meeting and hand her your business card with a smile. There is potential for everything. And that's the dream.
But if unpredictability is what we all want from our networking events or nights at the bar, we're going about it the wrong way. Just because there is something to do every night doesn't mean it has to be done. Sure, there are subway rides and dinner plans, concerts and art installations. Drinking buddies and coffeehouses. Dinners fold sixty minutes into three hours. Concerts end with shots at the bar. One-night stands turn into confusing mornings. It's the glamourous, sinful fun of the city. The trouble is when the allure of unpredictabilty comes at the expense of finding what you truly want. You're just throwing it up to chaos, hoping for the best.
There are people working from their bedrooms, typing away. I'm one of them. I can hear the happy dinner-goers shout conversation at one another over the floating notes of the in-house band. Beyond that I know there are groups of joggers and people playing soccer in McCarren park. Somewhere in Manhattan my favorite authors could just be standing on a street corner having a conversation with someone who is not me. C'est la vie.
But sometimes it's really fucking hard to shut the door and go to work. It is embarassing to say no to so many events after work and go even further to have to defend yourself. Really it's embarassing to feel embarassed. It should be a point of pride to commit to whatever work you have waiting for you when you're alone at home. It should be more captivating than the unpredictability potential the nightlife offers. In all honesty, the embarassment might just come from the desire to avoid it all. Sometimes you need some discipline, some rest, some mental space.
When you're surrounded by millions of people, literally, you're surrounded by billions of opportunities. It can be exhausting just trying to analyze it all. When you're going to the bar, you could be crashing into your favorite director at a workshop somewhere else. When you're crunching some overtime in the office, you could be hitting on the love of your life in the coffee shop down the street. There is no right answer and it's enough to fall into the madness.
There is just a collision of two New York Cities. The grass is always greener on the other side whether you're two pints in at the bar or two pages in at home.
You need to know your place. You're going to fear missing out every night because there is always something happening, thousands of things happening, every single night. You're not a victim if you don't want to be. Find the balance you need to get something done.
You came to New York to experience yourself in New York. Now decide and conquer.