People often ask me why I moved to New York, i.e. which cliche did I came for? Mine was the mirror. I wanted a raw reflection of who I am and an unapologetic echo of what I’m doing wrong. This city attracts lost souls; you’ll find what you’re looking for, only to realize it’s not what you’re looking for. You get that out of your way the first year, being stripped down, tested, seeing you’re not the person you thought you were.

I thought New York was about being a survivor, but it’s more about what type of survivor I am. I’m lazy, I talk well, I can read people fairly accurately and things go bad when I’m forced to improvise. I talk a lot about transformation, but I’m too chicken shit so I experiment in small doses. I’m too polite and too in love with politeness. I’m okay with minimalist living. I let myself be used to see people’s true colors. I give up too easily. I don’t sacrifice. I diffuse everything with humor and sarcasm. I embrace loneliness when things come crashing down.

New York’s a weird purgatory. Not the hellish fire-and-brimstone kind, but the strange plane of existence where everyone’s there at the same time, not crossing each other’s path, just learning more about themselves in a solitude without privacy. I’ve learned there are mainly three layers of people in New York: the tourists, the locals, the transplants. Ninety percent of the people I mingle are transplants. Most are lost souls with me.

I don’t know when I’ll go; I’m not here for dreams or fortune. I think it’s the lesson I’m supposed to learn, to not care about the future and focus on the present. The city has stripped me down bare bones, teaching me that faith begets new worlds. If only I will take bigger steps.