I’d like to take this time and space to stress the importance of friendships in NYC. For those of you familiar with the area, you know how tough it can be. Everything and everyone is replaceable. There are thousands of candidates lining up at your employer’s door and your boyfriend/girlfriend can swipe through hundreds of options in sixty seconds. Building tough skin is something you must learn to do. Everything is a competition; including a hunt for your next four hundred square foot apartment in Bushwick (no exaggeration).

When we were little, we would run to the comfort of our home with the constant of our family. Now, we are forced to live with strangers we met during a fifteen-minute interview, in a city with the highest population density of the whole United States. Clearly, times are tough.

Friends are your new family in NYC. They are your new constant and new comfort. When you find great ones, you hold on to them tighter than the last size six dress at a sample sale. They are there to hold your hair back after a rough night but also to hold your hand when you’ve taken an emotional beating. No one gets out of here alive without a support system. They are your unpaid therapists, brunch buddies, private investigators, unsolicited advice givers, travel partners – all the good things in life. I have seen individuals leave. It doesn’t take a back story and very many details to know why. This is a once in a lifetime experience that should not involve you cutting your lease short unless it’s for a place closer to a normally functioning train. Go out there and make friends if you’re feeling like this isn’t the place for you! Join an organization, go to that work happy hour you’re always missing, hang out with those drunk girls from the bathroom that complimented your shoes. I can’t say my three years in NYC have been rainbows and gumdrops. I lost my two best friends because they decided to replace me with a mediocre girl that felt the need to isolate me. I don’t believe in putting down women but in this case, I find the word mediocre fitting. No one should ever put anyone in the situation of having to be picking between people. If that is what you choose to do, that speaks volumes about your character. I blame my friends for the outcome of the whole predicament that lasted about three months. As much as I wish they were better human beings, they aren’t. As much as I’d like to make excuses for their behavior, I can’t. As much as I would love for them to change, they won’t.

As we grow up, we find things we value. At 21, it may have been drinking buddies. At 25, your priorities aren’t aligned with alcohol, at least, mine aren’t. I am happy to say I am now in a place where I have found my forever friends. I have learned the true value of friendships in NYC and friendships in general. They’re important. They’re the medicine we need for all the bumps and bruises we receive. They have been my cushion from all the punches NYC has thrown at me.

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