Well you’re in luck; because I’ve taken my knowledge of living in this great complicated city for five years — plus working here for ten — to compile a little list of the 20 basic things you need to know.
A little New York City 101, if you will.
Let’s get started, shall we? There’s gonna be a quiz after this.
1. Empty subway cars are empty for a reason. There’s probably a horrifying stench coming from a horrifying person, some kind of rodent wandering around, no working air conditioning or bodily fluids on the floor or on a seat. Don’t fall for the trap: you’re better off in the overcrowded car one door down.
2. Any train station (Penn Station, the subways) after 11:00pm is an absolute horror show. If you can avoid stepping foot in one during or after this time, I recommend you do. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
3. Yes, cops are going to search your bag at a checkpoint. No, you [probably] don’t look like a terrorist.
4. A “B” rating outside a restaurant might as well be an “F.” Keep walkin.
5. The squirrels and pigeons in this city are SUPER ballsy. Go ahead; sit on that park bench — as long as you don’t mind them crawling all over you like you’re some kind of Disney Princess who’s all “one with the animals.”
6. Stay away from Times Square. If an epileptic seizure could be a place, this would be it.
7.Someone WILL masturbate in front of you at some point. On the street, on the train, somewhere. It will happen. At least once.
8. You’ll never get a seat in a Starbucks. Ever. Just stop trying.
9. Everything is comically expensive. My dad still talks about the time we went shopping for cleaning supplies and Windex cost like, .
10. Cabbies drive like absolute maniacs. Yes, all of them. You’re probably *not* gonna get in a car accident, but… you might. Wear a seat belt.
11. You will see rats everywhere. So. Many. Rats. you guys.
12. Prepare to be “city juiced.” Unsuspecting passerby’s in New York will often have some kind of mysterious substance dripped on them from above. Is it air conditioning fluid? Is it someone spitting on you from a balcony? You will never know.
13. Celebrities are hidden everywhere. They’re like beautiful and tall ‘Where’s Waldo’s.” You just have to pay attention.
14. You pretty much never have to leave your home because you can get almost anything delivered to you. Takeout, groceries, dropoff laundry service, hookers, etc.
15. Avoid NYC in the summer at all costs. The heat of the season intensifies the bus fumes, garbage smells and other people’s body odor on trains. It’s unpleasant.
16. Everything will look like a terrorist attack. Nothing funny about this. Every time you see smoke/a fire, weird activity, an abundance of cops/military/etc. or anything suspicious you may immediate think TERRORIST ATTACK. And you’re not alone. We’ve all got 9/11 on the brain, always.
17. Some of the best musicians, singers and dancers you’ll ever encounter in your life will be performing on a street or subway platform. Throw ‘em a buck if you can.
18. Yeah, that’s probably human feces. Don’t look at it or go near it; just walk away quickly.
19. People on bikes are dicks. You’re more likely to get hit by a bicyclist than a vehicle here.
20. It’s loud, it’s crazy, it’s weird and it’s overpopulated. But it’s the greatest city on earth.
2. You’ll end up in the stall next to a co-worker and it will be weird.
3. You will forget to wear deodorant and spend the rest of the day operating with T-rex meets kangaroo arms.
4. There will always be unhealthy snacks, until the day you’re hungover or craving and counting on them; on this day, there will be not a snack in sight.
5. You will have to unwrap and eat a Nature Valley crunch bar with no safety net: no fan to noise cancel the crunchy horror, no paper towel or napkin to catch the inevitable debris. How much of a Nature Valley bar ever ends up in anyone’s mouth, like a cool 60%?
6. Email signatures: a curiously nerve-racking and boring art. You will debate yours — just your name? Should you include your cell number? Why do people use weird fonts and quotes here?
7. After you consider your signature, you will debate your email sign offs ad nauseaum on the daily: “Best,” or “Looking forward,” or just “Thanks!” You’ll think too hard about exclamation points and they’ll begin to seem unstable, like everyone who uses them is excited about nothing.
8. It will be mortuary quiet and you will L the fuck OL at some email or Gchat and you will feel obnoxious.
9. You will listen to music too loudly on the way into office and be oblivious to your co-worker next to you, like at bass-blaring levels.
10. It will be absolutely freezing and you will have forgotten your sweater and by some stroke of evil, somehow no one else — your co-workers, your supposed allies — will look cold.
11. You’ll lock eyes with a co-worker and it will be weird and you’ll try to cover it with a kind of “sup?” eyebrow raise and it will be more weird.
12. One day it will be a hot, artificially heated swamp for no good reason and you will have to sweat with dignity.
13. Delivery will be ordered and you will be a ravenous food monster but you will have to contain yourself while everyone gets their own.
14. You will get a plant, it will die. You’ll leave it there like that for weeks without noticing. Or caring.
15. Your family member will call the main reception number looking to contact you instead of your direct line, and they will somehow manage to go through three lines before they get to you.
16. You will accidentally get too drunk at the office happy hour. You will also miss your train, or bus, or ride home, or forget that you drove to the office and still have to drive home, and you will have to string transport together without looking like a total mess.
17. The weather will say “blizzard” or otherwise inclement weather and your boss will email “in the case of really bad weather” and you will become so, so hopeful and you’ll try not to plan your day off, but plan you will. Your brain can’t help it, you’re like a dog looking out a window at a tree that could possibly contain squirrels. Squirrels! You will be so excited. And you will wake up and bound to your window, or your inbox. And the snow won’t happen. And the office will be open.
How much would I have to pay you for 83,200 hours of your life?
What could I offer you right now in order for you to give me that amount of time from your existence?
What could I offer you to hand over to me nearly 5 million minutes of your time?
What if I offered you one million dollars? Two?How about three?
Here are the conditions of the offer:
You must spend these 83,200 doing something that you don’t (really) like doing.
In addition to these hours, you must also give me your true life’s purpose. In exchange for my money, you have to give up the possibility of you ever reaching your truest aspirations that are in essence the core of your identity.
You will have a 100% chance of ultimately regretting your life once you are on your deathbed.
You will be guaranteed to live with envy of others for the rest of your life.
You will be guaranteed to have unwanted stress for the rest of your life.
In addition to all of the above conditions, one day out of your week (Monday) will be terrible and you will dread it. So that means roughly 50,000 hours out of your life that you will never, ever, look forward to.
I get to tell you what to do during the duration of these 83,200 hours, and you will have no choice but to do what I say, or the deal is off.
Lastly, when you are done with your 83,200 hours. I get to take back 40% of the money I gave you and Ill spend it on what ever I want. I may even spend it on things that are in exact opposition to your core values and beliefs.
Do we have a deal?
Sign right here __________x
I think many of you by now have caught on to my analogy. If you are working at a job you really don’t like, just for money to spend on things you really don’t need, I think you are trading your life away, for peanuts.
An offer of 1.5 million dollars, along with all of the stipulations it comes with, is based on a calculation of 40 hours per week and a base salary of 50 thousand per year for 40 years. This, to me represents the timeline of a young adult working until they reach retirement. There are many people who will never make that kind of money, yet they still accept these terms and conditions.
Now this is not to say that jobs in and of them selves are bad. I have a job; for now, I have to have a job. However, I don’t plan on having one for the rest of my life. There are a select few people out there who are in a career that is truly engaging for them and is aligned with their highest purposes in life, but to me, those people are few and far in between. What I see mostly are people who go to work every day, for the majority of their life, and they have no idea why. You see them driving to on the freeway to work every Monday. Their faces are all scrunched up; you can see the agony in their expression. They have to get jacked up on coffee in the morning, and have a couple drinks when they get off, just to cope with it all. Whether it’s the corporate paper shuffler, who deep down knows what they do for a living has no meaning, or the fast food worker who cant see any other way to make a living than flipping burgers, the expression is the same. I think it’s sad, incredibly tragically sad, that many people trade their mystical, abundant, wondrous lives away, for money.A piece of paper; its actually a piece of paper. The meaning given to it is all based on a collective agreement we made on its importance.
Now I know what some of you are thinking; I can hear the excuses coming from a mile away:
How am I going to support myself?
How am I going to take care of my family?
People who daydream all day aren’t practical.
You have to be realistic.
Some of you don’t even realize how you sound. You should trade in your bed for a coffin because you’re already dead.
I have a solution for all of your excuses and all of the obstacles you see ahead of you. I have a way to get you unstuck from the illusory trap that you’ve created for yourself, and for your life.
You say all of these circumstances are in your way, but have you ever actually even thought to a possible way out of it all? I’m not talking about a passing thought; a wishful thought or a flimsy idea of wanting better. I’m talking about sitting with yourself, alone, in silence, and really thinking about what you want to do with your life, what you are truly passionate about. It may not come to you at first but I truly believe that all we are, all that reality is, is an accumulation and manifestation of our own thoughts. What’s real is only real to you, because you’re the one who thinks it is. You don’t need to be smarter, more talented, or more gifted than anyone else to be a success. As long as you have a purpose in life, something that you know you are destined to do, and you achieve it, you are successful.
If you could ask a genie for the best life you could have, not a perfect one, but the best one, one where you get to live out your days doing what you want to do, what would it be like?
Would the steps toward reaching that life involve anything that you are doing right now? If the answer is no, maybe you should be thinking about what you need to be doing to turn that into a yes.
I’ve always wanted to be a writer or a speaker; I love expressing my ideas and myself. Writing this article is one small step on a journey that hopefully leads to the life that I’ve always dreamed of. What steps are you going to take?
I think it’s the wanting that hurts us the most. We pretend to fall victim to a prophecy of unrequited aching, We place blame on others, Ourselves. We yell things like betrayal, Deceit. But I don’t think that’s what it is. Unfulfilled promises that loom heavy like a storm that never comes to blow, No. I don’t even think it’s the stabs to carefully protected egos, The times we are so positive something has to work, and find ourselves stumbling back home, Alone.
I think it’s the wanting. The haunting Of needing something in a way you cannot express. Body over mind. Mind over heart, All logic thrown out the door, Like when I sat alone waiting for you, how little I must have meant, when the thought of our reunion burned such a wanting in me. And all your wanting was gone within minutes, A wanting of sex and skin. How I wanted you in a way I hadn’t ever known, so simple and pure. When I think back and try to analyze what it all meant, Maybe this burning was just acid reflux. Maybe, I was confusing insomnia with affection. Maybe we are all just humans wanting something.
I know so little, I am willing to admit it. I was a flawed human In love with another just as messy, with a wanting that kept me awake. I did not count sheep, but rather moments I wished I was with you. The wanting, a blanket of fire I wore around my neck.
You told me I was young And stupid. I suppose it’s true. Everyone is dumb at the tenderness of 22. You are barely older, But far more stupid to not see my wanting had nothing to do with age, and all to do with you.
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1. They are each other’s cheerleader, not each other’s coach
Alpha couples are comprised of two individuals with strong personalities. They know how much they hate it when someone else tries to tell them what to do (and they wouldn’t want a relationship where they had to do this anyway). Instead of directing the other person or telling them what to do, they simply support each other and have a mutual trust that the other person will do what is best for them.
2. They don’t allow their phones to infringe on quality time
Alpha couples have an interesting relationship with their smartphones. On one hand, Alpha people tend to have high-powered careers because they are ambitious and smart. On the other hand, you could never tie an Alpha to an unhappy job, especially one that lowered their quality of life. The compromise is this: Alpha couples love their technology probably more than other couples, but they know how to do it judiciously. They answer important emails and take calls, they don’t idle away their time checking up on someone’s Facebook or playing mindless games. They also recognize when you actually save time by monotasking instead of spreading yourself thin — like spending quality time with your partner.
3. They are never in an undefined relationship
Who has the time or energy to worry the person you’re trying to date (or trying to just sleep with) has or doesn’t have the same kind of feelings? No one who is busy trying to take over the world. Alpha couples are made up of two people who know what they want and aren’t afraid to ask for it, they would never waste time in a relationship that wasn’t exactly what they wanted, no matter what that is.
4. They solve fights and move one
Alpha couples have better things to do than wallow in drama. When a conflict arises, this is the kind of couple than can discuss the issue, make a compromise or plan of action, and move on. There’s no muttering of “you always” or “you never” as they go on with life feeling shortchanged or unhappy with their partner, they aren’t afraid of conflict so they can simply address it and then move on with their lives.
5. They refuse to put each other down
In lesser relationships, feelings bottle up and linger or spend their time with same sex friends complaining about their SO. Not for an alpha couple. These two ferociously have each other’s back.
6. They get out of the box
Alpha couples keep their relationship fresh because they are adventurous and have an itch to try new things, go new places, and explore the unfamiliar. And they’re a stronger couple because of all the bonding that takes place when they do these things together.
7. There’s no nagging
Nagging happens when one person in a relationship wants the other to change, and when the other is in desperate need of making a change. In an alpha couple, neither person sits around waiting for someone to nag them into becoming a better person, both people are motivated to do this completely on their own.
8. They take space, confidently
There’s no concern about cheating, no insecurity to fill with codependency. Each person has their own interests and feels confident pursuing them on their own, knowing that being with a whole, complete person is more interesting than being with your “other half.”
9. No one has a princess complex
There’s no playing dumb, no false coyness, no acting entitled in this relationship. The woman in this relationship knows her man is attracted to her based on her strengths, not on her weaknesses.
10. No one has to be the white knight
There’s no one-dimensional young adult novel hero — they don’t exist. Instead the man in an Alpha relationship is real and attractive to his partner not because he needs to save her, but because he’s done the work to save and better himself. Above all, they are partners.
11. They don’t waste time worrying about measuring up
Excellence, not perfection, is the motto of the Alpha relationship. They strive to be good (above average, even) but they understand that they are human and everyone has shortcomings. They don’t spend sleepless nights over not being perfect when they know they are doing their very best.
12.They are working towards a future (together)
This is not a fast food relationship. There is no rush, no need for empty calories. This is a marathon not a sprint and they make wise decisions about building a strong future together, versus a tempting right now for themselves.
13. They know when they need to break up (and they actually do it)
And because of this…
14. They are confident in their relationship
No one could come between these two because they know if there is anything to worry about, they’ll hear it from their partner first. That’s the benefit of dating someone who’s strong enough to handle confrontation when it’s the right thing to do.
15. They really, truly enjoy each other
You can see it when they look at each other or when one speaks of the other’s latest achievement. Alpha couples succeed because they adore each other and they let it be known how highly they think of each other.