Sunday, January 8, 2012

Small Town, Big (City) Dreams #1

If I Get Murdered In the City

I want to move to NYC when I graduate.

This simple sentence has sparked controversy at the numerous family gatherings I have attended over the holidays. As my cousins and siblings reach for a final helping of broccoli casserole, I wait for the inevitable “So what are you plans once you graduate?” The truth is, I have been preparing for this question since Thanksgiving, rehearsing my lines like auditioning for a B-list movie. Some would call it a comedy, but I call it my life.

One may expect a commitment to NYC from a person with city roots. I, however, have never lived in a town that boasted a booming metropolis. Nonetheless, I have always had an affinity for NYC, especially as a child when my family would take a yearly trip after Christmas to see Rockefeller Center and the Macy’s windows. The only thing similar to that in my hometown was a Christmas Boulevard, complete with four blocks of cardboard cutouts of reindeer and Santa, and a few mechanical, caroling snowman, a target for local vandals. I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania, with population of roughly 12,000, attended college in an even smaller town, and am now in graduate school in a small mid-western town, with a population of 20,000. I am ready to take NYC by storm with all the small town charm that I have acquired over my 23 years.

When explaining this dream to my extended family, the conversation immediately turns to self-protective measures. While I have occasionally carried mace, I have never considered owning any legitimate weapons. One evening at the dinner table, my Uncle Dave, an avid hunter, leans over and whispers, “Consider getting your concealed weapon permit while you’re still in Pennsylvania” over the chatter of my other relatives. At another point, my Dad interrupts my Aunt Cindy and Uncle Anthony, debating between the strengths and weaknesses of a semi-automatic handgun and pistol, to state that if I wanted to carry a weapon, he would happily purchase one for me next Christmas. My palms begin to sweat as I take an uneasy sip from my glass of Merlot. I look around for the hidden camera, ensuring I am not in a pilot episode for the latest reality show on E! entitled Family: Weapons of Choice.

Leaving that lively, and might I say bewildering, family function, my head was spinning with possibilities (I wasn’t even sure about my stance on concealed weapons). Not even the increased crime I would find in NYC could persuade me from moving there. During my last search, I found that there were over 130 post-secondary institutions located within the 5 boroughs of NYC. One of those 130 employers would likely have a position to suit my strengths, right?

(title of post from The Avett Bros., If I Get Murdered in the City, 2008) 

1 comment:

  1. I can totally relate to your experience with an overly protective family and your decision to move to the big city. I too want to move to a large city after my graduation from my small-town mid-sized university in Pennsylvania. Although I am not considering a weapons permit in the future I can relate to the feelings of family unintentionally scaring you away from trying something new and outside of your comfort zone. And you are correct, NYC will offer you an abundance of opportunities at different institutions.

    I am learning that although your family loves you and has your best interest at heart they may never understand how important this decision is for you. My advice, don't let their fear become your fear. Take your chances, live out your dream. Its now or never!