When you mention that you’re from New York, people automatically assume that you mean New York City. Well, I hate to break it to you, but most of New York is NOT A CITY. I’m from New York but I’m not from the city. I’m from New York and I didn’t grow up taking mass transportation or cabs. I’m from New York and I definitely did not grow up knowing that NYC is one of the safest cities in the world. I’m from New York and I grew up in a rural/suburban area, with horses and goats in my backyard, a lake a mile down the road and a car because it’s about a 15 mile drive to get to the grocery store.
I am from Ballston Lake, a small town in Saratoga County. Whenever someone says, “oh, you’re from Albany” I cringe. NO. I’m not from Albany. Albany to me is one of the dirtiest places. The only good thing about Albany is their state school and their hospitals. To be honest, I would rather have someone assume I grew up in NYC.
Ballston Lake is an extremely small town with no street lights, two restaurants and a couple of country stores. Ballston Lake has horse farms and trees and wildlife. It’s what I consider home.
When I lived there, all I wanted to do was leave. It was hard growing up without neighbors when your friends could ride their bikes down the street after school and socialize. Once I turned 16 it wasn’t so bad, but the first 16 years of my life were frustrating.
I thought for the longest time I wanted to move to NYC so my mother brought us down. From the second we hit Time Square I knew that NYC was the last place on Earth I wanted to be. When I went to college, I immediately decided to not look at the colleges in their because I knew it wasn’t for me. After college, I looked for jobs EVERYWHERE except NYC. I was willing to move anywhere in the country. I was ready to pick up my life and just start a new adventure. Tennessee, Texas, California, Arizona, anywhere but the city. Once I realized that no other place was hiring except for places in Manhattan, I caved.
I think that’s the funniest part of my life. I live in NYC but I really am counting down the days until I can not live there. Yes, I have amazing friends down here, it’s only three hours away from Ballston Lake and I’ve gotten used to living the “city life” (as my grandmother calls it). But, right now, my heart is in the country.
Why am I telling you this? It really comes down to not knowing what you have until it’s gone. All I wanted was to live on my own and be Miss Independent. And the second that happened, all I wanted was to move back to Ballston Lake, swim in my parent’s pool all summer, bask in the central air conditioning, complain about the ridiculous winter weather and have a car.
When it’s my time to leave NYC will I move back to Ballston Lake? It’s not really the plan but it probably will happen. Living in the city is so expensive that it’s near impossible to save for a big move. Will I complain about moving home? Definitely, but it’s in my nature. Will I secretly love living with my parents? Absolutely, but I’ll only let them know every once in a blue moon; I have to keep them on their toes.