There’s something about New York City that makes you think it has all the answers. People go there to follow their dreams or fall in love, but I’m not sure anyone really knows why. I don’t even know why I chose New York, but it seemed like the right thing to do at the time. It is, after all, what they do in the movies.
With graduation looming, and a full time job awaiting me, I was beginning to get a little antsy at the thought of growing up. I’m 22 years old, and I have no idea who I am or what I want in life, and to be honest, I’ve never really given myself the time to think about it.
My friend Ashleigh was also graduating, and I had a feeling she was in the same soul-searching boat as I, so we made a pact to go to the city we’ve always dreamed of, hoping we might find some answers to life’s questions.
I thought New York would change me, make me realize how small my reality is in comparison to the world. I thought I would mature and figure out my path in life, and maybe even get a glimpse into what I wanted to do for a living.
But I didn’t find out who I was, nor did I even come close. I didn’t change or become happier or more cultured; I’m pretty much the same girl that left. And although it didn’t fulfill all my wildest expectations, it did bring me a little closer to where I want to be, and that place happened to be home.
I was standing on top of the Empire State Building, looking out over the city skyline, when I pulled out my cell phone to take a picture of the scene. But instead of snapping a photo, I found myself going through pictures of my boyfriend, my cat, and my home in the country. I was homesick, and it struck me that as much as I’ve dreamed of this city, I couldn’t help but secretly want to be back home.
I learned that as much as I may want to live in the city, my heart will always be in the country. This came as a surprise, as I’ve always cursed my upbringing in the country, accusing my hometown as being plain and lacking culture. But as boring and dull as it might be, the people are a hell of a lot nicer, and there’s nothing better than waking up to the sound of the water lapping at the shore.
I still want to live in big city, don’t get me wrong. While my small town may have been beckoning my mind, my body was swept up in the allure of New York City, and I’ll never forget how alive I felt walking down Times Square. The smell of the incredibly strong coffee awakened my senses every morning, and as annoying as those taxi horns were, I kind of miss them every once in a while.
As I tribute to my week in Manhattan, I give you a recipe for iced coffee. It’s simple, easy and best of all, it comes out of a cookbook that was printed in my hometown.
ice cube tray
2 cups coffee
2 cups chocolate milk
2 tablespoons sugar
Freeze coffee in an ice cube tray for two to three hours, or until solid. Remove frozen coffee cubes from tray and place into blender. Add chocolate milk and sugar and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve immediately.