New York City has the incredible power of making you feel so insignificant in the most important ways.
The need to feel "significant" is so engrained in American culture. The concept of legacy, fame, popularity.... it all feeds off this need to validate our own existence based on how others interact with us. Though it pains me to say, I certainly seek that validation. Something I'm learning to relearn. I didn't realize how important it was to me until I moved here though. No one in New York is going to validate you. In fact, everyone here is entirely concerned with themselves. In the most beautiful ways.
People could care less what the hell you're doing, as long as you don't stop walking in the middle of 9am train traffic. Fine, whatever, give us your pole dancing show to Beyonce's "Formation," just don't kick me while you do it and we won't have a problem. In fact, I probably won't even pay you any mind because that's just another Tuesday around here. Keep asking for a dollar on the train, most of us will duck our heads and hope you don't approach us. We all know that if we gave everyone a dollar that asked, we would then be unable to afford rent ourselves.
At first I thought everyone was just rude, but I realized that it is the ultimate form of self care that we all should practice. I have learned from my fellow New Yorker's, whose names I will never know, that what I am doing is just as important as what you are doing. I can take up the amount of space I take up. I can say the things I need to say. I can do things the way I do them and I don't need to explain it. Just don't bug anyone and no one will give a flying fuck. Perhaps even more important for some (myself included) is the reverse: It also reminds me that what I am doing is not the most important thing in the room. It is in fact so unimportant that no one even noticed. So stop acting like you run the place.
New York says, "Get off your pedestal. Mind your own. Find your own validation. Make your own rules. And most importantly... make sure you always remember that the G is a short train and the driver doesn't care that you didn't know. He's not gonna wait for you when he sees you walking to catch up. He's got a whole train of people who were there on time whose plans are just as important as yours. Sorry not sorry about it."