I finally realized that my life in NYC had become just that -- a game, but one without any real end in sight. And my priorities had shifted; what I actually wanted was for my life to be about more than just myself. "Real life" started to mean a greater sense of permanence -- no more setting up for the next job, the next apartment... the next thing deemed "better" than the last.
When walking through Gramercy Park with one of my friends (a native New Yorker) one day, I told her this much. Her response: “No one comes here for that, Liz.”
And there it was. The truth only became all the more clear: after years of embracing the game, I wanted to end it. I was finally ready to plant my roots and grow something else aside from just myself and career (and, subsequently, my credit card bill).