A New York City cab driver once told me you can only consider yourself a New Yorker if you’ve lived in the city for seven years. I left in July, after 6 years and 11.5 months, for Philadelphia. Screw it -- I wasn't going to be confined to one place because of an arbitrary qualifier.
I moved to New York when I was 16. I spent my entire high school life not really having one, which was my motivation to work hard to get out of the tiny German town my family had relocated to. I wanted to make it to NYU. I wanted to be someone. I succeeded, and the move proved to be perhaps the most important of my life -- I grew up quickly. I became a journalist. I had a fast, exciting life. And then, suddenly, I didn’t really want it anymore.