“Choose DukeEnagage in New York”, they said. “It will be so much fun. You will be in the citayyyyy”, they said. They were right—but only to a certain extent. Before making the journey from California to the Big Apple, I was constantly reminded that this summer would be filled with exciting lights, glamour, and just big, popping, things; after all, I was going to New York City.

Now, that I am living in the city (woo-to-the-hoo), I find myself more TIRED than anything else. When I am not working, eating, or at the gym, all I want to do is lay on my bed and nap or fall into a deep sleep. After walking to work, reading and writing all day, walking home, having dinner, going to the gym, it is about 10 o’clock p.m. (the night is just beginning) and all I desire upon doing is closing my eyes and dream about a tireless life.
Then I ask myself, “Is this what the real world is like?” Because if it is, I am not sure how I feel about that. Will I be exhausted for the rest of my life? If this is how I feel by myself, how am I supposed to cook for mine AND my husbands dinner? Even worse, how will I take care of my children?!

Why in the world am I so tired after a day at work? I have worked before, in and out of school, and I have never felt this exhausted at the end of the day. The summation of reading, walking, writing, running, listening, seeing, eating, plus the addition of my surrounding filled with ongoing noise, nonstop movement, and never ending clusters of people make me feel DRAINED. The entire commotion that comes along with living and working in the city makes everything so much more excruciating. Is this what everyone pictured when they told me to come to New York? Hell no! They pictured me walking up and down Fifth Avenue dressed like Kim Kardashian or partying at Webster Hall like Nicki Minaj.
The feeling of fatigue that I continue to come across every night at about 9:37 p.m. has taught me a little something about life (here, comes the Ghandi in me). It has taught me endurance—there are some nights when I just want to crash, but I remember that there is a paper that is due tomorrow at eleven a.m. So what do I do? Grab my laptop, go under the covers, and type until I cannot see the letters I am pressing on my keyboard. Then, there are those nights that come after my horrible day in the subway, work, and even at the gym, so I just lay down and read for enjoyment. Then, of course, there are the nights when I am extremely tired and all my friends are getting ready to go out, and even though my mind is telling me no, my body keeps telling me yes. So I join! I go out and explore NYC. After all, life is all about endurance. We endure the pain, tiredness, work, or whatever it is, and we enjoy the result or the fun that comes out of it. If this lovely Manhattan of mine has taught me anything, it is that in order to work and be happy, one must be willing to suffer through it all and still see the bright side at then end of the tunnel ( I know, that’s a bit cliché, but it’s true). Enduarance. Endaurance. Endurance. I must keep reminding myself every day as I continue to live the life of a college-student-interning-in-New-York-City.

2 thoughts on “Enduran-city

  1. I enjoyed reading your piece. The images you chose help to engage the reader in your text. You emphasize endurance as the concept that drives one towards achievement. I wondered how you differentiated endurance from work ethic, motivation, determination or drive. That is, when I think of endurance I think of stamina, having physical energy to sustain oneself across time and tasks without fatigue. This is not what you describe. Instead, you discuss an attitude or determination to push oneself despite exhaustion, pain, etc which can result in the development of endurance. I also wondered what your thoughts are on pushing oneself beyond one’s physical limits repeatedly. On other words, when does one carve out space and time for self care? Do you think there is a breaking point where the drive to do and achieve (endurance in your words) can become harmful?

  2. It’s funny, until I read the comment above, I actually thought endurance was a good way to describe what it takes to make the transition from the college schedule to the working one but I think Michelle is probably right that it’s not really what you were describing. The thing is, reading your description, I could remember feeling that way and there is an element of marathon training to the process. You notice how hard it is and how tiring at the beginning and then you get used to it and the juggling of work and life and time for yourself becomes pretty routine and not as noticeable. By the time you leave you’ll be in working shape but then you’ll notice it again next summer when you make the transition again. I notice it even sometimes now and I’ve been away from college for a long time – it’s the feeling like being out of shape – that you can’t keep up, that you need a little more, that all of it, even the good parts are exhausting. It’s interesting to think about the endurance it takes to navigate life on a regular basis.

    Thanks for making me think about this . . .

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