If You Can Make It Here…

R.B. Winters
R.B. Winters
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“If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.” A minor mutation of the Sinatra song lyrics. Which are woven into American pop culture and used over and over again in movies and television series.

Having been one of the people subscribing to this concept for a very long period, I think it’s time we made some adjustments to this saying/concept. If you can make it in New York, you apparently can make it anywhere. Which is sort of true. In reality, if you can financially survive the ever rising rents, exorbitant brunch prices, and the cost of being cultured in New York, then yes, definitely, you can live anywhere on this planet and “make it.”

Why I no longer believe living in New York prepares you to live, or as it’s implied in the non-financial sense, make it, anywhere, is because the city causes dependency. My last two apartments in the city were both great places on the Upper East Side. Everything was no more than three blocks distance.

Walking Distance for important location:
Starbucks: 1.5 blocks
Gym: 3 blocks
Liquor Stores: 1, 2 and 3 blocks
Grocery Store: 2 Blocks
Restaurants: Everywhere!

Once I moved to Puerto Rico, all of these things were much, much farther away, and things in general were more painful. Gone was the ability to get any and everything via mobile app or website. Even small things like paying the electric bill online became more difficult. Home improvement meant learning new skills because the wait for someone to come and install a light, shower glass, tile, etc. took weeks. Even with appointments, it’s pretty common for the contractor to never make an appearance.

Now, having been in Spain for several weeks, I can see the change in reality I have undergone. For example, needing to wash clothing and then hang them to dry on a balcony would have been insane in NYC, but it feels kind of normal. I’m mostly just happy there’s access to a washer. Similarly, having a gas stove which utilizes a tiny gas tank in the apartment. Doesn’t necessarily seem safe, but again, at least there’s a stove!

I think Puerto Rico should be able to claim the concept of, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. Living on a small island without the ability to have anything 24/7 on demand, as is the Millennial way, is more impactful than being able to throw your financial weight around in NYC. In my opinion.