The Pros and Cons of Living in a Big City

How I Fell into the Clutches of Lady Liberty…

For as long as I can remember, the pros and cons of living in a big city like New York City has inspired me. The second I saw it’s needle-thin buildings and buzzing city air, I knew that was where I wanted to be and what I wanted to be a part of. It became the shiny prize at the end of the journey and the motivation behind the work and sleepless nights. It was my Oz.  And I would stop at nothing to follow the road that got me to it, companions or not.

I suppose this crush went on for a while. I watched videos of New York City, talked about New York City, even wrote about New York City. There were people all around me who had caught a glimpse and loved her, reinforcing the obsession. Some people found it intimidating. Some found it exciting. But all people saw the place as a stepping stone to get anyone in the place they needed to be.

But as with any dream, there comes the harsh slap of reality.

Research hit me down to earth, as it always does. Stories of the struggles required internally and externally when adjusting to the changes of the city. This made me wonder if the city was all that it was made out to be for the aspirational person. The apartment I dreamt of with its giant window overlooking the skyline became a box room with a microwave, and the hundreds of published books under my name needed exactly the same work as they did before.

The question I’m asking here is, do we have to live in the bustle, to make it? Or is a glimpse enough to satisfy our thirst for the fast lane?

The Pros and Cons of Living in a Big City like New York…

Falling for the City: The Pros of Living in a Big City for the Self-Developer…

The Land of Opportunity - In the big City you have the freedom to do anything you want, and to make choices that will determine your success. These choices aren’t available in other places. In the City they are provided to you everyday, because everyone has a dream and climbing up the ladder to get there is not ignored, but encouraged.

Experience – With the experiences the City brings comes a life teaching about both skills and culture. In my eyes these two qualities are the very ingredients used to fuel an innovative mind. You have to find the opportunities but as long as you are willing to dedicate yourself to being the best you can be, there is no chance of failing.

People & Situations – With the amount of people in the City, all striving for their own goals, you’ll be fed more views, opinions and life experiences then you’ll be able to remember to fuel your own ideas. You’ll also master the ability to meet and collaborate with others like you, which is a great bonus for any project

Lots of Like-Minded People – Focus and mind set are contagious. If you’re around other fast-paced aspirational people you will feel the need to keep up. In the end working hard to achieve will become a second nature. Wasting time will be a fear. And for this reason you won’t be penalised, but accepted, for your strange habits in the City. People will understand why you have sleepless nights or why your not happy living in a nine-to-five job, because they have rejected the ‘normal’ life themselves to.

An Inspiring Air, the Magic of the City – I don’t have to tell you that the city is beautiful. Just type ‘New York City’ or ‘San Fransico’ into Google and you’ll receive a colourful kiss to the eyes. Inspiration and therefore ideas are everywhere, because something is always happening and people are always creating. This is great motivation for any creative mind and it’s just outside your window. 

An Affair with the City: The Cons of Living in a Big City for the Self-Developer…

The City is Overwhelming – Humans are naturally like a bird to shiny things, even the most determined of people can easily get engulfed by pleasure and not business… and that’s okay on holiday but not when your fighting for a place at the top. In fact it could end up reducing your abilities rather than enhancing them, which goes against why you want to be there in the first place right?

Survival of the Fittest – As stated in the Pros, the City is beautiful. She’s got her seductions, her pretty face, her prestige. But your not the only one who thinks this, everyone wants a piece of her and you have to fight for what you want. Whether this is a job or opportunity. There’s plenty, but there’s also plenty of people who are potentially better than yourself. So if your not prepared to hit the ground hard, you’ve got a nasty fall ahead.

Alone Time is Hard to Find – If your anything like me, you like your alone time in the day to just work, think and understand who and where you are. And while the tiny box room you’ll manage to scrape when you first go is no good for work, in this case, neither is the local Internet café of bustle.

Away from Support & All You Know – This is an interesting point to consider because although the entrepreneur may argue they don’t get where they need to be through socialising, we are all human and we all need a backbone. Someone to motivate us and take care of us when times are uninspired or hard. To give us reason to carry on and share our successes (else there’s little point in being successful at all).

People in New York are busy and even friends won’t be there if your feeling low because they’re trying to make it themselves. My point here is harsh but true… If family life is for you, then the city is not. It’s as simple as that. But you should also note that over seas contact is easier now than ever before with overnight flights around the world, and the internet being just a click away.

The City Never Sleeps – It’s a demanding lifestyle (even to get there requires perseverance and persistence) and with demands come risk and fatigue. The bonus of a casual life is that the differentiation with un-likeminded people can fuel you as much as your idols. Determination is no problem for me, it’s free and a quality that had been funnelled rather than taken away by the slack lifestyle around me. But only you know yourself and if your not determined, you may end up in a worse position than where you started.

Conclusion: Do you want to be a part of it?

the pros and cons of living in a big cityThe big City is still a dream of mine. As a creative person, the lack of business provisions doesn’t bother me. The colours and the people are still enough to keep me inspired and writing. But what I learned from this post is that you shouldn’t fix a goal so solidly. It doesn’t matter where you are but who you are. If your determined enough you can make opportunities wherever you are, and on the other hand, you can also handle the city life and achieve anything.

My biggest tip is enjoy the thoughts that the City brings, but don’t make any decisions to quick. Dream all you like, and consider the the pros and cons of living in a big city like New York for as long as you like, but take reality slow and steady… as it can effect you life both better and for worse.

Do you live in the city? Tell us how city life affected you and your work in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!

Wrote by Aimee Hall