Do you belong in New York City? I realized that I do, and I finally found the test that helped me to understand why.
I recall asking a friend a couple of years ago if he likes living in NYC, to which he gave me a perplexed look and simply said, "Well, there's no where else to go." His tone was that of being surprised anyone would ask him that question; he had just presumed people would know he wants to be here, by virtue of himself, well, being here. It was then I began to try and understand my own feeling of being at home - and what home meant.
Much of the answer I found to be expressed quite well in Penelope Trunk's Do You Belong In New York City test. Here's some of my favorite highlights and summaries, but you really must read her entire article and test yourself completely, to know for sure:
Are you a maximizer? Maximizers look for the best in everything... non-maximizers can be satisfied with what they have... I know you have heard that NYC is expensive. But you will never really know how insanely expensive it is until you live there.... Life in NYC is very hard, and if you go to any city in the U.S., there is a bond that ex-New Yorkers have because they know they each understand how hard life was.
Do you want to be at the top of your field? NYC is very, very competitive, because it's a magnet for ambitious, strong performers.... so if you do not go to NYC thinking you will work your way to the top of your field, you probably don't need to be going there for your work.
interesting life is more important than a happy life. What you really pay for with the exorbitant cost of living and the hard lifestyle is to be surrounded by strong performers, huge ambitions, and constant need for change and innovation. To live in New York City, you have to trade happiness for this.
The best part about her test, aside from it helping me to understand why I've felt for the last few years that "no where else to go" is really best for me... is that it's actually very non-judgmental. In other words, it's really okay, I believe all New Yorkers would agree, if you were to decide that you don't wish to be in NYC or even agree with anything said in the article.
But. The question still remains. And the only thing left to know is - do you?