Tales of the bitches



I was a bitch.


I was blessed, fearless, and unstoppable (or so I thought). If you think that I am fierce now, oh you didn't know me then. In Vietnam, I was the class monitor for nine consecutive years since the age of seven. My teachers granted me the authority to give appraisals for my classmates on behalf of them. I was particularly tough on the boys when they 'misbehaved,' and then they had a crush on me. I took success for granted in everything I did, you know, the kind of ‘success’ that kids celebrated like having good grades and being the cool kid on the block (obviously only until I entered high school and my world suddenly turned upside down, but that was just a little pimple on the cheek). I mean, overall, I would give myself an A- for passing childhood.


Then, I heard about New York. I saw her on television and all over the Internet; she appeared in countless numbers of songs, movies, TV series that I came across and fell in love with. New York was hot! Everyone talked about her, and sure she made headlines on all the news. She was raved to be the best and I always wanted to learn from the best, so I told myself that I got to meet her in person one day.


I met New York.


She was by far beyond what I could have imagined. Well, she was a little all-over-the-place under my first impression to be real, but she was ‘it.' Glamourous. Affluent. Brilliant. Youthful. Aspirational. She seemed to have it all.


I wasn’t sure if she had insomnia, but clearly, she never slept. The most ridiculous thing, though, was that she never seemed to lose her energy or had dark circles the next day. She was looking gorgeous all the time, regardless of morning or night, summer or winter. She attracted people of all backgrounds, from the most high-profile in the world to the little kid like me who traveled across the globe to see her in person. Unlike one of the most popular myths that people thought of New York that she was loud all the time, she was not. In fact, no matter whether you loved the crowds or alone time, city or nature scenes, she offered them all.


But New York wasn’t easy — ask anyone who knew her and they would agree with me on this. My gosh, she was challenging! I fell in love with New York, then almost felt fallen out of love. She put me through fires multiple times (and I’m talking about real fires that tested my survival skills instead of just a few bad grades). Her love language was tough, but I later learned that she did it for me to be better, just like what she wished for everyone else. New York kept me humbled but also motivated. She inspired me to keep dreaming but also staying focused as dreams took work to come true.


Then came Pandemic. Pandemic was the new girl who somehow stole all the headlines across the world in just a few months after she was born and before she made her round to come meet New York. People started leaving New York as soon as Pandemic followed her. They hated Pandemic, mainly because she was scary as hell. Even New York was scared. Everyone ‘gossiped’ about New York as Pandemic was able to do what seemed to be ‘impossible’ before: putting New York to sleep.


I saw New York sleeping for the first time. She was absolutely beautiful without makeup. She was breathing quietly in her sleep — you could feel that she was deeply hurt, but she seemed finally rested as she much needed it.


And she is still surrounded by people who love her — not only for her highs but also for her lows. How New York continues showing her strength through her vulnerability makes me love New York even more. Pandemic might not leave New York alone anytime soon; but despite the seemingly ongoing popularity game, New York is still going to win.

Why?

Because Pandemic is a bitch, but New York is THE bitch. And the bitch has never gone nor will ever be gone; she's taking a break but she's coming back, stronger and even more mesmerizing than ever.


x



(I was inspired to write this story back in April but secretly wanted to keep New York all to myself. Only because Jerry Seinfeld already published his love for New York on the New York Times which immediately became a hit and people are probably longing to return to New York now... fine, I guess I could learn to be a little less selfish and share New York with others 😒)