Remembering New York

REMEMBERING NEW YORK
or, If All Else Fails- Error on the Side of Adventure

I moved to New York with a fiancé, a very specific plan of action for my life, and a full head of hair…

[I’ve seriously tried 5 different punchlines to that joke, but none really work. You get the idea though]

I’ve been in Los Angeles for exactly one week now, and I’m just now realizing how profound of a move this was. As someone who moves often (this marks the 7th city/state I’ve lived in since college) I’ve become very comfortable with just packing up and moving. That also means I usually don’t make deep, lasting friendships. I mostly just focus on the work that brought me to wherever I landed, and then expect to move on within a couple years.

I was in NYC for seven. That’s the longest I’ve been in any one city since graduating high school. (Even in college I spent two years at one college and two and a half at another).

All that to say I was never expecting to be impacted so much by a single city, to meet such incredible people, and despite my best effort make so many memories.

[It’s been a week and people are still texting me regularly to check up on me. I seriously had 3 people text me today, just while writing this post. I mean who does that?] 

Things I will always remember about New York:

My first NYC apartment- a tiny off the books basement studio in Astoria that I literally paid my landlord with an envelope of cash every month.

That first Christmas where I was walking around Times Sq by myself. Aimless, because the woman I had moved here with and I- we had just broken up that morning… And then that night wandering into Colin Quinn’s one-man Broadway show, Long Story Short, and after seeing it realizing that’s what I want to do with my life.

Moving to Brooklyn because Astoria had too many difficult memories.

That first Brooklyn apartment where the room was so tiny it didn’t have a closet, so I used the living room closet. Which meant every time I wanted to change I had to walk out into the living room, get my clothes, and then walk back into my room to change.

Slowly pulling myself out of depression.

Slowly building a new friend group.

That one summer where all we did was drink (I mean that’s what you do in summer anyway, but you know who you are and you know which summer in particular.)

My first tattoo.

My third tattoo.

The hurricane.

The blizzard.

The hurricane that wasn’t

The blizzard that wasn’t.

The time I didn’t go to Madrid.

The camping trips.

The apple picking trips.

The time had sex with a mime right after her America’s Got Talent audition.

The time I dated someone who lived on the upper west side and it made me feel important.

The woman I should never have dated.

The other woman I should never have dated.

The one who was no good for me.

The one who was too young for me.

The other one who was too young for me.

The other other one who was too young for me.

The one who I actually should have dated.

The one who was too good for me.

The one who was right in front of me the whole time.

Laughing.

Lots of laughing.

The backyard at House 180.

The backyard at Backyard.

Smoking.

Quitting smoking.

Picking up smoking again.

Quitting smoking again.

My sixth tattoo.

Prospect Park.

Last minute hang outs.

The strange series of last minute failures that got me into grad school- and the fact that the program I’m attending was itself a last minute find and application decision.

The first play I was cast in that I quit because I thought I was too good for it. (I wasn’t)

The podcast that failed.

The other podcast that failed.

The one-man show that never opened. (because of the hurricane)

The improv team that dissolved into nothing.

The monthly show that didn’t last.

The other monthly show that lasted even less.

The web series I never finished.

The tour that barely happened.

The web series that never happened- that turned into a live radio play that never got a run- that turned into yet another podcast that never got recorded- that turned into a pilot that was never finished.

3 boxes full of hats.

Working in 9 different restaurants.

Encouragement. From more people than I deserve.

Friends who hold each other.

And the many people who cried that I’m leaving but cheered me to go.

I am so grateful. A piece of me will always call New York home.

And I encourage each and every one of you to never settle. Always keep fighting for more.

Embrace your failures- laugh at them with an almost endearing parental pride, for they may very well be what forge the path for your greatest success.

Do what scares you.

Remember that every moment can be a story if it’s genuine.

And if all else fails error on the side of adventure.

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Dear Republicans, Your Boyfriend’s a Jerk, and You Should Break Up with Him

Dear Republicans,

I really hate to tell you this but your boyfriend, Donald Trump, is a jerk, and you need to break up with him. I know he seemingly showed up out of nowhere riding a white escalator, telling you everything you want to hear, promising to take you away from all your troubles. I know he’s rich and has a sweet ride. But here’s the truth. He’s not a very good boyfriend.

He’s manipulative. He’s dishonest. He’s selfish. Maybe he’s not physically abusive, (I mean not with those tiny hands of his), but he says really mean things, to you and to everyone else.

And I know what you’re going to say. “But he always apologizes when he goes to far.”

Does he? Or does what he say sound a little less like ‘I’m sorry’ and a little more like ‘I’m sorry you feel that way’

But, you don’t know him like I do. You don’t know him in private. In private he’s a big sweetheart.

That’s the problem. How are we supposed to believe there’s any sweetness to him at all when in public he’s hurling insults left and right, ready to pick a fight at the tiniest hint of a slight like some drunken frat boy at a rival kegger. It’s gotten so bad that at this point his boorish behavior has now become the norm, and you’re left pointing to anything that remotely resembles what should actually be standard boyfriend behavior, and you’re touting it as heroic chivalry. “Look! He’s using a teleprompter this time! He really does love me!”

Yes I know you just got engaged. And I know you’re probably still a little giddy from the giant 4-day long RNC party you both threw back at the end of July. But shouldn’t it tell you something that your own dad, Mitt Romney, refused to even show up to your engagement. And neither did John McCain, your great-great-grandfather. I mean he disapproves so much, the only thing probably still keeping that rusty heart ticking is making sure you don’t go through with the wedding.

I know you think your parents “don’t understand you,” that they’re always giving their “expert advice” telling you things you can and can’t do. You may not see it now, but they really do just want what’s best for you. And this abusive and manipulative relationship is not what’s best for you.

Have you noticed how your boyfriend is slowly trying to isolate you and get you to turn on everyone you’ve ever know and loved for any significant amount of time? That’s textbook abusive behavior. Your little brother, Paul Ryan, is only just pretending to tolerate him so your family doesn’t lose you altogether.

Look we’ve all been there. I know I have. We’ve all fallen in love with the idea of someone more than the actual person. We’ve gone to bed with someone only to find out the next morning that the soul-patch-wearing-rebel-crusader we drunkenly let have their way with us, is actually a soul-devouring-vampiric-demagogue that will do and say anything to ensure their own glory. I know it’s embarrassing to have been so wrong. But get over it. You deserve better, and you know it.

Now I know you and I don’t agree on much anymore, ever since we had our falling out several years ago. But I still care about you. And at the very least I respect you as a political party, which is honestly more than I can say about your current boyfriend. Which is why I’m coming to you as genuinely as possible. Donald Trump is a terrible boyfriend. And I think it’s time you break up with him.

Sincerely,
Jason Thomas Mayfield