Last year I moved to New York City. At no time in the past was I more aware of my non-authenticity.
So many episodes led me to feel this way. First, why did I even move to New York? Is it because of my internal desires and dreams? Or was it just because I - together with tons of my peers - were preprogrammed to come to this city. Didn’t we all absorb the same culture? Didn’t we watch Friends, Seinfeld, How I met your mother, Woody Allen, and countless other films, TV series set in New York and told us that coming here will solve our issues and make our lives different? Full of meaning, great friends, incredible jobs, honest and deep relationships, and so on.
NYC is a cultural siren. It calls you. What is the share of this cultural wave in “my” decision to move once again in my life?
Ok, I moved to NYC. I go and visit Brooklyn and Williamsburg. Nowhere else in the world do I feel like being copy/pasted. I feel like an exposed impostor because I look like everyone else. This place is full of people who are supposed to be on top of their creative game, but all look very similar - similar age, style, similar tastes. All the coffee shops are packed with people and out of croissants by 2PM, just because everyone went to the coffeeshop and had their own. Do I really like croissants and coffee shops? Or was I made to love them?
It’s Saturday morning. 11AM. I walk in the city. All the brunch places are full. 90% are filled with women. They are drinking their brunch cocktails. All of them would tell you how they love brunch and cocktails and mimosas. But if cocktails are so “objectively” great, how come they are no so popular in other demographics? Do those women are authentic in their taste or were they programmed by watching Sex and the City and reading glamour magazines and so on?
What is authenticity? Where am I? Who am I? Are we memetic machines that just reflect back what was absorbed by culture? We were made to think that we are creative unicorns. That authenticity is the key. But where are those authentic people? I doubt I’m one of them.