I am a loyal and trustworthy person. Don’t get me wrong. I never wanted to cheat on my boyfriend... until I met New York. It was four years ago when I first met him. I kept a healthy distance from him, because I was in a relationship. However, things became complicated as I started to get to know him.
New York speaks multiple languages. Yet in every corner of every street, road, and avenue, he tells you not to take no for an answer. New York is picky, and he doesn’t give everyone a shot. I was one of the unlucky 145k+ immigrants who came to New York to work and didn’t get selected in the lottery process for a work visa. I definitely didn’t get a chance to win a good first impression. I was upset, because I thought that the system hadn’t given me justice. I had so much more to offer to my potential date. I could do squats, headstands, pole spinning. I could do a lot! I couldn’t leave until he saw it. I didn’t take his no as a rejection; instead, I took it as a push to try harder, or at least to do things more creatively.
Like a teenage girl who crushes on her boy, I started thinking crazily about how to get New York to notice me. Yes, you could say I was cheating on my ex in my mind, because I was spending less and less time on the phone with him. At the time, he was on the West Coast, and all we ever talked about was the other guy: New York. I also came up with a thousand different scenarios to impress New York: Maybe I should start to dress sexier, maybe I could pretend to be someone else he already favors. After making all of those assumptions, I found myself wandering on the crossroads of Columbus Circle. My eyes stopped and gazed at the street artists who were doing backflips in the crowd and the food vendor who handed his carefully prepared hotdog to his customer, and I heard New York whisper into my ear, “Have doubts? Test it out.”
By that time, my love life was on its edge. I was cheating in my mind, and he was actually cheating. Out of my infinite disappointment and desperation, I ended the four-year, long-distance marathon. I looked at New York and asked myself, “Is this it? Should I leave?” Then it occurred to me to wait a second and think. I hadn’t come there to date anyone, nor was I there for a job. I had something deep down in my heart that I wanted to express and to use to connect with people. I hadn’t shown New York what I had to offer. I couldn’t leave yet.
I picked myself back up from the hardship and heartbreak, and it was during this process of recovery that an idea hit me. I humbly asked my creativity’s help and designed my namesake handbag brand ― PARISA WANG. New York was on my side the entire time. He didn’t speak a thing, but I knew I wasn’t flirting with him anymore. I was there to win his heart. I went to start up events, pitch nights, meet-ups, and speaker events for him to notice me. I used the one- to two-minute Q&A sessions with speakers to grab audiences’ attention, joke about my “breakup bag,” and pitch my Kickstarter project. The entire time, from the moment I delivered my pitch with a shaky, but firm, voice to the moment I received a round of applause for my pitch, New York told me, “Have fear? Keep going anyway.”
New York is that smart, witty, gorgeous, and charming boyfriend you always look to for encouragement. He supports you, cheers for you, and gives the freedom for you to be yourself. I became a real artist who creates opportunities for myself and works hard for what I love, instead of working for my boss. Now, I am in a love affair with New York. He made me become a better person and taught me “fortune favors the brave.”