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Daily Diary: No Longer Part Of The Real Pulse Of The City PLUS Join My Virtual Food Drive For The Food Bank For NYC

I hope what I’m about to write doesn’t offend anyone. It’s not my intention. I just have been struggling with this thought for the last week and I have to purge it. I just have to.

I was born in Manhattan. I was raised in Astoria and I grew up running around in all 5 boroughs. Well, except Staten Island. I never went to Staten Island…

I dated a boy from the Bronx for 4 years, had really close friends from Brooklyn and resided in Queens. And of COURSE – every fun night out happened in the city of dreams.

I rode the trains with my eyes closed. I also did not-so-great things growing up in NYC. As beautiful as she is, you tend to get a little dirty living there. You can’t help it. But I wore my grime proudly because it was who I was — a city kid. And I hung with city kids and we all ran around owning life while growing up in the best place on the planet.

Fast forward 20 years later and there I was sitting through a fundraiser for the Food Bank For NYC. Seats were thousands of dollars and I was a guest. Silent auctions started above what I earned in a month. People were raising their hands and donating over $100,000 a pop and I sat there quietly realizing that I was so far removed from that girl who grew up in Astoria.

I felt… fake.

I felt like I didn’t belong.

I felt like I betrayed her – the city. The one who raised me. The one who played such a huge part in my life during those crucial years. You know – the ones that define you as a human being.

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Now, when I look down at the city I see views like this. It’s all different. I’m not standing in same places. I have a different circle of friends. So, I can’t see so clearly what’s happening anymore. It all looks so pretty. I’m 30 floors up and hanging out on penthouse balconies during press previews. And boy what a view I have.

But there’s more to that view, isn’t there? I just stopped looking hard enough to see the detail. Or maybe I forgot there was detail to actually see.

That fund raiser reminded me of what I stopped looking for. The people of NYC. The REAL people of NYC. The struggling people of NYC. The people I stopped knowing a long time ago. And it took everything in me to not cry at that table. I felt full of shame. I didn’t have enough money to donate. I didn’t have the right to be in that room. But I also didn’t have my finger on the pulse any longer. I didn’t know where I stood anymore. I left feeling empty.

I failed her.

During my car ride home, I felt a new mission brewing and a whisper or a reminder of who I used to be began to surface. I can still be part of something beautiful because I know she will still have me. All I have to do is ask.

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I’m starting small. Because it’s all I can do right now. I can’t afford anything more. The Food Bank For NYC allows people to host Virtual Food Drives and I decided that I would host one on Lady and the Blog.

If you’d like to donate to the Food Bank For NYC, click here. I donated what I could and now I’m asking for you to do the same. I was so moved last week that I felt like I HAD to write this post. I can’t donate the hundreds of thousands like I saw happen all around me. I gave what my family could give and I feel great about it!

Thank you for letting me dump on you all. I just had to release what I was feeling. It’s been a crazy week of self discovery for me and I finally got to a place of acceptance.

Vera
Vera Sweeney, mom, blogger, social media influencer and New York resident, is the founder of LadyAndTheBlog.com. She is considered one of the top female digital influencers in today’s social media space. Her lifestyle and parenting brand helps busy women stay on top of the latest trends in fashion, food, family and travel.

2 Comments

  1. Love this post Vera – it is wonderful to read about your history in NYC and how you are feeling and growing. Way to go for creating positive change in yourself and the world around you. I think the world of you!

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