As I’ve been contemplating my final piece over the last couple of weeks, a song lyric from the 1998 classic “Closing Time” keeps popping into my head. “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” Though much of that song’s sentiments are irrelevant here, I just can’t shake this one line. Realcity represents important beginnings for me. It coincided with the early stages of my relationship with Cole and started my writing career. For three years, this website has colored so much of my interaction with the world around me. It flipped a switch in my head that forced me to look at New York City through a more analytical lens, to think about the daily realities of my neighbors and friends. It’s given me communities of intelligent, thoughtful counterparts in cities I’ve never been to who have confirmed that our mission does resonate, even when the traffic didn’t reflect that.
Perhaps what makes this end so difficult is that it isn’t just the end of a professional endeavor. Realcity is so intertwined with my personal life that my own reality will look drastically different when it’s over. For most of its run, Realcity headquarters has been our apartment. Cole and I have spent countless hours fully engrossed in the writing and editing of articles a couple of feet apart in our office. I can’t even remember all the meetings we had over our kitchen table. The topic of conversation on most dates inevitably veered toward the website at some point. Realcity fits comfortably in our home and our relationship, though in order to grow, we often need to push ourselves out of our comfort zone.
I can’t even begin to describe the personal and professional growth I’ve experienced in the last three years. Working as a writer and editor has taught me to take criticism and give it graciously, as well as reflect on my own writing and push myself farther than I thought I could go. As I progressed in my personal life by getting married earlier this year and at my job through a promotion, it seems that now is the time to take my writing to a new level. As I stand on the cusp of the unknown, I’m not as anxious as I would normally be. Though I have no idea what comes next, three years ago I didn’t know I’d become a writer and editor and that turned out just fine.
The Realcity era of my life is one that I will always look back on with the utmost fondness. I will continue to be in awe of the amount of talented people we’ve been able to work with, who believed in what we were doing enough to write for free. I will always be grateful to our families, because at least we could always count on them to read our articles. I will still appreciate every negative thing anyone has said to our faces or behind our backs, because it only spurred us on in stubborn determination. Lastly, I will remember Cole during this time. He’s been the driving force through his belief in this idea, his seemingly undying work ethic, his willingness to give everyone the benefit of the doubt — at least for one draft — and his immense talent. Though he’s been the backbone, we absolutely could not have lasted three years without all of the wonderful people that supported us. Thank you for sharing our reality.