Don't you ever get scared?' I ask. 'Of what?' She says. 'Of not being good enough.' 'You mean at writing?' L'il asks. I nod. 'What if I'm the only one who thinks I can do it and no one else does? What if I'm fooling myself-' 'Oh, Carrie.' She smiles. 'Don't you know that every writer feels that way? Fear is part of the job.
It was ironic, but when you scratched the surface, most successful men were working for one thing only-to retire-and the sooner the better. Whereas women were the complete opposite. She had never heard a woman say she was working so she could retire to a desert island or to live on a boat. It was probably, she thought, because most women didn't think they deserved to do nothing.
There are worse things than being thirty-five, single, and female in New York. Like: Being twenty-five, singled, and female in New York. It's a rite of passage few women would want to repeat. It's about sleeping with the wrong men, wearing the wrong clothes, having the wrong roommate, saying the wrong thing, being ignored, getting fired, not being taken seriously, and generally being treated like shit. But it's necessary.
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Maybe mistakes are what make our fate... without them what would shape our lives? Maybe if we had never veered off course we wouldn't fall in love, have babies, or be who we are. After all, things change, so do cities, people come into your life and they go. But it's comforting to know that the ones you love are always in your heart... and if you're very lucky, a plane ride away
Why shouldn't I? I demand silently. Why shouldn't I become a famous writer? Like Norman Mailer. Or Philip Roth. And F. Scott Fitzgerald and Hemmingway and all those other men. Why can't I be like them? I mean, what is the point of becoming a writer if no one reads what you've written? Damn Viktor Greene and The New School. Why do I have to keep proving myself all of the time? Why can't I be like L'il, with everyone praising and encouraging me? Or Rainbow, with her sense of entitlement. I bet Viktor Greene never asked Rainbow why she wanted to be a writer. Or what if-I wince-Viktor Greene is right? I'm not a writer after all.
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The car was on the FDR drive now and, turning her head, she glanced out at the bleak brown buildings of the projects that stretched for blocks along the drive. Something inside her sank at the sight of all that sameness, and she suddenly felt defeated. She shifted uncomfortably in her seat. In the past year, she'd started experiencing these moments of desperate emptiness, as if nothing really mattered, nothing was ever going to change, there was nothing new; and she could see her life stretching before her-one endless long day after the next, in which every day was essentially the same. Meanwhile, time was marching on, and all that was happening to her was that she was getting older and smaller, and one day she would be no bigger than a dot, and then she would simply disappear. Poof! Like a small leaf burned up under a magnifying glass in the sun. These feelings were shocking to her, because she'd never experienced world-weariness before. She'd never had time. All her life, she'd been striving and striving to become this thing that was herself-the entity that was Nico O'Neilly. And then, one morning, time had caught up with her and she had woken up and realized that she was there. She had arrived at her destination, and she had everything she'd worked so hard for: a stunning career, a loving (well, sort of) husband, whom she respected, and a beautiful eleven-year-old daughter whom she adored. She should have been thrilled. But instead, she felt tired. Like all those things belonged to someone else.
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Out of all the neighborhoods in Manhattan, Soho in particular had the charged atmosphere of a movie set, populated with passersby who looked like extras from Central Casting, so perfectly did they fit into this environment. There was the feeling of everything being not quite real, or too perfectly cliched to actually be true, and it began to rain in a fine, misty drizzle from a black patent leather sky.
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I think that one of the things that has changed the perception is that there are so many more single people. In New York City, it's 47 percent. When you have that many people who are single, they have a bigger voice and they're more willing to speak and say, 'We're not miserable, we're not sitting at home waiting for Mr. or Ms. Right, we're having a good time.' And I think single people have better friendships.
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If I'm with a man, is that going to prevent me from achieving my goal? What sacrifices will I have to make in terms of being myself, if I'm with a man? Something that young women find out really quickly is that when you start dating, all of a sudden you're supposed to have a role. You're not allowed to just be yourself.
It was ironic, but when you scratched the surface, most successful men were working for one thing only--to retire--and the sooner the better. Whereas women were the complete opposite. She had never heard a woman say she was working so she could retire to a desert island or to live on a boat. It was probably, she thought, because most women didn't think they deserved to do nothing.
I didn't want it to be this way." "Yes, you did," she said, "because it is." "I just want to be with someone normal," he said. "I just want to have a normal life." "Excuse me," she said. "You're a little crazy," he said. "You're too old to act the way you do. You've got to grow up. You've got to take care of yourdelf. I'm afraid for you. You can't think that people are going to take care of you all the time.