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The two great loves of my life

By Sophia Duvall, Sep 9 2014 05:54AM

I know I have expensive taste because two of the great loves of my life (so far) are London and New York City. I've grappled with my love of these two places, particularly over the past year. I’ve felt called to force myself to choose between them, to settle on just one. For a long time now I’ve believed you can love more than one person at once, so I haven't understood this particular urge of mine. To love more than one place is consistent with my stance on virtually everything else in life.

Then I realised that the urge to choose stems from the painful pang of always missing a place, even when I'm somewhere I love. I’ve poured over the various comparisons between the two cities trying to find an answer to this dilemma. I’ve concluded that virtually everything that could be said in comparing the two has already been said, so I won’t try to do that here. Quora is particularly comprehensive and thorough in its review of the cities as well as the temperaments of the people who live there. If you’re a lover of both London and NYC like me, you will lose yourself in the Quora comparisons for hours.

My main conclusion is that the two cities, and their residents, are far more different than I ever initially imagined. They are both Home for me, and moving between them is both disconcerting and disorienting. I re-shape my expectations and adapt each time I move between the two. New York is fast and furious, and London is a slow, passionate burn. I love them both, in different ways – in ways that make me contradict myself – but I won’t choose between them. My life would be less full if I only had one or the other.

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.

-Walt Whitman