The Image Bubble


Manhattan is a bubble, completely separated from the rest of the country and I don’t like this about her. I do my best to see outside of that latex-partition, which protects Gotham’s floating residents, whether it’s through reading a stranger’s blog who lives in small-town America or via facebook with a high-school friend who drives a cab in Wooster, Ohio or my brother-blogger who used to drive a semi-truck.

Will they ever receive a Pulitzer? No. I just like reading what they post—how they live life and deal with challenges because they are real people, to me, who have courage to live outside of someone else’s vision of who they should be…They inspire me.

Image is very important to people in New York City, and I guess, it is to many people across the United States, as well.  In my business of real estate, in particular, image is everything.  If you want to be successful you have to pretend that you already are successful—carry a Birken-like bag, accessorize Cartier-like, name-drop, dine at Michelin-starred restaurants (or say you have dined at them, to others).  I used to play this role of false-image, when I first moved here, and I hated it; but felt as if I needed to, Just do it. Mainly because I had read all of those kinds of best-selling books and attended those seminars—on how to become a Millionaire—act like one.

That image-thing only lasted a year, for me. The guilt, that dishonesty, in being someone or something I was not, haunted me.  So I stopped, acting.  And because I no longer wanted to pretend, I was no longer welcome to “star” in elite, Gotham real estate productions.  At first, I was upset by all of this, being out-casted this way (or maybe I should write, being upstaged), thinking I had failed here, and then, I simply didn’t care, anymore.

I just wanted to be real, so I popped that Manhattan bubble I was wrapped-up in, in order to feel and be authentic.

I’m going to be super honest this character of playing me has affected my finances.  I’m very far off from my goal of being a self-made millionaire by the time I’m forty-four (I’m thirty-nine. Yes, I just admitted it! Ugh).  A few of my broker-friends who are very $uccessful, mastering Gotham’s bubble-wrapped stage, don’t understand why I keep on travelling this self-produced road of mine—struggling, almost succeeding, and then, struggling, and nearly succeeding, again and so on.  They want to $ave me—offering me a role in their steady, income produced “plays.”  I get that their way works, I do. They’ve proven, to me, that it works. I’m sincerely happy for all of their triumphant curtain calls—they get my applause.  But, I just can’t be a member of their productions. And I know it’s self-serving of me, but I want to prove that my way—my road can work, too; not to them or anyone else; but to myself.  And if it doesn’t, at least I know I gave it everything I had, trying—and not selling-out the house.

So, I want to keep on travelling this road that I’m on, looking beyond the bubble, and continue to associate with others, like those stranger-bloggers and my cabby-facebook-friend, all of whom are being real, successfully.

This post is dedicated to Stosh, FB Rob, and those stranger-bloggers (whose posts I like very much–keep on writing; I hear you and I’m with you).



  1. I agree that it’s important to live an authentic life. In the bubble of NYC, most people put on airs and assume that everyone else must be a psychokiller. But if you are REAL, little moments of human connection can occur, the spark of life can be felt, and magic abounds. This is how I survive this city with my heart intact.

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