Yeah, I can tell you've got that New Yorker attitude going on.
This has happened in the past when I traveled abroad, although sometimes if I had been super smiley, the first country supplied was Canada. At first, I reveled in being identified as a Yankee by my manners. Big city! Big money! Big dreams! Then I started to really wonder why being assumed as a New Yorker, however initially flattering, always left a vaguely bad taste in my mouth.
It's a unique trait to anybody who lives or works in New York, in my opinion. East Coasters can mingle like the social climbers of D.C., gussy themselves up like Angelenos, or show restraint when the Knicks have been losing games straight in a row like stiff upper lipped-Londoners. Anybody who lives in the Tri-State area can do all of these, but openly bleed ambition. A single, focused drive on achieving and maintaining success that can get incredibly exhausting, but enthralling once it is glimpsed on the horizon.
This thirst for ambition always comes at a cost, of course. Emotionally, it can take a toll to be so calculating. I've seen people blatantly doing the math in whether or not an acquaintance they have just met can help them in whatever capacity they need. It's why burnout is so common, but anything spiritually fulfilling is deemed 'wishy-washy' for fear of being seen as soft. 'Finding yourself' in Cambodia? Sure, but you're staying at the InterContinental, right?
It's a grind that I occasionally find myself in the throes of. How do I maintain my sanity in order to realize my dreams? Do I sacrifice time with friends to study for graduate school? Will staying later at the job away from family in order to make more money mean lost bonding time?
It's stupidly easy to get caught in a singular way of life. Athletes compartmentalize their life in order to excel at their sport. Music virtuosos practice for hours on end to hone their craft. But giving 100% of yourself to your job isn't healthy, and I've come to realize that that is an unspoken quality of a NY/NJer perceived by other people, although not necessarily intimated.
So I've decided to make more of a conscious effort to reach out to my surroundings, and give back in whatever way I can. Less automatic rejections for anything deemed not worthy of my time (I will still push my way past aggressive pyramid scheme salespeople), more willingness to lend a helping hand either at the office, or around town. Yes, I will totally use my wi-fi to help you Google map your way across town since you have an international phone and that's super expensive for you!
Maybe I can't shell out $140 in one sitting in exchange for an intangible good like the above Youtube video. But I can do my part to make the world a better place in other ways, too.