As someone who once tried to change her Facebook marital status to “in a relationship with NYC,” I’ve witnessed firsthand how a city can seduce one into blind patronage. Fast forward six adulterous years later, and surprise (even to me), I now find myself living in Los Angeles.
The pleasure -- or misfortune -- of living in either LA or New York as a modern day woman is the topic of many friendly debates, articles, Yelp reviews, and hearsay bar conversations. More often than not it’s a materialistic battle: tacos vs pizza, Hollywood vs. Wall Street, athleisure vs. suits...the list goes on and on.
And while the aforementioned criteria do have their place in determining which city ranks superior, the comparison deserves to be much deeper than the superfluous availability of avocado, or the water quality in bagels...
Alas, it seems the simple Buzzfeed question, “which metropolis is the bestropolis?” is about as easy to answer as the age-old “Pepsi vs Coke” dilemma. It’s subjective, a matter of personal taste, and we all secretly know what really tastes better anyways...Kombucha. Damnit, you can tell I live in LA.
In an effort to spare you my bias (possibly sprinkled subconsciously throughout) I asked 15 badass #WomenWhoSwaay -- Angelenas, New Yorkers, transplants, bi-coasters and inbetweeners -- to compare the “City that Never Sleeps” with the “City of Dreams,” colored in by their personal experiences.
Of the hilarious insights shared, ten common categories emerged: the weather, people, vibe, dating, opportunities, lifestyle, transportation, social life, mannerisms and culture.
And with that in mind, I now present to you: a tale of two cities.
1. Siri, what’s the weather like today?
“Living in New York for a brief time, I remember waking up every morning to a world of grey…walking to class in the rain and the wind, with 0% chance of having a good hair day. But the sun shines here in LA…A LOT…sometimes too much…but I prefer this.” -Rachel S., Digital Media
“Everyone in LA is smug about the great weather and beautiful vistas, but spends all of their time and money bicycling in-place, indoors.” -Liz P., Marketing Manager
2. People Be Like
“In New York, a homeless person will spit in your face. In LA, your best friend will spit in your cocktail while you're not looking.” -Michelle C., Publicist
“In New York, the people are fun but SOOOO serious – it’s like everyone is in such a hurry to go nowhere, it looks like they need a good cry…and they’re all in suits. But in LA, the people are legitimately insane, which may be from too much sun or maybe too many dreams. It’s cute, but it’s crazy.” -Rachel S., Digital Media
“LA people take the time to enjoy life. NY people would never survive without 5 Hour Energy.” -Vanessa H., Finance
3. Do you get my vibe?
“L.A. is very much ‘fuck yeah’ and bright colors...NYC is all ‘fuck this, fuck that, fuck you, fuck the horse you rode in on’ and cigarette smoke grey.” -Cydney T., 26 Investment Services
“NYC is all about intellect; it’s sexy to be a brooding artist, surviving on coffee without time to eat. Dark bags under your eyes paired with high-end clothes is considered chic. In Los Angeles, you can just invert that. It’s all about, OMG I got 10 hours of sleep #blessed, smooth skin, work-life balance.’ No one cares if you’re smart.” -Taylor P., Marketing Innovation
Photo Courtesy of Eat LA
4. Dating: Swipe East, Swipe West
“The rating system in NY is inflated. If I’m a 6 in NYC, I’m a 4 in LA…” -Wally B., Comedian
“The dating grass is not always greener. New York has douchey Wall Streeters...we have unemployed Mactors (model/actors).” -Megan W., Publicist
“In NY, a long distance relationship is with someone outside of the tri-state area. In LA, a long distance relationship is with anyone on the other side of the 405.” -Liz P., Marketing Manager
“It seems like NY is more of a relationship town, and LA is more shallow. It’s always, ‘Is there someone younger and prettier behind me the dude can get with?’” -Steph R., Writer
Photo Courtesy of Free People
5. “This Opportunity Comes Once In a Lifetime” -Eminem, 8 Mile
“LA doesn’t give you everything you need or want up front. She’s guarded, fickle and tough. Yet, if you remain patient and open she will provide you with more adventure and opportunity than you could have ever imagined.” -Atlee F., Singer/Songwriter
“In LA, industry people are nice and inviting...because they know that people can surprise you, and anyone can potentially be that person who opens a door for you. New Yorkers just don't have time to sift through that many humans.” -Alexa K., Program Manager
6. Everyday I’m Hustlin’
“Surviving and thriving spiritually in LA requires constant and active meditation.” -Atlee F., Singer/Songwriter
“In New York, it’s easier to get around but harder to live...there’s no help with literally anything ever. While in LA, it’s harder to get around but easier to live. In fact, people here are overly helpful.” -Hallie J., Digital Strategist
“I hate the shopping experience in NYC. There’s always a line to try something on, and an even bigger line to buy it! Plus when it’s cold outside, it’s WAY too hot inside the stores...but it’s too much effort to unbundle your jacket.” -Tammy S., Film
7. Transportation Nation
“Being in a packed NY train is like playing the trust game ‘who’s not gonna grab my ass while I’m crammed against the door?’" -Atheer Y., Nutritionist
“I’ve made some of my best friends while drunk on the subway...but I’ve also seen a homeless person with an anaconda. It’s constant nonsense. In LA though, it’s basically, “I’ll see you when I see you.” -Taylor P., Marketing Innovation
8. Let’s Get Social
“Happy hour in NY means 2-for-1 drinks specials. Happy hour in LA means 2-for-1 sound bath and silent meditation.” -Liz P., Marketing Manager
“NY house parties are in tiny apartments (max occupancy 10-20, with at least 40 people inside). Whereas in LA, they’re so large that people just show up. In reality, the host only knows 50% (which is why everyone asks how you know the host). It's like an audition of how well someone can act.” -Alexa K., Program Manager
9. More Cultured than yogurt
“I admire the hustle in NY. You really have to love it there to stay there, so I think it breeds a strong culturalism which I appreciate. And the toughness…there’s a strong moral character that LA doesn’t seem to have.” -Rachel S., Digital Media
“In NY business casual means suit-jacket optional. In LA, business casual means bra-optional." -Liz P., Marketing Manager
“LA supports a culture of wannabes who end up waiting tables. In NY it’s all about the dreamers who make their dreams come true.” -Vanessa H., Finance
Photo Courtesy of Time Out
"Everyone in NY is an asshole – but it’s just because they need to know what you need. It’s like, “If I can help you in some way I will, but if not, stop talking to me.” While in LA, I’ve noticed people like to openly chat while in line. I’ve naturally met a lot of my best friends Starbucks." -Taylor P., Marketing Innovation
“You can tell who just moved to LA by whether or not they touch the food platter at a party. It’s a shame because it’s always made of the good shit (steaks, sushi, the works). -Alexa K., Program Manager
And there you have it folks, the real differences between LA and NYC, straight from the horse’s mouth. But while their words are insightful, they remind us that just like mimosas at brunch, we’ll never really get to the bottom of it (at least, we hope not).
Just remember that whichever city you chose, one thing’s for sure: you still can’t make that your relationship status on Facebook.
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For decades, women have been unknowingly suffering from PSD and intergenerational trauma, but now Dr. Valerie Rein wants women to reclaim their power through mind, body and healing tools.
As women, no matter how many accomplishments we have or how successful we look on the outside, we all occasionally hear that nagging internal voice telling us to do more. We criticize ourselves more than anyone else and then throw ourselves into the never-ending cycle of self-care, all in effort to save ourselves from crashing into this invisible internal wall. According to psychologist, entrepreneur and author, Dr. Valerie Rein, these feelings are not your fault and there is nothing wrong with you— but chances are you definitely suffering from Patriarchy Stress Disorder.
Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) is defined as the collective inherited trauma of oppression that forms an invisible inner barrier to women's happiness and fulfillment. The term was coined by Rein who discovered a missing link between trauma and the effects that patriarchal power structures have had on certain groups of people all throughout history up until the present day. Her life experience, in addition to research, have led Rein to develop a deeper understanding of the ways in which men and women are experiencing symptoms of trauma and stress that have been genetically passed down from previously oppressed generations.
What makes the discovery of this disorder significant is that it provides women with an answer to the stresses and trauma we feel but cannot explain or overcome. After being admitted to the ER with stroke-like symptoms one afternoon, when Rein noticed the left side of her body and face going numb, she was baffled to learn from her doctors that the results of her tests revealed that her stroke-like symptoms were caused by stress. Rein was then left to figure out what exactly she did for her clients in order for them to be able to step into the fullness of themselves that she was unable to do for herself. "What started seeping through the tears was the realization that I checked all the boxes that society told me I needed to feel happy and fulfilled, but I didn't feel happy or fulfilled and I didn't feel unhappy either. I didn't feel much of anything at all, not even stress," she stated.
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Valerie Rein
This raised the question for Rein as to what sort of hidden traumas women are suppressing without having any awareness of its presence. In her evaluation of her healing methodology, Rein realized that she was using mind, body and trauma healing tools with her clients because, while they had never experienced a traumatic event, they were showing the tell-tale symptoms of trauma which are described as a disconnect from parts of ourselves, body and emotions. In addition to her personal evaluation, research at the time had revealed that traumatic experiences are, in fact, passed down genetically throughout generations. This was Rein's lightbulb moment. The answer to a very real problem that she, and all women, have been experiencing is intergenerational trauma as a result of oppression formed under the patriarchy.
Although Rein's discovery would undoubtably change the way women experience and understand stress, it was crucial that she first broaden the definition of trauma not with the intention of catering to PSD, but to better identify the ways in which trauma presents itself in the current generation. When studying psychology from the books and diagnostic manuals written exclusively by white men, trauma was narrowly defined as a life-threatening experience. By that definition, not many people fit the bill despite showing trauma-like symptoms such as disconnections from parts of their body, emotions and self-expression. However, as the field of psychology has expanded, more voices have been joining the conversations and expanding the definition of trauma based on their lived experience. "I have broadened the definition to say that any experience that makes us feel unsafe psychically or emotionally can be traumatic," stated Rein. By redefining trauma, people across the gender spectrum are able to find validation in their experiences and begin their journey to healing these traumas not just for ourselves, but for future generations.
While PSD is not experienced by one particular gender, as women who have been one of the most historically disadvantaged and oppressed groups, we have inherited survival instructions that express themselves differently for different women. For some women, this means their nervous systems freeze when faced with something that has been historically dangerous for women such as stepping into their power, speaking out, being visible or making a lot of money. Then there are women who go into fight or flight mode. Although they are able to stand in the spotlight, they pay a high price for it when their nervous system begins to work in a constant state of hyper vigilance in order to keep them safe. These women often find themselves having trouble with anxiety, intimacy, sleeping or relaxing without a glass of wine or a pill. Because of this, adrenaline fatigue has become an epidemic among high achieving women that is resulting in heightened levels of stress and anxiety.
"For the first time, it makes sense that we are not broken or making this up, and we have gained this understanding by looking through the lens of a shared trauma. All of these things have been either forbidden or impossible for women. A woman's power has always been a punishable offense throughout history," stated Rein.
Although the idea of having a disorder may be scary to some and even potentially contribute to a victim mentality, Rein wants people to be empowered by PSD and to see it as a diagnosis meant to validate your experience by giving it a name, making it real and giving you a means to heal yourself. "There are still experiences in our lives that are triggering PSD and the more layers we heal, the more power we claim, the more resilience we have and more ability we have in staying plugged into our power and happiness. These triggers affect us less and less the more we heal," emphasized Rein. While the task of breaking intergenerational transmission of trauma seems intimidating, the author has flipped the negative approach to the healing journey from a game of survival to the game of how good can it get.
In her new book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Barrier to Women's Happiness and Fulfillment, Rein details an easy system for healing that includes the necessary tools she has sourced over 20 years on her healing exploration with the pioneers of mind, body and trauma resolution. Her 5-step system serves to help "Jailbreakers" escape the inner prison of PSD and other hidden trauma through the process of Waking Up in Prison, Meeting the Prison Guards, Turning the Prison Guards into Body Guards, Digging the Tunnel to Freedom and Savoring Freedom. Readers can also find free tools on Rein's website to help aid in their healing journey and exploration.
"I think of the book coming out as the birth of a movement. Healing is not women against men– it's women, men and people across the gender spectrum, coming together in a shared understanding that we all have trauma and we can all heal."