This is a week of significant anniversaries for me. Yesterday was Tinker’s 10th birthday. Today is the 1 year anniversary of my official relationship with New York City. (And the anniversary of my college graduation….comes afterwaaaaaa[autotune]aaarrrds… Sorry.)
Anyway. That’s right. It’s been a full year since I kissed stability, driving, and fresh corn goodbye… Wow.
In the past year, my life has obviously changed. I’ve learned to be more flexible with how I support myself financially: I’ve freelanced, worked as a contractor, done an internship, and found jobs through recruiters. I’ve had more weeks of unemployment than I have since I was in high school, and I’ve still been able to pay rent (with a comma in it) on time, every month. Also, I can still eat. And I haven’t used my credit card since the move.
I’ve learned how to navigate the subways without using a map. People actually ask ME for directions. I’ve learned different routes to take on the train to make my commute shorter. I’ve learned that cars aren’t necessary, and walking isn’t so bad. Neither is the bus.
I’ve learned to think outside of the box in terms of what my life can be. It’s 10:30 on a Wednesday morning, and I’m happily sitting in my pajamas, drinking tea, and doing what I love- blogging.
I dress differently. I’ve accepted that leggings/jeggings aren’t so bad (when paired with a top that is long enough to…cover things), and are actually quite comfortable. And it’s a good thing they’re so widely adopted here, because the weight loss has made most of my other pants too big. I’ve also learned that a surprising amount of companies allow jeans/short dresses to be worn in the office, and it hasn’t made the world explode.
I exercise. I rekindled my love for ballet, and it’s been amazing. I also walk SO. MUCH. MORE. than I ever have in my whole life.
I’ve met new people. I’ve tried new restaurants. I’ve seen New York landmarks that I had dreamed about seeing my entire life. Things that I watch on national TV feel local now- because they are.
I’ve [happily] lived with a boy for 11 months. That’s new. We were long distance for the first 2 1/2 years of our relationship, and while it’s not always easy, it’s been great living together. We’re so much closer than we were a year ago.
It hasn’t always been amazing. It’s been a huge adjustment. There were days where I cursed having to walk for 15 minutes in 100 degree weather just to get some groceries or wash my clothes. There were holidays that I was really bummed out that I couldn’t afford to fly home and be with my family. There were days where I panicked about money and how expensive it is to live here.
But even on the most disgusting, rainy days, when I’m cold and uncomfortable and mad and poor and running late, I just got on the train, look out the window, and see the skyline of Manhattan. And no matter how bad I’m feeling, I am always hit with a powerful feeling of:
“I can’t believe I actually live in New York. I did it.”
After I moved, I re-named this blog to “The Settlers Give it Passion,” as a tribute to an amazing E.B. White quote. I read it almost every day.
That quote and the feeling of accomplishment of making this dream happen are what keep me here, and I won’t even consider leaving until that feeling goes away.