I started writing this post nearly two months ago. The thought of summing up one of the craziest, most exciting years of my life in one blog post sounded daunting (mostly because it is daunting). So instead of going live on the anniversary of my move to NYC, today is the anniversary of my job (one I fought like crazy to solidify). I survived a full year of pretending to be an adult (!!) and I am currently enroute to Vegas, for my first business trip.
Here is an attempt at putting this past year+ into a few words:
The College Prepster (one of the first New York City blogs I began to follow- ironic, considering I have never been especially preppy) said this about New York City in a recent post:
As the next crop of starry-eyed kid-adults move into tiny apartments scattered around trendy and up and coming neighborhoods, I smile...I remember that 'Welcome to New York' feeling. A thumping heart that feels a little like excitement but could be mistaken as nerves. That feeling of fresh beginnings with a clean state; a road paved with opportunities and experiences only this city has to offer.
I have lived in New York City long enough to have collected enough NYC friends (thank you, God) on Instagram to come across many city-versary posts. That is the term I have given to people (girls) celebrating their anniversaries in their cities. Which I am a huge fan of because most of the time I refer to New York as my boyfriend.
On July 12th, I celebrated living in New York City an entire year. I drank a bottle of champagne that I definitely could not afford (Veuve, my fav; could not afford not to either) with one of my best friends (Charlotte) by the pool at the Trump (fav) before going to dinner at ABC Kitchen (new fav) with other great friends. It is going to be tough to top my first city-versary.
As I reflect on my first year in New York City, here are a few things I am especially thankful for:
- Knowing exactly where to stand in the subway to get off where I need to/avoid being trampled by my fellow commuters/where the AC blows right on my head.
- How a day of Soul Cycle + brunch + shopping with my friends can make us all giggly and feel high, simply because when so much love for a city and each other is bounced off one another it is intoxicating. I have found friends in this city that are priceless, and that is a HUGE blessing.
- Being known by workout instructors, nail salon technicians, the maî·tre d' of my favorite restaurant, a bar tender I walk by after Saturday morning barre classes, etc.
These things are hard earned. They take time. While they seem relatively simple, they represent commitment to my dream and the elbow grease used to make it come to life.
I don't believe in coincidence. But I do think ideal happenstances occur more often in NYC than anywhere else. Like walking home from work through Madison Square Park (which is NOT on my way home from work at all) one evening and hearing City of the Sun for the first time, becoming obsessed -- then finding they play on my birthday in the city and a night I happen to be vacationing in Montauk.
Or meeting up with Gracie and Rachel for happy hour at Tao, then being asked to join a banquet-esque birthday party with endless crispy tuna and bottles of champagne.
Or traveling out to Sag Harbor one Saturday morning to find that Gracie and I were quoted the wrong time of an event. So naturally, the brand's contact got us booked at a glorious hotel free of charge and we partied the night away with all of the gays.
Little miracles. New York City is full of opportunity-- as people always say-- and even more so, it is full of little miracles.
Thank you for what you've taught me, New York (when I say New York, I am encompassing every hardship, circumstance, conversation, awkward scenario, frustration, disbelief, heart explosion, disappointment, person, and lesson). You have taught me to ask for what I want; that if I am not willing to ask, I must not want it too badly. You constantly remind me of the question, "What's the worst that can happen?" You have shown me the importance of balancing determination with resilience: there is a time and a place for being stubborn, and there is a time and a place for going with the flow. You have challenged me to see what I can get away with (that was mostly you, G). You have slapped my wrist HARD to teach me important lessons. And you have reiterated my favorite saying over and over in my ear: "It is better to be the one that smiled than the one who didn't smile back" (so many people in this city need to be smiled at).
Best of all, when I find myself facing up against any sort of intimidating circumstance, -- like negotiating my rent raise down or pitching the opportunity to travel to Las Vegas for work to my boss-- you have given me the ability to combat any fear or hesitation with "I moved across the country to New York City alone." So thank you for pulling me here.
p.s. This post is all over the place. It is not my typical writing style; it feels especially raw. It is messy, irregular, and abrupt. It is representational of this past year.
p.p.s. God made this year happen. New York City doesn't have special powers (as much as I like to act like it does). He is majorly at work in this city, and I seem to be reaping the benefits.