New York City is fast. Life moves at a million miles per minute here. Because life is so fast, learning happens in a condensed amount of time. After living here for a bit, I have learned enough to look at my life now and actually recognize how I have changed since stepping off that plane at JFK.
Here are my top 5 take-aways:
1. The Importance of TUNING OUT
From ignoring the crazy person screaming on the subway to disregarding unwarranted opinions, this is an important lesson to learn as an adult. Everyone has a two cents they would like to contribute. I realized, though, that not everyone has to live with the consequences of what "they think I should go." If it's not my gut, my God, or my support system (those I know have my best interest at heart), I have given myself permission to smile, nod, and tune-out their input.
2. The Importance of Setting GOALS (and Learning to PRIORITIZE)
Put simply, intentions hold no true clout if I don't make an active plan to get shit done. Whether it's as silly as cleaning my room or as big as a paid freelance project, I know that if I don't make *it* a goal and then prioritize it as something that NEEDS to get done, life will continue to move on, I will get busier, and that task will never be crossed off my Life Admin list. My Life Admin list is my to-do list outside of work that lives in the Notes section of my phone. I have learned that I need distinct systems to take care of my life, and if it's not on the Life Admin list, it will likely never happen.
3. The Importance of Giving Myself GRACE (it's not just my nyc bff's name!)
The amount of mistakes I have made in the last year and a half living in New York City is pretty impressive. From little mishaps at work that felt like the end of the world to BIG personal and relational "oopsies", there has been no shortage of times I thought, "wow, Syd, you messed up." But guess what? I have learned from every single one of them (cliche, right?). And the reoccurring secondary lesson I have learned from these screw-ups is how utterly imperative it is to give myself grace. Because mistakes happen and they will happen forever; I'm a flawed human being. Focusing on and obsessing over my mistakes has never done me any good. Acknowledging them for what they are and forgiving myself quickly so that I can move on to the lesson part has been a huge part of learning how to adult.
4. The Importance of Having an OUTLET
Some days as an adult are totally shitty. Some days I leave work sad and frustrated and annoyed and UGH. Most days, I need an outlet. Since moving to NYC and becoming an adult, exercise has taken on that role. I can't tell you how many times I have gone into a Soul Cycle class at the end of a hard work day and left feeling more like myself. Physical exertion of energy, sweating, and tiring my muscles to the point that my long day at work is a mere memory realigns my life. It is in those breathless moments that I remember there is is more to me and my life than completing sometimes seemingly meaningless tasks on the 32nd floor in midtown.
5. The Importance of DGAF
For those of you that did not use the acronym in high school, it stands for 'don't give a f-word.' While the harshness of the phrase may not strike you as constructive and the tone may come off as more angst-y-teen than grown-up, this four letter word is one of my latest faves. In my mind it is so closely tied to fearlessness in the face of risk. In the last few months, Gracie and I are constantly reminding each other to DGAF; this is how our conversations go: "what do you have to lose?" "nothing" "okay, then, DGAF". So much of the fun I have had in NYC is because of the risks I have taken. The thing is, there will always be someone crazier than me in NYC, so if my fear is ever to not look crazy (or stupid or silly), that needn't be a worry...so, DGAF.
It has been a fun, bumpy ride, and there is so much more to come. If the last year and a half are any testament at all, there is a lot left to learn and a lot more growth to be had. Thank you, New York.