This year in New York

Saturday, August 30, 2014

I’m currently in the process of leaving New York City. I’m sitting in a Chicago airport* remembering this great year that just closed out. I wanted to share a few specific things I learned and experienced here. This year was my first year on my own, and boy was it memorable! Most of these things I experienced are unique to living in New York City and probably wouldn’t happen in the same capacity had I stayed in my hometown.  New York stretched me in different ways and it allowed me to look at things differently than I did in high school.
This list isn’t necessarily deep. It’s just one of those lists that lets me look at the practical and tangible things I experienced while living in New York City. I'll have a lifetime of reflections from this year, but this is a good (but small) start.

Living Simply. I’ve never been a pack rat, but I’ve always had a large room all to myself and I had no problem filling it. I was looking forward to moving away for the sake of downsizing. I went from having a huge room with a queen-sized bed and large sofa to a room split between 3 other people and a little corner to hold my stuff. I guess most college kids have to do this, but it was definitely a welcomed change for me. Fun fact:  I hardly ever wore jewelry while living in New York. I wasn’t allowed to wear jewelry at my job, and I forgot to bring my jewelry to the city, so I went with out. I might have occasionally had access to a necklace or a pair of earrings, but 97% of the time I had no jewelry on.

My Space
Maintaining long-distance friendships is easier than I thought. I was concerned that I would lose my friends from high school and church. I was worried that people would forget about me and my life would just move on. Understandably, I lost touch with certain people, but the people who matter were still part of my life during the year. Packages and mail were so fun, and I loved the face time, phone calls, and text messages. The fear of losing touch with people should not hold me back if I’m called to do something or go somewhere. It shouldn’t hold you back either.
It’s okay to “treat” myself. I was a bit of a workaholic and saveaholic in high school. I spent most weekends working and studying. My weeknights were always busy with school and church activities, and I tried to get as many babysitting jobs and other random work on the weekends. I rarely did things for myself. It’s been so good for me to go out and do fun things with friends and not feel guilty about purchasing a meal at restaurant or buying that ticket for a broadway show. It was always a big deal for me to spend money or buy things for myself when I was in high school, so I’m thankful that I’ve learned how to not hold onto money so tightly.

Fun Stuff: Phillip Phillips, Cafe Grumpy, and Macaroon Tower
Learned to get around without a car. I guess I was forced to learn this one, but it was really fun learning the subway and bus system. All the colors, letters, and numbers can be daunting at first but it’s cool when you catch on. Walking is also enjoyable. You always hear that you need good walking shoes when you live in a city, and I kind of brushed that fact aside when I moved here. “I should be fine with knock-off Toms and flip-flops. nope.” These past few months I lived in a pair of Birkenstocks and keds tennis shoes. I learned my lesson from when I moved here. Take care of those feet!
Biking is another popular option ;)
Learned to initiate and make friends. Similar to treating myself, it was really good for me to make friends and do fun outings. When I first moved here I thought it would be impossible to make friends because I wouldn’t have much in common with other people and we would all be too busy.  Not the case at all. I made a lot of friends here and even a few close friends. I went on bike rides, to concerts, broadway shows, fun shopping spots, museums, yoga classes, runs, dinners, comedy shows, and pretty much every other fun NY activity I could think of. I even threw a birthday party for myself this year…at my apartment! The friend part was really fun. I’m so glad I put a lot of effort in being social.
Learned to love coffee. New Yorkers are known for not sleeping. I didn’t really sleep, and I worked long days. I hardly touched coffee in high school, now I touch it. A lot
    A LARGE cup of coffee
    Apartment and roommate life. It was tricky at first, but I eventually figured it out.  Over the year, I lived with five different roommates. One of my roommates stuck with me the whole year, and and the other four moved in over the course of the year. I didn’t love all the roommate transition, but I made it work, and it was fun to meet the girls who moved in. They were each so unique. The second half of the year was very enjoyable for me. So I would say my first year living with roommates was a success.

    A glimpse of my roommate life. I love that she says this was "unforgettable experience."
Fashion is fun. I’m not a fashionista, and I’ve never been anti-fashion, but living in New York helped me pay even more attention to fashion and helped me a develop a personal style. I learned to pay attention to fabric and found enjoyment in learning about trending styles and designers. It helped that I had a handful of friends at Parsons and FIT. One thing to note is that I will always be a thrifter. Smile

Thanks for reading. I heart New York.

*It took me a while to press "publish."

1 comment :

  1. You make NYC sound just as magical as they tell you it is in movies and stuff. ♥


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