New York is my dream city. For as long as I can remember I have been obsessed with NYC. It was the place I always dreamed of living and I was determined to make my dream a reality. So at the age of 23, I got the opportunity to move to New York and work at a small agency. I took the opportunity and haven’t looked back.
If someone told me I would spend my twenties in the city of my dreams working with some of the most influential people in my industry, befriending inspiring top fashion and beauty influencers, and planning and attending star studded events, I never would have believed it. But my New York dreams came true. I was completely devoted to this city and my job and I couldn’t have been happier or more grateful for my opportunities.
But New York is hard. Living in New York is harder than most can imagine. When you live here you are constantly battling. You battle the scorching heat in the summer and the unbearable cold in the winter, you battle for a seat on the subway and a place on the sidewalk, you battle for a dinner reservation or an invite to a glitzy event, you battle to make yourself heard in the boardroom, you battle to pay your rent and still eat, you battle to make time for drinks with friends or a date with your husband, you battle endlessly and it changes you as a person. For better or worse New York has made me ‘harder’. I know what I want and I’m not willing to compromise to get it. I never want to take a backseat in my life and I am lucky to be surrounded by people who think and feel the same way I do.
When I first moved to New York I thought I would live here for three years, five years max. Six years later I was still holding on but there were cracks in my perfect, concrete facade. What I realized was that I was never going to leave New York on my own, New York was leaving me. Like the college boyfriend who goes from sending flowers to only sending 2am drunk texts, NYC was pushing me away. The city was beginning to show me that I was becoming an outsider. I was slowing down. I couldn’t hang. Unlike my gorgeous, ambitious single friends, I was the married girl ducking out of industry happy hours to watch Netflix with my husband. Then I was the pregnant girl who could barely make it up the subway stairs without feeling faint. Going out was out of the question so I stayed in every weekend — and I worried endlessly about paying for childcare. The reality is, NYC is Never-Never Land for grownups. The more ‘adult’ decisions you make, the more the fairy dust wears off and you realize you need to return to the real world.
Then a few things happened all at once. My husband unexpectedly got a great job in my hometown, our lease ran out, and I was preparing to go on maternity leave for the summer. We were suddenly faced with the choice of staying in the city or returning to my hometown and be closer to family and raise our daughter in a balanced and more affordable environment. The choice was obvious. New York had officially broken up with me and I had to go.
I’m definitely not ready to go. If it was up to me I would live here until I was a crotchety old lady living with my husband in a Harlem studio with six or seven rambunctious dogs. I still love New York, but I’m not sure I’m ready to tackle the daily struggle of living here and the daily struggle of being a new mom. So when the opportunity to live an easier life with my new baby presented itself I had to take it. Trust me, once you see a woman lug a giant stroller up the subway stairs, or try to navigate her toddler away from the endless filth on the sidewalk, or overhear a mom talk about the kindergarten application process you realize motherhood in NYC is next-level hard.
So what’s next? I’m moving to Richmond, Va. We found a lovely apartment for less than half of what we pay now, we get to buy a car (I haven’t driven in seven years, people!) and I get to take some time off to enjoy my next big adventure: motherhood. Between loving on my new baby and cleaning her vomit off the walls of my new apartment, I hope to chronicle my new life on this blog like I’ve always wanted to.
Thanks for following along on my extended NYC adventure. I hope you’ll stick around for what’s to come!