I’m sitting in my favorite little cafe below my apartment building. The manager greets me with a warm smile as I settle into “my seat” and we briefly catch up. He promises to come back when there is more time and I crack open my laptop for an evening of writing.
To the day, it is officially five months since I moved to New York City — the big apple, the big city of hustle and grind, the city that never sleeps. In one sentence, it has been nothing short of a whirlwind of an adventure here: I dated. I fell in love. I found the man of my dreams. I explored the city. I made friends. I lost friends. I lost weight (thank you stress). I gained weight (thank you NY pizza).
Last week, I moved out of my subleased studio and signed an one year lease in a fancy skyscraper apartment complex. Yes, as the rumors go, the rent is ridiculous here. Yes, the weather is freezing and I can’t feel my hands most of the time. Yes, I still feel lonely from time to time. All in all, though, I wouldn’t change my decision for the world.
This is why.
Moving here has taught me to trust my ability to survive and thrive without any support: Moving to a new city is like riding a roller coaster — there’s excitement and hope but there’s also fear and apprehension creating this nauseating mix of dread and thrill. Will you like the people? Will you make friends? Will you get homesick and move back? What if you hate everything about NYC? I had all of these thoughts and I delayed moving here for months, presenting excuses of high rent and better opportunities elsewhere. Between you and me, though, I was worried I wasn’t going to “make it” here. I was paralyzingly worried of failing.
I finally took the jump when I realized I was making myself miserable by not moving here. I moved in July, with two suitcases and a duffel bag. Five months later, I bought three carts of IKEA furniture and decided that I was actually living for a while in NYC. It was such a relief to settle down somewhere after years of consulting.
For those of you debating a move, my word of advice is simple — if you want to move somewhere (anywhere), do it. Find a way to get yourself there initially (i.e. a job that you don’t love) and watch how things begin to align. Truth is, nothing will ever completely line up for you — there will never be a “perfect time” to make a move. You just have to do it. Step into the roller coaster. Buckle yourself in. Go for it. And watch how you survive and grow under pressure. You’re going to make it and the reality will be more glorious than you ever imagined. Moving here, in the words of Beyonce, has shown me that, “…if there is one thing I’m willing to bet on, it’s myself”.