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Living in New York City: A 2-Month Update – Ryan Chan


I moved to New York City 2 months ago. Definitely the biggest transition I’ve ever made: working a full-time job, living in one of the most crowded and dirty cities in the world, becoming completely financially independent, the list goes on and on.

I visited New York City often growing up. Exploring the NYSE, touring colleges, and exploring Ellis Island were some of the coolest memories I made.

The few times I visited the city while in college, though, were a different story. I left each time feeling so anxious and I had no idea why. There was just something about the city that made me feel a certain way, and I really didn’t like it.

Yet I decided to put that aside to take a crack at living here. I knew that even if I struggled to keep up with a city like this, I’d learn and grow so much along the way.

New Yorkers are pretty obsessed with how difficult it is to hack it here. There’s like 80 movies that fetishize the “hustle bustle,” from Midnight Cowboy, to Mean Streets, to Maid In Manhattan (I think, I’ve never actually seen that one). “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere,” the “concrete jungle,” etc. — CW Headley

Society paints a certain kind of picture of New York. That you’re always being rushed, told that you aren’t good enough, and simply stressed out by the sheer amount of noise everywhere. But who’s to say that is how everyone actually feels?

The word I’d use to describe my experience, ironically enough, is peaceful.

There’s something so peaceful knowing that I’ve earned my place here. The opportunity to live in New York isn’t one to be taken lightly. No one ends up here by chance. Everyone’s worked their butts off to claim their spot.

I’m proud to be able to say that all the investment I’ve put into myself has gotten me here.

It’s so easy to feel insignificant in a city like this. No one cares what you say or do. Everyone’s on a mission to do what they need to do and won’t let anyone get in their way (quite literally…the number of people who push you aside when walking to/from work). But rather than shy away from the challenge I’ve learned to step up to it, knowing that I deserve to be here as much as the next person.

Why let society dictate your life here when so much of it is in fact in your own hands?

It’s so easy to get trapped in the cycle of work, weekend brunches, and going out. That’s the norm here, that’s what’s cool to do. But what I’ve found is that my most fulfilling and peaceful experiences can come from the comfort of my own room — slowing down and caring my yourself, taking time to recharge.

Starting a blog is my next passion project, a natural extension of the daily journaling I’ve grown to appreciate so much. I figured that now would be a good time to make some of those private journaling thoughts public.

It’s been a great 2 months in New York City, and while it surely has not been smooth sailing, I’m eagerly waiting for more challenges to come.

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