A little shy of 5 months ago, I was throwing on my apron on Friday and Saturday nights, and serving the sometimes not always so friendly patrons of Newtown PA, burgers and fries. I did this for about six years, like clockwork. I didn’t know what it was like to not hustle hard during the week as a full-time student, and hustle even harder on the weekends trying to keep my savings account from dwindling.
Now today, those 5 months later… where am I you ask? Today, as a new college graduate I am living in New York City working at the corporate office of French Connection. These five months alone have been fast, crazy, and to be honest, all consuming. If I was writing this just for me I would get into the deep stuff; like the million moments that I thought I made a mistake and maybe rushed into this too quick, or even the overwhelming anxiety that made me feel lost and afraid- one too many times. You don’t see those parts on social media, do you?
While those things are okay to talk about, I want to take this somewhere else. More so for someone else going through something similar, or for future me, wondering where the hell my head was at on October 14th 2018 at 23 years old.
I always knew that at some point in my life I would end up living in New York City. I wasn’t sure exactly would what bring me here, but I knew that someway somehow, I would be a “New Yorker”. Blame it on the Sex and The City marathons, or the RHONY binges, but I romanticized the city of New York in a way that’s hard to explain.
I think we all can agree that New York (everywhere except for Times Square, of course..) is magical, special, and unlike anywhere else in the world. It has an attraction that brings people in from all over the globe. Over the last few months, I have discovered the nooks and crannies of New York that make it so wonderful and enticing, with my own eyes.
However, in the beginning I also found that sometimes it isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, and that’s fine too. You’re allowed, and in fact it’s perfectly okay to be disappointed in what you thought was going to be some perfect nirvana. It doesn’t mean you have failed yourself or those around you, it just means you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing and figuring out this whole life thing, one day at a time.
While working on simply “figuring it out” I have done a lot of talking to others around me about their experiences. I have been taking any advice I can get, just for some peace of mind that, that I am on the right path. I have learned quite a few things that have stuck with me…
Lesson #1: Do not listen to the good opinion and judgment of others, especially if they don’t know what is good for you the way YOU know what is good for you.
Lesson #2: You are not a failure because you took a risk and it didn’t work out. Failing would have not been taking that risk to begin with.
Lesson #3: We do not have to follow the life trajectory that has been mapped out for us by our peers. We can do whatever brings us the most happiness.
Lesson #4, and my personal favorite: You must honor your feelings, always.
I have often sat back and asked myself how I got here- and how it’s possible for these huge turning points in our lives that our parents tell us about when we were little, to get here so quickly, and suddenly you’re just living them out. I know they say time flies- but wow, time really does fly.
A man by the name of John Lennon once said:
“There’s no where you can be, that isn’t where you’re meant to be”.
I have always been a firm believer in the “whatever is meant to be will be” and the “everything happens for a reason” mentality. Where we are right now, is where we are meant to be at this given time in our lives. Questioning the path that took you there, or thinking too far ahead to the future is only going to ruin the NOW. As much as I hate to admit it, when I first got to New York, all I could think about was when I was going to get out. I was ruining what was my now, instead of doing things to change my mentality and “live my best life”.
I remember when I was in high school I was always the planner in my group of friends. I would organize get togethers, concerts, birthdays, you name it. I would constantly be butt hurt when someone would cancel, or the plans wouldn’t go exactly how I had set them. I just couldn’t understand why it couldn’t simply work out- the way I intended it to. After one of these instances, I recall someone telling me “you plan, God laughs”. Have you heard a truer statement? I mean, how many times in our lives have we planned, and planned, and planned, for our plans to fall through in the matter of an instant.
Just a few months ago, while struggling with my own happiness, I remember having a conversation with someone and telling them- “I don’t even feel that I have grown. I feel like I have taken 10 steps back while living here. I don’t feel any stronger of a person”. Although that was a short time ago, I completely disagree with that statement now, and that feels SO good to say. If you are at all interested in stepping out of your comfort zone, I promise you- New York is the place for that. I have been lucky enough to have traveled all throughout Europe in places that were once completely foreign to me, but I can honestly say, New York is a different animal. It FORCES you to grow.
I am in a place now after countless ugly crying sessions with my mom, and countless heart to hearts with those around me, that I am in fact on the right path. I am on MY path. I have found that spark within me again that has allowed me to enjoy those simple pleasures and realize that you truly cannot take this life or your precious time on this earth for granted. One day I am going to look back and be so mad at myself for the days and time I spent being anxious, sad, or worry some about those things out of my control. I have learned that success comes out of moments of crisis. I have learned that those dark times are just “an episode in an episodic life”.
So, there you have it. That is where I have been the last few months, figuring it out. Now, I plan on making my time in New York the absolute greatest it can be. The memories I have made already have brought me so much happiness, and I plan letting that continue *drops the mic*
*Nowwwww que the endless photos taken in Brooklyn*