Growing up I always thought of myself as more of a West Coast type of person. The idea of the beach and the Southern California life was where I imagined living throughout my adulthood. The pictures in my head of grimy, dark, and overcrowded New York City had 0 appeal.
In spring of 2015 an old friend of mine made the journey to the Big Apple and I decided to book a ticket for a long weekend in late May. The moment I stepped off the plane at JFK I remember having a feeling of peace amid the hustle and bustle of the airport. As I mindlessly made my way back to my friend’s apartment caught up in conversation, I did not even pay attention to where I was until I saw it, the New York City skyline. Never being much of a believer in “Love at First Sight” this love stopped me dead in my tracks. It was everything I had ever imagined and more. I was speechless and head over heels in love with that view. The first night after a few vodka tonics we made our way from Sunnyside, Queens to Manhattan stopping at the Times Sq. stop just before midnight. Walking out of the station energy unlike anything I’ve ever felt overcame me. The lights, sounds, people, everything about Manhattan left me feeling more alive in that moment than ever before.
I was happier that entire weekend than I could ever remember. It was a feeling so unfamiliar to me at that point in life that it almost scared me a little bit. In the 5 months prior since my mother’s passing I dove in to work, the gym, and occasional social outings, all things I figured made normal people “happy”. The truth was I was using a lot of things, especially my job as an event planner as a distraction hoping one day I would wake up feeling “normal” and “happy”. After my trip to New York I felt as though I had gone through a breakup. I left New York feeling so full and it made me realize that maybe I wasn’t where I needed to be in life.
From the moment I got back to Minneapolis I made it my goal to explore where I wanted to be both physically and emotionally. I decided that re-evaluating my job as an event planner, the career I wanted to pursue all through college was a realistic place to start. For months I reached at any opportunity that struck my eye and went through rounds and rounds of interviews and numerous job offers that just didn’t feel like the right fit. I finally found a job allowing me to travel every single week while consulting different car dealerships on their software and business processes. Hell, I didn’t actually know what I was going to be doing at the time, they sold me on “Travel every week”. The position presented me the option to stay in the Midwest or relocate to New York City. With the fantasy of living in NYC playing over and over in my head, the idea of actually moving that far away from home petrified me. While getting ready for work one morning I found myself a little distraught and terrified of making the wrong decision and found myself extremely emotional as I left for work. I sat in my car and turned they key and in that moment I heard the song “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z just beginning and calm feeling overcame me. In that moment I made my decision, I was moving to New York.
Two years later I am still so incredibly happy with my decision to move to the Big Apple. There have been many ups and downs along but my passion for New York is stronger than ever and I really do not see myself leaving anytime soon.
Peace. Love. New York City.