Them: It’s too expensive! Me: I’ll figure it out…
Them: It’s too cold! Me: I’ll buy several stylish coats.
Them: It’s too far away from home. Me: planes fly everyday & it’s only 3hrs away.
Them: You’re gonna go and live there all by yourself? Me: I was born by myself.
Those are just a few of the reactions when the news spread that the 23 year-old recent college graduate who had never lived outside of the south, was packing her bags and heading to The Big Apple. That was September 10th 2013, five years ago. Over the past five years, I’ve had the pleasure and sometimes pain of living in what many consider the greatest city in the world. I’ve evolved as a person and I’ve learned so much, but most importantly. “I moved to New York, & met me.” These past five years have been filled with growth both personally and professionally, a bit of anxiety, and loads of living my best life. Its indeed been a rollercoaster ride, yet Im still not ready to get off.
5 Things NYC Taught Me
1. Friendships are Important.
New York is cold, both literally and figuratively. Trying to weed through the “industry boos” and form genuine friendships can be challenging. I quickly discovered who my real friends are and I value them even more. Since moving to New York, my social life has exploded. My calendar is constantly filled with launches, brunches, happy hours, and summer festivals. But, honestly there were many moments when I felt alone, and it was usually when I was surrounded by the most people. While I love a good kiki over a cocktail or networking with like minded people, my circle of confidants has remained intimate. I cherish the friends whose couches I’ve cried on, those who insisted on buying me dinner when I was unemployed, and those who cheer me on when that sneaky self doubt creeps up on me. That is the type of friendship that feeds my soul. There are people who I met within week one of moving to New York, that are still my very close friends today.
2. Believe your own damn hype.
In the digital age of social media where everyone is constantly promoting themselves and talking about themselves, its easy to start feeling like you aren’t doing enough while also feeling like you’re doing too much. Make sense? I admit, I’ve definitely found myself comparing my life to the highlight reel of others and at times it managed to get me down. But, being surrounded by so many like minded people in New York City has inspired me and motivated me during those times. It also fuels my creativity. I’ve learned to drown out the noise and focus on the positive. We remember criticism 5x more than compliments, and sometimes you have to believe the hype.
The weak fold and crumble this is the land of hustle.- Lil Kim
The energy of this city is one of the things I love the most. Everyone around you is constantly moving, and shaking, working, and grinding, and figuring sh*t out. Translation…Hustling. I know what you’re thinking, that the idea of hustling is so trendy, and it is, but it is also so necessary. There are tons of opportunities in this world and enough space for everyone to win. But, there are no hand outs, you’ve got to hustle. I’d like to think I’ve had the hustle spirit in me since the days of selling juice to classmates during lunch, but New York City has enhanced my hustle. There is inspiration all around and it motivates me to Go.See.Do.
4.Talk to Everyone.
When I say everyone I mean EVERYONE! There have been so many random conversations I’ve had on the train or in an Uber pool that have led to friendships and even business opportunities. I naturally have an outgoing personality and it comes in handy when working a room in this town. Connecting with people has been one of the greatest gifts I’ve received while living here. Those connections have helped my personal growth and have allowed me to help other people.
5. DIY – Do it Yo Self.
No, Im not talking about colorful arts and craft projects or an organic face mask. Instead Im talking about everything else. Although there are many resources at your finger tips, NYC is expensive so if there is any way I can save a few coins, I do it. As a way to fuel my hustle, I learned how to be very self sufficient. This includes everything from learning to self-shoot and edit my own blog content, starting an LLC, and even regularly dying my own hair. If you can google it, there is a youtube video about it, and you can do it yourself.
So how do I sum this all up? Sometimes I have to take it all in and remind myself that even through triumph & turmoil this girl is making it in New York City! Wow…how cool is that! Cheers to 5 Years!
Ever since I made it here I can make it anywhere.✨ -Jay Z