illustration by Marilena Perelli
illustration by Marilena Perelli
photo via allthebuildingsinnewyork.com
I have caught myself missing new york several times. Several heart-tugging, gut-wrenching times…wondering why I “gave up” something I’d dreamed of for my whole life: living in NEW YORK CITY. I tear up thinking about my favorite places that are no longer just a subway ride away (I’m crying about Lil’ Frankie’s pizza right now), and miss the rush of pride I got from telling people that yes, I do live in New York.
But then I remember why I left. I enjoy being alone, but I felt truly lonely. Every relationship that I thought had potential ended up being a dead end. My closest friends from college left New York after graduation, so I felt like I didn’t have anyone to confide in.
I hate admitting to myself that I did the easy thing by leaving. I’ve thought of a thousand reasons to justify my decision (“better quality of life!” “too expensive!” “i’m over it!”) and am still struggling to accept that the real reasons were these overwhelming feelings of loneliness and just wanting to give up.
The reality is, I have been in a significantly better place, mental health-wise, since moving away. I booked a trip to Iceland with one of my friends on a whim (checking off those resolutions!) and feel that I have more control of where my careers is going. I feel like I finally have time to have a “normal” routine and schedule, not to mention a support system (hi mom and dad).
I don’t regret leaving, but I’ll be back there soon enough…or whenever I start making enough money to live by myself.
I have always craved stability. When I graduated from college, all I wanted in the world was a standard 9-5 job. Though I didn’t land my dream job, I made enough money to pay rent, ball out a little, and still had time to work on my side hustle. I’ve since upgraded to a new position, but still feel like something is missing from my life.
Totally opposite to my craving for stability is my desire for a life worth living–and a fear of “settling.” One full of adventure, envy-inducing Instagram posts, and stories that will shock my grandchildren in 50 years. While I feel so incredibly fortunate to even be employed, I still feel like something is missing. I wish so badly that I would be content working at a desk job and living the suburbs. Life would be so much easier, but I know that it would kill me a little bit.
When I was still in school, I remember looking at people like Yoga Girl and Chelsie Antos, waiting for it to be my turn to teach yoga in Aruba or go RVing around America with my hot husband. While neither of those things specifically will probably ever happen to me, you get the idea. I wanted to be mildly responsible, get my degree, make some money, and then start exploring the world. Now, I want my life to have a little more purpose: for myself (selfishly), and for others (also kind of selfish).
Until I can start making big moves (i.e. waiting for my lease to run out), I would love to hear your ideas for keeping life exciting in the space between M-F, 9-5.
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I always loved grocery shopping. Even after working at the local supermarket in high school and in the summer when I came home from college, I was never wary of the shiny linoleum aisles and well-stocked shelves.
This is because grocery shopping in a pleasant suburb is completely unlike shopping in New York. Suburban supermarkets get those cool, limited edition products (like peppermint Chobani) while NYC vendors sell crap you forgot existed (remember Kudos bars?). And then there are the prices. $7.99 for a half-gallon of ice cream. $4.99 for a gallon of milk. $7 for a carton of strawberries. All of these things are usually around $3 at my hometown grocery store.
At the store in my hometown, you can push a full-sized shopping cart down each wide aisle, taking your time to choose the right items. You can buy 12-pack cans of soda, 16-count packs of paper towels, and other heavy items, knowing you just have to wheel them out to your SUV and drive home, traffic-free. In New York, I can only buy what I can carry (unless I spring for an Uber).
But it gets worse…the crowds! I have never found NYC to be overwhelmingly crowded, except in midtown during the holidays. Trader Joe’s on a Saturday afternoon is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. When I lived in Brooklyn, the TJ’s closest to me would sometimes have a line of people outside, waiting to go in. Inside the store, the line wraps through the aisles–you’re better off grabbing a basket, hopping in line, and shopping as you weave throughout the store. Whole Foods has an insane (but effective) color-coded system for sending shoppers to open registers, but there is almost ALWAYS a line.
People say that living in a city is worth it for its conveniences, but man, oh man, what I wouldn’t give for an afternoon at Market Basket.
Well…2016 is finally coming to an end. I think a lot of people have mixed feelings about this past year–for me, it was definitely a rollercoaster. SO much has changed in the last twelve months. I graduated from college, got a 9-5 job, and moved twice. It’s kind of crazy how unprepared I felt for it all, and how many added responsibilities I now have.
2016 coming to an end has me thinking about where I’ll be this time next year. There are still a lot of things I want to do, like get a Master’s degree and live abroad (maybe I can combine these two…), so who knows if either of those will become a reality over the next twelve months.
This time of year is always overwhelming, between Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s eve, and my birthday (it’s a busy two months!), but I wanted to take time to make a list of my resolutions for 2017.
1. Have dates with myself. I’ve found myself wistfully scrolling through Instagram and seeing cool gallery exhibits, pop-up eateries, and outdoor installations, yet never actually go to these things–even though tons of them are right here in NYC! I want to make more of an effort to actually go to these kinds of things, even if I can’t find someone else who wants to tag along.
2. Get my finances in order. I started working on this a few months ago when I realized that I have to pay taxes (yay, freelancing!). But I definitely want to get my expenses in order so I can invest and save the rest.
3. STOP CARING ABOUT BOYS! I literally sound like a broken record but I am so sick of spending time and energy on dead-end relationships. I promise to work on this so I can stop whining about it…
I’m a romantic. If you’ve spent any time on this blog, or know me IRL, that should be pretty obvious. I believe in soulmates. I believe in fate. I read my horoscope regularly (though I take it with a grain of salt). I don’t think anything is a coincidence. I try so incredibly hard to be a Samantha, but I’ll always be a Carrie…mixed with a little Miranda minus the haircut.
Right after I deleted Tinder, I got into the “hanging out” phase of dating someone. We met through the app, and went on our first date shortly after I moved to my new neighborhood. I wasn’t enthralled or super impressed by his online profile–he seemed kind of hipster, his job title had “freelance” in it (I usually go for investment banker types), and it took him hours to answer my messages. But the bar he suggested was within walking distance and I didn’t have any other plans on Wednesday night, so why not?
Chemistry is 100% a thing–someone can be perfect on paper for you, and you can have a perfectly delightful time at dinner, but if there isn’t a spark, I’m 0% interested in pursuing it. So I was pleasantly surprised when I met this guy who was as tall as he said he was and smiled at me like I was the prettiest girl he ever saw. The good vibes continued when I learned we had the same birthday. And the flame grew brighter when we watched Netflix at his house and I discovered that he watches TV with closed-captioning, too.
We seemed to like each other so much and get along so well–I would talk for hours about nothing, and he would just listen and smile at me. He sings in a band and when I listened to the album alone in my room I cried because I liked it so much.
But just like everything else in my life, expectations exceeded reality. Though he’s 7 years older than me, he still acts like a 19-year-old boy. There is no semblance of commitment, of wanting something more. Why didn’t he want to come to Brooklyn Flea with me? Or go to the movies? Why won’t he always answer my texts? Why doesn’t he like any of my Instagram pictures? And the biggest question of all…why am I still chasing him?
Around the same time, I met someone else–someone who adamantly expresses how interested he was in me, wants to take me on all these exciting dates, is professional and ambitious and texts me everyday…yet he doesn’t look at me the same way and doesn’t seem interested in what I have to say. I’m still more attracted to this other boy who disappears for days on end. Is it because my fate-driven perspective feels there’s some deeper connection? Even though he’s someone who makes me feel distant, insecure, and insignificant?
I’ve been trying really hard to be the “cool girl.” To go with the flow, be casual and nonchalant when in reality a thousand questions and worries and insecurities are eating me up inside. Why are we drawn to people who have so little to offer us?