As I am coming up on my two-year anniversary here in New York, it's really given me time to reflect on everything that I've done since my big move. Including every challenge, obstacle, and phenomenal moment that has led me to successfully living my fullest life here in New York.
I remember being a junior in college and taking a trip with the other students from the major to the city and visiting some of New York’s media companies. This experience left me wanting more of the city that never sleeps, I became dead set on having a summer internship in New York before I graduated from college -- but unfortunately, that never happened for me.
Being a college student I just didn't have the funds to get me there. Plus, the idea of being away from my friends and my family for the summer wasn’t all that appealing. Although I really wanted that lifestyle, New York would have to come later down the line after I graduated from grad school. I can remember working in J Crew, going to grad school as a full-time student, and imagining what my next steps would be after graduating.
It wasn't until March of 2016 after months of deliberation, I decided I was ready for my move to New York City. My family and I planned a weekend trip to the city just for fun and I fell in love all over again. From that point on I started thinking realistically about what I would need to move to New York.
The first question I had to ask myself was how. How am I going to live in New York? The answer: saving, saving, saving! I didn't have much to start, but I meticulously watched where I spent my money and how much of it I was actually spending. But it wasn’t enough just to save, I had to show my parents that I was serious about transitioning to a new city -- that I was mature enough to make this decision. I started applying to jobs here in New York rather than Chicago because this is where my heart is. The ball really started rolling after contacting someone I went to college with and seeing if interested in being roommates.
From there I was getting phone interviews that eventually led to me landing a job in the cosmetics industry, something I’m passionate about. Once I got an apartment in New York, started buying furniture, telling people that I was moving, that’s when my parents realized, “okay, well this girl is serious -- let's just see how we can help her in the best possible way.” Even though I anxiously spoke my plans into fruition, I knew nothing would come of it if I wasn’t willing to take those first steps. My mind was set on moving to New York, and nothing was going to deter me from that decision.
The more progress I was making towards moving, the more I understood just how much my life was about to change. Once I bought my ticket I knew there was no going back. This was a scary moment for me because this was something I wanted to do or very long time, but what if it didn’t work out? What if I wasn’t ready?
My mind was set on moving to New York, and nothing was going to deter me from that decision.
By setting my mind on my ambitions, rather than my fears or those nagging ‘what ifs’ I was mentally prepared to achieve what I set out to do. Looking back, I think to myself, why did it take me so long to put the plan into action and go full throttle? I think that’s where some of us get messed up. We let our fears get the best of us and we caught in our own panicked thoughts.
When we dwell too much on the negatives, we end up psyching ourselves out. Asking ourselves, “Can I really do this? Is this something that I'm ready for?” The truth is, of course we can. These other worries are counteractive to turning plans into action. Having a positive frame of mind and telling yourself look, I'm going to do this. I don't care what obstacles I'm going to face or what reservations I may have.
Because to grow, and create change in my own life I had to put all my fears aside and march towards what I wanted to accomplish -- and I knew what I wanted couldn't be done in Chicago. So, I trusted my instincts, and moved on faith. And here I am two years later, and I couldn't be any happier with my decision to transition to New York.
Since moving, I've met so many amazing people, obtained a great many resources from networking, and I am on my second job in the beauty industry. I've managed to learn the ins and outs of New York and in the process, learn more about myself, my weaknesses , and most importantly my strengths. While I haven’t had my family here or my close friends, this has not stopped me from working towards my goals.
If you ever feel by moving you might be severing close bonds, understand it’s not the end of the world. You can visit family, pick up the phone and call your friends, or even send a letter, but you shouldn't allow anyone to stop you from living your dreams. I get it, it’s going to be difficult. Especially for those who might be afraid to transition to a new city due to the un-comfort you feel when being in a place where they don't know anyone. I think when you are in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people, you’re forced to branch out and make connections where you might not ordinarily find them.
To grow and create change in my own life I had to put all my fears aside and march towards what I wanted to accomplish
I placed myself in a position where I had to constantly talk myself into getting out there, to meet other people, and network with complete strangers. It was in these moments that I learned to appreciate the art of building connections and harvesting a healthy network of like minded individuals.
And trust me, I understand in adult life it's awkward making friends. It's difficult to start from scratch in the friend and people department. That’s why it’s so necessary for you to put yourself out there. It was beneficial for me because every friendship that I've made in New York is because I had to put the time and effort into making it.
So that is my New York experience and how I managed to overcome fears and doubts about moving forward with what would ultimately be one of the greatest decisions of my life! If you are ready to start living with no regrets and learn to push past your fears check out some of these tips I’ve lived by to reach my goals and fulfill my dreams. So, get your pen and be ready to write these down:
Tip #1: Cut Yourself Some Slack
We're all human. We're all scared of something, but what's important is knowing your worth and learning that you can move past any obstacles in your way to be the best version of yourself. Don't let your fears be what holds you back. Understand that you're human and that these negative thoughts are going to occur. But it's all about how you can spin a negative thought into a positive one. How you can turn a fear, into a challenge that you want to accomplish.
Tip #2: Do More of What Makes You Happy
If moving to a new city, shaking up your current profession, finally taking those ambitious steps towards your future is going to make you happy, then do it! Think about what could make your current situation better and what’s really holding you back. If there are more pros than cons, then you know what you need to do. The next step is figuring out what moves you need to take in order to really foster that happiness.
Tip #3: Do NOT Be Complacent
People are complacent because they're scared of being uncomfortable. They're scared of jumping without knowing which direction to jump in. But you can not use that as an excuse to be complacent. You must be willing to make yourself uncomfortable. You must be willing to take a leap of faith. You're never gonna know unless you try because if you don't, you may end up regretting it for the rest of your life. Lesson here, complacency is not, and never will be the answer.
Tip #4: Be Unapologetic
Don’t apologize. I know making decisions for your own happiness can feel like a guilty thing, because we’re told that’s being selfish; but you must make yourself a priority and think about what is going to be the best thing for YOU! And if people want to be in your life, then they’ll accept and understand this. Do yourself a favor and don’t feel like you should apologize because you're doing what makes you happy, you’re doing what you need to foster the best version of yourself.
Tip #5: Don’t Try So Hard & Don’t Overthink it
Trying to force a situation to happen unnaturally negates the magic of a natural situation. You have to let things flow and fall into place. When you start to overthink it, that’s when you tend to be your worst critic. If it's something that you truly want to do, something that you want to accomplish, then you should avoid the stress of placing an unhealthy amount of energy on it. Learn to combat those negative thoughts by taking action, putting your plans into place, seeing them through at your own time and pace, and just taking it one productive day at a time.
Listen to this episode on The Female Millennial: