I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a while, and now that it’s time to actually write it, where do I begin? After nine years of living in NYC, the time has come to say goodbye and move on.
My first experiences in NYC were when I was young, visiting with my family. My mom grew up and spent most of her life in New York and since we only lived four hours away, it was a trip we took frequently. I knew from a young age that after college I’d live in NYC. I can’t remember any sort of thought process going into it, for me, it was a given—after college I’d immediately move to the city to pursue my dream of working at a magazine as a writer.
During college, I spent two summers interning in NYC, the first one at Shop Etc. (a short-lived Hearst Magazine) and at InStyle. I loved everything about New York City; it was my dream come true. Working in magazines felt glamorous (as glamorous as an internship can be) and I started to find my way and life in the city.
Just as I planned, a month after graduating college I packed up and headed to New York. At this point, I was still just as obsessed with New York as I’d ever been. Even though my first apartment was a studio turned into a two bedroom with a roommate, I was still living the dream! Oh New York.
First summer living in New York City
When I first got to NYC I didn’t have a job lined up but wasn’t worried, it would all work out. And it did, I eventually found a job at Lucky Magazine, although it was on the publishing side, not editorial.
After a couple of years at that job, I started to question my love of the magazine industry, even though it had always been my dream job. I decided to move to TV and did marketing at Bravo and AMC Networks. After a few years there, I ended up back in magazines, working at Seventeen and now also at Cosmo.
Looking back at my time in NYC, I’ve worked for a bunch of companies that the younger me could have only dreamed about. I worked in 4 Times Square at the Conde Nast building, a building that gave me chills the first time I walked in for an interview. I worked at 30 Rock, casually passing them filming The Today Show (my fave morning show) every morning and would pass SNL actors in the hallways. I’ve had the amazing opportunity to teach at Equinox for nearly eight years. Despite NYC being a very tough place to live, for me it felt easy. It was close enough to home, I had friends and a very good knowledge of the city.
Even though I came to New York knowing a lot of people, I’ve made so many new great friends along the way, through fitness, through work and through other friends.
Prepping to start the NYC Triathlon with my tri girls
So many great friends made over there years, but slowly they all start leaving the city!
Another great thing about NYC: tons of great things just a short drive away.
Even with that, slowly I started to fall a little bit out of love with NYC. When people asked me about living in New York, I always used to say that unless you absolutely love NYC, you shouldn’t live there. There is way too much to hate that if you weren’t obsessed with the city, you’d hate living there. It’s expensive, it’s pretty dirty, the winter’s can be rough and the summers can be hot as hell. But if you love NYC, it doesn’t matter; it’s still the most magical place. For a long time for me, it was magical. Eventually though, your preferences can shift.
In the back of my mind I knew that NYC was not going to be a forever place for me. I know I’m not alone as slowly over the years, friends have been leaving the city. Before I met MM I decided that I’d give NYC a few more years and if I didn’t meet someone, maybe I’d try a new city (I said this, but I’m not sure I actually would have gone through with it). Fortunately, I didn’t have to do that because I met MM. We felt the same way about NYC, we loved it, but knew it wouldn’t be forever. Where we would go next? That was always the big question.
MM is now finishing up grad school at Columbia and when it was time to start looking for jobs; I encouraged him to look all over. Maybe he’d find something in NYC and we’d be in the city for a bit longer and that would be fine, but maybe this would be our chance to try something new. When he got a job offer in California, it was sort of a no brainer. We weren’t necessarily set on CA when he started the job hunting process, but with the great opportunity for MM’s work, and a totally new scene for us, it made perfect sense to just go for it. I’ve spent about 3 days in my entire life in San Fran and know almost nothing about the city, but even so, I’m confident that this is the right next move for us.
Visiting San Francisco 2 years ago, the last time I was there.
By moving across the country, I’ll be leaving my job at Seventeen and Cosmo. As much as I enjoy the work and will be sad to leave my coworkers that have become good friends, I am ready to leave. Working in magazines was my dream for as long as I can remember, but that dream and passion has shifted. It’s no longer my ultimate career aspiration, I have new things I want to accomplish and go after. And it’s okay that my focus has shifted. Now is the perfect opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and go after new dreams.
A New York favorite: Central Park
Leaving NYC will certainly be bittersweet. I have so many close friends that I will miss and it’s nice to know my parents are a quick-ish car ride away in Maryland.
I also have no sense of how to navigate a new city. I’m so used to New York, but I’m excited to take on a new challenge of exploring a new city, meeting new people and trying out a new pace of life. When I moved to New York I knew so many people, I had a built in network. In San Francisco, I know about 3 people. It might sound weird, but I’m kind of excited about that. I’m not excited to leave my east coast friends, but I think getting out of your comfort zone is so important to growing as a person. I’m sure once I get out there it will be harder than what I have built up in my head, but I’m still excited.
As I prepare to leave New York, I haven’t completely fallen out of love with this great city. I know there are so many things I will miss, most I probably won’t even realize until I’m gone. I will always love New York and think about the nine years I spent here as pretty amazing. But sometimes you have to take a leap and try something totally new, and now’s our time.
On May 31st, MM and I will pack up our belongings and cram it in our car for a cross-country road trip. MM, Ollie and I will be taking 16 days to drive from New York City to San Francisco. I’ve always wanted to do a cross-country road trip and am so excited (and maybe a little nervous) for the adventure we’re about to embark on.
You know I will keep you posted on all our plans as we make our way out west. I hope you continue to follow Shapin Up during this big journey!