Guys today marks my one year anniversary of living in New York! I know I’ve talked about it before, but the day I arrived here was probably one of the most mentally challenging days I’ll ever go through! I was beyond heartbroken after leaving the comforts of home and my beautiful family and all of the sudden I was in this strange place with no permanent place to live and absolutely no idea what the future would hold in terms of finding a job and carving out a new life for myself. I swear the only way I talked myself through those days when I was overwhelmed with homesickness was by telling myself “Stick it out until the end of the Summer, then Christmas” and before I know it here I am one year later. It’s funny, you get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place. Like you’ll not only miss the people you love, but you’ll miss the person you were at that time and place because so many changes are about to happen that you’ll never be the same person again! This city has taught me so much about myself and life in general that I wanted to share it all with you guys.
- It’s all about balance: People in this city seem to go hard or go home when it comes to every aspect of their life from work to fitness. Something I’ve come to learn over the past year is finding a balance that lets me be as productive as possible while still giving me the chance to live life to the fullest! For example when it comes to fitness, I’ll work my tush off from Monday to Friday and eat as clean as possible, but come Saturday and Sunday you can bet I’ll be getting myself some pancakes with a yummy cocktail at brunch!
- Anything can happen: As cliche as it sounds, literally anything can happen in New York City. You could be shopping in a market and get asked to model for a photoshoot (True Story), you could end up sitting beside Kendall Jenner at a restaurant (Another true story) or you could land your dream job. You can never say never here and thats what makes the city so magical.
- You don’t get what you don’t ask for: You can guarantee that NOTHING will be handed to you in this city! This one really was a lesson for me in a professional capacity in both my work in Social Media and also as a Blogger. If you want that promotion or a higher salary at work, then ask for it! The worst that anybody can tell you is no, and in my experience they’ll even respect you a little more for asking.
- Be kind to others AND Yourself: Without a doubt New York will give you the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. You never know what someone else is going through so always smile at people and offer to help others where you can! And of course be kind to yourself. Making it in New York isn’t easy so treat yourself to flowers or a cupcake now and again!
- You have to sell yourself: One fault (one of the very few faults) of being Irish is that we are very stingey with the self praise. As a nation we tend to be very modest and not as forthcoming about how amazing we are! It wasn’t until I moved here and saw first hand at how confident Americans are in themselves that it really struck me! If you don’t sell yourself you can bet that nobody else will either. On that subject moving here has also taught me that Irish people in general are by far one of the most hardworking and educated nations out there!
- It makes you appreciate the simple things: Over the past few months I’ve come to appreciate the simple things of life, open spaces, fresh air and quietness. I’m lucky I live near Central Park so I can easily find a break from the madness but there’s nothing better than a weekend escape from the city! Moving here has also given me a deeper appreciation for my family and friends at home. There’s no way I would be where I am if it wasn’t for their endless love and support! It’s quite funny lately I think my mom and dad as well as some of my girlfriends in Ireland may think that I’ve become more open with my feelings for them. Whenever I leave Ireland I always hide a note for my parents in the mailbox just telling how thankful I am for how everything they’ve done for me and in the past few weeks I’ve made it my point to tell the girls at home just how much their friendship mean to me!
- You need a support network: Moving to a whole new city last year was so much easier because I had some close friends going through the same experiences as me. Even though it was so tough getting settled, having my girlfriends that I could call at the end of the day or vent about life over cocktails on a beautiful rooftop made it all so much easier. I remember my first week here I was so beyond homesick until a fellow Irish blogger Lorna took me out to lunch and gave me such a pep talk and assured me that everything would work out!
- Change is inevitable: Before moving here, I for one absolutely hated change! By nature I’m a person who tends to get comfortable with routine and familiarity but all of that has gone out the window this past few months. Things never stay the same in NYC, people are always moving apartments, changing jobs or meeting new people! I for one have lived in 4 different apartments and changed job twice in just one year. It takes time to find exactly what works for you but until that day comes, you have to accept that change is part of the package!
- Rise above it: I hate to say it, but you’ll nearly always meet one or two people who, how shall we put it, aren’t the nicest people! Whether it’s professionally when someone won’t work as part of a team or someone who’s experiencing a power trip, you’ll meet all sorts of characters out here. The best thing I’ve learned is to rise above it! Never stoop down so low as to talk negatively behind someones back, instead just smile and kill them with kindness.
- Get in there: People move from all over the world to make something of themselves here in New York. As a result you live in a city filled with some of the most talented and ambitious people in the world which makes it highly competitive in every way! I’m someone who absolutely hates to compete with others as I really always believed there’s plenty to go around for everyone but in a professional capacity you really have to stand up for yourself and get in the game! I guarantee there will always be a handful of other people waiting to snatch an opportunity if you don’t!
And there you have it, I’ve definitely learned a lot in 12 short months. It’s been a year of highs and lows and laughter and tears but I wouldn’t change one thing about it. I have a feeling that this city still has many more life lessons to teach me!