My Love Affair With New York (Part I)

November 28, 2012

A few days after moving to NYC.

I love New York, plain and simple. It will always hold a special place in my heart. In the last few months there has been so much sad coverage of the ravages that hurricane Sandy made upon the city.  It has made me sad and thankful that I am not in New York at this time.  This is a post I was planning on writing a while ago, but have had to think on and take my time writing.

It was only a few short months ago that I was living in New York. After Hurricane Sandy, I kept on thinking the “what if’s.” Thankfully those “what if’s” are not the truth. It has also got me thinking about how New York has made it’s path through my life. This is my New York story; I like to think of it as My Love Affair with New York.

You might be surprised to find out that I didn’t visit New York for the first time until I was 19 years old. It’s crazy to think you could be in love with a place that you had only seen in movies and read about in books, but there it is and that’s how it was.

I knew I was part of the melting pot that is New York City,  the first time I visited it as a tourist. When I got accepted into the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)  for their Spring semester when I was 20, I nearly jumped through the roof when I received my acceptance letter. Me actually going to New York City?!?!! I couldn’t believe it! I had never before or ever since reacted to any new in this manner–I am not the yippee dippy excited type of girl.

If I had been any younger, I don’t know if I’d have had the balls to move all the way across country. Having lived in San Francisco and gotten my Associates degree made me feel that I could conquer anything! I wasn’t yet jaded and I was feeling the cockiness of youth, so there was nothing else to do than to follow my dream! I also knew that I could do the move if I had school as my crutch, but the thought of moving to New York to look for work scared me shitless. So, school it was!

On my way to my first internship!

I am giving you the short and sweet version of things. Added to the decision making process is family members who weren’t supportive or happy that I was moving across country. It was a tough call to make. If it hadn’t been for the support of my mother, who knew I needed to do this and supported me wholeheartedly, I don’t know if I could have done it.

Even with all of the mixed emotions. My guiding thought when leaving for New York that (FIRST!) time was– “What’s the worst that could happen? I go for one semester, hate it, and come back home?” Better to fail and follow my dreams than live my life full of regrets and yearning. What is life worth if you don’t get to follow your dreams?

I spent the next three and a half years in New York finishing my bachelor’s degree.  There was a lot of homesickness and tears through the years–and even thoughts of transferring back to school in San Francisco–but, in the end, I did it!  Every time I had second thoughts, I would stop and remind myself of the amazing magnitude of what I was doing!  I was actually living, working, and going to school in New York FUCKING City!!! How many people dreamed my same dream and never pursued it? And, here I was–DOING IT!!

Graduation from FIT.

When I graduated, I had plans of staying in New York and pursuing my career. There wasn’t any other decision to make….  Except, the market crash decided to make that decision for me. I graduated in December 2008 when the market crashed and the economy and job market went “kaput.” After the holidays, when I started to look for a job, there really weren’t any to be had. My school even had a career fair for graduating seniors (where in past times, a lot of people ended up with jobs afterward), but there weren’t that many companies participating, and the ones that were, weren’t really hiring.

I had shit luck. I stayed in New York for nine more months applying for job after job in everything and anything.

By the following September, I had been offered a job back home. I made the decision to come back because I was done. Between the job search, relationship problems, what have you–the city had burned me out.  Life in New York City is very amazing and very tough–all at the same time. The job was what I needed. So, I left.

Leaving New York that first time was definitely bitter sweet.  Yes, due to circumstances that were out of my control, I did not succeed in finding a job. BUT, I did it. I moved to New York City! I graduated in my dream major! I did it! I followed my dreams! There is no failure in that. New York had made me one sassy, worldly chic and built me into a better person. I have no regrets.

With the new job in California, I knew it was time… It was my time in life for a new chapter. I knew I would be back, it was a matter of when, not if… Once you fall in love with New York, you can never part for long…

—-> COMING SOON: Part II in “My Love Affair with New York.”

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