Today’s post is one that has been highly requested by my followers ever since I moved to NYC. Prior to moving to New York, I was thrilled at the thought of new opportunities, a new home and new friends. I could barely contain my excitement. The day I left Miami for my official move, I remember barely looking back. I didn’t want to look back because the only way I was looking was forward. I couldn’t wait for the new adventures that lie ahead in the Big Apple and I had no regrets about my decision to uproot my entire life and move to a brand new city.
Fast forward 8 months… things have, well, changed.
There is this common misconception that bloggers and digital influencers alike live perfect lives. They receive free gifs, get glamorous photos taken, attend trendy events and have their closets filled with the latest must-haves of the season. Wrong. Something that’s so important to remember is that Instagram is simply a highlight reel. It’s not our real life and that’s what I try to portray to my followers. My life is nowhere near perfect and, to be honest with you, it has felt a bit further from perfect ever since I made the move to New York City.
Now, I know what you might be thinking. “She has the opportunity to live in a great apartment in one of the best cities ever and has an amazing job and coworkers” and yes – that is true. I do have a beautiful apartment and New York City is an amazing city. I do love my job and I’m fortunate to do what I love (social media for an absolutely amazing company that I honestly believe in so much). But there’s something that has seriously suffered since I arrived in New York City. It’s something I anticipated would grow to new heights… and it didn’t. And that certain thing is my blog.
Since I moved here, I have only created 191 Instagram posts. Now, you might think that’s a lot. But think about it. I’ve been here 8 months, which is about 32 weeks give or take. So, it’s about 6 posts a week on average (some weeks I wouldn’t even post on Instagram). When I lived in Miami, I posted 2-3 Instagrams a day. That’s about 21 posts a week. Now you get what I’m saying. My content consistency has gone down, along with my content creation and motivation. I’ll talk more about this below but I wanted to share a few things I’ve learned since living in New York.
If you think it’s expensive, you’re right.
I’m blessed to have an income that allows me to live in the city. All throughout college, I worked extremely hard to be able to get a great job afterwards. But, let’s give you a little insight into my bills.
- Rent: $2,995/month
- Cable: $140/month
- Electricity during summer: $160/month
- Gym: $90/month
- Transportation: average of $120/month
When I moved to the city, I thought I was prepared for the expensive cost of living. Nope. Not one bit. I’ve had to say no to going to dinner with friends, or to doing my nails, simply because I just can’t afford it. And buying clothes to style and share with you on TFD has become nearly impossible. If I buy clothes, I end up having to give up something else – like any kind of entertainment on weekends. And, while I love my apartment, it gets boring staying there on weekend nights because of a lack of money.
Transportation is a pain in the (you-know-what).
I used to tell my parents that I didn’t care about taking the subway. It was fine. I was fine. Lies. No matter how early I leave, there will always be the possibility of a delay because of train signal problems, a sick passenger, traffic (bus) and more. Oh, and they’re crowded. Don’t get me wrong – I love people. But there have been so many times when someone is breathing down my neck and it gives me the actual chills. Can we say, personal space? Yeah, that doesn’t exist. And, of course, you can walk to a lot of places. But that also means that you’ll either 1) freeze or 2) show up at your destination extremely sweaty, bothered and no longer fresh-faced because of the extreme heat.
Finding spots for photos (on a daily basis) is hard!
I work and live in an area that isn’t as “Instagrammable.” It’s crowded where I work and there aren’t many pretty settings near my apartment building. In order to get a cute photo, I either have to trek to my parents’ house in Brooklyn, or just hope that an over-the-head shot will do for the day. I mean, if I lived in Soho or West Village, then that would be a different story. But I also can hardly afford my rent in Murray Hill, so might as well not even think about that (insert sad face).
There’s a lot of social competition
While I am constantly inspired by the people that walk past me on the streets, I also sometimes feel defeated. Defeated because I can’t afford to buy new outfits, get my hair done or paint my nails on a consistent basis. Their outfits are fabulous and I’m here wearing the same LOFT dress I bought two months ago for my first day of work. Now, don’t get me wrong… I love that dress, but you get my point.
There’s not much room for personal space
I think this one speaks for itself. But, if you’re aware and okay with that, then you’re just fine!
Contrary to what you may think, walking so much won’t make you shed pounds
Ugh. This is the part I was mostly looking forward to when I moved here. But, between the delicious weekend meals and brunches, it’s not necessarily what will happen. I walk so much more than I ever did in Miami, but I also haven’t lost any weight. You have to “work out with purpose” as I’ve been told. And, walking/speed walking to get to your destination in your new Sam Edelman sandals isn’t necessarily considered walking with purpose.
It takes a long time to get anywhere.
Sometimes, I would rather stay home than go somewhere. It just takes so long to get anywhere and if you want to take Uber, there is most likely a high surge and an even higher amount of traffic. Somewhere that would take you 10 minutes to drive to yourself will take about 45 minutes to get to in NYC-time. And that can really be frustrating (and exhausting!).
Weekends become all about bottomless brunch + bar hopping
Don’t get me wrong… I love bottomless brunch – probably more than I should. But I don’t love the tummy I get after drinking one too many mimosas and indulging in deliciously prepared eggs benedict. And I love bar hopping. It’s a great way to spend time with friends, talk, laugh and meet people. What I don’t love is the sadness that is my bank account afterwards.
Commuter rage is a real thing.
I used to think I had a slight case of road rage when driving around in Miami. Well, in NYC I have commuter rage. Whether it’s someone stopping in the middle of the sidewalk, people taking up the entire walkway or someone not letting me off my stop at the subway, the struggle is real.
The worst part of all: TFD has been put on the back burner
This is probably the thing that has affected me the most (mostly mentally). For me, my blog is my baby. I’ve grown it since 2014 and it hasn’t been the same since I’ve been living in the city. In Miami, I was able to hop in my car, meet my photographer (or dad) and shoot my looks within 2 hours. Here, I have to lug my stuff to Brooklyn to shoot with my dad and there aren’t really many cute spots in their neighborhood (at least not to walk to). I don’t feel inspired because I’m either always worrying about my bank account or how tired I am. I know, these all sound like excuses. But they aren’t. The reason I’m writing this post is to be real with you. Consider it my public diary entry. Before moving, I thought it was a glamorous place – think Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City status. And it’s far from that. And the worst part, for me, is having to put The Fashionista’s Diary on the back burner while I figure my life out, try to make enough money to be able to enjoy time with friends and juggling anything thrown my way. It hasn’t been easy, but let me let you in on a little secret I’ve been telling myself…
God does everything for a reason.
Last week, I stopped at a church and prayed. And, oh boy, I felt so good. I felt at peace for the first time in a long time. I asked God for guidance, love and reassurance that I am where I’m supposed to be. Sometimes I question why I left everything I knew for a new city. I question why I left my family, my comfortable life and my comfort zone. Then I read this post. And I remember why I did this. This transition has been the further thing from easy. But, like with everything in life, I have grown, learned and laughed along the way.
One day, I’ll laugh and tell my children about the one time I had a crazy roommate who threw a toaster oven at my door. Maybe I’ll even cry (of laughter or sadness, can’t be sure) at that one time that I burnt 9 inches of my hair off by backing up into a burning candle at the club in the city. I’ll reminisce on the bottomless brunches I shared with the amazing friends I made. I’ll smile thinking about those who impacted my life in more ways than one. And I’ll remember that, despite everything, this city has made me feel alive (unfortunately, my debit card doesn’t feel the same). I’ll take with me everything I’ve learned at my job and thank God for my experiences.
I don’t know where I’ll be in a year or two from now. But what I do know is that I’ll figure it out. And while NYC might not have been what I expected, it’s still a great city filled with adventure, love and opportunities. I’ve made some of my closest friends and created memories that will carry me throughout my entire lifetime.
So, my promise to you, NYC is to focus less on bottomless brunches, bar hopping and watching Jane the Virgin on the couch and focus more on experiences that I can take with me wherever my future may be.
Because, like my dad’s favorite song by Frank Sinatra says, “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.” And, heck yes. I can make it.