6 years in nyc.

August 19th, 2013

Just a couple of months after graduating from UVa I moved to the Big Apple with the intention of staying up to 5 years. It’s somewhat of an arbitrary time frame but I felt like it gave me enough time to explore and get the big city bug out of my system. Six years later {yesterday!} I’m still here with no plan of leaving any time soon. Do I want a house and a backyard sometimes? Of course. Do I wish I could go to the grocery store and be able to throw the bags into the back of a car? Sure. Do I love being able to walk out my building’s doors and have endless options for an adventure that day? No doubt.

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Here are 25 things I’ve learned while living in New York about myself & this amazing place:

1. You can’t rely on the MTA to get you anywhere in a timely manner. Especially on the weekends.

2. Don’t let others define you. Create your own identity.

3. Giving up your dreams for someone isn’t “compromising”. Dreams are meant to be shared.

4. The city smells like an armpit from June – September. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it.

5. New Yorkers are nice. But here’s a tip: don’t stop in the middle of the sidewalk to read your map.

6. Run or bike along the West Side Highway as often as possible.

7. There are loads of rats, cockroaches, and mice. Two of which most likely share your apartment with you. If you feel a little tickle on your toes {or face in Carlie’s experience … too soon?} it probably isn’t your bed mate …

8. Don’t limit yourself. Don’t allow others to limit you.

9. There are streets in Manhattan that aren’t just numbers. And Houston is not pronounced like the city in Texas but HOW-STON. Just a word to the wise.

10. Don’t be surprised if you could grab a soda from your refrigerator without ever getting off of your couch pull-out bed while watching television. That’s called a studio. I lived in one of them for a year. {Also, don’t be shocked to see the size of closets. In my second apartment I was sure I would only be able to fit 5 coats in my closet. You can make it work.}

11. Stand up for yourself. And have the discretion to know when to just let it go. Some things, or people, just are not worth that energy.

12. Go to sample sales. Proceed with caution. {I got knocked over at my first sample sale, Nanette Lepore, but I did get a really cute dress.}

13. Know when to let unhealthy friendships go. It’s just a part of growing up.

14. Magnolia does not have the best cupcakes in the city. It’s Billy’s. All Billy’s.

15. Don’t stare at the girl {or guy} crying on the street. It will, no doubt, be you at some point in your time here.

16. It’s always hard to be far away from your family. But you quickly learn that your friends in New York become your family.

17. The only cheap things here are flowers & manicures.

18. Business issued cell phones are leashes.

19. Go on a date with someone you didn’t exactly imagine yourself with when growing up. Who knows, you may just be lucky enough to marry them. {Me, me!}

20. Serve others. I feel strongly that true servants don’t need to promote their efforts. Facebook & Twitter don’t care. The people you impact do.

21. Live in the present.

22. Don’t always try to please others.

23. Go to drunk brunch.

24. Allow yourself to be happy.

25. And finally, moms are always right. Even when you’re sure they’re wrong. Trust me, they’re right.

Here’s to an open mind & many more years of exploration!

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XX Leigh-Taylor