When I first arrived in New York City, I don’t think there was ever a time in my life where I'd felt more lost. Originally, I intended to try living there for up to two years. When I visited in February, I loved the city. Scenes from 'Gossip Girl' and 'Sex and the City flashed into my mind. However, when it really came time to living there and experiencing the daily NYC grind, I realized it was not meant for me. I definitely wanted to move there, but I feel like a part of me got nervous when it came time to graduate from college and have the "next step figured out." It's such a strange adjustment for me, being done with school forever. I was definitely ready to be done, but it still feels odd not having that security blanket for the first time since I was a little girl.
Growing up in a very rural, isolated community where I didn't feel like I fit the small town mold, I couldn't wait to get away. Being from such an isolated area, where the nearest Walmart was at least two hours away, it was always such an adventure to go somewhere bigger! I think part of me displaced the feeling of "getting away" with wanting to be somewhere else. My small town upbringing will always be a part of me and now I appreciate my hometown much more than when I was younger.
A lesson I learned during my time in New York is that I didn't appreciate the moment enough. I'm a very future-minded person, always thinking about what's next. I can't wait until ________. My life will be so much better once _________. Yes, the future is unavoidable and it's something to be embraced, but I've always had a tendency to focus on it too much. At times, not living my life in the (insert cliche) present.
My time in New York taught me a lot about myself (sorry, another cliche). It was really hard at first and there were times where I hated everything about it. However, there is something magical about New York City. I often forget that it's the most influential city in the country and that some people would die to be there. NYC is the land of people who 'DGAF.' Whether it be about looking silly or strange in front of others, saying what's really on their minds, or going after what they love. I appreciate the sense of confidence and attitude from New Yorkers. There are many things I love about New York. Things like the architecture, street art, array of languages and cultures, and the subway performers can't be found the same anywhere else. I would say that I ended up really liking the city, which was something that I didn't see possible for a while. Nonetheless, I truly don't think New York and I are meant to be!
It made me appreciate qualities about living out West in Montana that I took for granted before. I missed the accessibility to fresh air, lying in the grass, going on road trips, having my own space, cheaper prices, and the accessibility to the outdoors - just to name a few.
It's been two weeks since my journey in New York ended. Looking back, it was such a great chance to meet new people, build amazing friendships, live in a place that many people dream of exploring, and have a career building opportunity. I feel really good about my time there and I’m happy about the experience I had.
I've moved back to Missoula for the time being and instead of rushing through life, I intend to take my time to figure it all out. I want to really try to grow as a person, improve on skills I've been interested in, and enjoy life. Even though I don't have a career technically figured out at this time, this probably is the most at peace I've felt about my life in years. This doesn't mean that I'll necessarily be in Montana the rest of my life, I'm just taking my time to find what the "next step" is truly meant to be. My recent mantra is to embrace that I'm just another twenty-something trying to figure it all out. :)
New York was a very challenging journey, I'm glad that I didn't leave when there were times I felt I couldn't stay. I feel that it's good to do things that make you uncomfortable and help you grow. So thank you, New York for all you taught me. However, "the mountains are calling and I must go."