Beginning October 26, 2016, everything that I knew to be “normal” drastically changed. City life is noisy and busy ALL the time. Even something as simple as falling asleep to new sounds — like the hissing of the radiator — proved to be challenging. Then you add in more complicated challenges like learning to adjust to street parking and the street cleaning schedule, figuring out the subway system, and locating the best spots to get your groceries.
As you can imagine, these changes quickly started to overwhelm me; however, the one piece of advice that I continued to receive from previous as well as current New Yorkers was to give yourself time to adjust. This truly is the best advice anyone could give for transitioning to the city, but what they didn’t tell you was what a fight it would be to allow yourself to learn and adjust. I wanted to feel comfortable and know what I was doing right away, but obviously that was an unrealistic expectation which led to frustration. It took a solid 3 months for me to begin to feel comfortable with the nuances of city life, but by no means did that mean I was completely adjusted in that short amount of time. The more I learned how to be patient with myself and my adjustment, the quicker things started to feel “normal.” I still have my days where I get fed up with living in such a big, crazy city, but for the most part I have accepted these things as normal and can take them in stride.
Jessica’s Year One NYC Fun Facts:
- I now know what a good bagel tastes like. If you have never eaten a NYC bagel then you are missing out! I can honestly say that I have not had a bad bagel since I moved here.
- One of the benefits of living in such a diverse area is trying new foods! One of the best foods I have tried here is a banh mi sandwich, a Vietnamese sandwich with meat and a mixture of fresh and pickled vegetables.
- My definition of “within walking distance” has changed dramatically. The first few times we went out after we moved everything seemed so far away. Now if something is less than a 30-minute walk, it feels like nothing.
- Living more simply due to smaller spaces can be a challenge, but it can also be enjoyable. Finding space for everything in our one-bedroom apartment was just the challenge for my organizer brain.
- Christmastime in NYC lives up to all the hype. It is simply magical.
- I lose track of how many car horns, sirens, and car alarms I hear on a daily basis. Some days the noises can seem incessant.
- Living in NYC has boosted my confidence. I struggle with directions, but if I can find my way around the city by myself (with the help of my iPhone, of course) than anyone can do it!
- New Yorkers aren’t patient, except when they are waiting for an elevator.
- I have walked roughly 900 miles* since moving to NYC, and I now keep a log of how many miles I walk each day. (*mileage based on info from my health app for iPhone)
Moving to the city wasn’t exactly in my plans, but 365 days later, I am incredibly thankful for this opportunity I have to call NYC my home. I have found many things that I enjoy about city life, and I am looking forward to what this next year holds.