The past several months have been a rollercoaster of emotions and stress as I prepared myself to make one of my biggest life changes so far: I moved to New York City! I've been meaning to write and publish this post, but I've been busy trying to adapt and settle into the city – plus, I've had the opportunity and pleasure to write for my school paper, in which I've been doing since the beginning of this semester!

It's such an exciting time to be somewhere new, and in a place where I was always drawn to since I first discovered my calling to write. As my goal is to pursue that career and the ambition to become a journalist in the Big Apple, I quit my job, broke up with my ex-partner, I packed my bags and, with my mask on, I headed to the city that never sleeps.

It was definitely a shock, not just going from a tropical climate to a winter storm (the day after I arrived in New Jersey, where I was picked up by my family, another huge storm had hit the East Coast!), but also the shock of being where I always dreamed of living in. To have so much control over my life now that I'm solo and wanting to build my life up. Since I felt like I was swimming in old water from experiencing mental breakdowns, feelings of existentialism, and going through relationship problems, I feel that doing this was the right decision, one that would guide me to a better and more clearer pathway towards a happy and successful life I'm always striving for. 

One of the difficult aspects of this journey that I'm still learning the ropes of is being constantly out of my comfort zone. I was so used to being with my parents and relying on their support – now I have to do everything on my own. Usually I'd come with my mother to the grocery store to get food and other things; I'd drive to Target or Walmart and help pick out what foods to get, help them in the car, and help bring them inside the house. It's easy to get what you need or want because my parents will pay it for it – I have to learn to budget, walk to a bodega, Target, or Trader Joe's, and bring the groceries up myself. Sometimes I feel like I'm struggling to budget and ultimately end up indulging myself (especially living in New York when there's so many cool businesses and thrift stores, etc.), but I'm slowly getting there. 

A closed coffee shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY.

Another thing that was difficult in going through this new journey of moving out and, essentially, "leaving the nest", was navigating my move during the pandemic. It's definitely an interesting topic to converse in, with the debate and discussions of whether or not it will be a worthwhile experience due to the COVID-19 restrictions in place – especially moving in the February, the peak of the winter season. 

During one of my first dinners with a new friend from college, she told me that I was very brave for moving the city at around this time of the year. "Not many would be willing to do what you did!" she said to me over some matcha latte, hot chocolate, and beef chili. It was in the negatives that evening, winds were like icy knives slicing my skin, and the snow that came from the recent storm earlier then just began to melt as the pavements busied themselves with more people after Gov. Cuomo opened indoor dining around Valentine's day. Even though I despise the cold, it felt refreshing to breathe in the air after a downfall of fresh snow – for me, it symbolized a new beginning. 

So far into my new life, I've made connections with people, discovered more of the city, learned how to take the subway, and slowly settling into the New York living. I have yet to discover more, but so far I've tried and tasted cool coffee shops, restaurants, bought books from quirky bookshops, 

It's definitely an interesting experience, especially in the middle of a pandemic and one that I'm still learning to navigate. But, as the weather begins to warm up with the remains of winter trailing off and spring about to bloom, as well as more people that I'm seeing getting vaccinated, hopefully things will start to look up and get back to normal. 

I will try to keep up with posting all my adventures and experiences, as there's so many things to do, discover, and explore in New York City! 


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