Wowzers, it's that time again... This weekend marks living in New York for 6 years! I feel like every year this day sneaks up on me -- the longer I'm here the faster time seems to be going. Even when life gets a little crazy though, this is one post I make sure I write every year because I think it's so important to share milestones and document where life has taken me. I must say, this year does feel quite a bit different to write too. SO much has changed in the last year (exciting stuff!) that while there are certainly many constants, my life as a whole looks a lot different than years past.
My NYC anniversary has always been a little bittersweet for me. While I've enjoyed my time in NYC I've been pretty outspoken with my struggles with homesickness which has always been something that tugged hard on my heart. And while I definitely still have my moments I don't feel sad at all today.. It may have taken 6 years (dang that's a long time) but with all the changes in the last year I'm feeling prettyyyy great about everything.
In the last year I've had 4 pretty major life changes -- I left my long-time job, started my own business, moved in with Chris, and then moved into a new apartment. Holy changes! While every year certainly brings growth, you could say I added some miracle grow to this year because it's been a heck of a year for personal and professional growth.
While all of those are pretty big changes, starting my own business has definitely been the biggest change. This time last year, I had some ideas and goals in mind for taking a chance in the freelance world, but let's be real here. I had no idea if I'd actuallyyyy be able to make it happen. It was certainly a big risk, but no risk no reward right?! While I certainly did some planning (and saving mulah) I approached starting my biz with the same mentality I did moving to NYC... Why not?! If it doesn't work out I can always move back.. or find another adventure. And while I'm not normally one to brag... guys can I take a moment to say that I have KILLED it since taking this risk?! Serious #Humblebrag right there but I am SO proud of how well I've done so far. Don't get me wrong it has been A LOT of work and late nights, but danggg has it been worth it. Even more than being able to pay those bills -- which is obviously top priority -- proving to myself I could do this has been so rewarding. It turns out I'm a lot better at this business thing than I thought I might be 😉.
More on that reward part too! This flexibility thing... ah-mazing. We've had so much going on this year so having the flexibility to take off a little early any day of the week, meet a friend in town for biz in the middle of the day or book flights mid-week has opened so many doors. I just booked a trip home for October and December which will be my 3rd and 4th trips home THIS year! HOORAY for being able to work anywhere I have a wifi connection! Which means I will have officially spent more time (and still have some to add) back in Washington in the last year than in the previous 5 years combined... And that's a BIG deal to me. I've been so much happier and while airport goodbyes still suck, knowing I can come back for a visit pretty much whenever I want is an incredible feeling.
I've been dating Chris almost as long as I've lived in the city (6 years next month) and while I was ready to live with him at least 3 years ago, he's always been on his own schedule. After being very patient... ok let's be real I haven't been that patient he finallyyyy decided this was the year he was willing to part with his longest long-term relationship.. his apartment. Of all of the changes over the last year this one was the easiest for me. Let's get real.. when you live on the same block and stay over at least 6 of the 7 days you pretty much know what you're getting into and I was very excited about this new chapter for us. Plus, being able to split rent while I embarked on my freelance adventure was certainly a nice perk too.
The toughest part of moving in together was actually the fact that we ended up doing it twice. After Chris moved into the studio we ended up having to move again because my landlord sold the building (yes that's happened twice to me now). That process was a little stressful at times, and I was nervous about applying for the first time being self-employed but looking back the process actually was pretty smooth and now we have a much bigger space. Helloooo having a bedroom and backyard! So even though that caused a lot of stress, I'm very happy with where we are now and cannotttt wait to share an apartment tour now that I'm done with all of my projects (more on that later). I was joking earlier you know you've made it in NYC when you have enough space (in our case indoor and outdoor) where you can be lazy and text the other person from another space haha. So according to my theory we have finally "made it".
On the city...
With all of this year's changes, I can honestly say I enjoy living in the city SO much more. While I liked it before most of the time.. even after being here so long, it always felt temporary to me. And while I certainly don't know if I'll be here forever, with the changes over the last year I have totally different vibes about it. Plus working from home perks... if the weather is God awful -- dead of winter and summer I'm talking to you -- you can minimize some of the time you have to go outside. Not having to commute the majority of the time is a whole other reason to love the city more now too!
I finally feel like I can have the best of both worlds and it is such an amazing feeling. This sounds soooo cheesy, but I've had this dream vision for what my life could look like one day if I worked really hard and I truly feel like it has become a reality in the last year. So cheers to you NYC, it's been a wild ride and it's certainly not over but boy am I excited for the next year together.