Two years have gone by and I am still living in New York, I am still living the life some only dream about.
I can say I have changed as a person since moving here, or rather carved out more detail in my model. Some say I’m meaner, some call it tougher, I call it resilient.
Many come with rose-tinted glasses on disillusioned by photos and movies. There is grit to this city. It is dirty. But that’s what makes it beautiful.
First and foremost, you learn to hustle. You are not the only one packing up your bags and heading for the city that never sleeps to get that perfect overpaying job. The reality is, there are 40 other ‘you’s’ running around town, taking YOUR apartment, YOUR job, YOUR last pizza slice. This is the land of opportunity – but it doesn’t mean it is going to fall neatly into your lap.
Pull on your thick skin fast.
If you start hearing the word no, more than the word yes, you can soon start to doubt yourself. Every day is a lesson. But it is also a blessing. The more time you spend here, the tougher and more resilient you will become.
Everyone has a story
The beauty of New York City is the melting pot of its inhabitants. Everyone came here for a reason, for a better life and those that stayed are what makes this city great.
There is a fire fueled by the drive of people here. It generates creativity, competition and success.
If coming to New York for a perfect life is your plan, you have another thing coming. Instead, embrace the imperfections and face the challenges to become a better person. Learning to set up a new life in a new city is one of the hardest things one can do. But if you allow it, it can also be the most rewarding thing too.
Many people say they often questioned being here. I was not one of those people. I still wake up every morning, look up at all the buildings, take in all the senses and pinch myself knowing I live in this crazy city. I did it, even when the going got tough. I just got more resilient (not tougher).
Herstory is a weekly column on women and travel by Steph Ridhalgh. Steph is a Sydney born; New York based television producer and travel blogger. Not one for being quiet for too long she simply loves talking about travel and lifestyle.
Steph is the founder of STEP(h) ABROAD, a travel and lifestyle resource for those who love to be in the know and know how.