To live in New York has always been my dream. In 2012, I had spent six months here and a further three months in 2013 interning. New York is not for everyone, but anyone that knows me well knows how obsessed I am with this city. I knew I had to come back for a more permanent stay.
All the songs referencing New York are true, it’s a place where dreams are made of. But why specifically did I want to move here? Why did I decide to put myself in one of the toughest, most stressful situations you can be in. Homeless, jobless and friendless. Clearly, I’m crazy.
I can’t explain it but I think many people will understand when I say there is something special about this city. New York is the only place I have felt 100% myself. Moving here has given me the courage to just do me, which includes working and expanding on my blog, ShePrevails. In Dublin, I always felt like I had to play everything down and I would often worry about other peoples opinions. I never have to think about that here, as everyone is too concerned about their own dreams and working to make them happen.
As I said above, New York is where dreams can come true, and boy do I dream. But that can be a problem. Another way of putting it is that I never feel satisfied and always think about the next thing. For years New York felt like the end goal and I would be happy once I was living here. But surprise, surprise the day I landed in JFK was not the day I felt complete. I have yet to feel that way and probably never will, which I have learned is ok.
I planned my move solo. It was brave, and knowing what I know now it was a bit crazy. I am lucky to have met many great friends who also moved the same time as me. The Irish in New York really have a way of finding each other! Finding a home and a job takes time and persistence. You need to be a strong individual to take the constant knock backs, but in the end, it will work it’s self out. Patience is something I have always lacked before, but New York somehow forced it into me.
The main thing this experience has taught me is to take everything day by day. Living here has thrown many curve balls, were things I thought would be hard were fine and other things I expected to be ok were far from that. I have learned I really can’t plan for anything and it has stopped me in my tracks. Everything, especially if you are dealing with visa issues will be up in the air. I have no idea where or what I will be doing this time next year and it absolutely terrifies me. Of course, I have imagined all the possible scenarios but at the end of the day, it is a waste of time. Everything is out of my hands, I only have one option and that is to sit still and enjoy the now. Thankfully there is a lot to enjoy.
Homesickness was not an issue for me. For the first 4/5 months, I was too busy trying to make it work and settle in to even think about home. So finally, when everything was going great, BAM it hit me. It didn’t make any sense for me to feel this way. But at the same time, it made perfect sense. I am never happy. Once I started to feel as though I was “making it in New York”, home felt further away than ever. The idea of going home when everything is going so great would be ridiculous. So naturally, that was all I could think of.
Luckily, a few days at home in June reassured me that yes, I still love my family and friends, but no I did not want to move back. But maybe, just maybe I’d be ok if I ever found myself having to return due to visa issues, which sadly is a real possibility.
If you are reading this, and have considered making the move this may have only made your decision harder. I am sorry, but you need to know about the emotional ups and downs, the test of patience and the ability to live in the now. These are the things no one tells you about.
So, should you make the move?
Put yourself in uncomfortable situations. Fail and fail fast. Make peace with the unknown. Whatever happens, it will be an unforgettable experience that will teach you more about yourself than you have ever imagined. And at the end of the day, like my Dad always tells me, home will always be waiting. This past year has been one of the best in my life. Whatever happens over the next few months, New York will always have a special place in my heart.
You can normally find Sophie at www.ShePrevails.ie or in Instagram @she.prevails, Twitter @sheprevails1, Snapchat: sophiemitchl