I tried to avoid writing a “leaving New York” post, because it’s a cliche thing to do. But cliches often exist for a reason. Living in and leaving New York are both rollercoasters of emotion, and everyone experiences them differently.
People move to New York for many reasons — for jobs, for money, for a chance to “make it.” Growing up outside of Boston, I never once wanted to move to New York (Red Sox for life!), opting instead to move to San Francisco after graduation because I had heard it was a cool place to live. New York was never on my radar until I met the love of my life who just so happened to be born and raised in Westchester Country, and had moved to NYC after graduating from college. After a year of long-distance love, off to New York I went!
For the first year, I drank the city in. Late nights, early mornings, exploring everything the city had to offer. Going to Broadway shows, eating at hole-in-the-wall restaurants, running in the parks, exploring nooks and crannies of various neighborhoods, seeing amazing concerts…but somewhere along the line it all started to wear on my soul. I’m an extroverted introvert , meaning I can turn it on and be bubbly as heck in social situations, but I recharge with some quality solo time. And solo time in the city that never sleeps is hard to come by.
It got to the point where my favorite time to be out and about in the city was pre-7AM on Saturdays and Sundays —an ungodly hour for most, but a time when I could enjoy the beauty of this place without the crushing hoards of people and cacophony of city life . Access to nature was limited at best (yes, Prospect Park is gorgeous, but it gets old after a while), and I found myself growing stir-crazy in our Park Slope apartment. Sure, we took weekend hiking and camping trips in the beautiful Hudson Valley, but getting in and out of the city was usually more stressful than the nature visit was relaxing!
Life is full of crazy twists and turns, and while I never expected to move across the country three times before I turned 30 (BOS->SF->NYC->LA), I’m so grateful and glad that we are now official residents of Santa Monica, CA. The morning that Kristian and I departed from our home of the past 5 years and ventured cross-country with our two fur babies to embark on a new adventure in Los Angeles was scary, exciting, and filled with potential. One week into living here and I can honestly feel myself relaxing, breathing easier, and feeling more at peace. We’re living in a little window-filled bungalow surrounded by trees on all sides and live within walking distance of the beach. Already a happy person by nature, I have even more of a spring in my step since being here. We have direct access to nature, but still with the proximity to city life that we weren’t yet ready to give up.
I’ll always hold a special place in my heart for New York — it’s where my relationship with Kristian blossomed, where we got married, where many of my fondest memories took place, and where we have dear friends and his family — but the next chapter of our lives will be unfolding on the west coast, and I couldn’t be happier for this much-needed change of pace and lifestyle.