And what a fucking time it has been.
Here is a list of a few things I have learned in New York so far.
1) Trader Joe's $2.99 is probably my favorite discovery.
2) Every single day off, I want to do nothing but go to the beach. Apparently the beach is my favorite place here. Maybe it has to do with living in such a hectic, busy place... but either way, I love the murky blue/green water. Rockaway Beach has actual waves (my goodness, those are rare here) and blue water (again, a rarity) but it closes at 6. WHO CLOSES A BEACH AT 6?!
3) You will make a food budget, sure. But it will never work. The falafel at the bodega is too good for any budget.
4) Cash is king.
5) I have fallen in love with everything. I have fallen in love with the breeze from the ocean when I ride the Staten Island Ferry. I fell in love with the acoustic guitar player in the subway who always plays City and Colour. I fell in love with bits of conversation I hear between people on the train. I have fallen in love with the incredible people here. I have fallen in love with the craziness. I love this place so much.
6) I walk fast now. Bloody effing fast. And it becomes painfully obvious when you walk in Herald Square the tourists all walk like sloths.
7) I have gotten my heart broken in every which way possible. But I wouldn't trade it for a thing. I have rode home on the subway crying so many times that I've lost count. I have never checked my bank account so many times. From relationships, living situations, job situations, financial stability, and just life, it's been such a ride. But that's par for the course here. And although things are a little tough right now, it wouldn't be my 3rd month in New York if I wasn't in a complete state of panic. But I have learned to appreciate every single hardship I face. Here, especially, because these hardships make you so much stronger in every aspect of life. It may not be fun, but boy, have I grown.
8) Plan to be painfully early. Because the trains will be delayed. Because the trains will run express. Because the trains will run local. Because your bank account can't handle another last minute Lyft ride.
9) I have to close my eyes when I'm in the city in a car because it's so scary. How did you fit between all those cars? In a VAN?! It's terrifying. And yet, I still am an asshole pedestrian. Learn how to drive!
10) Artists are EVERYWHERE. I am in a city with thousands of people doing exactly what I am doing. Everybody is chasing a dream here. It makes things so much more tangible. Things really are possible. And if you sit around complaining about not working, shut up and create your own work. Make your own art. Throw it out to the streets. There is no excuse to not be creative in a city like this.
11) There will ALWAYS be somewhere cheaper to buy whatever I'm buying from. And I will discover it the minute I have purchased the item. Of course.
12) I am unapologetically loving. I learned that I love to the fullest, no matter what. People, places, things, experiences. I don't wait for an "appropriate" time to love, nor do I feel the need to hold it back. I love with all my heart to the fullest extent, and I let it be shown. Maybe this is a flaw, maybe its a good thing, maybe it's something I need to work on. But I know it now.
13) I enjoy leaving the chaos of Manhattan to come home to Brooklyn. Williamsburg is great.
14) Loving myself is the most valuable thing I have. In some of the most stressful few months I have experienced, nothing has helped me more than just being able to say that I love myself. In knowing who I am, what my faults are, what I'm great at, and all that jazz, it makes me capable of so much. I feel like I'm a better person to everybody that I meet because I love myself. I can handle whatever happens to me because I love myself. I'm not scared of anything, because I know I can get through it. It has put so much confidence in me as an artist. It's taken me a long time to get to this point, but I wish everybody could love themselves. I want the whole world to know who they are and love every bit of it. Without being able to say that I love myself, I'd be a wreck of a person on a flight back to Vegas, probably. The city would eat me alive.
15) There are so many dogs. So many. I love it. So much. I have never seen more fluffly, poodlely, giant, small, cute, angry dogs in my life. IT'S MY HOME.
16) It's really easy to lose yourself in this city. There is so much going on. It's so easy to get lost in it all. It's easy to get distracted by literally ANYTHING. You can get lost in people. You can get lost in a dead-end job. For a few weeks, I discovered I didn't know who I was or what I was doing. But when I remind myself of why I came here and what I want to do, it's really easy to get back down to Earth. Don't spend your evenings waiting on somebody else when you have a world to explore. Don't spend your days at a job you hate with a passion to just get by. The world is your oyster!!!
17) Getting lost (literally) is the most amazing thing to do. I have spent days and days just wandering around the avenues. People watching and eating from random places. It's the best place to get lost. And wherever you are, as soon as you find a subway, you know where you're at again! Once the initial overwhelming feeling of the city wears off, getting lost is a favorite of mine.
18) I dove head first into acting when I got here. And then my savings ran out. Haha. The tragic story of the actor in New York. It's taken me some time to adjust between auditions and living my actual life with a job and all. Not to say that acting isn't living my actual life, but sometimes you need a job, ya know? My point is, I need stability. I never thought of myself as a person who would need stability. I thought working freelance was going to be fine. I thought I could totally make my schedule the day of and be fine. But no. That's how anxiety happens! It's nice knowing when you work so you can audition around that time. Having a schedule gives me the ability to do even more than being freelance would, instead of sitting next to the phone waiting for my next catering job to call in. Freedom is nice, but you can also be super free knowing what your next week relatively looks like. Who knew time management was an important thing?
19) Everybody here wants to make friends. People in New York are some of the nicest, most amazing people I have ever met in my life. You'll meet people on set, add each other on Facebook, and ACTUALLY HANG OUT. People here are new, too! Everybody needs friends. Having friends here is so important. Because it's such a big, busy city--it's so easy to feel lonely among all those people. I've made friends with people in lines, people at auditions, bumping into people on the street. Friends are important. I love my friends in Vegas with all my heart and my goodness I miss them SO MUCH. But I'm so far away. I've found some pretty kickass friends here, and I can't wait to see what trouble we get ourselves in. Plus, it's nice to have people around you when literally every single face is a stranger here. Friends are so important. Who would have known?
20) I am exactly where I need to be. In all the troubles, all the laughter, all the adventure and all the train rides, I have found happiness. Happiness to an extent that I never knew I could experience in a city. I have found a home here. I'm still getting settled, but I am growing into a city that I absolutely love, doing what I love. Maybe right now I need to experience some difficulty. Maybe bouncing between jobs for a few months was what I needed to realize what I really wanted my day job to be. Maybe doing comedy is my forte. Maybe all that rejection at auditions is preparing me for bigger things. Maybe Williamsburg is my home because everybody here is vegan, too (lol). Maybe I get lost on the days I get lost for a reason. Maybe I've spent sleepless nights crying and tossing and turning to discover the lessons I learned from whatever happened. No matter what, I am exactly where I need to be. I'm in New York city chasing my dreams. I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be.
Oh, how the lunar eclipse has brought changes! It's been a month of learning for me. And I will 100% continue to learn on this journey.
So here is to even more new beginnings, more friends, more Trader Joe's wine, more puppies, love, and happiness.
Thanks for reading. Happy August! May September be amazing.