When I told people that I wanted to move to New York City, it would be easy to think that I was just another twenty something – watching too many episodes of Gossip Girl, dreaming of some fancy upper east side life.
Yet, I was well aware that the upper east side is NOT an accurate representation of New York City life – at least not for most people.
Living in the city was going to be gritty and densely populated, especially compared to my sprawling and relaxed beach life. There was going to be humid summers and harsh winters. It was going to be a place which would require a carpe diem attitude and a solid inner drive. Both those characteristics were already ingrained in my DNA; it was part of who I was and how I lived.
New York City was going to be the perfect environment for me to flourish.
Waking up in my studio apartment, the sun isn’t even up. Yet, if you saw me you might think I had already been out in the sun for a few hours, caffeinated and fuelled up. I bang through my morning routine – water, writing and a quick few hoop isolations. I’m ready to head to the gym and take on the day.
Truthfully, I would have preferred to work on my shoulder hooping outside. But if I don’t prioritize lifting, I’m never going to reach my deadlift and pull up goals. Besides, that drizzly spring rain will only make for a slippery hoop experience.
I walk down those familiar four flights of stairs, step outside and am hit with THAT distinct New York City energy.
All these months later, I’m still trying to pinpoint the source of THAT energy and what makes it so different.
Is it the diversity of the people here, meeting and getting to know amazing people from all walks of life? Perhaps it’s absorbing the enthusiasm and motivation from those around you, helping you to reach the greatest heights of success? Or maybe it’s just an air of confidence that you carry when you know you’re living in THE best city in the world?
Whatever the source of the energy is, trying to figure out its origin doesn’t help. It just becomes overwhelming. Instead, it’s best to just channel the feeling and use it to be the best version of myself.
It’s no surprise that I set a new personal best on my deadlifts. This is definitely setting me up for a killer Monday.
There’s always two options to reach work: walking or subway. Subway is definitely quicker, but I’m choosing the walking option because I want to make the most of the fresh spring air, before the humidity of summer hits. Once that arrives, I’m going to be forced to take jam packed rides with hundreds of other people.
Whilst on my walk, I take a moment to be grateful.
Somehow, passing three homeless people makes you realize how good you have it.
Occasionally I still look up at the skyscrapers and feel so proud, reminding myself that I made my dreams come true AND I always have it within me to be successful, even when I think the odds might be against me. It would be easy to feel like I’m not enough because I’m not as successful as some of the amazing people that I have met here, but instead I’m inspired.
In New York City, I feel unstoppable and that I can achieve anything.
After passing a second Starbucks, I decide to stop for coffee. I really don’t need it when I’m filled with so much natural energy, but there’s something so quaint about holding a Starbucks cup. It feels so American.
While waiting, I find it amusing to hear all the orders called out; they’re as diverse and complex as the people here. I’m still shocked at the number of office workers ordering venti sized cups. It really does seem excessive to drink that amount of coffee when you are sitting on your ass all day.
Once I arrive at my desk, I have a quick look at my calendar. It’s a quiet morning to catch up on admin and then a full afternoon of training.
Sometimes I can’t believe that I got this role. Running training programs was always a dream. But then I remind myself that I had the skills, and worked hard to get here.
I’m looking forward to delivering this afternoon’s workshop: an interactive session on discovering personal values. I’ve done this particular training dozens of times, but each time it’s exciting and feels brand new. Before I know it, the work day is over and have the whole evening to myself.
As I walk out of the office, I reflect on what makes life special here.
In some ways, it’s just another city.
There are going to be times where you hate your job and have to deal with difficult people. You’re still going to face challenges, have insecurities.
But what makes New York City unique is the options you have once the work day is over.
Monday night is New York city is as alive as some cities are on a Saturday night. I love that. There are so many possibilities; you never know where the night may lead. There could be a show to watch, a new dance class on offer, or you could just spend a few hours walking around the city.
Realistically, I’m going to just eat dinner and then refine some hoop tricks. But I like knowing that I have the option to do something different if I really wanted to have an interesting night out.
Tonight, is one of those nights where I am going to do something different. I’m having dinner with Anisa, sticking with our latest obsession of trying fusion concept restaurants. Japanese-Italian is on the menu. We’ve found this place that seems to have found a way to delight your palate with the best of both worlds – a delicious handmade pasta with complimentary miso flavors tossed through.
By the time I’m home, I have enough energy to make tea and then I’ll be ready for bed. As I’m waiting for the leaves to brew, I think about my day, my life here.
For the longest time, I imagined what life would be like when I got here.
And you know what?
It’s every bit as good as I imagined.