How to Move to New York City
Include in this list your car (too expensive to park, and basically useless, in NYC), your income (dirt broke by NYC standards, you're sure), your love of grass (a few parks scattered about aren't nearly enough), and hatred for almost-daily grocery shopping (because without a car, it's necessary).
Be sure you're content with being a frequent visitor and admiring the skyline from your running route.
Meet a man who lives in New York City. Faster than you were convinced it could ever happen, fall head over heels for him.
Before you know it, realize you spend nearly every single night together and move into one another's apartments little bits at a time. Do life together. Experience the hardest year of your life with him unflinchingly by your side.
Realize that you half-live in the city anyway, and start calling yourself a "commuter girlfriend." No longer a tourist, too local to really ever have been one.
Consider how long you can do the suitcase-and-city-bus thing.
Meanwhile, continue to apply for jobs just like you have been for months and months.
Come to understand that New Jersey doesn't have the job for you. Start applying for jobs in New York City. Get some nibbles, some false starts, and keep sending your resume out.
Face the conclusion that if you want to get hired in your field, you'll have to look at commuting or moving to New York. Think of all the reasons you always swore you didn't want to commute that far, and consider the impact of a 50-90-minute daily, one-way commute on your life.
Start changing the way you think about everything. And basically, face facts.
Be amazed at how easily it turns out you and that man are on the same page. "We should live together," say to each other.
Go through every pro, con, and consideration. Until he's half-asleep and you're frantically gesturing for a pen and fresh piece of paper.
Start looking at apartments.
See the first place in your budget: A block away from your ideal neighborhood but on the wrong side of 10th Avenue. A fourth-floor walkup (no biggie) with hallways that smell of wet dog and cigarette smoke (a little bit of a biggie) and one closet that you couldn't fit a standard hanger in. Next.
See the second: One door down, a first-floor, street-facing (read: noisy) unit with three or four different floor materials and no real rhyme or reason that you can gather from the layout.
See a few more. Go uptown, where you secretly always wanted to settle and where you figure he'll need to be convinced to love, and look at the place that makes you both light up.
Wait some more. Wonder what the landlord could possibly be doing while you're waiting for even ONE piece of your life to fall into place.
Feel, for the thousandth time, grateful for a partner who makes even the hardest things about life—like, for you, doubt and an unrelenting string of questions without answers—feel manageable.
Get rid of half your stuff, which you thought you were really, really good at keeping under control. Wonder how the hell you called yourself "minimalish" over the past two years while holding onto at least 18 (no exaggeration) boxes and bags worth of stuff you were able to donate away without batting an eye.
Say goodbye to your old life. Say goodbye to the state you have lived in for your entire 27 years of life.
Answer a lot of questions about whether or not it's too soon for you to be moving, whether you really want to be moving to NYC, what you'll do with this thing, that thing, and the other thing. Wish some people had a little more respect for your privacy, but be unsurprised at the questions.
Tell everyone that yes, you're giving up your car; no, you're not going to commute 1.5 hours to teach 75-minute yoga classes 4 times per week; yes, you're looking at studios to teach in in the city; yes, of course you'll still see family and friends in NJ; no, you're not afraid of anything; yes, you're sure.
Live with boxes for weeks, because you had to get a move on things the instant you got the notification of approval.
Throw your plan out the window with an uncharacteristic ease.
Embark on the most thrilling adventure you've ever taken.