How to Move to New York City

First, swear you have no interest in it and prattle off, on demand or without even the slightest prompting, a list of reasons city life does not appeal to you.

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.

Apply.

Wait.

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 approved.

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.

Pack.

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.

Comments

  1. I absolutely love the way you wrote this, Alyssa!! Congratulations on the big move!! I'm so excited for you, and also secretly quite jealous because I LOVE NYC!! I hope all the settling in goes well!

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  2. congrats on the move!! i love new york; in fact, we're going there in may. my husband is racing in the gran fondo so kayla and i will be cheering him on. i want to show her all the sights of NYC and i'll also be taking a day to train at one of my muay thai gyms there :)

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  3. AH congrats!!! What an exciting time for you. I've never been huge into the "big city" thing myself, but if the opportunity presented itself, I would definitely give it a shot. Can't wait to follow along on your journey via blog :)

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  4. This ride looks like it's going to be a lot of fun!
    We had a lot of "is this too soon" in our relationship and after lots of discussion and actually asking ourselves, "Is it too soon?" We decided it wasn't and did our thing.
    Congrats!

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  5. This is so exciting and, as always, wonderfully written. :) It really is an adventure and I'm looking forward to reading about it. Do tell us all, won't you? ;) I hope you land an amazing job and then just let us see glimpses of what a smart, kind and just generally kick-ass girl's life in the big city is like. (I used these adjectives so no one can say "they already made a show about it", and also because I think so of you.) Sending you hugs from across the Atlantic!

    Wandering Polka Dot

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  6. Congratulations!! I am so thrilled for you and excited to hear about where you new adventure takes you! I've never been to NYC and the thought of being in a city makes me feel a little claustrophobic but I also think it's sort of fascinating. Wishing you all the joy and happiness.

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  7. I'm so excited for you and have a feeling great things are going to continue to fall right into place for you!

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  8. Very exciting time for you :) Enjoy!

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  9. I love the way you wrote this! My SIL up and moved to the city almost two years ago somewhat on a whim and I really think she's loving it even though she's from Charlotte and definitely wasn't used to the city life. You're going to love it, I'm sure!

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  10. High five to this whole post. Sometimes you just have to up and do. I'm excited for you!

    LOL'd a lot at "Wish some people had a little more respect for your privacy, but be unsurprised at the questions." That is so me except I am still surprised.

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  11. This is so cool! Congrats and you do you. I mean, sometimes you just know and who wants to pay two rents when they know?! Also it looks like I might be traveling to NYC more in the near future so I can finally take yoga from you and maybe fall in love (or at least like?) with it?? How FUN!!

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  12. insert praise hands emoji!!!
    but sad face for Sirius! But it makes sense.

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  13. Oh friend, I am so beyond thrilled for you and this exciting new adventure! A new season and so many incredible new things to look forward to for you guys. Lots of good vibes and happy wishes to you as you begin making NYC your home. Can't wait to come there and then bother you for as many days as possible, haha :) xo

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  14. I am so, so, SO excited for and proud of you! I can't wait to visit and do happy hours and drop in on classes.

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  15. This is so exciting! I love the way you wrote this post!!

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  16. Yay, how exciting!!! I can totally see you looking back a year from now on this post and realizing that this was a great decision for you because I know that great things are waiting for you! They just have to be, you are too awesome for them to not. Jumping is so worth it! Congrats! I wish you all the best!

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  17. I am just so, so beyond excited for you and this new chapter and all of the endless possibilities! It just really seems like there isn't a better place in the whole world for you to be at this point in your life and just ah, yay! So exciting!

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  18. Haha. So much of this sounds familiar. looking for apartments in NYC is the worst thing ever. We did it in the first week of August when the temps were nearing 100 and so many places didn't have AC. Now that we are settled, I told my husband that we aren't moving in the city again. Next time we pack our boxes will be the time when we get out of the city. Welcome to the Big Apple!!

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