Between Memorial Day and the week after the Fourth of July, I spent four weekends on a beach somewhere.
I’ve spent so much time at the beach this summer that when I was in the city last weekend, a friend said she was shocked to see me.
As a New Yorker who generally thrives on the go-go-go, being on the beach gives me a chance to slow down, chill out, and live on beach time. I recharge, re-center and just sit back and listen to the waves or nap. (Because beach naps are really the best naps.)
Whether a beach day means that I’ve taken the train to Long Beach or Rockaway, taken a flight somewhere exciting, or endured hours of traffic to get out to the Hamptons, I try to make the best of my day by making it as long as possible.
Which means I get HUNGRY (but hopefully never hangry.)
So like the giant child that I am, I carry snacks with me. Although the hot, salty air makes me crave salty snacks, I love that these Blue Diamond lightly salted almonds are still low in sodium — because who wants to be bloated at the beach? Even though this post is sponsored, I legit always do bring almonds wherever I go as a snack.
Seven years ago today, I began the adventure of a lifetime.
That March, I’d decided I was truly ready to leave Washington, D.C., where I’d gone to college and stayed for three years afterwards at my first two jobs.
Any time I’d been back in NJ visiting and took a trip into the city, I’d longed to be there instead. In the center of it all, where there were infinitely more career opportunities for me as a writer who was no longer captivated by politics than in our nation’s capital. I’d outgrown the small city of D.C. only made smaller by the politics business and all the bullshit that came along with it. I felt stifled and trapped in D.C. and longed for some of the anonymity of New York and all of the possibility that came in these endless streets.
So I took a leap of faith, found someone to take over my lease, and moved home to NJ to figure it out. As I drove out of Washington, I sobbed as I saw the Capitol in my rearview mirror, both excited and terrified about the future and a little scared to leave behind what was familiar, even if it didn’t serve me any more.
I lived at home for three months while I figured out my life, and even on my darkest days then (I was 25, single and unemployed living with my parents while many of my friends were starting to get married and advance in their careers), I was still happier than I had been in D.C., which is telling.
And on August 2, 2008, I moved into an apartment on Cliff Street downtown. It was a second-floor apartment with a beautiful view of a dumpster, but it was in NYC, and it was walking-distance to work.
My parents helped me move in, and when they left, I could not believe that FINALLY, I lived in NYC. I wish I could say I did something exciting that first night, but I think I just took a walk around my neighborhood and down to the Seaport and went to sleep feeling very content.
I’ve now lived in NYC for just as long as I lived in Washington, or almost 1/4 of my life.
Some of the highs have been just dramatic as the lows, but seven years into this adventure, I have to say I am pretty damn content with where I am.
I’ve taken chances and risks and achieved things I never thought possible. I am proud of what I’ve achieved through this blog, through my career and through volunteering with the New York Junior League. I have an amazing group of friends, and everything that keeps me busy constantly brings me into contact with fabulous new people. I have both friends and coworkers that make me laugh until I cry, and I’m at a job that could not be any more perfect for me right now.
Sure, there’s some things that I still want for my life, but I am pretty damn fulfilled with what I do have.
I spent this morning doing some errands, and had my breakfast outside on the “roof” deck at my building. As I looked around at my view (um, only of other tall buildings), I thought how I felt more at home with that view than with my rooftop view of all of DC,
This afternoon, I’m going to spend at a fundraising event I organized for my marathon fundraiser. I’ll be working out with my favorite people at my favorite place, all for a good cause.
I’m pretty happy with this little life I’ve built for myself here.