Seven Years in New York


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.

Central Park

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. 

10 comments on “Seven Years in New York

  1. Mandi | No Apathy Allowed

    Wow, what a great story! While it’s good to stay focused on the present, looking back sometimes help us see how far we have come. Glad you have found a place where you feel at home and alive. (And coincidentally, I just recently hit the 7-year mark of *leaving* NYC and building a life in Germany, so maybe we balanced each other out!)

  2. Katie

    This post is particularly reassuring to me. I’ll be moving in the next month or so, but I’m not sure how long the move will be for. Maybe forever, maybe a couple years. Maybe I’ll hate it? But hopefully I’m as happy in Minneapolis as you are in NYC!

  3. Mary

    Yes!! That’s such a good feeling. I’ve never wanted to live in NYC, though I did want to be on Broadway for a long time hahah, but my friends that have moved there have felt so compelled to be there they would do anything to make it happen. That’s a pretty cool thing. Congrats on 7!

  4. Liz

    Hi! This article is so timely! I’m moving to NYC for the first time at 30 on Saturday! I just want to be there. It is a tough thing to explain to people so I can’t thank you enough for sharing this with us today as you have really truly made me believe that this is the right decision!

  5. Anna TB

    I’ve been following your blog for sometime, and really love reading your more down to earth approach to exercise! I’m coming to NYC for a few days next week and want to try some classes. I have Class Pass so what would you recommend? In London I do Barry’s, but also like spinning, barre, yoga, pilates. Pretty much anything!

    1. Theodora Blanchfield Post author

      oooh! If you like Barry’s, you’d probably like OrangeTheory (not on ClassPass, though)…
      Spin: I like Soul, but Flywheel and Peloton are on CP (I like Peloton better than Flywheel, personally)
      Pilates: SLT or Brooklyn BodyBurn are great (both reformer)
      Yoga: really like Y7 for hot and Laughing Lotus or Yoga Vida for regular
      Barre: I’m not super crazy about barre myself but Flywheel has FlyBarre and Exhale has barre, too. If you search my blog, I’m pretty sure I’ve reviewed all of these places! And feel free to ask me any more q’s!


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