When I graduated from college, I said I would move to NYC, get an awesome job, and live lavishly amongst my best college friends and new work friends.
Two years later, I am living in a Boston apartment with 3 other girls and barely any money. Instead of being in NYC, I am only 20 minutes from my family’s house… and only 20 minutes away from the town I grew up in. In other words, I am not in NYC… nor did I ever move to NYC after graduating.
Instead, I moved back home. I set up shop in my room, saying hello to my twin bed, my dance trophies, and my stuffed animals. Duffel bags of clothes and decorations sat on the ground for months as I applied to jobs in NYC – and even some jobs out west (I loved LA when I ‘studied abroad’ there, so why not?). I was convinced I would get something ASAP because I was, like, awesome and had an awesome resume and awesome internships. Little did I know, so did everyone else. What I lacked was connections, a local address, and money. Well, mostly money.
I got a call for an interview in LA a few weeks after graduation. This served as realization to the fact that even IF I wasn’t terrified of flying and even IF the thought of leaving friends and family to move across the country was somewhat okay… I didn’t have the money to do it. Say someone offered me a job right then in LA. I had no savings. I had no friend’s couch to crash on (at least not yet). I had no way to make it happen. So I stopped applying to jobs out west. Not only was I not ready to do it emotionally – I couldn’t do it even if I was.
So I started only applying to jobs in NYC (and Boston… but let’s be serious – there were like 2 open jobs related to what I went to school for at the time). A few weeks after graduating, I was getting calls from NYC companies about phone interviews. However, when they mentioned coming into the office for an in-person interview ‘tomorrow,’ I panicked. A few months later, I actually had an in-person interview scheduled in NYC. I went thinking I was ready to move to NYC tomorrow if they told me I needed to start next week. Was I really? No. I had savings this time, but not nearly enough to move to a new city by myself.
Finally, I got a real job (in Boston). I was excited simply because the job meant I could live at home and save money in order to move to NYC some time in the next year. Right…
A few months later, I was looking at apartments in Boston with friends. This meant somewhere in my weird mind I was considering spending a shit load of money (that was supposed to be savings for NYC) on an apartment in a city I had no interest staying in. Did this make sense? No. Did I do it? Yes.
Luckily, shit worked itself out and I got a new job (in television) that I would be living, like, 10 minutes away from. Perfect, I thought. ‘Moving out was a great idea!’ I could survive the year lease here… and then, of course, start looking for jobs in NYC again.
Flash forward 6 months later and I’ve got less in savings than I did before I moved… The majority of money I make goes to apartment-oriented things and living-on-your-own things… You would think that I would be considering moving home because I can and I want to move to NYC eventually… But now that I’ve moved out, I have no interest moving back home. Meaning I have to make another year long commitment to another apartment that won’t even begin it’s lease for another 6 months. It’s like I’m eternally going to be stuck here – forever.
Basically, I’m stuck in this ‘post-grad/20-something cycle’ where I think I know what I want, but I don’t. And guess what – I think most of you are in that cycle too. You have all these dreams and ‘plans’ for the next few years of your life, but reality and the need to still have fun is making it pretty hard for it all to happen.
You’re thinking about grad school, but who wants to make a 2-4 year commitment to staying in one place? And the longer you put off grad school, the older you’ll be when it’s over. You’re thinking about moving to a new place or moving back to an old one… but every time you say ‘one more year,’ it turns into 2… or 3… or 4. You talk about moving in with the boyfriend or girlfriend, but even though you’re getting older every year, you sure don’t feel like it… meaning you sure aren’t ready for it.
So when will I move to NYC? I don’t know. Will I ever move to NYC? I don’t know. LA? I don’t know. From now on, rather than saying ‘I’m going to do this a year‘ or ‘When I’m 27, I’ll be doing this,’ I’m going to go with the flow. I’ll keep in mind what I ultimately want to do and try my best to make it happen – but everything happens for a reason. And constantly not meeting my unrealistic goals will only make me upset. So here’s to happiness and whatever happens next! You should think that way too.