32 Things I’ve Learned in New York City


One year and four days ago today, I pulled a Rachel from the Glee Season 3 finale and stepped off a bus with a suitcase, officially New York City’s newest resident. I was not singing and there was no camera pan around me; in fact, I felt calm. This felt right.

A few things that happened in the next year: I started a job. I finished a job. I found an apartment. I found another apartment (I found a subletter; I found another subletter). I traveled to Boston and Philly and Chicago. I built a committed relationship with another person.

Something I didn’t do much of was writing blogs. I just couldn’t find my story. However, even though I haven’t written about much of it, I have learned so many things since I’ve moved to New York.

In honor of one full year in New York- and staying in one place for more than a year for the first time since college- here are the 32 things I’ve learned in New York.

  1. Everyone’s needs are important, but the person who’s the loudest usually gets theirs met first.
  2. One of the most important ways we can respond to all of the bad things that happen is having willingness to see other people as people and having willingness to truly forgive.
  3. Humility is essential if you ever want to like another person.
  4. The best leaders are not the ones who know how to be right. They’re the ones who will admit it when they’re wrong.
  5. It’s never too late to reconnect with a person or thing from the past.
  6. Don’t try to park a car on the Upper West Side 30 minutes before you have to leave for work on a street cleaning day.
  7. One of life’s great joys is harmonizing with other people (literally and figuratively).
  8. You really can’t come home again- but some things never change.
  9. Sometimes when you don’t plan and just go with it the end product is far better than something you could have come up with originally.
  10. People have much more in common than we realize, but we only find the similarities if we look.
  11. There is truly no queso in the world that compares to Tex Mex, although more restaurants could stand to start trying.
  12. It’s okay to admit that you’re having a hard time. People might even want to help.
  13. Pretty much anything can happen with a spirit of adventure and a Metro card (unless you’re trying to take the B train. Then nothing can happen.)
  14. Texas really is the place that people love to hate. That hasn’t changed anywhere I’ve been.
  15. Asking a person about their passion is an amazing way to connect and to see them for who they are.
  16. Taking your morning run through Central Park, past the Imagine circle, and back by the Met does not ever get old.
  17. Hope and possibility save lives.
  18. Managing people means questioning whether you’re a good person pretty much every day, but it also gives you a lot of perspective.
  19. Being right is way less important than being with the right person.
  20. Time is not what indicates whether a place feels like home.
  21. Things become astonishingly clear when you pause everything and just start writing stuff down.
  22. Everything changes. That includes people.
  23. It’s actually happening- we’re growing up. My friends have babies and I can no longer eat plain icing without getting a stomach ache.
  24. I have a weirdly good memory for event dates or what I ate for dinner on a random day in March, but if you ask me what my apartment building looks like I definitely couldn’t tell you. (We all have different abilities!)
  25. Categorizing people pretty much only makes things worse.
  26. Every place you go, you will find pockets of good.
  27. Tragedy always brings people together, and it always makes them go beyond the kindness they thought they had.
  28. Inspiration comes from feeling safe and valued; even the most creative person’s abilities can be totally stifled by a poor environment.
  29. Welcoming a person actively and immediately is one of the hugest ways to impact their entire experience.
  30. Never silence another person. Never silence yourself.
  31. Winter can actually be cool! But only if you see the Rockettes. Also, there is very little redeemable about the month of March.
  32. Turmeric lattes. Enough said.

That’s all at the moment- here’s to even more in the next year. As for now, it’s time for Round Two! Let’s do this, New York.

PS: This type of blog has become a bit of a tradition. See also what I learned in Boston and Austin.


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