“Just Keep Swimming” – Dory, From Finding Nemo
I was always a big believer that in order to grow, you had to keep moving – whether that moving was forwards, backwards, or lateral. You had to continue moving somewhere, anywhere. Stillness was simply too bland. I’ve lived by this mantra during the beginning years of my young adult life. The day I turned 18, my journey of endless motion and unexpected surprises began to unfold.
I ceased to stop moving. My life never slowed down for me, and I had to keep up in the race.
Now, let’s talk about how I physically never stopped moving. Throughout my education at NYU, I lived in three different dorms throughout the East Village in Manhattan. Just two years away from obtaining my B.A. in Economics (I know how bizarre that I’m in fashion), my new home was in Downtown Jersey City right along the Hudson River. I took the Path to the city every day for class and was lucky enough to wake up to the Manhattan skyline and say goodnight to the newly-constructed World Trade Center. I lived there for about 2.5 years, embracing the fact that I had my car and the luxury condo’s pool and gym facilities.
I then landed a full-time job upon graduation, and unfortunately, it was right at the time I had to sell the Jersey City apartment. I was forced to move back to my hometown in northern New Jersey. Just two days before my job, I had to adjust to a new place again. 5am mornings, 2-hour commutes, and sleep deprivation became the norm. For the next few months, I lost sleep, time with my boyfriend and friends, and time for myself.
I decided it was time to change. For the fourth time, I moved out of my childhood home and ventured out into Manhattan again, but this time to the Upper East Side. Everything about it seemed glamorous – this was the neighborhood where the Gossip Girls lived; it was full of luxury consignment shops; and it had a wonderful reputation. Also, it was here where I got my first puppy, Einstein, who I love so dearly.
Too bad rent was so high and the area I was living in was pricey. I swear the restaurants and stores in the Upper East Side had arms that extended like vines inching to pick-pocket my wallet. Nothing was ever easy to afford, so I never lived comfortably.
Now what? Fast forward to a couple of months ago, and I decided that renting was a complete waste of money, especially in the city. So, I saved up a ton of money, took out a loan, and bought a place in NJ close to NYC. This way, my monthly payment went to building my equity instead of disappearing into some landlord’s wallet. Life was getting better for me.
For six years, I had a fleeting definition of the word “home.” On top of all that, my life was simultaneously changing right before me. During all my moving years, I had graduated NYU, taken on several fashion internships, started my full-time job, and then launched my blog. So much growth for me happened both physically and developmentally. It was all one hell of a roller coaster ride and it still continues to be. And you know what? I’m okay with that. Actually, really glad. As Dory said, “just keep swimming.”
Hope you all have a wonderful Easter with your family and friends.