The Next Big Thing is Here

I have no idea how to start this so I’m going to explain it like a fairy tale (because that is exactly how feels). This is a long post written mainly for myself and my mind’s musings…you were warned.

Once upon a time (also known as November 2012), I spontaneously bought plane tickets to New York City in order to finally visit a city I’ve only seen in movies and photos. The trip was short and sweet but it made a lasting impression on me. As I walked down the crowded/dirty/noisy/vibrant streets I felt more alive than I did all year. 2012 was an extraordinarily tough year on my well-being so the sudden rejuvenation created a connection unlike one I experienced in Chicago. I started smiling, dreaming, laughing, hoping, wishing, expecting again. It was an awakening of sorts.

NYC

I once told someone that I was afraid to visit NYC – that I knew I would fall in love with the city and want to move there. “’I’m afraid of this happening” I told him, not fully realizing the truth behind the simple confession. It sounds silly but I always suspected there was a reason it took me basically my entire life to visit the big city. For whatever reason, the universe wanted me to wait until I was ready. This brings me back to my earlier point…deep down I knew that once I got a taste of the Big Apple I wouldn’t stop until I ended up there.

And there is exactly where I will be starting June 15th.

NYC

You read that right…I’m moving to New York City!!!

I’ve being dropping tiny hints here and there, but now I can finally reveal the truth. It’s been a long time in the making. What started as a desire to simply find a project and travel weekly to the big city quickly escalated to a full-blown desire to permanently relocate. There were many factors working against me but the universe conspired to make it work out in the end. I’m lucky to work for a global company with offices all over the United States and the world, so transferring is always an option. I’ve been waiting for months regarding the transfer (it’s tough to get approval) and as of last month I found out the incredible news – my transfer request was approved!

NYC

What was once simply a bold declaration to my family and friends became reality with one email. In all honesty I think the majority of people didn’t fully believe me. I mean, we all dream big and fantasize to others but how often do we follow through and actually turn hopes into reality?

I came across a quote last week that summed up my exact feelings and put my fearful mind at ease: “If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.” I’ll be the first to admit that I am completely utterly fully terrified about moving. I know about four people total in or near the city and have reached out to all of them. Ok ok, so terrified isn’t a great word because I’m not actually fearing for my life or well-being or anything of the sort. I’m scared but who wouldn’t be? This will be the biggest change I have ever made in my life and I’m taking it on alone (with support from my family and friends of course).

NYC

To put it simply – I’m starting from zero. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Out of the many people I told about my sudden relocation, only two asked me the true question…what am I running from? Oh how I needed to be asked that question and oh how I wish I knew the answer. After further investigation I concluded that it’s not something I’m running from, but something I’m running to. Lately, I crave change more than I crave chocolate and just about anything. I don’t want to wake up one day and realize that I never attempted to conquer the desires floating around in my heart. With every birthday the feeling of life passing by grows stronger and more profound.

I’m still young but there is so much I still want to do in my life. This is my year. It sounds selfish but this is the year I live for me and no one else. I want to grow and develop myself, get to know who I am, and rebuild the self-love I seemed to let slip away in the past few years. Only then can I whole-heartedly give myself to others. There is nothing to fear – I’m young, capable, responsible, uncommitted, and free. The only question is, why not? I’m moving quite simply because I want to and because I can.

NYC

But it’s not that simple and it’s taken me months to figure out exactly why I was doing this. I’m lucky to have someone incredibly special and close to my heart to turn to when perspective and/or a reality check is needed. On a particularly emotional day, one where my head was filled with doubts about the move and I battled to hold back tears while at work all day, I texted him because it felt right. It was the first time I confessed my fear to anyone. In reciprocation he gave me exactly what I needed to hear from everyone around me – that I made the right decision and was doing the right thing by moving. So simple. I didn’t even ask him…I just confessed and with one concise text message he blew my fears away. He put everything in perspective for me in minutes and I immediately knew he was right.

I feel as if I already conquered Chicago/the Midwest. I lived here, went to school here, found my comfort zone here. But that’s just it – life is about challenging yourself. We are meant to push ourselves and see what we’re capable of. Challenges help us grow into who we’re meant to be. That’s why I feel an insatiable urge for change. That’s why I’m moving. I can’t deny that I’ve had it easy most of my life and now I want to struggle a bit. I want to feel what it’s like to step outside my comfort bubble. I want to challenge myself down to my core and then bounce back stronger than before. I want to feel alive with every emotion ranging from euphoria to despair. I want to understand life’s spectrum and become in tune with it and in sync with myself.

I can only guess how many more days like this I will experience during my first few months alone in the city. I’m staying realistic and I know what to expect – I’m not looking for some Sex and the City fairytale. This is by far the scariest and boldest thing I have ever done and I can’t believe I haven’t convinced myself out of it yet. New York certainly isn’t for everyone…some love it, others hate it. Heck, it might end up not being for me but it’s worth giving a chance.

NYC

Chicago, thank you for all the memories and the wonderful relationships you helped me build. My life truly started in this city and I’m sure I’ll return one day when the craving strikes. But for now, see ya from the east coast!

♥ Irina

24 Comments

  1. June 11, 2013 / 7:47 am

    I knew it you were moving, but to New York! I should have known :P!
    I am incredibly excited for you. I love this post and love that quote about your dreams not being big enough if you don’t fear them.

    I’ll be graduating at the end of this week, and I hope graduate school in the near future gives me the opportunity to relocate and explore a new city :)!

    Can’t wait to read about your NYC adventures!!

    • June 21, 2013 / 8:18 am

      Haha I know right…I feel like it was so obvious! CONGRATULATIONS on graduating!!!! Graduation is a HUGE step in life, much bigger than most people (myself including) anticipate, and it’s truly life-changing. Best of luck, and make sure to pay Manhattan a visit soon 🙂

  2. June 11, 2013 / 11:22 am

    Wow! Congratulations! I think it’s great that you’re taking the freedom you have to move and do what you want to do with your life. I think it’s so unfortunate when people stay inside their comfort zones while they’re young for the sake of simply staying comfortable. Take risks! Do things! Seriously, good for you, girl. I’ve never been to NYC, so I’ve certainly never lived there and can’t speak to the vibe of the city, but when I moved to Chicago last year, I pretty much knew no one here. There were a couple connections I had from when I did an internship in Chicago during college, but I didn’t have any real friends, and honestly, I think that was good. I’ve had a couple friends move to the city since then, and while having the comfort of old friends is great, once again, staying just inside that comfort zone doesn’t do me much good as far as personal growth goes. I threw myself into just about anything I could to make friends–church groups, sports leagues, classes that interested me, connecting with local bloggers, etc.–and though I still don’t think I have much of a social circle in Chicago, I do have more friends here than I had when I moved about this time last year. There were definite misses, but the hits have more than made up for it. Good luck with the move, and I hope New York is everything you believe it will be for you! 🙂

    • June 21, 2013 / 8:25 am

      Thank you!! I couldn’t agree more with everything you described about your experiences. It’s always so simple to take the easy path in life but I think a well-rounded person is one who challenges himself and learns/grows from the experience. Of course it’s incredibly intimidating moving to a brand new city where I know a total of 4 people (lol) but it will help develop those areas of my personality that haven’t been utilized back home. I will take note from you and everything you did upon moving because it sounds like you had the right ideas in mind! Thanks again 🙂

  3. June 11, 2013 / 1:17 pm

    Wow, I felt the same way when I moved to Chicago all by myself. It was scary, exciting and so amazing! It really helped me to become who I am today. Good luck! I can’t wait to read about your adventures!

    • June 21, 2013 / 8:26 am

      Thank you!! It’s definitely scary but I suspect it’s going to be a life-changing experience for me 🙂

    • June 21, 2013 / 8:28 am

      Thank you!!

  4. June 11, 2013 / 3:07 pm

    That is lame that people ask what you are running from. You are young and want change and adventure. There is nothing wrong with that! I am happy your friend’s response put you at ease.

    You are going to love NYC. Don’t worry about not knowing many peeps. There are about a zillion bloggers out there. Reach out! You will have more dates than you know what to do with.

    Are you moving to Manhattan or one of the other boroughs?

    • June 21, 2013 / 8:32 am

      It’s definitely a good question to ask before such a life-changing decision in order to figure out if you’re doing it for the right reasons. Although now that I think about it, there is no such thing as a right or wrong answer because it’s all a personal preference! I’m already head-over-heels in love with this city and absolutely cannot wait to start living here!

  5. June 11, 2013 / 5:16 pm

    I knew it, I knew it :)! Congratulations, Irina! Don’t let other people arouse doubts in your decision. As the thoughts you expressed here already show: if your reason for moving was to run away from anything going to New York would hardly be the easiest option. Instead, you’re taking a huge leap of faith and I’m so happy for you! That’s such an awesome opportunity so go out there and live life the way you want to! No need to feel selfish at all for wanting change and a year of self-discovery. There really doesn’t seem to be any better time for you then right now. I hope you’ll have an amazing time and – wishful thinking? – that you’ll share your experiences with us on here :).

    • June 21, 2013 / 8:38 am

      Haha oh my gosh you were DEAD-ON ACCURATE with your comment on my last post. I even literally applauded you hahaha. How did you know girl?!? Thanks for the kind congratulatory words 🙂 I absolutely loved what you wrote about running away being the harder option. I never thought of it that way but you are completely right. Gosh, nothing like some wise words from smart people (aka you) 🙂 OF course I will share! As soon as this whirlwind of a move dies down I will hopefully get back into my blogging groove. It’s been an intense last couple of months!

  6. June 11, 2013 / 5:31 pm

    That’s AMAZING! Congratulations, lady. (:
    NYC is one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been to…actually, it IS the most amazing. I love it and I’m so jealous that you’ll be living there. I can’t wait to follow all of your adventures in a new, crazy city!

    • June 21, 2013 / 8:40 am

      Thank you so much!!! Hope you make it out here at some point 🙂

  7. June 12, 2013 / 3:19 pm

    Ahhh how exciting!!! Good luck!!! Can’t wait to hear all about your adventures via the blog!

    • June 21, 2013 / 8:40 am

      Thank you!! I will hopefully get my blogging mojo back soon because this place is amazing and I wanna share everything about it 🙂

  8. June 13, 2013 / 7:13 am

    Girl you outlook on life is inspiring! YOU are inspiring! I am so excited for you first update from your new location. I really look up to the fact that you realize life has been on the easy side for you and you want to struggle. I really don’t think you will struggle in the sense some people do because of the support and love that surrounds your life. But I do think you will go on a journey and discover new meanings and loves in life. I really hope you are in the city when I eventually get back there sometime in the next few years!

    • June 21, 2013 / 8:43 am

      Aww that is so sweet of you to say, thank you so much!! I just hope that we are all fearless when it comes to conquering our lives and stepping out of our comfort zones. It’s a tough thing to do but is likely one of the best ways to self-explore and grow as an individual. Come visit here soon!! And of course….let me know when you are here 🙂

  9. June 15, 2013 / 4:24 pm

    Irina, this post is so inspiring. And you already know I am so so jealous!!! It’s is so exciting, congratulations!!!

    • June 21, 2013 / 8:44 am

      Thank you!!! Keep me in mind next time you visit…blogger meetup on the East coast?!? 🙂

  10. June 17, 2013 / 8:46 am

    Irina!!! Sorry I am a bit late in wishing you my HUGE CONGRATULATIONS!!! I read this post back when you had just published it and wanted to write you a decent congratulatory note, but then got pulled away a few times. =( Can I just say that I knew all along after reading your posts about your NYC travels!?!?!? You are going to LOVE living there and your thoughts and musings are so relatable. In any event, I am so, so, SO excited for you and all of your new adventures in NYC!!! I absolutely cannot wait to hear more about it!!!

    • June 21, 2013 / 8:45 am

      Thank you so much!!! Haha yea I feel like I was hinting at my NY move quite a bit but only a few people actually picked up on it 🙂 You’re a wise one because you picked up on my Manhattan obsession from day 1 back in November!!

  11. June 17, 2013 / 11:12 pm

    That is so great Irena! I cant wait to follow your travels! I am dying to go to NYC! All My Best!

    • June 21, 2013 / 8:46 am

      Thank you!! You definitely need to make your way out here…it’s a city unlike any other