The First 5 Years

I spent my 5 year anniversary of living in New York in the Jersey suburbs. An odd choice, I’ll agree. But as I sit here writing this over my Chinese delivery, I feel a bit of a New York cliché. Spending a summer weekend outside the muggy confines of Manhattan, returning to an empty fridge (hence the Chinese food), a looming To Do list, and the anticipation of an early rise to hit the ground running first thing Monday morning – all part of what has become my New York lifestyle. Coming from such a tiny town in Eastern Oregon, I try to appreciate the fast pace of the city, but considering I *am* from such a tiny town, I do need to escape sometimes. The suburbs of Jersey are still a far cry from my parent’s twenty acres, but it’s still a relaxing haven.

Still – 5 years later, I’m here running around like a madman trying to make it, trying to do it all. Honestly, as bone-tired as I am sometimes, I still love it.

It certainly hasn’t been easy. My life may look fabulous all the time from this vantage point – but isn’t all champagne and Chanel. A lot of it has been strung together, paycheck by paycheck, running on 6 hours of sleep each night to barely afford my 2 bedroom apt in Astoria. I’ve only had health insurance for the past 6 months – can you imagine? Four and a half years spent crossing my fingers that I wouldn’t get hit by a bus, or worse, a bike messenger.

And it can be lonely. My family is now all on the other side of the country, three thousand miles away. I don’t have a significant other to emotionally support me in times of desperation. I don’t even have a pet – cats and dogs are expensive, after all, and I’m not sure I could afford one even if I gave up brunching.

But I do have my friends. I’ve swapped smiles with Anna Wintour, and exchanged emails with Glenn O’Brien, but more to me than these fame encounters are the incredibly brilliant, warm-hearted, uplifting and inspiring friends I have made. They have become my family, my immediate source of support and camaraderie. Fame is fleeting – and so are some friendships, but if the memories we make are all we leave behind, then I already have enough in my arsenal to fill a lifetime.

So. Is it all worth it? I can’t answer that yet – but I have a feeling that the best is still to come. Here’s to the next 5 years.

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