Sup fam! It’s been a while since my last post, but I’ve been trying to ya know… casually focus on adjusting to my new life in New York City. Wild. Anywho… I’ve picked up a trick or two on how to maintain my sanity in this literal concrete jungle. So let’s jump right into it, 5 things I’ve learned from living in NYC:
#1: Navigation, Navigation, Navigation
I have NEVER in my life realized the importance of not only being aware of your surroundings but at least LOOKING like you know where you’re going. There’s nothing worse than being in a crowd of people and trying to figure out which corner of which avenue to be on, while your Apple Maps is playing with your life.
If you haven’t been to a specific place before, it’s important to type in the subway and walking directions, and screenshot them before leaving, so you don’t have to worry about draining your battery or not having service. It might sound like a lot and unnecessary, but trust me, you don’t wanna be that guy bumping into people because you were too lazy to mentally navigate your trip before leaving. It also helps to have a buddy with you. Two heads are always better than one.
#2: Fake it ‘til you make it.
The more I’ve talked to industry professionals and very successful entrepreneurs, I’ve learned that literally NO ONE knows what they’re doing. They can have 20 years of experience in their field, but still are taking each day one step at a time.
I got the chance to talk to my mentors at Shake Shack HQ about how even though they had been working for a good amount of time, that they still aren’t sure where their career will take them or what their end goal in life is. And I think this is very important to consider. IT IS OKAY if you don’t know what you want to do, as long as you are trying and moving forward.
Every work-related experience is experience regardless. So take every lesson, learn something from it, and figure out how to translate that into an invaluable transferrable skill, even if it’s just stepping out of your comfort zone to ask a higher up to coffee. Just trust the process, and learn to be proud of your journey.
#3: Keep your eye on the prize. Period!
Moving to New York wasn’t exactly a seamless transition. I was very anxious about moving into my little apartment, having a completely new roommate who I’ve never met before, starting over in a new industry, and just finding my way around.
Aside from praying a lot and receiving pep talks from my mom, what’s helped me keep everything together is remembering why I came here. Even though I’m not 100% sure what I want my profession to be, I know what I’m capable of and can envision what I want my future to look like. It’s hard living in this huge city sometimes, but appreciating where I am, and motivating myself to accomplish my personal goals is what keeps me going.
#4: New Yorkers do NOT care.
Yo… okay this is self-explanatory. Even though there are so many different kinds of people in this city, the one similarity everyone has is the complete disregard for what’s going on in the environment around them. Now this can be a good and bad thing. I mean, hey, everyone minds their business and keeps it pushing. However, it can be a pretty startling concept to someone who’s not from the city.
You could be in the middle of a breakdown on a subway full of crowded people, and everyone will be RAY CHARLES to the b.s. On a lighter note, it makes it easier being whoever and whatever you want to be. Honestly, if you woke up one day and wanted to wear a Power Rangers costume, you probably wouldn’t get the attention that you thought you would. It would be just another normal day for any seasoned New Yorker
#5: Learn how to center yourself in any situation
This was a HUGE one for me to learn, and I’m still working on it. Coming from a quiet suburban area where the only morsel of noise was from my labradoodles barking, to moving to the city that literally never sleeps, was a shocking transition for me. Whether you’re on the subway, or walking on the sidewalk, you are almost always surrounded by a crowd of people. Personal space? TUH. We don’t know her?
And because of this, it is absolutely imperative to know how to mentally reel it in on command. I’ve seen my share of disturbing instances during my travels in New York, but it’s all about how you handle a situation. If you obsessively play something over and over in your head (like I do all the time) or react in a way that will throw of your energy, it will only make the situation worse.
The best thing to do is to put yourself in a state of almost meditation, so you can mentally remove yourself from your physical environment. Kind of like when Aang meditates and communicates with the spirit world, even though his physical body is still present. Too nerdy? *clears throat* Ok moving on.
OR you can just use my favorite tactic and put in your headphones. Boom easy peasy. Problem solved.
Wulp, that’s all I got for ya today. Thank you to my fellow Adfellows Sky and Gabby for flicking me up during our lunch break. Stay tuned for more posts!