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Why I Quit My Job and Moved To A New City

In June of 2014, I moved to NYC after working as a social worker in PA for 14 years. It was a scary, stressful move but one I look back on with gratitude and excitement. I wasn't happy in PA because I felt bored, my life was lacking excitement and mostly I felt like I was flailing. Getting older and flailing, such a difficult and frustrating combination. I felt helpless and very unhappy. I had a job with steady pay and benefits, friends and family, health and my own home but it just wasn't inspiring me. I thought about my blog while I was at work...and NYC. Eventually, the comfort and familiarity of my job and my cushy life was not enough for me to stay. When your dreams call, you really can't ignore them. In reality, yes, you can ignore them but at what cost to your happiness? I constantly debated whether my safe and comfortable life was enough for me to be the best person I could be. And it wasn't enough.

Since I moved to New York City, I changed in so many ways. Not only my job and daily life but my attitude and outlook. The first couple days I cried, my loneliness and uncertainty about the future was completely taking over my mind. Two days after moving I began yoga teacher training and met 20ish amazing people. We studied together, practiced asanas together, ate together, hung out together and eventually became yoga teachers together. I kept up with my blog and started cooking in my new kitchen. I redid my website a few times, ordered business cards, met fellow bloggers and attended so many vegan events in the city. I was in the midst of completing the Institute for Integrative Nutrition health coaching program, which I graduated from in Dec 2014. Life was looking up. I still can't believe how far I've come.

I look back and marvel at how so many events came to fruition when I moved. I thought for certain I would not be able to afford living in NYC. I feared I would have to go back to a 9 to 5 job. I feared I would not meet any friends. I feared and still fear failure everyday. But none of those fears have come true. In April 2015, I bought the yoga studio that I studied in for 6 weeks during teacher training. The lease was up and the previous owner, a beloved yoga teacher wise beyond her years, wanted to sell the business. Though stressful and a bumpy ride at times, me and a few of my fellow yoga teachers bought the studio. Now, I'm so happy to not only be living in NYC but to also enjoy the privilege of owning a business here. Never NEVER did I think that would happen.

I have become tougher, calmer, better able to cope with what life throws at me. You have to be tough in NYC, the daily commute can be tiring, people can be cold, rude, take out their bad day on you. You miss your family, you get lonely, you love and lose. I've come to appreciate my home in PA as a suburban haven, an escape from the toughness of city life, a place where my wonderful family and friends are, a place I can always go back to.

Looking back, I've learned a few things about changing your life in a big way. If you are considering changing jobs, quitting your job to focus on your own business, or moving and starting life over, here are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Save your money and paid time off. Plan ahead. Depending on how your paid time off works, save your days so you can resign and have a big pay out. Keep adding to your savings. If you don't need to go on that vacation, save the money. You can never have too much money saved.

2. It may take a few months but you will settle into your new life. Your inner voice will say things like: "you're crazy for doing this!" "you will have no friends!" "why did you leave your cushy life?" Remember why you are making this change. And remember that life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

3. You can always go home again. If you do, it doesn't mean you're a failure. As much as you need to make a change, you may find out it isn't for you. Or maybe you just need to visit home often. But don't give up on your new home and life you want to have. Stay in touch with family and friends but focus on making a life in your new city. You can let go of your old life while not cutting ties completely. Over the summer I went home for 2 weeks and cleaned out my home so I could rent it out. The cleaning out process and time spent with my family gave me an entirely new perspective on my life in NYC and I came back to the city completely rejuvenated. I had the greatest, most prosperous fall in NYC. My business expanded, I felt more grounded here and I feel secure. I just needed time home with my family, and the time spent cleaning my place helped me let go of more of my life there.

4. Filter what others will say to you. Don't believe that you can't survive in a huge metropolis if you're coming from the burbs; sometimes city life can revive you! Pick and choose what advice you take and don't even listen to negative comments about your move. Other people are not you.

5. Things happen when they happen so don't rush your move but also make changes now. Don't wait for another year to go by. Make small steps towards your goal; things happen when you are ready.

Is my life perfect? Absolutely not. I still have bad days, of course, I sometimes wonder if I should go home and I feel lonely at times. I feel guilty for leaving my family behind even though they are just a phone call (and 2 hours) away. My niece was born in April and I only get to see her when I'm home. But thankfully through pictures, videos and video chats, I can see her alot more. I get frustrated with my blog, I feel like I should be making more money, I worry about things I left back in PA but that is life. I've also learned to identify when I'm feeling off and ways to feel happier. Self care and a positive attitude have helped me flourish in NYC. And I can go home whenever I want. Like in two weeks for Christmas. Never stop believing in yourself. You are way stronger than you think.

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  1. I love this post, it's definitely helping me deal with moving away from NYC. Xx

  2. Thank you Jordan! That is so nice to hear :) You are going to rock Virginia. XO


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