Monday, August 13, 2012


Since the age I was old enough to think about my future as an adult, I always imagined myself doing great things in a great big city. Although I was raised in the South, I never felt any ties there. I remember feeling out of place and discontent being there. New York City was always my fantasy, all the way up to high school years and college, too. It wasn't until my last couple of semesters in college that I began to think realistically about where to start my career. And ironically, I was thinking about the South - Pensacola for a year, then probably Atlanta. So, when I landed the internship with Time Inc in New York City, it definitely shook my plans up a bit. But that's one of the main reason I decided to go through with it. All of a sudden, here I was, living my lifelong dream of working on a magazine, living in New York.

But, like most dreams, the reality of the dream is far less dream-like. Living in NYC on a minimum wage budget is not comparable to how they portray life in the city on Gossip Girl. It's tough, nothing is easy here. It's a topic that has been brought up multiple, countless times since I've been here. And even more so lately since a friend from home is visiting who is considering living here. She's seen both sides of the story. There's the one side that is thrilled by the city. The fast pace, the night life, food, activities, opportunities, everything - it's all exciting and nothing else compares to life here in New York. Then there's the other side where things are hard and difficult and exhausting and the city life isn't all you'd had it cracked up to be. It's a lifestyle you won't find many other places. Some people can't imagine living anywhere else, while others can't get out fast enough.

For me, it's the difference between those days where the subway is taking over 10 minutes to get to your stop and it's overcrowded and smelly when it finally arrives, and the tourists on the streets won't get out of your way, and you just spent half of the $30 left in your account on an overpriced sandwich for lunch; and the days where you explore a new neighborhood on a beautiful day and find the most delicious brunch spot with a view or watch a movie on the grass outside with the Brooklyn Bridge and city skyline as a backdrop. It's those kind of days that make up for the bad ones. And being in a city full of the most opportunities possible is pretty much the ideal place to start a career.

However, with all of that said, I've realized it's not somewhere I see myself staying for more than three to five years. And after all of those years of denying my Southern roots, I've suddenly found a new fondness for my home in the South. It's funny how you think you have your whole life planned, and then you get to that point in your life where you realize there's no such thing as a life plan because you can't predict where God may lead you next. It's almost comforting for someone like me, who always has the need for a plan, to find myself completely surrendered to the idea of a new direction at any time. And after accomplishing a place like New York City, no where feels impossible anymore.


  1. Love your honesty Manda! I can't imagine living in NYC! It must be nuts!

    It's totally ok if things last for just a season - life is full of them both long and short. And some seasons show us where we're better off in the seasons ahead. My Nashville season was short-lived but it gave me so much direction, I'm sure NYC will be a stepping stone for you as well. :)

    Lots of love....d

  2. Thank you so much for the encouragement, Danya! I feel like this season has already been enlightening, so I'm looking forward to the where it will lead.