It’s been a little over a year since I moved to New York, and it’s been one wild ride. This year has been the most significant year of growth and learning, both professional and personal, and I couldn’t imagine doing it in any other city. I honestly wouldn’t change a thing! Of course, I made mistakes, and there have been big life lessons and “oh crap,” moments, but I’ve taken these as opportunities of growth.
Last May, I graduated from Northern Arizona University, and two weeks after graduation, I was on a plane heading to New York. Job secured, apartment and roommates not so much. My first week in the city was an absolute blur. I was running around all parts of Manhattan, seeing 4-5 apartments a day, and honestly, I was losing my mind. I ended up in one of the first apartments I saw, and I thought it was fate. I secured my apartment on my second day of work, and everything was going as planned!
I was moving into my apartment, getting settled at work, starting my life in New York City, and it all felt like a dream. To get more personal, a week after moving into my apartment, my grandma died. When I came to the city, I knew that I was probably never going to see her again, but every time we talked, she was so supportive of my move and asking me how everything was going. Even though this was hard for me, I knew (and still know) she’s always encouraging me to go after what I want.
My first couple of weeks in the city were rough, but after a month or so, I started to feel like I was getting my footing. First of all, I love my job. My first month of work was crazy and in the best way possible. Within my first month, I was on a handful of photoshoots, overseeing interns, going on a work trip to Dallas, and so much more! I loved the fast-paced work life, and I learned so much from Audree and from the experiences that I was exposed to.
My first adult summer here was great. Throughout the summer, I was growing more confident in myself professionally. I would go on photoshoots on my own (big step), at the end of the summer, I was more comfortable managing people, and I thought I was finally getting myself together. Honestly, I started to feel, “okay, yes, you can do this adulting thing.” Along with growing professionally, I started socializing more, I invested in a gym membership, and I knew that I had changed in a good way and wouldn’t have gotten out of my comfort zone anywhere else.
My first fall in New York, I attended NYFW, and it was just as glamorous and crazy as I remember. I don’t even know how many shows I attended in September, but I was able to help backstage at Rebecca Minkoff, and Alice + Olivia, and those were surreal moments. There’s so much hard work and dedication that goes into NYFW, and I was grateful that I could help in whatever little way I could.
In fall, Audree Kate Studios also took on new clients, so work was super busy, and I loved it because these were new opportunities for me to learn. Even with the craziness of work, I was still trying to establish myself. I was trying to make friends (it’s hard as an adult), and I started dating. Fall was a big personal development season for me. I ended up learning a lot more about myself.
For winter, I headed back to Las Vegas for almost a month, and I was able to sit down with myself and plan what I wanted for me in 2020. I reevaluated the friendships that I made in the city, and I asked myself what I wanted from my relationships. Also, I set myself new professional goals. There’s always something to learn, and during spring in New York, that’s all I wanted to do. I wanted as much experience as possible and heading into 2020; I was ready to network and take my work to new levels.
The first couple of months of 2020 were amazing. Audree Kate Studios was on set so much, we had a great group of interns, and we had this huge team brainstorm, and we were coming for 2020. Then COVID-19 struck, and it felt like the world was spinning out of control.
I’m a very scheduled heavy person. Pre-COVID I stuck to my schedule heavily. Now, everything was (and still is) so much different. The first few weeks of COVID were strange. I didn’t have a routine, I wasn’t happy with my living situation anymore, and I even considered quarantining in Vegas. But after careful consideration, I created a new routine for myself. I made sure to focus on both my physical and mental health and hold myself accountable to my new routine.
These past couple of months, I’ve had to learn to let the universe take control and deal with the cards that I am dealt. During COVID-19, I learned how to use my voice, moved apartments, connected on a better level with friends/family, and hit my one-year in New York!
It’s hard to look back on a whole year, and write a synopsis of it. My first year in New York was amazing, but don’t let me fool you; there were hard times too. I experienced heartbreak in multiple forms, my insecurities were at an all-time high, and the list could honestly go on, but I won’t. All that I know is that I’m proud of the person I’ve become, and I’m excited to grow even more this year. I learned so much during my first year here, and I’m ready to learn and take on year two. Let’s go!
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