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I recently celebrated my 1 year anniversary of living in New York City. October 10th, 2014 at 3 am is when I officially became a resident of New York. As I drove over the George Washington Bridge into Manhattan, there were so many emotions. Mostly I remember feeling excited for what was to come with living in New York. There I was in a packed SUV with my best friend & my Mom. After 16+ hours of driving up the east coast, I was anxious to get to my new apartment. We pulled up shortly after 3 am and made the decision to go ahead and unload the SUV. 

My first dose of NYC apartment living was carrying boxes up five flights of stairs. I think I cursed most of the way up and down.

 After about an hour we finally had everything unloaded and into the apartment. I had seen the apartment in photos prior to moving but seeing my bedroom in person, it was even smaller than I remembered. I was unsure if any of my things would fit and wondered how could I live in such a small space. I mean here I was literally downsizing to a small bedroom barely big enough for a full size bed from my spacious 900+ sq. ft apartment in Atlanta. I started to break down. There it was, all the months of preparation of moving, leaving my job, leaving all of my friends & my life behind in Atlanta along with being cooped up in a car for 16+ hours all hit me at that exact moment. I remember I just slid down the wall as the tears ran down my face and I began to question everything. This went on for about an hour. Everyone was nice or maybe smart enough to just let me be alone for awhile. I finally pulled myself together and came out of my room, walked into my best friends bedroom where he, his boyfriend and my mom were all siting there drinking wine. My eyes all swollen from crying, I smiled and asked for a glass for myself. 

So there we sat until after 6 am drinking wine and laughing at my meltdown. I knew then that everything would be okay.

I look back on that day now and I think how happy I am that I took this journey of moving to New York. 

Living in New York has been exhilarating. It hasn't been perfect by any means but pretty darn close. The energy you feel here never wears off. That's what I love most about this city. You always feel inspired here. Each day is something different and to be in awe of. I can't describe it in words, you have to feel it for yourself. I hope that feeling never goes away. This past year has also had many

unexpected moments. I landed an amazing job when I first got here and then quit after 6 months, I started a blog about my life and have taken the time to rediscover myself. The Subway once terrified me, now I'm the one getting asked for directions. I can hail a cab even in the rain. And I have even learned how to dress like a New Yorker. So many changes have happened in just a year but in a strange way, I feel it was all meant to be. 

I could not have made it through the past year without the support of my amazing friends and family. 

To my Grandfather, who without him I would not have been strong enough to make the decision to move to NYC and make this life change. He inspired me to have no regrets in life and to him I will always be grateful for instilling that in me. I miss you everyday Granddaddy and I hope I am making you proud. 

To my Mother, who is always by biggest supporter in life. She never tells me my dreams are too big or too crazy. I owe her everything for always being there for me. I love you MOM!

To my brother and my Dad, Thank you for believing in me and telling me how proud you are. It means more than you will ever know. I love you both!

To my best friend Lindsey, thank you for taking my calls on good days and bad days. Most of all, thank you for not letting distance change our friendship! I am so lucky to have you as my friend. 

To Danny, Thank you for taking a chance on living with your boyfriend's best friend after have only meeting me once in person. Thank you for being there on days I needed it most. I am so glad we have become friends over the past year.

To my best friend Will, it was YOU who convinced me over the course of 5 years to move to New York. You knew way before I did that I would love it here. Thank you for always pushing me in life and always being there. I can't imagine my life without you. In the end, its always you & I.

To all of my friends and family who have encouraged me on this journey, who have called, sent cards, letters or just been there for me. Thank you!! Nothing in life is worth having if you can't share it with the people you love most.  

I knew moving to New York would change my life. I just didn't know how. And I'm so glad it did. I am not the same person I was 12 months ago. I feel more confident, more open to change and more willing to let life take me where I am meant to be. My friends tell me how happy I sound on the phone so I guess it shows. Anything is possible if you let it be. Don't be afraid to make a life change. It could just be exactly what you need. Thank you New York for an incredible first year. I can't wait to see what this next year has in store for me. 


XO, Rae