New York and I… go way back.
I spent the summer of my junior year at Florida State interning in the city that never sleeps and I fell hard and I fell fast.
It was the hot and heavy kind of relationship that comes from increased hormones that you laugh about later on in life and always kind of wish you could experience again but are honestly so glad that you grew out of.
I landed a big-time NYC internship at a lifestyle PR agency and accepted before anyone could tell me otherwise.
I couldn’t believe it. One of my girlfriends was going too and obviously, we would live together.
Sex and the City 2 released in theaters the day we got there. I wore my favorite little dress to the premiere. This was just meant to be.
Our summer was out of the movies.
We lived in a brand new studio in up-and-coming Midtown West with her roommate from back at school, who was close with an active promoter. We were clubbing weekly, Wednesday-Saturday, bottle service, no lines — One Oak, Juliet, Greenhouse, Hudson Terrace, repeat.
I worked long, unpaid hours and grand openings and celebrity red-carpet events and ferried to Governor’s Island for the Veuve Cliquot Polo Classic straight from dancing all night at Pacha.
We brunched on Sundays, strolled Central Park, sipped cocktails on rooftops and shopped the boutiques as much as our measly budgets would allow us to (and more).
We ate 2 Bros for dinner and knew the best Canal Street curtains to make our pennies stretch.
I was securing tons of digital coverage at my internship, went away for a week to place with my team in a national advertising competition, and happily returned to the newfound love of my life — New York City.
I made friends with a DJ and he toured me around outside Manhattan up to Yorktown.
I was 20.
From a very humble place in the ‘burbs.
This life was unreal.
Four months passed in what felt like days and my heart was breaking at the mere thought of going back to Florida.
The day of my return flight, I ordered rounds of mimosas at brunch like they would pause the clock.
I pushed so far I actually did miss my flight and much to my dismay ran into a middle school friend at the airport who happened to be a flight attendant and told me he could get me on the next leg to FLL with JetBlue. (Do I have to?)
We visited a while and I drank more to ease the pain.
This was the worst breakup ever.
The whole year back at school I talked about New York.
How great it was, how I’d move there when I graduated, how much I missed it.
I went back for Fashion Week and it was a perfect repeat of our glamorous little life together.
And then came graduation. And time to apply for jobs.
I had internships, awards, grades and contacts, but it was 2011 and the recession was real and no one would take me seriously until I had an address.
“Let us know when you move here,” they said. “So when will it be official?”
Classic tale: fast-paced New York needed me to commit first.
And at 21, about to face a mountain of student loans like every other average American, I just couldn’t make the leap without an offer.
And New York wasn’t budging for me. It was devastating.
I’d been working with a digital marketing agency in Tallahassee and opened their second office back home in south Florida.
From the outside, life was great.
My family was nearby. I lived on the beach. I even found a perfect little studio with a rooftop view.
Our agency was growing, quickly.
But it wasn’t New York.
For years, I couldn’t go back.
It just felt like going to my ex’s wedding — who was marrying my best friend.
It wasn’t until I met poised + creative San Francisco that I truly understood why New York and I weren’t meant to be. (I committed to San Francisco in three days — lesson learned.) And I was at peace.
Still, I knew I could’t stay away forever, and there was anxiety about when I’d return.
Would there be feelings? Did my friends love it the same? Would I want New York back?
Three years passed, and on a weekend “test trip” I enjoyed a sigh of relief over Blockheads margs — it was finally settled, we could be platonic.
New York City, will always be my first love.