And, just like that, today marks my first year living in New York City! Anniversaries make me thoughtful and introspective, so I thought I’d share a little more about my learnings and experiences since moving from San Francisco.
My main learning (or confirmation, rather) is that the work culture here is much more intense than I have seen anywhere else, even in talking to my consultant and start up techie friends in SF. I have worked more and harder here than anywhere or any time else in my life. I get the sense that a lot of people live to work, versus working to live. People hustle, and I have to do the same to keep pace.
The intensity of work culture can be a pro or a con, or both, depending on your perspective. On the one hand, it’s truly amazing that there is always something to do, see and buy in this city. Any day of the week, any time of the day, you will never run out of activities – and this is made possible because people work and they’re trying to sell you something. I see a lot of drive and motivation in people working hard to achieve their dreams and it’s very inspiring. People come to New York to make it.
It’s also very draining. I could spend all 24 hours of a day at my job and no one would stop me; still I would never finish the work that needs to be done. The easiest way to manage stress levels is to buy more things, eat out more at restaurants, drink more at bars – which I think a lot of people do out here, including me sometimes.
But I need a balanced lifestyle, and I think it comes from my California upbringing. There is little that the constant hustle can do to nurture my soul and my sanity. I then need to be the one to choose when to shut down, which is hard to do because the pressure to work is heavy.
Hence my whole need to turn down on many weekends. I need time to be alone in a city full of people, I need to go to Central Park to literally stop and smell the roses and to get away from the noise, I need to make time to cook and clean, I need to read and write and play music. I need to do “creative” shit, otherwise I will have nothing to show for my time here besides the lip kits that will be bought, worn and thrown away one day.
It’s not all bad. It feels like one year is the amount of time for me to get situated around people. I have friends here, at work and outside of work. They are real gems, very dynamic, interesting and different people. This has made a lot of the more stressful times worth it.
I also have found that many of my people from the Bay Area will make the decision to move to New York. Just this weekend, I got to team up with Rosendale again, see…
Needless to say, I think it’s really true that if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. Jury’s still out on how on-track I am to ‘making it’, but it is a win if I am growing, right? Let’s kick off the second year!