Relationships

A Few Things I’ve Learned Since Moving to New York City

Guggenheim Museum

When I moved to New York City two years ago, I had no idea what was in store…

My first visit here, I stayed with dear friends in Brooklyn, and they showed me their favorite spots and gave me their extra key, so I could come and go as I pleased. That week I lived like a local with tourist tendencies, wandering around the city in wonder. Something happened to me one day as I was walking to catch the L Train — for the first time in my life I felt at home.

When I flew back to Oklahoma, I wept heaving, embarrassing sobs in the middle seat on the plane. I was unexpectedly in love with New York and I knew I would live there someday, I just wasn’t sure how I’d do it. It took some time to get up the nerve, but five years later, a few days before my 30th birthday, I said goodbye to the only home I’d known and took the plunge — just me and one giant suitcase.

One thing no one tells you about moving to a new place by yourself is how much you’ll cry — good tears and bad. For the first six months, it’s like a faucet. It was somewhat inevitable — I was building a brand new life for myself and fully grasping what that meant. I quickly learned that crying in public was a common thread between new friends and me — everyone had their own New York crying stories to share (in the bathroom at work, on the 7 train, walking through Prospect Park), which was comforting. In the midst of building new relationships and routines, the exhilarating cherry on top was the city, itself — Broadway shows, the best pizza slices for 99 cents, something to do at any given moment of any given day. I just knew I would run into Tom Hanks in Central Park at any point!

On my birthday, my friend Leslie took me out for lobster rolls and then drinks at a bar that later became one of our favorites. “Life hack!” she announced. “If your phone is about to die, just ask the bartender if they’ll charge it for you, behind the bar…most of the time they won’t say no!” I felt lucky to have her as my own little NYC Zagat Guide — anytime I had a date, I’d always ask her where to go. I was already starting to feel a little more steady.

I learned to spin the anguish of moving through a big city alone into deliciousness. Did you know reading on the subway is one of life’s #1 pleasures? And moving from a small city, sitting shoulder to shoulder with someone on my commute I may never interact with again, still blows my mind. Some of my standout memories from here are from the community I’ve built, and some are quintessentially New York…

Walking hand-in-hand with my friend Gabby to dinner, discussing life’s conundrums

Watching When Harry Met Sally in Bryant Park with 1000 other delighted New Yorkers

Losing my keys at the club, and my phone in an Uber, all within a 24-hour window

Looking dramatically out my window and singing Space Cowboy after my first bad New York break up

My Airbnb host who washed her dishes in the bathtub à la Cosmo Kramer

Wearing a party dress with llama slippers when my next door neighbor threw a party

Sometimes I regret the time I wasted, not being here. Even though I believe everyone goes at their own pace, I find myself thinking “I should’ve moved 10 years ago!” On the other hand, I am grateful I didn’t get here any sooner than I did. Starting a new life in a new place now is way more thrilling to me than it would’ve been 10 years ago. I think I would’ve been way too scared, and possibly gone back. But by the time I came here at the age of 30 I had absolutely nothing to lose. Entering your thirties can feel like Adulthood 2.0 — if you’re lucky, you can hit the reset button and do things with gusto; once more with feeling.

The hardest part of the whole moving process was convincing myself that I was worth the move on my own — just me. But I feel compelled, more than anything, to know myself more — to stretch and grow and to see all that I can become. This two year crash course has shown me how quickly I can adapt, how big risks can pay off, and how sometimes things land and come to be, exactly the way they’re supposed to. I think I’ll stay for a while.

Kim Rhodes

Have you taken a big risk that’s paid off? I’d love to hear!

P.S. How has your life surprised you and what advice would you give your younger self?

(Top photo by Hans Kleinschmidt.)

  1. Heather says...

    I applaud your courage. I almost never post on the blogs I read, but as an educator, I felt I had to celebrate the fearlessness of your move and the willingness to put yourself out there via your writing. I lived in NY for 19 years, after having moved there in my mid-20’s. I miss it desperately, and although I understand it is not a good fit for me or my family right now, it is a city that deserves to be lived in and loved by people like you. Congrats.

  2. Leslie says...

    I’ll just say, you’re welcome!

    Love, Lil’ Zagat Leslie

  3. D. says...

    I am so happy you’ve joined the CoJ writing team! Your voice is distinct and both exhilarating and feels like home. I can’t wait to read more from you. And congrats on your move and the two years you’ve got down! ❤️

  4. I love this so, so much!! Yay for you for following your dreams!

    Until a few days ago, I thought that my biggest risk was having moved to Pennsylvania when I was 24. I knew one person there at the time, and I was petrified but exhilarated. Unfortunately, my welcome wagon included a gnarly date rape along with bone chillingly cold weather. After that night, I was ready to tuck tail and return to Tennessee. Luckily, I met a guy the next week, I reluctantly fell in love, and we were together for five very formative, life changing years.

    Fast forward eleven years – our relationship is no more, and I realize now that I made more mistakes than I ever thought possible while living there. Yet, I think back on that time fondly. Still, it wasn’t my biggest risk, but just part of my story.

    Earlier this year I turned 40, and I’ve struggled with that for what feels like months. Why? I am not sure. I expected that I’d be far more settled than I am – married, kids, all of that stuff, but it never happened for me. Two months after my birthday I quit a job that wasn’t fulfilling to my soul or my wallet. I wrapped an apron around my waist and began waiting tables again. I’ve spent most of my working life in hospitality, and had previously been working in management and event sales. Eventually as summer began melting into fall, I took what was supposed to be an admin/sales job with a catering company. A month and a half in, and I’ve stepped down from that role. It didn’t turn out to be what was promised, but I’ve met some amazing people, so there is the trade, yeah?

    Here is my risk… I’m smack in the midst of it: I’m living on a server’s salary, doing events on the side, and I’ve just launched my own blog, (today) I have almost NO idea of what I’m doing, and the cherry on top is I’ve decided to go back to school and finish my degree.

    In a lot of ways, this is a huge gamble. So many things could go wrong. I’m positively terrified, but life is beginning to feel… right for the first time in a long time.

    • D. says...

      Sending so much good luck and love from a stranger across the country! I hope you find fulfillment, excitement and success.

  5. Vanessa M says...

    Hi Kim!! This is exactly how I felt when I moved to Boston 5 years ago–also when I was 30! & describing your 30’s as adulting 2.0 is so so very accurate!!! Excited to continue to follow your journey from afar :)
    <3 Vanessa from anthro

    • Kim Rhodes says...

      Oh hey, girl!!! Thank you!! So great hearing from you <3

  6. I feel the same way about LA!

  7. Jill P says...

    So so so proud of you fulfilling your dreams and watching you grow. I still remember sending you post about “A Cup of Jo now hiring post” and wanting you to apply. You are so talented. Look at you now!

  8. EC says...

    What a great question! My risk wasn’t a move, but a decision not to do something I thought I’d always wanted. I got into medical school after college, but after visiting NYC and falling in love with it, decided I needed to see more of the world first! So I turned down med school, got a job at Starbucks (because they offered health insurance), worked a lot, and bought a ticket to India. Now 20 years later I have an awesome job that I love, a husband, two kids, and have visited over 6o countries as part of my work. It was so scary to turn down a secure career for the unknown, but following my heart turned my life into something greater than I ever imagined. Thank you NYC!

  9. can kim have her own weekly column? i love everything she’s done for CoJ ❤️

    • Brooke says...

      I agree, Kim has such a warm, distinctive voice! Just like with Caroline’s articles, as soon as I start reading, I can tell it is her and I think – “Oh goody!” 😸

  10. Milagros says...

    Hi. I just moved from New York to Switzerland. Four months ago. I hate it here. No talks. Just hi and bye. No even my husband talks. I miss NYC. It’s home. I moved because of my baby girl. I wanted her to grow up with her dad. But it’s costing my serenity.

  11. Maggie S says...

    Oh goodness. I read this post at my new desk in my new house in my state and teared up a little. I’m 5 days in to the biggest change of my life, and still not sure how I feel about it. I think I’m happy? I don’t know why I’m not crying? But that line – once more, with gusto – really resonated with me. For today at least, a Thursday, in Georgia, with coffee – I got this!

    • Kim Rhodes says...

      Day by day, Maggie. You got this!! <3

  12. Amy says...

    We started homeschooling! After our kids had been in traditional school for several years, we decided that there was so much more we could offer them. It’s been four years and we haven’t looked back! We live in Charlotte in the homeschooling community is huge and awesome. I’m so thankful!

    • Kate says...

      Wow, this makes me want to move to NYC, too! :)

      I just turned 30 years old (took myself to Paris to celebrate!) and I love the line about recognizing that YOU are worth the move..you didn’t wait for a partner to come into your life and sweep you along on their adventure! You created your own!

  13. AIDAN DOWNEY says...

    Some of the things I and others who left don’t miss about New York CITY (evidently the author of the article assumes her readers just know that New York means the City)
    1: the hundreds of prostitutes under the West Side highway when Ed Koch was mayor.
    2: the porno theaters in Times Square that numerous Democratic mayors and the ACLU said had a constitutional right to be there (and run by the Mafia) (Removed by Rudy Guliani in 5 minutes.)
    3: filthy subway cars covered with grafiti.
    4: having to ride the subway at night and risk the possibility of being mugged (robbed)
    5: going to Central Park? better stay in the south 1/3rd and never go into any part after dark.
    6: paying non-resident income taxes to NY State and City.
    7: reporting a mugging or robbery to the NYC Police? their attitude, and correctly so, is why are you wasting your’s and their time.
    8: if you drive a car in Manhattan you have to park it in a garage
    as finding a parking spot on the street is almost impossible. Expect to pay $20.00 to $75.00 to park for a few hours. If you are able to park on the street in any Borough (there are five in NYC), expect your car to be broken into, stolen or towed away by the City every couple of years.
    9: having kids going to a public school for “education”
    10. trying to run a day-in-and-day-out type of business (big business gets the political shakedown) and dealing with any part of the NYC bureaucracy; bribes accepted, cash only. Next in line after the city for “supplemental payments” is the Mafia.
    11: if you love this move there.

    • Mimi says...

      LOL…did you move out of NYC in ’86?

    • Teemos says...

      Your talking about stuff from 30 years ago just stop it….

    • I grew up in NYC, beginning in the early 80’s, and lived in subsidized housing near Times Square. It was a beautiful childhood, filled with diversity, neighborhood culture, and affordable housing options for working artists like my parents. Now, when I visit the city, I mourn the loss of the New York of my childhood, before Giuliani turned Ties Square into a sanitized Disneyland.

    • Aneta says...

      Wow… so much pent up aggression in your post, Aidan. Including the very unkind “CITY” comment. Sometimes saying (writing) nothing is the best thing to do.

    • Whoa. This comment was really unnecessary and quite frankly a little mean spirited. I lived in NYC for a bit and didn’t like it either (for reasons you did not list, some of your reasons sound awfully judgy … I’m all for sex workers rights, no one uses prostitutes anymore). Despite finding the city wasn’t for me (I live in London which is way more my pace) … I understand why other people absolutely love it and find no joy on raining on anyone else’s parade. Let people enjoy things, don’t be a killjoy.

  14. Daniela says...

    When I was 21 I took the leap and moved from California (where I grew up and all my friends, family, and then boyfriend were) to North Carolina for college. I got into schools in CA too but felt the need to take this huge jump for myself.

    I remember for months before I moved waking up in a panic in the middle of the night. And it wasn’t easy living on my own for the first time 3000 miles away. I remember crying so hard having to go back from Christmas break with my family. But I got back to my apartment, went to Whole Foods, and treated my broke self to a bottle of wine, fish, and forbidden rice. I did move back to California but I feel so strong knowing I did that move all by myself and took care of myself in the process.

    And when the time came, I was ready to leave California again. This time with my now husband and cats in tow, for Colorado. Had I not moved alone before I’m not sure I would have pushed us to try living somewhere new, yet here we are loving life (and thinking of what state to head to next!).

  15. Owen says...

    Been here since 2002, and got married at Juliette (last photo) in 2015. I was like, “wait, is that Juliette??”

    Good luck!

    • Kim Rhodes says...

      Juliette is my favorite FAVORITE!! I always think about how I ‘d love to get married there! :)

  16. Sarah says...

    Love love love this article, the topic (so timely for me) and all these inspiring comments from all these brave ladies!

  17. Kiley says...

    When I turned 23 I took the leap and moved to Chicago. I had vowed when I was 12 that I’d live there, so I decided to go for it! No job, a roommate I just met, and enough money to hold out for a few months. It worked out! I met great people, found a job that I like, met my husband, and had a baby all in eight years. We recently decided to move back to my hometown for financial reasons, which is also an exciting new chapter, but I do miss Chicago. Seeing the skyline as I drive down 90 never fails to take my breath away.

  18. Ingrid says...

    At the âge of 27 my boss sent me to New York to take over business development for the company. I remember packingmy suitcase (my whole life in a suitcase) and leaving the south of France (i was working in Monaco). I was so excited to start this new chapter of my life. I loved New York, met new people, did the summer thing in the Hamptons, listened to concerts in Central Park, learnt rollerblading also in Central Park. I was living just a block from Park Avenue, mid town. I stayed 3 years, it was amazing (very expensive though to live in Manhattan) I then moved to London, another great experience. Travel and moving around the world is one of the best thing i have done. I am now back in the South of France and think about this great years often (that was 20 years ago)

  19. Beautiful post!
    Even as a born and raised New Yorker I can definitely appreciate this.

    xx Angelica

  20. txilibrin says...

    Well, I moved to Boston after living in Madrid, Prague, Malaga and Mexico. Here I met my husband (spanish like me!) and now we have 2 kids!!!
    We want to go back to Spain some day, but first, I want to move to somewhere else in the US.
    We have no mortgage, just kids to look after. So it should be easy!
    Cannot wait for our next adventure of four!!!

    • Joaquina says...

      You have lived in some fantastic cities. Madrid is one of my favorite places on earth and in another life, I’d move to Spain. Good luck on your next adventure, what a thrilling and culturally rich experience for your kids!

  21. Lauren B says...

    i lived in nyc for 8 years in my 20’s and i miss it every single day. one thing i tell everyone about my time in the city is how much i loved reading on the subway and how much less i read now that i live in a place where i don’t take public transportation. i know the MTA has its (very real) flaws but i don’t think i appreciated it for what it was while i lived there. taking the subway every day was a treasure and it’s something that not everyone will experience in their lifetime so im grateful for it. it puts you in contact with people who you may never see again, people who are different than you, people who you wouldn’t ordinarily be in the same space with apart from the subway. there’s a shared humanity in public transportation and i think it truly shaped my worldview into a more self-aware, compassionate and accepting person.

    • Laura T. says...

      Thank you for this beautiful comment! I take the G to the E to the 6 everyday to go to work. My friends and family who don’t live in NYC think I’m crazy. They can’t imagine taking not one, but three, trains to and from work day after day. And sometimes it really does suck. No way around that. But most days, I’m so grateful for it! I have read so many wonderful books on the subways, and I never fail to be surprised by the sweet moments between strangers.

  22. Steph says...

    Bravo! Moving is huge. I was 25 when I moved to London and it was the best decision of my life. I have since moved to Australia and then back to NZ and I still find myself daydreaming of the years I was building a new life and creating some of the best life experiences I could ask for. It took my years to settle back into my home city in NZ again but now I’m thankful for the new perspective I have on life and the amazing life long friends I made along the way.

  23. I’m so jealous! I moved to NYC (from Virgnia) when I was 22 and just moved to a smaller city last year, at 41 with my husband and little girl. I cried so hard leaving NYC. It is such a magical place. I miss it every day.

    • RS says...

      Ugh, Kath, this makes me sad. I hope you can move back to NYC eventually.

  24. Christine says...

    Ha! I love this blog. I read this article thinking “this doesn’t really apply to my life at all but hey, I’ll read just for fun!”. After reading the article and comments I’ve never been more sure that I need to take action on a work decision that has been taking up so much space in my head. Thanks for the encouragement, you guys!!

  25. Alex says...

    I’m 37 years old and four years ago I moved to Chapel Hill North Carolina after growing up in Los Angeles. I’m actually a third generation Angeleno and never thought I would live anywhere else because….why would I leave this giant diverse city with perfect weather! I finally reached a point where I wanted to see something, anything different. I left L.A. without a career, or a partner, just a dog and suitcase. Four years later, I’ve found my passion in work, the love of my life and a baby on the way. SO.MUCH.IS.DIFFERENT! The leaves have started to change here and sometimes it takes my breath away that this beautiful place has existed the whole time I was sitting in traffic staring at palm trees. When in doubt, make the leap!

  26. Jeannie says...

    I am so so thankful I was born here in NYC. I always say to my friends (a lot of whom came here from other places like you did), that they are the bravest people I know. I don’t know if i would have had the cajones!

  27. Kristen Nelson says...

    At age 38 I left a career in the fashion industry and went to law school. When I started law school I was single, I graduated 3 years later with a husband, two stepsons and a baby. I now work as an attorney and I love it! And I also love the family I acquired in law school!!!

  28. Elizabeth says...

    I just moved here in July at the young age of 62 yrs old. NY is cozier than people may think and I feel like I’m finally at home!

    • Kim Rhodes says...

      I agree, Elizabeth! So glad you feel at home here, too! <3

  29. Annie says...

    I totally feel this! I moved to London 1 year ago to join my then-boyfriend now-husband. I absolutely love it here and am so happy to be living in this incredible, lovely city, but I still have those days and weeks where I can’t stop the tears and the sadness. Making friends as an adult is HARD!! (Anyone here have any tips?!) It’s my biggest struggle at the moment and of course missing my friends back home in the US.

    I used to live in NYC and crying in public is basically a right of passage ;) It’s bound to happen! So glad you are enjoying it! It’s such an amazing place.

    • Wendela says...

      This is a lovely post and although it’s been many years since I made a similar leap, it is sweet to be reminded of the leaps in life and how hard and also rewarding they can be. I’m so happy to hear about your adventure and wish you many happy years in your new home!

    • Jess L. says...

      Annie,
      I just spent 6 weeks in London and met a ton of people by being very intentional about how I spent me time. Pick activities that are REGULAR – where you see the same people AT LEAST every two weeks. Once a month and less does not forge friendships. Get really involved with / volunteer at a charity – charities are ALWAYS looking for capable people that can do work and follow through. They tend to be full of great people too, and you’ll develop stronger, quicker bonds by working side-by-side with people vs. networking. Check out Meet-up (a social media site for clubs). I found a podcast club in London that discussed a topic I loved and met weekly. Also, friends of friends are great. I point blank asked friends if they have anyone they thought I would click with and I could reach out to while over in London, and I met some great people that way. Finally, (and I know this isn’t for everyone), I attended a non-religious church and met wonderful people there. I was pretty straightforward with the people I met that I was new to the area and looking for people to have dinner with. Might be a bit too earnest for some people but hey it worked for me. I was surprised at how much easier it was to forge connections with fellow ex-pats, I found most of them were in a similar situation and down for trying anything.

      Anyway, hope this helps. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share. I loved London so much that I’m looking for a way to move back (working on finding a job right now), so I hope to be back in your situation soon!

    • Kelly says...

      Annie! I also just moved to London from NYC for my husbands job, and feel exactly the same! I like the city, but everyone is so hard to crack, even coworkers who I see for 8+ hours a day. Everyone thinks New Yorkers aren’t friendly…but at least they talk (probably a little too much!). I’m having some good days and some bad days, but staying close with friends at home through FaceTime wine chats and trying a ton of new gym classes through ClassPass has kept me somewhat sane. Good luck! Sending you nice ish NYC vibes from London ;)

  30. Chelsi Rodriguez says...

    I shed a couple tears reading this! You have grown SO MUCH since college days and I have never been more excited to see a human evolve the way you have. I mean…damn! I hope to visit very soon and fall in love with this city so many of my friends love so much! Proud of you!

  31. Amanda says...

    I love this. I just turned 30 a few weeks ago and anticipate a big life change when I graduate with an MBA in the spring. I feel pretty old when the only people I see really starting over are in their mid-20s, so this is refreshing. Thanks for sharing!

  32. Jennifer says...

    I moved this summer back to my husband’s native Denmark with my 1 year old and 4 year old. It has been a rough transition for so many reasons. But, when I walk to work in the morning I still look around and think to myself “I can’t believe I did it . . . I did it!” I truly believe I am gifting my children a slower life, with a focus on the environment and a sense of social responsibility, all of which I feel is currently lacking from the US. We also have a lovely support from his family here. I miss my family more than I can describe, but they unfortunately were not there for us the way we needed them to be. We hope we will get the best of both worlds — true support from his family and wonderful visits over the years with my family.

  33. Lynn says...

    I’ve moved to some far off places but those weren’t the ones that nearly broke me. After visiting a girlfriend in Chicago and having the best weekend (it was Memorial day and the weather was good) I decided that I was going to move. I was bored in DC and needed a change so I thought, look at me I’m going to be adventurous! I don’t often think much of the time I lived there but looking back on it, there were def more than my fair share of tear-filled moments and self questioning black holes I spun down, ‘why did I do this, why can’t I hack it?’

    I swallowed my pride and said, it wasn’t for me. I moved back to East less than a year later. I spent another year in DC before living in Ghana for a bit, and then finally moving back to London (I had studied abroad there many moon ago) where I’ve been for nearly 5 years now. I’m so happy for you that you carved your space out in NYC. Bravo for pushing yourself and finding the good place.

  34. nina says...

    I moved to Texas from California when I was 30 to help my brother start a business. I remember standing in front of the apartment elevator my first week there and thinking “What. Have. I. Done?!?!”

    But it ended up being better than I hoped. I made a TON of money, learned to love my profession in a new way, made great friends, learned how brave and powerful and adaptable I could be, and, most importantly, my brother turned into my close friend.

    (Also, Dallas is the best and I no longer live there but if you do I am so jealous.)

    • Audrey says...

      It’s so nice to hear someone say something nice about Texas (that isn’t about Austin)! I’m a Dallas native and there are really so many neat places in Dallas to explore. I live in Colorado now but it made me smile to see your comment!

  35. Megan says...

    Love this! And so happy to find out that so many other people cry so much after a big move! I studied abroad in England in college and bawled my eyes out for WEEKS and then moved to Taiwan years after graduating and literally didn’t sleep the first three days because I was so freaked out. It’s so hard in those first few weeks to feel like you’re going to be okay, but eventually you start to look around you and meet people and realize that many of these people are going to become lifelong friends. It’s like a switch turns and all of the sudden you can start to get excited about it.

  36. J says...

    I am often delighted by the turn that my life has taken me in the last few years… from living in east coast city for a year to starting a new job in a Canadian university town, and yet it is so far from what my younger self imagined and wanted for me. But maybe younger me couldn’t have even dreamed this up, as my life is so much better and so much more different than I thought it would be. It would have ruined the fun of living a life, if things had worked out as I imagined… I thought I’d live in NY & be a writer. I am doing neither of these things and yet, I couldn’t be more happy. I still have weekly, “pinch me” moments when something will amusing will happen and I will think to myself, “I can’t believe I’m living in Canada.” It still seems a little surreal that’s where things have taken me. I wonder, for other expats (it seems a little weird to consider myself one, but I suppose I am), do you ever still get those ‘pinch me’ moments? What was the last one you had?

  37. Megan says...

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this! I just moved to Houston for residency a few months ago…a city where I literally knew no one (and feels like an alien planet at times) – and somehow all the other residents in my class were all from Texas and had friends/family in Houston so the built in “friend group” I had expected/hoped for with my co-residents didn’t really happen – and it has been a pretty damn hard transition. BUT reading this helped to highlight some of the same emotions that I’ve experienced – it helped validate what I’ve been feeling, the good and the bad. At the end of the day, I know I made the right choice and I know I am growing and challenging myself constantly. I also know that I will be able to put together my own list like yours in another few months (hopefully!) :) Thank you again – you gave this super exhausted, incredibly homesick 32 year old hope and a reminder to look for the simple joys each day <3

  38. I love this story, and I love New York because my mom moved there from the Philippines in the late 90s. Personally, I’ve lived in Singapore and now, New Zealand, so these “moving to a new city/country” stories really resonate with me. Also, I love your hair. :)

  39. Kathy says...

    So pleased and proud to see a fellow Oklahoman here! I loved reading this article (not just because Oklahoma, but it was sweet and touching as well). Can’t wait to read more :)

  40. Sarah says...

    You have the loveliest smile!

  41. Becca C says...

    I’m in the extremely lucky venn diagram overlap of being a longtime CoJ reader and also longtime mega-fan of Kim Rhodes. I could not imagine a better partnership. What beautiful writing Kim!! Your talent has found a great home.

    • Laura says...

      This is just a lovely thing to say. :)

  42. Sara says...

    A few years ago I returned back to work after maternity leave. I was excited to be back at work- if not even relieved- because I loved my job. But within two days of being back I realized that my company’s talk about supporting women (and especially moms) in leadership roles was all lip service (long story short- after departing for mat leave as a top performer, I returned to a significantly downsized role to make room for a long term employee, who was also a man, to be transferred in to my department because he wasn’t performing in his current role. When I brought it up to my boss he told me to get over it and be grateful for everything the company had provided me and my family over the previous years.).
    I put my head down, I shut up, and I looked for another job. Three months later I had a job offer at an amazing company- with a 20% pay cut. It was a huge risk but I knew, I just KNEW in my gut, that it was the right decision. I had the best feeling from the leaders I met with and it just felt right. My husband was super nervous but supported my decision and my instincts.
    Two years later and I’ve been promoted twice with my eye on another one next year. I’m making more now than when I left my old job and I’m with a new company that provides such better benefits and truly supports women in leadership.
    It was a huge leap of faith, I literally felt like I was jumping off a cliff, but I’m so thankful I trusted my gut, knew when enough was enough, and left.

    • Claudia says...

      This is the exact thing that happened to me when I was pregnant – my role in the company I worked for was significantly downsized. I decided not to return after my maternity leave and now make a lot more money starting my own company with flexible hours. Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and things usually work out.

  43. Kristie says...

    My now husband and I made a huge move over 5 years ago- we packed up our life into a van and drove 5000km from our hometown near Sydney Aus up to the Top End. We had so many wild adventures on the way, and now we live here we have made our own life with roots. Our first baby was born here (and so will our second on the way). We went through incredibly hard challenges, we made wonderful friends, we have accumulated a house full of furniture… and now we are thinking of moving back south to support my family through a very difficult time. I don’t want to leave at all, this is home for me. But who knows, maybe it will be a great new chapter too?

    • Rusty says...

      Hey Kristie, I’m in Perth.
      I wanted to share with you, that when you head back ‘home’ near Sydney, you will have changed, so your experience of being there will be new. Your choices will be different and more aligned with what you discovered within yourself in the top end.
      Have faith that the place is actually within you, not where you are.
      You’ve got this.
      Hugz, Rusty 😊

  44. Kate the Great says...

    I love the photo you’ve chosen for the top of this post: the benches on different levels and how each is being used differently.

  45. E.D says...

    I’ve always felt energized by big moves and don’t feel apprehension. I moved from the US to Europe twice when I was under 25. I moved to NYC when I was 27 after one of my parents died and my long term boyfriend dumped me. It was very hard emotionally, but it was a much needed new beginning. I left NY for Europe five years later with a husband and a baby. Since then, we’ve lived in 3 other countries on 2 other continents. Each move has given us new perspectives, new opportunities, and new friends. We’ve been in Asia for a few years now and I’m really starting to feel the moving itch again. I’m not sure what the future has in store for us, but I’m ready to embrace it.

    • Jen says...

      That’s incredible – I’d love to know more about your approach to “settling” with each move, especially when children are involved. I’m in a similar boat and share your natural ache for big moves.

  46. Courtenay Spencer says...

    Loved how you said your 30s are like adulthood 2.0. Couldn’t agree more! I moved to London at 33, and WOW, I’ve never felt so alive. The tears (like you said) are real, and often, and like you said, partly tears of pride and happiness, and partly experiencing a feeling of loneliness like no other. I think the loneliness plays a huge role in the journey. It made me feel so proud to be doing it alone, and surviving. I still think about my time in London nearly every day, and also ended up writing my final MA paper on the idea of ‘Place and Belonging’. So fascinating!

  47. Chandra says...

    I just moved to Atlanta about a month ago and this gives me hope! It is hard starting over, I’m 35 and single with my dog. No complaints really yet other than it being kinda lonely. But do have faith things will improve!

    • Laura says...

      Welcome to Atlanta! I’m out in the northern suburbs. Hope you find all the ways you need for it to be a lovely home for you.

  48. Lisa Kairos says...

    What a beautiful homage to a new city and the process of relocating. I just moved to a new city myself (San Francisco) and the tears are real! But so are the moments of joy and discovery. Thanks for the reminder that settling in takes some time.

  49. Jane says...

    For those who made the plunge and moved to your dream location, did you ever regret the missed time with family that you left behind? I’m currently living in Madison, and I love it so much. But it’s really far from home and in a few years, my husband and I and our 3 little boys will have the chance to make a big career change. I can’t decide if that should involve staying in Madison where my soul finally feels like it’s found home, or heading home to the place where I grew up and so many of my children’s aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents still live. Do I stay where I feel most at home and make my children sacrifice those precious relationship possibilities? Or do I sacrifice my own desires for their potential joy? Ahhhh!!! It’s something I worry about daily.

    • Ana D says...

      I think it may help to think about the potential benefits and costs as more varied and less black and white. There’s so much more here than “your happiness vs. their happiness” – it’s quite possible that you’ll all end up unhappy or happy for various reasons in either locale. If we could mandate our children’s positive relationships simply by moving, life would be a lot simpler. But life so rarely works that way.

    • Jess says...

      I feel this exactly! we don’t even have children yet, but we live on the other side of the world (literally) from both our families. We love living where we live, but missing out on the time with family is horrible, and I’m already worried about potential children not growing up surrounded by family! My solution is convincing as many people as possible to move to our side of the world (not super successful so far hahaha).

      But that being said, I grew up only seeing most of my extended family at holidays, and I’m still very close with some of my cousins. In fact, my relationship with the cousins who lived close to us and we saw regularly growing up is now nearly non-existent as we are very different people, but the ones who lived on the other side of the county I consider some of my closest friends today (even though we live on the other side of the world now! We always make the effort to stay in contact and see each other whenever we can). So I guess maybe the children will be ok not living near their extended family? They will still form relationships with those of them who they actually like, and will just have a different experience of seeing family at holidays and special occasions instead of every day :)

    • Erin says...

      Hi Jane,
      I don’t have an answer, just my story and some questions. First, is your relationship with your family healthy and can you respect each other’s boundaries. I’m discovering that it’s less about where you live than who you’re becoming. Could you imagine a good version of yourself there? I’m American, married to a Dutchman and have been living in Amsterdam for over seven years. Our kids have enjoyed being near his side of the family, now we’re considering a move back to the States to kive closer to mine. When I was small, my parents moved from the Midwest to Florida for a promising job opportunity and ended up staying. I remember feeling a bit jealous, distant from our extended family and never feeling totally “at home” without them. I asked my mom a few years ago if she and my dad regretted not moving back to the Midwest, thinking she’s say “of course not, it made us how we are,” because my mom is that kind of a person. Instead she admitted in hindsight it was a mistake to be away from their healthy, loving families/support system. Again, her story, her family situation. I hope you find peace in your decision to move back or stay!

    • Emma says...

      I can totally relate to this; my husband and I moved to the south of France before we had our two children, who were born here. We’ve not had any of the support or daily involvement we may (or may not…) have had if we’d stayed nearer to ‘home’, but it’s been an incredible adventure.

    • Gerry says...

      I moved back closer to my hometown after having been living abroad and realised people had their lives already scheduled without me and I felt lonely. They had lost the habit of inviting me on a day-to-day basis, which took take time to restore, and/or were busy and, since I was now living here, weren’t making themselves available most of the times I was suggesting to see each other, as they thought they could see me easily. This happened to the majority of my expat friends when coming home. I therefore moved again in a city I really enjoy, located one hour away and, to me, it is perfect. We can actually see each other more often than when I was living there. On another hand I find that when the parent is happy, kids are happy too. Plus vacations with the cousins without me is always a blast ;-) Good luck on your decision!

    • Rachel says...

      Yes, I have missed some family milestones but it’s still worth it. I’m lucky and grateful that my parents (and good friends) come to my new city often. I don’t have kids so I can’t relate that portion, but I don’t regret missing some of those times back home because my life somewhere else is so much more rewarding and a better fit. Good luck!

    • Rachel says...

      Oh and one more thought, it’s hard to build a new network and friends in a new place, but those new people become your family. It’s an opportunity to meet people you would have never in a million years cross paths with. It’s exciting!

  50. paige says...

    i moved to nyc when i was 19 and moved at 26 for my fiance’s job to a smaller city in a state we never thought we would end up in. nyc will always be my first love, my true home but i will say taking the leap with my fiance to start a new life has been incredible and made me realize nyc isn’t the only place for me in the world. it will always be there <3 (i have visited 2x a month since i moved away lol)

  51. MK says...

    Space Cowboy is an extremely underrated break up song!! So good for belting at the top of your lungs.
    I lived in New York for ten years, and I adore this essay.

    • Kim Rhodes says...

      extremely underrated!!

  52. Julie says...

    I’m from Oklahoma as well (Tulsa)! I love that you followed your dreams and moved to NYC. It’s always fun to see another Oklahoman living out their dreams. Cheers to you!

    • Heidi says...

      So many Oklahomans in the comments… I think we need a Tulsa COJ chapter!

  53. Em says...

    I’m an Oklahoman and visited NYC for the first time this past August. Did not expect to fall completely and utterly in love with the city, but I did, too!

  54. Emma says...

    What happened to Franny? And Lexi? So happy to see new faces and voices at CoJ but just wondering where other voices I looked forward to on the site are? Anyways loved this article so much! Can totally relate. Xx

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Lexi had a second baby and decided to stay home and work freelance, and Franny left to pursue other projects. We wish them both so well! We’ll do a post about staff changes soon xoxo

  55. Mimi says...

    I really loved this story! I was 24 when I moved from California to NYC with a couple thousand in my pocket and three pieces of luggage. I’m 36 now and feel like NYC is home. My hometown is so foreign to me. For those who say NYC is so insanely expensive, I lived in north Bronx for 10 years because I wasn’t going to sacrifice space and rent in order to live in a trendy neighborhood so to me it was sustainable and worth it. I love NYC and can’t imagine living anywhere else at this point in my life. I have an amazing community here and the best friends I’ve ever made is here in New York.

  56. Olivia says...

    Love these stories do much! When I was 30 I moved from the US to Europe with my 2-year-old. I’d planned to move with my husband, but after our baby was born, he left for a co-worker. The first 6 months out of the US were HARD, and the next year was even harder, but I got by on pure stubbornness. Our apartment was so teeny tiny that people would walk in and ask “wait, is this the whole thing?” I remember calling a friend in tears because even after so much time, it was still so difficult, and I was still myself— that big move hadn’t made me feel any less like a pitiful fool who’d been dumped after having a baby. It took two years to finally learn the language, build a network, and feel at home. And even though I felt like the biggest failure every day for those first years, after I was through it, I felt like it was the most incredible accomplishment ever. All I’d done was put one foot in front of the other, sometimes very grudgingly, for two years. But those two years got us home.

    • Cecile says...

      Your reply really touched me Olivia! Congratulations on all you have accomplished!
      My story is the opposite and the same… Moved to NYC at 22, pregnant 3 months later and had my girl on my own here, figuring out everything along the way. Everyone expected me to move back to Europe but staying here was the best decision I ever made. I truly feel at home here…

    • Tina,NYC says...

      Olivia, you sound amazing.
      Sending hugs and a high five into the universe for you right now.

    • Rachel says...

      OMG can you write a book? Or an essay? What a compelling story! You are champion! Are you still there?!

    • Y says...

      Very inspiring Olivia, thanks for sharing!

    • Britt says...

      Olivia, you are one badass lady. Thank you for sharing!

    • Olivia says...

      Cecile, wow! I’m with you. There’s nothing quite like being a single mom living outside of your home country- so tough but also, your whole life is an adventure. Everyone was back home was telling me to give up and come back, too! But I’m still here :) Once, early on, I had the flu and knew hardly a soul. I picked my son up from daycare and got on the metro, and we just rode the line back and forth for 2 hours because I was too sick to stand and get off at our stop. He remembers this as the greatest, funnest thing ever, because at the time, he was train obsessed. (That was also the day I learned to start asking for help when I needed it, which was so necessary, but so difficult to do at the time.) I hope you’re still going strong in NYC!

    • Sharon says...

      Wow… You are brave and I loved reading this. I cannot imagine. But “got by on pure stubborness” sounds like the only way. Go you! Sometimes the most gratifying experiences in life are the ones you fight the hardest for.

  57. Kristin says...

    I moved to NYC 20 years ago for college not knowing anyone. Definitely a risk well worth taking as I am still here!

    I also moved to London for a few years with my husband 6 yrs ago (also knowing no one) and started my own company 3 yrs ago.

    No guts, no glory.

  58. Megan says...

    One thing that’s important to know about New York…it is SO FREAKING EXPENSIVE to live here! I’m super curious to know how Kim financially prepared to make the move. I arrived in 2011 with $3,000 in my bank account, and even with good jobs and roommates, I’ve had a hard time building any sort of savings at all.

    • rose says...

      I second this : ) Always curious how the expenses break down in real life.

    • Mimi says...

      I live here in NY and it’s really about what you’re willing to sacrifice. Rent is actually affordable in outer boroughs, you just have to sacrifice not living in a trendy neighborhood. I live in North Bronx and LOVED my neighborhood. It was about an hour commute on the train, but I had great space. Friends were floored when they found how cheap my rent was. I now live in Brooklyn in a trendy area with my boyfriend and we split the rent. I pay the exact amount that I did when I lived alone.

    • Nectar says...

      Agree with what Mimi says. I also live in NYC and it really depends on what you value and what’s worth your pennies.

      I pay more for my room in an apartment because I’m a homebody. We looked for an apartment that was rent-stabilized that offered free heat and we got lucky with a spot in Greenpoint. I canceled streaming subscriptions and stick to youtube or friends’ accounts. I go to a gym that offers $10/mo. I cook more at home than going out for dinners. I also use Digit and Qapital to help me save money. Feel like little habits like this went a long way with stretching my cash.

      I have other friends that choose things differently. They’ll pay less for an apartment because they’re always out and about and pay more on social activities.

    • Sasha L says...

      I’m super curious, how much it does cost?

      My 1000 sq ft house, 3 bdrm, 2 bath, with a large yard, double garage, would rent for $2000 (I think) where I live (we pay WAY less than that for mortgage).

    • Megan says...

      Here’s what I’ve paid in NY!
      East Village, 2011, lived with one roommate and split a ~500 sq foot one bedroom by using the living room as a second bedroom: $1,100 for my half
      Non-trendy Williamsburg, 2014, split a two bedroom with a roomie: $1,200 for my half
      Clinton Hill, 2015: $966 for one good-sized room in a three bedroom
      East Village, 2016: $1650 for a LESS THAN 250 sq foot studio. I wanted so desperately to live alone : D

    • Katey says...

      Fellow New Yorker here (since 2006!) and agree with the others…it doesn’t have to be expensive! If you rent in the outer boroughs/have a roommate or a partner to split rent then it can be super affordable. You don’t even need to live that far outside of Manhattan. My other tip for savings is enroll in your company’s 401K, especially if they offer any kind of match. Even just putting away a few thousand dollars a year adds up a decade plus later and you’ll have a modest and growing nest egg.

    • Sonja says...

      @Sasha L
      oh wow, $2000 a month is only a little more than an APARTMENT (1 bed/1 bath) here in Seattle where I live!?!!

    • Sasha L says...

      @ Sonja, the wage discrepancy though. Our community is losing a lot of businesses because there are no workers because the business can’t afford the high price of real estate, and pay workers enough to pay their rent. I think a similar professional job in Seattle vs here would pay twice as much, 1/3 as much. So many have moved here with their money in tow and driven the housing costs way past what the lower and average workers can pay. And there no cheaper areas, it’s just ALL expensive, and expensiver. Even the very very limited “low income housing” is more expensive than what my family could afford, if we didn’t already buy our home decades ago.

  59. Anna says...

    “If you’re lucky, you can hit the reset button and do things with gusto; once more with feeling.”

    I love this. So applicable to many things in life.

  60. Moved to San Francisco when I was 22, two suitcases and a stereo.
    No job, no place to live, crashed with friends until I found a place.
    Started temping the third day I was here.
    Finally got a sublet after many weeks, and it was the best thing ever.
    The first few months I was so lonely – my friends who’d lived here left town within a couple months.
    Had to hardcore work on my friendship-courtships, but almost 20 years later, no regrets!

  61. Lindsey says...

    This was a great post and kudos to you for being brave. I always think that moving to the city is my sister life that I wave to as it passes (Cheryl Strayed).

    • Clara Artschwager says...

      One of my favorite Cheryl likes ever.

  62. Absmtl says...

    Love that you’re featuring more diverse writers!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      kim is our new editorial assistant and we adore her! we’ll do an introduction post soon.

  63. Jen says...

    9 years ago, my husband and I moved from a big city (2 Million) with tons of financial/job opportunity to a small city (80 thousand) where jobs are hard to come by and we didn’t know a soul. It was terrifying to leave a house we loved, jobs that we didn’t love but that paid generously, and friends and family. We felt drawn to this little spot and figured we’d find a way to make it work. I was 29 and scared out of my mind that we were making a huge mistake.
    Fast forward 9 years and we can’t believe we ever thought about not making the move. We both started our own companies, we have a daughter, a close-knit group of friends, a cozy house in a great neighborhood, and more financial success than we ever thought possible. What we don’t have anymore – long commutes, rush hour, people everywhere, jobs we don’t like.
    We made the move constantly telling each other “no risk, no reward” and there’s been no truer motto for us.

  64. Hannah says...

    I loved this post so much! It totally brings me back to how I felt moving from Austin, TX to Columbus, OH. It’s scary! But at the same time, now I have two places where I feel totally at home. Thanks for sharing your story!

    • D Tis says...

      Yay! A fellow Cup of Jo reader in Columbus! <3

    • Natalie says...

      Hi Hannah – can I ask more about your experience as a Texan-turned-Ohioan? I’ve lived in Austin my whole life, but my parents are in Central Ohio, and as they’re getting older, my husband and I are considering moving north to be closer to them. That, plus moving somewhere smaller and a little less insane is really appealing right now. I know the majority of people love Austin, but it can an exhausting place to live (although not compared to NYC, which I can’t even imagine).

  65. This post made me remember that I have a New York City crying story, even though I’ve spent no more than 10 total days in the city. I was sitting on some dirty curb outside of a bodega just sobbing my heart out, and strangers kept walking up to ask me if I was okay. Oh New York!

  66. Laura says...

    I needed to read this as well. Next year my husband, two young daughters (3 and 1), and I are moving to Italy. I spent 3 weeks alone with the girls in Italy while my husband went back to the US and it was hard. I told him I wanted to postpone the move to another year. He’s set on going (back, he’s Italian). I know it’s going to be hard – I know I’m going to cry, but I think I just need to keep your story in mind. There will be wonderful experiences and life-defining memories created and I just have to be ready and open for them to happen.

    • Neela says...

      Oh wow, that’s a big move! Best of luck. I feel certain you will come to love it. And Italians love kids! So that will be fun <3

    • Bonnie says...

      You are living my dream! I’m longing to return to Italy (grew up there a few years… LONG before phone calls to the states were remotely affordable, let alone int’l cell plans and internet :>) and joke on visits with my husband that we could buy a crumbling stone farmhouse and just stay there. My soul is home there in a way I’ve never felt in any other place. I wish I could pass some of my sheer joy at being there on to you. hugs!

  67. Jenny says...

    In August of 2017, my marriage dissolved just before I moved to California to start medical school at 28. I was legendarily broke, and bottom-of-the-ocean heartbroke. The following three years have been the most transformational of my life (although forged in fire and pre-made, bagged salads). I don’t know how past-Jenny was brave enough to try so many things I believed were impossible, perhaps because she was protected by the Gods of Idiots in Denial Who Nonetheless Mean Well, but I’m proud of her gumption. Big moves force big moves. You have to figure out how to build a home in your own body.

    • Sarah says...

      Oh, Jenny. I needed to hear this. Thank you. <3

    • Lindsey says...

      This comment is so perfect I want to save it.

    • Kim Rhodes says...

      So many gems in this comment!! Big moves force big moves!! Thank you, Jenny!

    • Britt says...

      Have seen your writing on a couple posts and feel like I can distinctly recognize your writer’s voice similar to how we can for Caroline’s posts :). Love this thought!

    • anders says...

      Thank you for sharing because I’m in the process of deciding on a major move right now – from Tacoma to Boulder, in Boulder right now for the month to feel it out – but with no job prospects as well as being not very employable: I dropped out of college. I want to start a business but how will I navigate the costs and I’m not even sure which business to focus on. I am studying for a real estate license to hopefully fill in the gaps. But who knows if I will succeed? I’ve got enough money for only a few months before I need to earn a proper income.
      It’s helpful for courage to read these comments but I wish I had a good coach! Or a good job lol!

    • Clara Artschwager says...

      Yeeeessss JENNY. YES.

    • Katie says...

      This is so beautifully written. Thank you!

    • Ingrid says...

      At the âge of 27 my boss sent me to New York to take over business development for the company. I remember packingmy suitcase (my whole life in a suitcase) and leaving the south of France (i was working in Monaco). I was so excited to start this new chapter of my life. I loved New York, met new people, did the summer thing in the Hamptons, listened to concerts in Central Park, learnt rollerblading also in Central Park. I was living just a block from Park Avenue, mid town. I stayed 3 years, it was amazing (very expensive though to live in Manhattan) I then moved to London, another great experience. Travel and moving around the world is one of the best thing i have done. I am now back in the South of France and think about this great years often (that was 20 years ago)

  68. Sasha L says...

    I just love posts like this. I’ve never lived in another state, and never wanted to. I’m about three hours from the town I grew up in. I’ve lived here since I left home for college and can’t imagine being somewhere else. It’s home in the deepest sense. I would hope for everyone to have that feeling, that you belong, that your home brings you joy and fulfillment and comfort. Even though NYC is about as different from my town as the moon, I love reading about others’ experiences. We only get one life, but these kind of posts let us peek into another one and it’s FASCINATING.

  69. Grace Farris says...

    “ The hardest part of the whole moving process was convincing myself that I was worth the move on my own — just me.”

    I’m not crying it’s just rain on my face. Seriously though, this was lovely.

    • Kim Rhodes says...

      Grace!! Thank you for your kind words! It was so hard and so worth it!

    • Britt says...

      Are you the Grace Farris of the coupedegracefarris Instagram account? I love your posts!

  70. Jess L. says...

    “Something happened to me one day as I was walking to catch the L Train — for the first time in my life I felt at home.

    When I flew back to Oklahoma, I wept heaving, embarrassing sobs in the middle seat on the plane. I was unexpectedly in love with New York and I knew I would live there someday, I just wasn’t sure how I’d do it.”

    –This is so timely and relevant! I just had this same experience, but in London. I’m 32 and had the opportunity to spend 6 weeks there this fall. I knew by week 2 that I was in love with London and I just had to live there someday. I felt completely alive and awake like I hadn’t felt in years. And the crying!! I’m so glad I’m not alone here. Crying in the shower, the car, the gym, at work, at dinner with friends… ugh. This gives me the encouragement I need to follow through on my dream, to not give up, and not listen to all those people that say “you should just be happy with the life you have.” Thank you!

    • Kim Rhodes says...

      Thanks, Jess! Yes, I’d heard that “you should just be happy…” phrase before, and said it to myself many times. Good luck on your London dream!! How exciting!

  71. Chelsea says...

    I’ve lived in my current city for over 8 years now. The other day my husband said, “remember that time just after we moved here when you were sitting in the bed bawling about how hard it was?” I have no recollection of this event. But I don’t doubt it. It’s amazing how over time a place can feel so much like home you that you can forget those hard times.

  72. Christine says...

    My big change was *leaving* NYC a few weeks before my 38rj birthday. I was tired of being cold, lonely and broke while it seemed everyone else was doing great.
    I moved to Florida where I had a free place to live and found a job. 7 months later I met my now husband. Best decision I ever made.

    • LP says...

      Leaving New York was also my best life decision. After ten years of taking pride in struggling to get by I realized I could just… not struggle. Five years later I miss NYC all the time but have such a better quality of life now!

  73. a says...

    sorry i don’t mean to be specific, but genuinely curious as i work in partnerships- where did you get the 1,000 number for the bryant park series? does it only receive 1000 people per evening? did you find this number somewhere? or just figure of speech? thank you!

    • Kim Rhodes says...

      Hi, A! Just an estimate..I think there were probably more. It was packed!

    • LP says...

      The real number is closer to 5,000+!

  74. Sophie says...

    I am 28 and on the precipice of a cross-country move from my hometown of DC to Portland, OR. This is exactly what I needed to read today — but what do you all think about people who say there’s no point in moving because you’re ultimately the same person no matter where you go? I am terrified of discovering this big move I’ve always dreamt of is just a guise for me needing to change from within. Can’t it be both?!

    • agnes says...

      I’m 46 and I suppose have the privilege of experience; I have lived in different places and yes, you’re the same, but where you live definitely has an influence on you. The people, friends who are around you can drain you or energize you; if you live in the country or in a capital city, your enery will not be the same. I’m all for change! you’ll discover and reveal new aspects of your personnality!

    • Jenny says...

      Why can’t it be both! 💛

    • Kara says...

      I moved to Portland when I was 30 – I arrived on Martin Luther King day, January 17, 2000. It’s been almost 20 years (!!), and I have changed jobs, moved homes/apartments, been coupled and single, been married and divorced, gained and lost friends (and still have all of the true ones), and have lived in nearly every quadrant of our city. I’m now a mom with a full-time job, living in a condo in the suburbs because I moved to where the best schools are. No matter what you are into, you will find it here, through the ages.
      Get yourself a good rain coat and wet-weather shoes (but please, no umbrella), enjoy our rainy season indoor culture (coffeehouses, bars, charming movie theaters, a lovely Modern Art Museum) and don’t be afraid to be outside when it’s raining either. There’s fabulous gardens and hiking trails right within the city.
      And for the changes within, we have all kinds of yoga and meditation studios, and arguably one of the country’s best bookstores for printed sage advice, how-to, or inspiring journals.
      Welcome Sophie, we’re looking forward to having you :)
      xoxoxo

    • Katie Weltner says...

      Welcome to Portland! It’s great here (but don’t tell everyone). Don’t freak out if it rains for the first couple months you’re here – springs, summers and early falls are amaaaazing. Eat good food in town, and plan trips to explore the Columbia Gorge, the Coast, and the farms & beaches on Sauvie Island!

    • Kat O says...

      It’s very, very true – if you’re hoping a new place will make you a different person, it won’t. “Wherever you go, there you are.” But! Changing the environment is one of the best ways to change our habits, so if you’re intentional about it, a move could do you good. And new places can show us new sides of ourselves, if we’re open to it. But at the end of the day, change WILL need to come from within.

    • Maria says...

      Don’t forget that it doesn’t have to be forever. We’ve done the DC to PNW and BACK move. It’s all fixable.

    • Brooke says...

      Hi Sophie! Another Portlander to say welcome. I moved here when I was 26 years old–twelve years ago (!!). When I first got here, it was the first time i had lived anywhere without a “built-in” community, from school or family. I am so proud of younger me for being brave, being kind to myself, and hanging in there through the hard and the lonely that is that beginning of any new experience I now know. Yoga and therapy have made my inner life over the past decade warmer and kinder. I think that is the inner work we must do wherever we go and makes life sweeter if we do.

      I still think some cities do fit us better! I love love living in Portland. What I most I savor and relish about the move here is how the city itself has become my friend– then and now, I love to walk around different areas of the city, and feel the friendliness of whimsical store windows, people laughing, all the public art, the funkiness, Adirondack chairs on people’s lawns, warm restaurant lights, the yoga mandalas painted on the walls, the prayer flags, the murals. There’s a sushi restaurant that knows my order when I walk in…I now consider this part of my “friendship” experience. Even as a very relational person, to this day I love exploring in this way and feeling the “company of a place”. I hope you find your sense of company and companionship in all the ways you want too.

      And like others have said, since you are moving here in the winter, you got to have a “care plan” — daily doses of Vitamin D are essential, regular sweaty exercise, pleasurable indoor activities, sauna/hot springs, go outside on non-wet days (we actually have a lot of those..its the gray not the rain that wears on people!) and lots of candles, books, and coziness. Spring, summer, and fall are BONKERS AMAZING here and worth the gray gloomy if you take care.

    • Madeline says...

      I’ve done two major moves in my life – one to a new city in a neighboring state and a second across the country to a whole new culture (and climate!). Both moves have been transformational and taught me so much about myself. I have become much more resilient and a stronger self-advocate. I am so glad that I took the chance.

      The best advice I got was to remember that it can take more than a year to make a friend. And two or more years to make a good friend. Be aggressive in inviting people to spend time with you and invest time to build a community for yourself.

      Best of luck with your move!

    • k says...

      You can totally use an umbrella in PDX–also, the city is in the midst of serious growing pains complements of a liberal-leaning but still hugging closely the neo-liberal tendencies that allow for the persistence of racism and white supremacy (never forget, the state was founded as a white utopia) along with the infusion of san-fran expats and others who came, bought with cash and blew everything middle class/reasonable about this working class town to pieces (not that I have a lot of thoughts about the last 20 years or anything.)
      I hope that you find what you are looking for, but if you came for “portlandia” episodes come to life, or low-cost PNW living, you will be disappointed.

      Sincerely,
      PDX hometown-er

  75. Kristiana says...

    Needed this today! I’m deciding in the next month to make the cross country move from Michigan to Dallas. I’m in my mid 20s and it would be completely 100% for me. Not for a job, I don’t know but 2 people there… needed to read this today for a push of encouragement. I’ve moved many times in my life, but if I was to move to Dallas it would be the first “just because” move. Thank you!

    • Lauren says...

      Hi Kristiana! I’m from Michigan too and stumbling through the same decision (except I don’t have a clear idea of where I’m heading), but I’d be doing it with my partner and our dog. I don’t currently have a job lined up and applying from out-of-state feels hopeless at times. I’m tempted to just move with our (sort of healthy) savings and that’s it. I’m curious what your plan is?! We won’t have any friends where we move so I don’t know where we’ll stay, but I’m hopeful-ish in the jobs department. I’ve just read over and over NOT to move without a job lined up, and I’m pretty cautious by nature but trying to break out of my shell. Ideally I would have a job AND apartment leads… agh, it’s all just so stressful and confusing! I can’t make a decision! If anyone has any words of encouragement or personal stories I’d love to hear them! So far I’m feeling a little better just reading the lovely comments <3 Best wishes, Kristiana!

  76. I have always wanted to live in NYC – since I was born but not raised there. (I sighed when you mentioned the When Harry Met Sally movie experience.) After uprooting every 3 years of my adult life, I am settling down for what I hope is my very last move. From a city of a million to a city of less than 80 thousand… the move to small-town life (with big-town culture) has been both wonderful and also challenging. I miss the anonymity of a big city. I miss the discovery and vastness. And, yet, I am settling. I am settled- now that I think about it. I learned almost 30 years ago, that it really doesn’t matter where I live, I am simply going to decide I like it. And, by choosing that, it’s made each move, each city special. Wishing you joy wherever you are, Kim.

  77. Madeleine says...

    I chuckled at the part about crying all the time. When I made my first adult move, I left my small home town (via safe university campus bubble — akin to a small town) to Vancouver.. still a much smaller city than New York but huge to me at the time. And I did cry. I distinctly remember calling my mom in the middle of the afternoon as I walked down the street because I was so rattled to see people who were homeless. The division of rich and poor was unlike anything I’d every experienced at home, where everyone is living the same socio-economic, homogenous experience. Next, I’d tear up at how beautiful the big city lights were and feeling so big and important in my city slicker clothes – I was living a dream! Next I’d cry because it just took so. damn. long. to get anywhere! There wasn’t anywhere in my hometown I couldn’t get in ten minutes and now my commute was pushing an hour. So exhausting. I was up and down, up and down for the first few months. That’s moving for you. So much more shifting than just the view.

  78. Lauren E. says...

    God, I’m jaded.

    • Angela says...

      lol, same

  79. Olivia says...

    I thought for a long time about moving from southeastern CT to somewhere warm. I’ve been pretty grounded by relationships here my whole life, by choice (family and my then boyfriend, now husband), but every year as winter fell I became so wistful and depressed. Cliche, but I just hate nearly everything about the cold weather, and only felt like “myself” when the air and sun around me felt like a warm hug.

    Fast forward to us having a baby, and I’m so glad we’re here. It is such an incredible gift to have our loving, supportive family ten minutes away, and to know my daughter is safe with her grandma when I’m at work. I’m actually so excited for the seasons to change so I can experience all of it with her – Christmas, snow, cuddles by the fire, the magic of finding the first buds and blooms in springtime. I’m definitely meant to be here.

  80. agnes says...

    To be 30 and living in NY! Yes!
    I was 30 in Mexico city and it was fantastic! A big city has a pulse that can definitely inspire you if you learn the moves…
    I have taken so many big risks in my life, and yes, they always pay off, but there is a price to pay, as for everything. Climbing a mountain is tiring and you might get injured but… the view! the feeling that you did it!

  81. Blair says...

    Growing up near to NYC, we popped into the city and would stay with friends often. It was amazing. I almost went to college there, I’m glad I didn’t in that I am sure I would’ve been won over and never left again. Fear was never something that held me back. I moved to England on my own at 19, traveled France at 16 with a small group of foreign exchange students, moved to Washington DC at 21. I have always marched to the beat of my own drum and now that I have small children I pray I instill the same fearlessness into them. I do also love this “30 is adulthood 2.0” bc that is so true!

  82. Luce says...

    The whole idea of remaking my life in my thirties is so intriguing to me, especially since I’m two years from thirty and feel that life isn’t everything I want it to be. Annie Dillard says “how we spend our days is how we spend our lives” and sometimes I think the way I’ve spent my days that past ten years could’ve been better.

    I once read this quote: I’d rather look back on my life and say I was brave rather than calculated. I want to embrace that line of thinking as I come towards 30. I want to be brave instead of calculated. I want to, however I can, go into the direction of my dreams.

    tl;dr this post was timely.

    • Deanne says...

      I think those last few years of your 20s feel like a pressure cooker. Your law school and med school friends are now lawyers and doctors, people are getting married and not, having babies or not. Every decision and opportunity feels weighted with the ability to determine what the rest of your life will look like. It turns out nothing is that make or break ever.
      Turning 30 was a relief, turning 40 was a deep breath, now on the brink of 50, you see quite clearly that everyone is just putting it together piece by piece. That’s how a life is created – one success or mistake and relationship (with yourself, a loved one, a child, a dear friend, a co-worker, a neighbor) at a time.

    • Lauren says...

      OOOOh this is exactly how I feel! I’m 28 as well. Thanks for sharing that quote.

  83. becky says...

    I always thought I’d live in nyc. I too, every time I leave, feel a sadness in my heart that I am leaving my should be home. As the daughter of a newyorker I am the only kiddo in my family of 3 who was bitten by the city bug. I spent my 20s roaming the city, learning the subways and searching for cupcakes. However, where ever my husband and I land in life with our dog, that is truly home for me. And I always find a way to make it back to walk by my grandparents’ childhood homes, eat a shakeshack burger in madison sq park, and of course to read the central park benches, my favorite.
    The best lobster roll I ever had outside of new England, where we currently live, was at Kittery in Brooklyn. So good!!!

    • Kim Rhodes says...

      LOVE the Shake Shack in Madison Sq. Park! And I’d always passed Kittery but never knew about their lobster rolls! Putting it on my list for next time!!

    • CC says...

      I feel this – I grew up just outside the city, going in for adventures all the time, and I always thought I’d live there. Life has taken my husband and me way out to a rural town, which I love for its own reasons, but I always have a wistful sense that we’ll find our way back there when the time is right. For now, have to make do with visits <3

  84. Erin G. says...

    I love the sentiment coming from Kim’s piece and these comments: life is full of adventures, both planned and unplanned, and hitting the reset button is always an available option. Once more, with feeling!

    • Laura says...

      Oh, NYC. I always consider it ‘the best city in the world’. I loved the idea of it since I was 11, then moved to Bushwick from Belfast, N.Ireland for 4 months when I was 18 to do an internship. I still can’t believe how fortunate I was to get to do that! I try to visit yearly, and will be back this year at the start of December. I’m excited for twinkly lights, the Brooklyn Bridge, Vanessa’s dumplings and meeting up with my best friend who will magically also be holidaying there (from Belfast!) at the same time. I can’t wait to see the city I love so dearly with her ♥️

  85. Aly says...

    Love this!!

  86. Mandy says...

    Any chance you need a new friend? I moved to NYC from Texas 3.5 years ago and am still struggling to meet new people (also in my 30s) and actually maintain those friendships. I always remember this moment from Sex and the City when the girls were aghast that Miranda was moving to BK and they’d never see her again. I used to think that was ridiculous, until I discovered that indeed people here base relationship potential based on borough. Adulthood 2.0 is no joke!
    My husband and I moved here with no jobs, friends, family, connections- just a Uhaul, our dog, and the dream of trying to pursue jobs in the careers we always dreamed about. 3.5 years later, lots of crying EVERYWHERE (but mostly the Q train, dumpsters outside of busy restaurants, Macy’s, and my last job’s bathroom), 2 apartments, and the realization of what real winter is….I’m finally feeling settled. And proud of us for taking the leap. And freaked out about the hypothetical of how the hell you raise a child in this city when your nearest relative is 2,000 miles away. And excited about the new softball team I joined. NYC is so much, all the time, with no stopping. But it’s a ride I’m glad I got on.

    • Jenny says...

      I live in California but if I were back in Crown Heights, I’d totally be your bud! Adult friendships are hard to start!

    • Anna says...

      Mandy, I’ve been in NY for four years and I’m struggling to make new friends too (also have done my fair share of crying everywhere). The borough thing is no joke. All our friends moved to LIC (we’re in Manhattan) and they might as well have moved to LA – it’s so much harder to connect! I’m also pregnant with out first and we’ll be raising her in the city with our nearest family thousands of miles away too. I think we’re a little bit in denial about how hard it will be, haha.

    • Mandy says...

      Anna- oh my gosh! Manhattan here too, it’s just so absurd when you’re talking to someone and they find out you’re in Manhattan and they are in Bushwick soooo…nice meeting you?
      Eeek, congratulations!! From what I’ve observed, as long as you’re all fed, warm, and sleeping (some) you will be ok. Extra help sounds amazing, but I bet you’ve done plenty on your own without help, and this is just one more thing.

    • Mandy says...

      Jenny- long distance high five! I appreciate your comment. Today I’m thinking California was the right choice- woke up to 50 degrees, going bed to under 20. Why do I do this to myself??

  87. Maddy says...

    laughed out loud at the “Space Cowboy” part. i felt that lol.

    • Kim Rhodes says...

      OMG it’s so funny to think about now, but at the time I was like, “Kacey knows the depths of my soul!” (I still think that.)

    • Mikaela says...

      OOOhhhh that space cowboy song! I was thinking that song… “some people call me a space cowboy…..some people call me a ganster of love…some people call me maurice…” and was like ok….but y? Makes more sense now.

    • Anonygirl says...

      Kacey knows the depth of my soul, too. So does Maren Morris. I haven’t had music hit me in the feels so much since I was dating my ex and we played Rascal Flatts’ Long Slow Beautiful Dance on repeat while planning our life (that was not meant to be). I still can’t listen to that song without tearing up.

  88. Anonygirl says...

    This was comforting to read. I moved to a Big City (San Diego is capital B big) in February from a small town (Reno, Nevada) and the adjustment has been wild. As I get closer to 40 than 30, I’m trying to embrace my current situation, but I don’t see myself staying here long term. But I love hearing others’ experiences.

    • Samantha says...

      Hi Anonygirl! I just moved to San Diego too (from LA and before that SF, so SD seems like a big small town to me haha). I find that people here are very friendly but that said I have yet to make any actual friends (been here since June). How long have you been here?

    • Anonygirl says...

      Almost a year. I don’t have any friends here. I work from home so rarely leave my apartment. It has been hard.

    • Nicole says...

      Welcome to SD ladies! It’s a beautiful place to call home with such a laid back approach to life (I’m originally from LA), with a different neighborhood to meet the needs of any personality. Such a gem and gift of a place (but don’t tell anyone else, we are bursting at the seams)

  89. Betsy says...

    I’m moving from New England to San Diego in less than 2 months and I’m TERRIFIED. Like, so excited and ready to go but, oh god I’m so scared. I’m 31 and this move has been almost a decade in the making, but I have so many fears floating around my brain. But reading this post and everyone’s comments just put so much of what I’ve been worrying about at ease. I’m so happy you’re happy with your move, Kim. Thank you for giving me some reassurance that I, too, can make this happen. Adulthood 2.0!

    • Anonygirl says...

      Betsy! I don’t know if you’ll see this, but if you do, feel free to pop me an email: thisismynewmoon@gmail.com. I live in San Diego and would be happy to chat.

  90. Princess Hajjar says...

    I love this and have loved all your posts so much! I, too, am from Oklahoma and live in Tulsa currently. Where did you live when you were here?? My husband’s family is from New York so we’re out that every year and have many treasured memories from the city in particular. So much hometown pride to see your writing on this blog!

    • Kim Rhodes says...

      Hi!! I’m from Tulsa, too!! So funny! Thanks for your sweet words!

    • Caitlin Pond says...

      I’m a Tulsa Cup Of Jo reader, too! Fills my heart to see you both on here. Excited to follow your journey, Kim!

    • EJ says...

      Fellow Tulsan here too! How exciting. I can’t wait to see the wonderful things you’ll do at COJ. Thank you for being an awesome representation of our great little city!

  91. LM says...

    Love your story and how the timing is right for you. Sounds like you have great friends by your side. I moved far from home for college and can see now I was not ready for it; stuck it out for four years then hurried back to my home state. Fifteen years later, I can see that if I hadn’t made the move back then, I probably never would have… so it paid off even though it didn’t necessarily work out.

  92. jeannie says...

    What an inspiring post and very brave move! I loved this line: “The hardest part of the whole moving process was convincing myself that I was worth the move on my own — just me.” Clearly, you were worth it!!!! Huge congratulations on taking the risk, adapting and making it a success!

  93. Katie says...

    I had a similar experience with the place I now call home. I remember when I fell in love with Chicago. I was 14. My mom, sisters and I were visiting my uncle and his girlfriend (now wife) “Jane”. They lived in the suburbs. It was December. My mom wasn’t feeling well so Jane took my sisters and I into the city via the Metra. She had to stop by her office, a corner office with floor to ceiling windows that happened to overlook the ice skating rink. That was the moment I knew this is where I wanted to be.

    At 28, I made the move. I still love this city. Every time I view our skyline, whether it from the train, from the always crowded Dan Ryan or my rooftop, I smile and know that I’m home.

  94. I loved this so much. Especially this line “I learned to spin the anguish of moving through a big city alone into deliciousness.” I’m planning on moving to San Francisco at 30 and am so glad to hear you’ve loving NYC. Sometimes I feel like moving to a big city past the age of 22 is never talked about, so I’m glad to hear it’s going so well for you xx

  95. Annie K says...

    There’s the home we come from and the home we choose. I loved reading your voice this morning! Thank you

  96. Abbey says...

    I love this line: “Entering your thirties can feel like Adulthood 2.0 — if you’re lucky, you can hit the reset button and do things with gusto; once more with feeling.” Well said!

    • Jessica says...

      I’m getting ready to turn 30 and I feel so cliche, but this is EXACTLY the feeling. I’m ready to shed all the things I think I was supposed to be and start figuring out who I am with gusto and purposefulness!

  97. Lindsay says...

    Yay, Kim! Happy you joined this fair city. It is equal parts taxing and wonderful in the same hour, minute, second…

    My NYC hack — hotels, big book stores, and department stores have free public bathrooms (who wants to wait in line at Starbucks forever)? Also, the ones outside Bryant Park are pretty nice AND staffed by an attendant. Because, if you’re like me, you always have to pee.

    • Alice says...

      The Williams Sonoma at Columbus Circle has super nice bathrooms in the back, right past the free samples.

  98. Sarah says...

    This makes me think of the passing ships passage from Cheryl Strayed. I moved to NYC at 19, finished college, met my husband, and started my career there. I left to live abroad and we eventually settled in Portland, Oregon for my law school, but I intended to move back. Now with a kid and dog, a semi-reasonable cost of living and lots of space, it feels insurmountable. Also many of my best girlfriends, with the exception of those with exceptional careers or family support, have also left. Luckily we get back a lot as hubs is from the Bronx. I love Portland, but I still miss so much about NYC, especially Brooklyn, all the time!

  99. A says...

    I moved to NYC at the age of 26 for graduate school from a small city. It’s twelve years later and I’ve recently made the decision to leave NY early next year to move back to my hometown and be near family. NYC just got too hard, the hustle doesn’t seem worth it anymore. It’s fine when things are going well, but the second we had a family health crisis, we knew it was time to go. I’ve been so down on the city lately – really just hating it here. Feeling so much stress and rage all the time. But your essay made me think back to when i first arrived – how exciting and thrilling it all was and how much has happened since i got here – 5 apartments, countless new friends, 3 boyfriends (and many failed dates), two jobs, opening my own business, a husband, two kids… Thank you for the reminder of how I used to find the subway charming. :)

  100. bobbi says...

    I made a similar leap almost seven years ago, after staying about a decade too long in my hometown. When I left, I was miserable. I too cried buckets my first six months in Chicago.

    But now, I have a career I love, with people who believe in me more than I do, and I have a husband who loves the me I love.

    And taped on my desk, a reminder: The universe is conspiring on your behalf.

  101. Tania says...

    Yes! I moved to Prague for three years in my twenties. I was equally terrified and compelled to do it. Now that I’m a nearly-40 year old Mom, I’m so grateful I did. It wasn’t always easy (it was brutally hard and lonely at times) but I’ll always have the memories of walking across the Old Town square in February, almost alone, or going to my friend’s Mother’s 12-hour long 50th Birthday celebration in a small Moravian village (where no one else spoke English), drinking slivovice and playing catch with her little cousins, or taking 10 American college students to Moscow for 5 days and seeing Lenin’s tomb. Those days were some of the most magical and meaningful of my life, and I’m just ridiculously grateful to my former self for being that brave. That quote about life shrinking or expanding i proportion to one’s courage is so true (as I write this I’m realizing it may be time for some more courage)

    • Sarah says...

      I feel this comment so much! I, too had some amazing adventures in my younger years, forgoing college for a work/travel cycle that lasted for a decade. 21 countries later, now a wife and mother, nearing 40…I could also use an adventure reboot. Wishing us both heaps of courage and inspiration to not “live in yellowed phototgraphs”… Parenthood has been the adventure of a lifetime, but a small part of me (or maybe a big part of me?) still longs to ride on top of trains and busses, taste all the things, swim all the seas and just generally gobble up the whole wide beautiful world again!

    • Tania says...

      Sarah, yes! I’ve lately been fantasizing about a solo trip, somewhere far and a little intimidating. Georgia, maybe (country, though state could be fun too!)

  102. TMH says...

    love this story x
    When I was 20 I moved from Florida to the United Kingdom for a boy I met a nightclub in Barcelona. I married him, 10 years ago. :)

  103. meli says...

    Such a refreshing read. After 10 years here, many cries and strangers’ shoulders rubbing against mine, it’s easy to forget how special this place is. Thanks for the reminder, Kim.

  104. Bailey says...

    Just entered my 30th year. “Once more with feeling” sums it up perfectly.

    • Kim Rhodes says...

      Bailey!! So glad it resonated!! Welcome to your 30s!!

    • Sara says...

      I also just turned 30 and I. LOVE. IT.

  105. Nancy says...

    I moved to NYC to attend graduate school and rented a furnished bedroom I found on Craigslist from an elderly woman in her brownstone; she was 85 I was 23. My dad helped me move in and when I walked him I out I just sat on the stoop and sobbed. Like body shaking sobs. Over and over I said, “I don’t think I can do this. I don’t think I can do this. I don’t think I can do this.”
    Fifteen years later I live six blocks from that brownstone. Just yesterday my husband asked me if money were no object where would I live and I replied “Brooklyn.” Moving was so hard and so scary and so the best thing I have ever done. This city has lifted me up and beaten me down and lifted me back up again. And my 85 year old roommate? She’s 101 and I saw her at the polling station on Election Day and we chatted. New York is amazing.

    • <3

    • Kim Rhodes says...

      Nancy! This gave me CHILLS! I think my answer would also be Brooklyn, no matter what. I love that you still live close to your original spot and still see your neighbor around!! What an incredible story!

    • Jenna says...

      LOVE this story, Nancy. Thanks for sharing. xo

    • nora says...

      what a great story!!

  106. Midge says...

    We moved from Los Angeles to rural Oregon when I was 7 months pregnant, leaving all our family behind. My husband started his new job three days after our first child was born and I didn’t know a soul. I would hold our baby and look out at the fields and weep for hours. The only thing that got me through was thinking, “someday this baby will be in high school and I will have kids pouring in and out of my house, and a job, and too much to do, and I will wish for a day when I do nothing but hold a baby and stare out the window.” And I was right. Thinking about my future got me through that time, and thinking about that time sometimes gets me through the crazy present. I love our life in Oregon, and now I know that since I can switch from primary breadwinner to SAHM, from city to fields, from surrounded by family to completely on our own, all at the same time: I can do ANYTHING.

    • Olivia says...

      Whoa, your comment really resonated with me (and immediately made me tear up). I have a 50/50 (or maybe 30/70) life now, where 3 days a week I work 9-9, and 4 days a week I stare out a window with my baby :) it’s a little different in that we are surrounded by family here, but sometimes I struggle to punctuate the days at home – which I love so much and wish I could do every day!! It can just be isolating. I, too, love filling up the house with kids – my niece and nephew (different sides of the family so it was kinda funny) ages 5 and 6 spent the day with us when school was off for Election Day and we had such a lovely time.

  107. A huge risk that paid off- becoming a foster mom! I was a single 30 year old and knew I wanted kids and was tired of waiting to find a man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with AND THEN also wait for him to want to make that huge step into parenthood, so I just went for it. I started helping kids who needed loving homes short term while their folks got some help, and my fourth placement wound up being a year and a half old little ginger haired goofball who is now my spirited three and a half year old son. I knew nothing about which children would wind up in my home- would they be short term, long term, boys, girls, babies, kindergartners, singletons, or sibling sets? I just trusted it would all work out however it was supposed to and now I can’t imagine my world any other way. (I also found the man to fall in love with not long after my boy was placed with me.)

    • jules says...

      you and your story are awesome.

    • Jenna says...

      Jessie, you are a true angel and we need more of you in the world <3

    • Patricia says...

      This is so inspiring! Those children were lucky to have you in their lives. I love reading stories like this. Thanks for sharing and congratulations on your family!

    • Vicky says...

      You’re my hero…so brave and strong!

    • Jenny says...

      I love your story!

    • ks says...

      I want to hear more of this story. I have always loved the idea of fostering but haven’t found the peoples stories who’ve done it (successfully or not). Would love to learn more about the process, where you struggled, your joys, etc.

    • Lara says...

      I have been contemplating this and you have hugely inspired me! Thank you so much for sharing! If there is an opportunity to learn more about your story, I’d love that (cough COJ team ;) ).

    • rose says...

      I’d also love to hear more about successful fostering because I’ve considered it as trial for adoption…I’d love to do, it I’m just worried about if I could do it.

    • For all the replies asking for more info- I’m always happy to talk to people interested in fostering! My name here and in the original comment links to my instagram. Feel free to shoot me a message if you wanna talk :) And thanks for the very kind words. :)

  108. Joaquina says...

    Good for you for taking this risk! NYC is intoxicating;
    I fall in love with the City and BK every time I visit but I am
    too old and too poor to take the plunge. It’s just so much easier
    for someone who is young or who has the money to bypass
    some of the financial challenges. Your story is inspiring for us to even take small risks, thank you for the fun read.

  109. TK says...

    Needed to read this today. My husband and I have been starting to plan a move to NY from DC, where we’ve been for ten years. I grew up in the suburbs of NY but have never lived in the city. I think it’s the right choice for professional reasons and to be closer to family, but it’s SO scary! We have a life and so many friends here…but I’m kind of itching for a new adventure.

  110. HH says...

    As a fellow Oklahoman in love with New York (but forced to be content with multiple visits!), I found your sweet paean to your new home touching and heart-warming. And I so appreciate your not writing in a negative way about your home state. We all do what we can where we can. My sister and I, on a recent visit, delighted in visiting as many places as possible that appeared in “You’ve Got Mail.” Suddenly we realized how much that film is a love letter to New York. No wonder we felt sad to leave–we had been falling for NYC since 1998 , when we first heard about bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils and New York in the fall. Your comment about Tom Hanks resonated with me! ;) Thank you.

    • Kim Rhodes says...

      Hi, HH! So well-said–it’s totally a love letter to New York! I’ve been watching it a lot lately this fall. Love hearing from some fellow Oklahomans!

    • HH says...

      Oh, you just made my day, Kim! Cheers from OK!

  111. aleks says...

    <3

  112. Lauren says...

    I’ve left New York, moved to California where I really do feel at home (I had friends from NYC visit and they remarked upon how at home I seemed, said me in California was like watching an animal in it’s natural habitat)

    However those years in New York I look back at with fondness. Tough, sad, but boy did I learn a lot. I created a friend group through a little charm and a lot of persistence. I learned how to be deeply content on my own, having my own personal adventures through central park & the met or venturing out to Brooklyn (I once rode my bike all the way out to Ft Tilden, solo!). I’ve learned the benefits of investing in your local community – a generous tip, a few kind words and the coffee shop on your corner will open up early just to meet your morning caffine needs.

  113. Mary says...

    Wish I would have known the move crying was universal, when I made solo moved to Oregon and Australia. I remember sitting at an outdoor concert by myself, sobbing. Probably part pride at mKing the move and part lonely. Good to follow the souls call, in all it’s ip and downs.

  114. Kari says...

    Love this and congrats, Kim! Getting settled and surviving in NY is no easy feat. I moved to Brooklyn for a job without ever stepping foot in the city before. Did not know a soul in the city. What a wild ride it was. :) Sending you all the best!

  115. Rachel says...

    Love this post! I took the plunge and moved to Chicago when I was 30! It was something I had always dreamed of doing, and like you, wish I had done it years sooner. But in the same light, I wouldn’t have been as prepared for the moved at 25 as I was at 30. I was more confident, financially stable and ready for a big change. BEST DECISION I’VE EVER MADE! I’ve been here over 3 years now and I still feel those moments of, “I cannot believe I live here. I’m so happy!”. There are just so many more opportunities in Chicago then the small city I came from. I’ll never look back!

    • Kim Rhodes says...

      I feel all those same things, Rachel! It’s just a different feeling moving here in your second “adulthood decade”!