I loved New York (for the most part). It was a great place to start my career, a place where I met my best friends and a place where I was forced to face and work through the not-so-pleasant things about myself. To be honest, I probably appreciate it more now that I'm gone. I miss how my best friends lived in my apartment, how the Hudson looked in the morning and how I could hop on a train and pop into a Broadway show on a whim.
But even though I miss those things, I LOVE my new home more. I feel like I'm finally where I'm supposed to be, which is a pretty cool feeling after a decade of feeling unsettled. More importantly, though, I firmly believe moving out of NYC was the best thing I could've done for my health.
De-stressing is easier
I didn't realize how stressed I was (okay, maybe I did) until I left the city. In New York, I was having chronic chest pains, feeling suffocated by all the people and was constantly fostering this irrational anger. New Yorkers, you know what I'm talking about. Since being in Nashville, de-stressing is so much easier. If I'm feeling overwhelmed I just hop in my car, turn on some Jesus Jams and drive through the country side. Plus, it's pretty much impossible to be stressed when you live in an apartment complex that's basically an oasis, have cows grazing down the street and can pop into the local boutique without getting mobbed by people. It's funny, because I thought that launching my own business would make me a complete nutcase, but the truth is - I've never felt less stressed in my life. And it's all about the environment.
Grocery stores are awesome
When I lived in NYC I used to eat out probably 90% of my meals. From social engagements, to it just being a pain in the butt to schlep your groceries home - it's just easier to sit on your couch and order Seamless. New York is all about convenience. See, suburban life is too - but it's more cost-effective and better for your body. I love grocery shopping now because it's easy. I make my own meals at home and rarely want to grab something on-the-go because the only options are fast food joints. It forces me to plan ahead and really fuel my body. Plus, if I want to carry food with me, I don't have to worry about my arm falling off because I've been carrying around my whole life in my purse all day. I just get some extra bags and put them in my car. :)
I don't drink like a fish
New Yorkers LOVE their alcohol. I don't think I really comprehended how much of my life was centered around alcohol until I left. No bueno. Every social engagement in New York involved drinking - even church-related functions. It's kind of impossible to escape. The thing is, in New York you walk everywhere or you can hail a cab to get you where you need to go. Here, though, I have to drive everywhere. So, I'll have one drink at an event and that will be it. Plus, I don't have roommates anymore. And though I miss my girls, I don't miss cracking a bottle of wine every night which always leads to either #moralhangover or #realhangover (because hey, we're getting old).
Diversified social activities
Along the same lines, I've been exploring other ways to have fun. In New York, it's very common to grab drinks with someone or go to dinner. And while people still do that here, you can also just hang out at someone's apartment because it's not a shoebox. You can go for a hike, because there is a park only 20 minutes away. And you can sit outside on your porch (because you have one) and just read a book. Hey, you can even hop in your car and take a day-trip to see a friend without worrying about public transportation schedules and fares and Penn Station. Plus, I've had the benefit of easing into community slowly so as to not overwhelm my schedule as I tended to do in New York and THAT has been instrumental to keeping my stress levels manageable.