Today is the one-year anniversary of working at my current place of employment. I don't suppose that's such a huge deal, but it's my first "real" job since I graduated with my Masters and it's the reason I am able to stay in New York, the city I love. So in that light, it's kinda a big deal I guess.
But as I thought about it, this milestone isn't so much about staying in a specific workplace, but rather about how much has changed for me and in me as a person over the past year.
A year ago, though I'd lived in New York since August really, I still didn't have a real grasp of the city. When you're single, finishing your Masters, trying to find a job and have a small (but meaningful) group of friends, it doesn't lend itself to really going out and engaging with the city. Don't get me wrong, I spent every waking moment in the city, but not really going out and meeting people.
That changed once I had an apartment and I'd found a routine for work and for the magazine. Suddenly, I was going out, meeting people, dating here and there and really starting to find my place.
And that is the biggest difference between today and a year ago. I feel like I've found my footing and my place here. While that's an ever-changing dynamic in the city, I've seen that I've really dug my feet in and found a place where I feel as if I'm finally myself.
This has everything to do with BLEEP. I can credit the magazine for so much in my life. It reinvigorated my creativity, it gave me something to be passionate about, I've met the most fascinating people and it's opened me up to being myself. While I've always been a tell-it-like-it-is person with a basic inability to self-censor, interviewing and being around such creative people have opened me up even more. (I'd put a flower reference here, it's petals opening ever so slowly to reveal a beautiful bloom - but that's lame)
So it's been a year. A year of changing and opening up. While living in New York isn't for everyone, I know better than anyone, if you open yourself up to what this city has to offer and to meeting the people that are so diverse and so incredible, you truly understand why this is the greatest city in the world. You also learn that you don't have to change who you are to fit in here. I'm the same person I was, just a much more open and free version of that person. Perhaps a bit more street-smart, perhaps a bit more learned, but I'm me. And here, being me is enough.