10 years ago today I stepped off an airplane with two suitcases and three pieces of carry-on in my hand for a six month long internship at a Manhattan PR agency.
10 years, two jobs, many friends, parties, and adventures later, I find myself in Brooklyn, married, with two kids.
I just took a trip down memory lane. I kept journals and an old blog at the time where I wrote about all of my many adventures. My life couldn’t have been any more different. Back then I would respond to text messages at 10pm and then leave my house for a night of partying. I never slept. Oh wait. That’s still the same. But I also didn’t eat well, I drank way too much, and I partied all the time. There was maybe one day in a week when I didn’t go out.
Now I’m happy when I can stay awake until 10pm. I eat well, and I have a family to care for. I exercise. I think I made fun of people like me ten years ago.
Here is something I wrote during my first week in NYC in June 2006:
“Considering that there are a few schools in my neighborhood, I couldn’t help but wonder what it must be like being a child growing up in this city. Everything that I now notice because it is particularly big, loud or just different, these children see every day. They have limited places to play at, some apartment buildings have small playgrounds and there are basketball courts, but there is no patch of green, and of course the noise of the City is omnipresent. Of course they don’t know any different, which is a curious fact in and of itself for me, a girl from the country. The German country, that is.”
I never thought I would get married and end up raising children in this city. I grew up in a small German town and went to university in a picturesque Bavarian city. Everything I’d ever known was very unlike everything I live today.
For everything I thought city kids were missing (space, quiet, nature), I think my kids are gaining a ton. Of course not everything is awesome all the time, but overall I think that raising kids in the city is great. Hard, but great. Sure, space is limited. Life is loud. Streets are dirty. You encounter random crazy people on the subway. But we have so much. They have so much…
A wonderful German community, a neighborhood with people who look out for each other, beaches and the ocean a quick train or bike ride away, parks, pools, and playgrounds wherever you look, food from every country on earth, people (and friends) from all around the globe, exposure to different languages and cultures, access to museums, music, zoos – you name it.
Jeff and I always say that the day we don’t make use of all the amazing things this city has to offer will be the day we move. Why put up with how expensive, loud, and cramped life is here if you don’t benefit from everything it has to offer?
10 years later. Seven years with Jeff, five of them married, a mother of two boys. I’ve had two jobs that I loved before I had my babies, but deciding to leave them and stay home with the kids has been the best decision I’ve ever made. My job now is much harder than any of the paying jobs I’ve ever had, but it’s also so much more rewarding.
Can’t wait to see what the next 10 years will bring.