Here’s What Changed In New York

“Hey Dayna, come see how cool the new toilet flushes!” my dad said when I came home for my brother’s 30th and Fashion Week. Some things never change…

When I was in New York I subconsciously was looking for that “ah ha moment” where I’d feel like, this is home and this is why I love NYC.  That would’ve been easier… knowing that one day I’d come back and be closer to my family and friends. But I never had that moment of clarity.

Did you ever have that feeling of excitement coming home from college, that, “it’s good to be home” feeling as you drove around wowed by all the little updates in your town? It felt as though New York and I were growing together and I loved that. But this time was different. I drove around lovely Long Island (sarcasm) and didn’t feel a thing. In fact, the most “exciting” upgrade in my hood was my dad’s new toilet.

Without sounding like an asshole, I always felt too big for Long Island. New York City was so close yet so far away (basically a 2-hour train ride) so when I had finally saved enough money to move into my teeny tiny studio on the Upper West Side I was ecstatic.  At 25 years old, I felt on top of the world and thought, “This is it. I’ve made it! The world better watch out and get ready for me to make it big in the fashion industry, move to SoHo with my five mini French bulldogs (because everyone in NYC has one) and become the next Lauren Conrad only bitchier and bossier… eh, maybe more Kristin Cavallari.” It goes without saying that I was eager to be back in the city where my big dreams and aspirations started. But honestly, other than the new gorgeous strippers at THAT strip club (hi grandma), nothing really changed or stood out to me.

While explaining my feelings to one of my best friends he asked me what is it about New York that maybe I never enjoyed but learned to accept. Here comes clarity… I had a huge awakening, recognizing that I became numb and adapted to New York’s nature of working hard, too hard where one doesn’t even have to time to slow down and appreciate accomplishments, friends or passions outside the office. This, along with my feelings around Fashion Week, I came to the realization that New York and I were no longer growing together, we were growing apart.

I’m not the same girl that left NYC 6 months ago and while I developed a thick skin and have become a stronger person because of the city, I found that there is strength in letting go and not having to be strong all the time. California allows me to do that. For some reason, it allows me to be me.

Throughout my trip I looked around for changes, but the biggest and possibly only change was myself. The one thing that had changed in New York was me. Who would’ve thought…