Sharing my first proper summer look of the year (whooooop whoop). If you follow me on Snapchat and Instagram (usernames: lcscloset), you’ll probably have seen what we got up to in Montauk the weekend before last. If you didn’t, let’s just say five Irish girls (Erika, Niamh, Tara and Ciara), 1 Range Rover and a weekend in The Hamptons = a whole lot of fun. It was just what the doctor ordered and the Saturday was the first real kind of summery weather we’ve had all year. I even got a farmers tan to complete my look (insert monkey covering eyes emoji here).
I’ve mentioned before (in this post) that one of my favourite things about living here is the weather and the certainty you have with it! Summer finally arrived in spectacular style yesterday (it was 32 glorious degrees) and while it took it’s sweet time this year, I knew it was gonna show up (I cannot express how happy summer makes me!). Obviously, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows living here (you’ll know what I mean if you’ve seen my two New York Truths posts – here and here). One major downside, as I discovered this past week is the cost of healthcare. Long story short… Had a toothache, need a root canal, gonna get my pay cheque sent to dentist for the next few months. I sulked for about 2 minutes, felt unbelieveably sorry for myself and then I got the hell over it and realised there’s bigger problems in the world. Then I started to think about how much my outlook has changed since I moved to New York. There was a time when I would have probably sulked for days, but I looked at the positives and didn’t dwell on the negatives. This of course led on to a whole other realm of thinking and before I knew it I was listing off all the little ways I’ve changed in the 20 something months I’ve lived here…
In the day-to-day you don’t realise how much things or you change, but when you actually think about it, it’s amazing how much even the smallest things can have changed. So here are a few of things I listed out…
1. I look at the positives more
It’s not that I was an overly negative person when I lived at home but I was definitely guilty of lingering on negative things a little more. Even something as small as when someone asks you how you are? At home my reaction was automatically the famed Irish response of “Not too bad, thanks.” Now I say “I’m good, thanks.” This happened without me even realising it, but I do think it’s super important to always look at the positives (as hard as it can be sometimes) because focusing on the negatives isn’t gonna get anyone anywhere.
2. I’ve stopped overly apologizing
Ok so I haven’t completely stopped, but I have definitely cut down. You might be thinking, hang on why was apologizing a bad thing? Well apparently this is another thing Irish people are famed for and when you need someone to move to the side so you can get past, saying sorry isn’t gonna work over here. So in those situations, my “sorry” has been replaced with “excuse me.”
3. I know my worth
When I moved here I was so desperate to get a job and get signed off on my visa, that I took a job I was way too qualified for. At the time I was so happy to have a job (and not get kicked out of the country) but if I had stuck it out, I would have 1000% got a job better suited to me. I also really didn’t value myself or truly understand what I could add to any company. As weird as it may sound, my PhD did not do good things for my confidence in my abilities. It’s 4 years of constantly questioning and doubting every decision you make, so at the end of it all, my confidence probably wasn’t where it needed to be for moving to a place like New York.
To add to this, Irish people are super modest and while I do love this (and can’t stand overly boastful people), it means we can get left behind in a city like New York if we don’t know our worth and learn to value ourselves more. I’ve worked so hard to get to where I am today, but I thought I should be grateful to just be employed. I’ll never make that mistake again. I’ll never settle and I’ll make sure I value myself and all my skills so much more than I did back then… This was also probably the biggest thing I took from grad visa year.
Thanks to the amazing Tara for shooting this impromptu look
4. I’ve learned to make the most of my time
Time goes fast everywhere, but it goes extra fast in New York. The pace of life here is crazy and I just don’t know where the time goes everyday. Having limited time has really made me value my time so much more. I actively try to be so much more productive with every second of the day. For example, I don’t go to the gym but I do love walking. So instead of walking 15 minutes to my nearest subway station in the morning, waiting a few minutes for the train (can be anything from 1 second to 15 minutes) and sitting on the subway for 20-25 minutes, I walk to a stop 30 minutes away from my apartment and a 5 minute subway from work. So it takes roughly the same amount of time, I get some exercise in, make my calls to home and have less time on the subway… it’s a win-win.
5. I’m more determined
To some extent, I guess I’ve always been determined. I was awarded a PhD, moved to New York on my own, got a job, and a visa to stay on here, to name just a few things. The funny thing is, I would never have considered myself a determined person, but I clearly must have always been. However, I think New York brings out another level of determination. If you want to do something here, not matter how big or small, it’s totally possible but you have to be determined to actually get it done. Like I said in my last point, time has an amazing way of evaporating, so if you really want to achieve something you have to be determined and invest your precious little time into getting what you want.
6. I appreciate Ireland so much more
Last, but certainly not least, I appreciate Ireland and being Irish so much more than I did when lived at home. There’s a lot of things I miss about Ireland, but when I lived at home I totally took things like looking out my window and seeing Croagh Patrick everyday for granted. I wasn’t as motivated to get out and do things as I now am when I go home (I’ll be home super soon again too – eeks!), and I just appreciate what a beautiful little country it is so much more. On St. Patricks Day I mentioned how I’m also more patriotic here. Living abroad I’m even more proud of the massive impact such a small country has had around the world. It’s really kinda crazy, but totally amazing… Fun fact – Did you know The White House was designed by an Irish man and is based on Leinster House in Dublin? Amazing right??? Such an iconic place inspired by Ireland.
So there is just a few ways I think New York has changed me. This post turned out to be a hell of a lot longer than planned, but it’s nice to think back and see how things have changed (hopefully) for the better, in such a short space of time.
Hope you’re having a good week,