Reinventing Yourself in the City


It's very cliche, but people move to cities to reinvent themselves. They wanted something new so they left their hometown and went to a new location where they don't know anyone and can finally be free of former assumptions. I understand this feeling because I've very much done it myself now, quite a few times. But this recent move to New York has been the most I've ever been able to evolve, and it's because after years of trying to figure out who I wanted to be, I finally know. Becoming a 24-year-old woman has given me time in life to gain confidence, life experience, relationships and perspective on who I once was and who I can be in the future. Instead of the shy, overweight, awkward, low self-esteemed, terrified girl from Whidbey Island, I can be the outgoing, brave, average-sized, hilarious woman in New York that was always inside me. So here are my tips to you when it comes to reinventing yourself.

Get out of your comfort zone. No one knows you, which means you can do things you wouldn't have done before and not have judging eyes on you from someone you may know passing by. You can go eat at a restaurant you've wanted to try, but didn't know if you liked seafood that much. Jump onstage at an improv jam (even if you're not sure you're good enough yet). Ride the public transportation, even if you've never set foot on a bus or subway before and you're terrified. There's so many new things to experience in a city that can help you break out of your former shell.

Force yourself to be more outgoing. I am still terrible at this, but every day I get a little better. Whether it's talking to the person sitting on the bench next to you at the park or finding new ways to make friends, just try talking with people and you'll be surprised how nice people can be, despite the stereotypes of city people being "cold." There's so many ways to make friends, and just by even pretending to be more outgoing than you are will help you find a way to start conversations and start relationships with new people.

Find activities to get involved with. There are so many ways to find out what things are happening when and where to meet up with people interested in the same topics as you. Meetup and Facebook groups are good ways to learn of activities or find people to get involved with. If you've always wanted to try ballroom dancing, there's definitely a way to see where you can go and find a dance partner. Basically, Google is your best friend in a new city, and you can find ways to not just sit on your couch all day and be around people.

Free your inner-self. Cities are known for their likelihood of being more open-minded, so whether you're gay and grew up in a homophobic town, or you're secretly the funniest person in the world and you've always wanted to do stand up comedy but couldn't do it back home, there is nothing stopping you from opening yourself up in your new home. It's the best time to finally be who you've always wanted to be and stop hiding what you were forced to hide back home.

Own your talents. All the creative people tend to gravitate towards cities because there are more opportunities to work on your projects in a supportive community. If you're an artist, move to a city pretending like you're the greatest artist in the world. If you're a singer, go with the confidence that you have the best voice and will constantly get gigs. You may not be the most talented, but you're new to the place and no one knows yet what you can and can't do, so flaunt your skills.