Back in New York - 1 Month Later

I've been a bit MIA recently and this blog post is long overdue, so here I am! At the very end of April, I decided it was time to head home and conclude my adventures in France in favor of job hunting back home in NY. It wasn't an easy choice, especially since I had to return alone and leave Guillaume behind until visas and paperwork are sorted out. I've been back home for over a month now, and I'd like to share a bit about what I've been up to!

Setting Up My Space

I thought I'd spend a lot of time revamping my room after moving back, but I haven't done much design-wise! My room was used as a storage place while I was gone, so the first day or two, I cleared out what was here and swept the floors. After that, I realized I have fairly minimal furniture and wanted to keep it that way.

The real beast was attacking my closet, getting rid of a lot of knick-knacks and junk I hadn't seen in three years (and didn't miss!). I downsized and donated a lot, and though I still have more stuff than I'd like, I'll do another inventory when Guillaume eventually gets here.

Bumble Friend-Dates

A big priority for me when coming back to NY was reconstructing a friend group. I’ve been gone for a while, and I didn’t have a solid friend group I usually hung out with before leaving. One of my goals was to make more friends and really get out there! Since being back home, I've met with ten different girls from Bumble; some went well and some not so well.

It's really interesting for me because it feels a lot like 'dating': you match, end up talking for a few days, decide to meet for dinner or coffee, and then see if you hit it off!

I never really got to experience the dating app thing, and doing it now for friends is making me kind of grateful I never went through it before! A lot of people are flaky when it comes to making plans or just not compatible with me personality-wise for different reasons. That being said, I’ve met a small group of very nice girls and have met up with some of them several times, so perhaps I can say ‘mission accomplished’ here!

Hosted a Familiar Face

You may remember my friend Sam from our trip to Sweden in January! She decided to visit the US for the month of June, and I was her first stop, with her staying in NY for about seven days. Every day was jam-packed with activities, and we spent hours running around the scorching hot city doing things like thrifting, getting bubble tea, and just seeing the sights! We went to the Met exhibition 'Reawakening Fashion' which was the highlight of my whole week. I may make a whole blog post dedicated to it in the future. 

Though I was exhausted by the end, it was so much fun. I think it's really special to find friends that you can travel and have fun with. I hope Sam loved her trip!

Self Discovery and a LOT of Job Hunting

My main activity since returning has been applying for jobs. I've reworked my resume more this past month than I have in years, all in an effort to land something. I was confronted with two options: go back to something I know is safe and can make money even though I'm not passionate about it (aka admin work) or reach for something I'm passionate about even though the market is limited (aka DE&I positions).

I have had a couple of interviews and a close call or two where I really thought the job was mine, but overall nothing yet. My main tip to anyone else who's searching for jobs right now is to be really active in applying. I try to search for jobs that were posted within the last 24 hours so my CV doesn't get lost in the sea of competition. I find that I get better and faster replies if I operate like that, at least via LinkedIn. For now, I'm not too worried about it, as I've heard from friends that it takes quite a while to find something, but the sooner the better!

Identity-wise, I went to my first ever Puerto Rican parade in Brooklyn, and it was so cool! I'm not usually so 'connected' with my PR heritage, and that's something I'm curious about exploring. I actually ordered an ancestry test so I could learn more about my roots and see a breakdown of everything. It should arrive next week!

Some reflections on being back to end this post: I feel kind of weird! I know saying "weird" as the main feeling probably doesn't sound too positive, but I'll try to paint the picture a bit. I've been gone for almost three years and feel like I've grown and changed so much, so coming back to where I'm from, I expected to find the same, familiar place waiting for me. Imagine my surprise when I arrive in NYC and, for some reason, it all feels so different.

The city has a different energy now. My parents moved into a new house, and all my old stuff feels like a time capsule of who I used to be. I went to my favorite restaurant, where I've been going since I was 16, and the menu and food have completely changed. Walking around Koreatown, I think, "It used to feel so grand and endless as a teen. Was it really always this small?" It's like I've taken off the rose-colored glasses I wore while abroad and am now seeing New York for what it is, warts and all.

I'm still working out my connection with France and the reality of moving out of that life stage as well. It was a very strange and out-of-body experience to go into a French cafe in the city with a friend, because in that moment, the reality of "I'm not in France anymore, I'm back home and I'm staying here" really slammed into me. I won't lie, I found myself very emotional and unsure how to process everything.

I'm happy to be home with my family and my cat, and I'm so fortunate to be in the position I'm in right now. I just find myself with this very strange longing, like I'm in a dream where things seem foggy and something is slightly off, but I can't put my finger on it. I think when I land a job and Guillaume eventually moves over, maybe all the puzzle pieces will fit together.

In any case, I'll be back next week with my classic six-month New Year's resolution check-in, so I'll see you all then! Thanks for reading :)