Author: Leah René

Dear 2020, you will not be missed…

Dear 2020, you will not be missed…

First of all, I wanted to say that you made it to the end of the year!! That in itself is an accomplishment.  Usually at this time of year people love summing up all of their amazing achievements and highlighting their wins within the last 

4 Things Introverts Want You To Know

4 Things Introverts Want You To Know

We’re all different and we each have our own ways of dealing with things and processing the world. It’s super important to get an understanding of other people’s perceptions and get to know these varied personalities beyond our own. In this way we develop a 

The Real Reason Why I Moved Country- Alone, At 19

The Real Reason Why I Moved Country- Alone, At 19

Growing up a lot of my sentences started with, “when I live in New York…” but of course it was all just a distant dream. So in my last year of college when everyone was moving on to the next step in their lives and planning for their future, it only made sense to casually bring up that I’m moving to NYC when everyone asked me what I was doing. I had no idea how it was all going to happen but regardless of that I started to tell a few people of my plans to say goodbye as the date for my move got closer. 

I ended up booking a 2 week vacation to New York that summer with one of my close friends to get an idea of what I was getting myself into. This was by far one of the best trips I’ve been on and I still remember that last day at JFK airport and how miserable I felt knowing I had to leave. This was the first time I felt homesick for a place that wasn’t actually my home but it just confirmed that my heart was in New York and obviously that wasn’t good enough. Whether it was all the crazy people we met, the non-stop lively atmosphere or the fond memories of bagels with cream cheese, I knew I needed to physically be there. 

A very long 5 months later and I was back in NY- this time with a one-way ticket and one overflowing suitcase filled with a few pieces of clothing, leaving cards and other random items I threw in the night before, (I hate packing and will definitely leave it to the very last-minute whether I’m going away for the weekend or uprooting my entire life). I wanted to start again so I only brought a limited amount with me. 

My friend picked me up at the airport and that was it, I was in the middle of a new country having to start a whole life again from the beginning. 

I always get asked for the reason why I moved out of the UK and I usually just come out with “because I wanted to” as it’s so much easier and a much quicker response than the real reasons why I moved. I thought I may as well write about it so if anyone asks me, here’s the answer! 

  • I needed a serious change

I thought about all other options and relocating just felt like it needed to be my next step. If it wasn’t going to be New York it was at least going to be another country. The last couple of years had all rolled into one and I just wasn’t happy and lacked any form of motivation. After living in textbooks for most of my life and taking everything so seriously I was tired of doing the same thing every single day. I wanted to take a year out purely to gain new life experiences.

  •  New York is my dream city

I’ve said this too many times now but I feel so inspired here. There’s so much creativity, passion and an indescribable fierceness. It’s always been my dream city and I feel like I make a perfect match here. Sometimes we’re not born in the city we were meant to be in and we don’t relate to the place we call “home.” I wasn’t brought to NY because of a job or a relationship but simply my love of the city and everything I’d seen of it so far. I was always fascinated by the idea of living overseas and New York was at the top of my list. 

  • Nothing holding me back

As a duel citizen I had an opportunity to live in New York. I knew if I didn’t take this I would totally regret it. I didn’t know how it was going to work out or what exactly was going to happen out there but that’s what made it so exciting for me. I loved the unknown. What was my life going to look like and how much would I have changed in a year? Who would I spend most of my time with and what new things would I learn? 

I remember telling everyone that if it doesn’t work out the worst-case scenario is that I’d have to come back to the UK sooner than expected, but in my heart I went in with high expectations and I knew it was going to be an awesome experience. 

Sometimes we expect everything we want to be put right in front of us and we don’t want to make small sacrifices. I didn’t know the exact outcome or how I would deal without family and living alone.

The fact is that I’ve had a life changing experience in such a short space of time and have grown in ways I never could have imagined possible just a few years ago. And sure, there was a chance that this move to a new continent alone wasn’t going to work out. I could have backed out but if I did I wouldn’t have had the best year of my life or met some of my closest life-long friends. I visualized a life in New York and it was never an illusion to me, it was a plan. Now I’m actually here I have so much to look forward to since I’m only just getting started! 

  • A chance to reinvent myself

If you move to a new location, since no one really knows you and mostly everyone you meet is for the first time, you can choose to be whoever you want to be. I’m not saying to be fake or someone you’re not just a different version of yourself that people from back home never saw in you. You can take on new hobbies, try out new styles, behave differently in social situations and no one will know the old you. Sometimes we can be held back by a certain environment and it’s not until we let go and move on to something else we really start to grow and become who we always were on the inside. 

***

Things will go wrong no matter where you are in the world and not everything goes exactly as anticipated. I’m still going to get sick, rejected by something I want and deal with negative feelings from time to time.  

We’re never going to be fully ready and sometimes we need to throw away the idea of waiting to make things happen until that feeling of being “ready” shows up. Of course having some plan of action and preparation is necessary (I had to make sure I saved up a certain amount before etc…) I’ve learned to start taking action because that’s what life’s about. It’s great to have all these ideas but what’s the point of just having them live in your mind as eventually those dreams will turn into delusions rather than actual goals. That “ready” moment may never come and all you’ll have is the remains of regret as you look back and say, “I wish I did that crazy thing when I had the chance to…” 

Circumstances change real quick and someone actually told me to wait a couple of years to save up properly and then move. It was completely well intended advice but if I listened to that I wouldn’t have been able to move because two years later we’re in the middle of a pandemic. I would have moved here just before it started which would literally be a complete nightmare! So we really don’t know one day to the next and there’s never a perfect time. 

As much as I would tell anyone to at least spend some time living in a foreign country, sometimes moving away seems like the perfect solution when we begin to feel hopeless and worn out. The truth is that it doesn’t matter where you go in the world, your problems will follow you wherever you go and simply moving to another location on the map isn’t the answer to resolving your inner anguish.

So was this move worth it and do I have any regrets? Did it live up to my expectations or was I disillusioned for leaving my home when I had nothing lined up for me in New York? What happened next? 

Stay tuned for this in a future post!

What is your dream city? Tell me in the comment section!

Leah x

What Is Holding Me Back From Being Who I Want To Be?

What Is Holding Me Back From Being Who I Want To Be?

So I’m rewriting this again. This time it’s going to be real. I’m literally writing this as if it’s not even going to be published on here because every time I think of someone reading it I get so uncomfortable and start worrying about making 

Why You Should Embrace Your Singleness

Why You Should Embrace Your Singleness

We grow up in a society where relationships are romanticised and it’s almost an expectation that we should at least be working on getting into a relationship in order to find success and happiness. Especially for women, being single is still greatly stigmatised and unfortunately many people 

Can I Survive LIVING In New York City?

Can I Survive LIVING In New York City?

Without a doubt, New York is such a dream destination for millions of people! After living in Queens for a year and a half and spending most of my time in Manhattan I think I’ve grasped a fair deal of what life in New York City is really like. The idea of living here is super dreamy but it’s not cut out for everyone. I put together some reasons you need to be okay with before actually making a full time move to the city. 

  1. EVERYTHING costs SO MUCH more-

It’s an obvious one that any metropolis is going to be expensive but you really don’t realise how much of your income just disappears in the blink of an eye. Literally most of your monthly earnings goes towards rent. Groceries, beauty services, clothing etc… will cost a lot more too. 

Of course, if you decide to move to NYC, you usually want to experience as much as you can so expect to spend a lot on going out to dinner several times every week. Even when I brought my own lunch into work I’d usually end up ordering out anyway because I was surrounded by all  these amazing culinary options in Midtown- whatever I was craving I could surely find hundreds of places and more. Obviously you don’t have to, but once you get here it’s hard to say no. After a while you end up forgetting how much things should actually cost and find yourself saying something like, “so it’s not normal to pay $9 for a coffee?”

  • FOMO is real- 

A city where you could never stop exploring and always stumble upon something new. New restaurants, new rooftops, new pop up art galleries, plays, classes and concerts. I have a list of things and places I want to see and do but that list is getting overwhelmingly long. You will have to come to terms that you’ll never get round to everything in NYC and that’s just something I don’t want to accept.  

  • Overcrowded-

With a population of over 8 million in such small parameters there’s no such thing as personal space. Expect to always be pushed up against people and you gotta keep moving. Don’t ever randomly stop in the middle of the sidewalk. Just don’t do it.  If you’re already feeling suffocated by reading that then NYC may not be for you.

  • It’s not all Glitz & Glam- 

When you think of Breakfast at Tiffany’s or Sex and the City, you’ll create a glamorous and dazzling vision of New York. Don’t get me wrong, this is all still true but there’s another not so stylish side. Like bags of trash lining the sidewalks. What a beautiful sight. Dirty subway stations, the smell of pee and there’s rats too. Lots and lots of rats!

  • Life will be super fast paced- 

It’s a stimulating city and if you’re not used to it you could face sensory overload. Millions of people are rushing past you. You look in every direction and there’s something different going on. It’s like this day and night. Not only are the people physically on the move but your life in general will be at full speed. You just keep on going!

Despite these reasons some people complain about, I really couldn’t picture myself wanting to live anywhere else right now. It’s definitely a tough city to make it in and it’s never going to be perfect. I soon experienced some really difficult times and expect more challenges to come my way but collectively I’ve had the best time of my life here which makes it all so worth it. 

 I always wondered when it will hit me that I live in New York but honestly I don’t think it really has. It was times when I was heading back home from work on the over ground 7 train into Queens as the skyline gradually disappears from sight. Or when I’m hanging out with friends and get stuck on the subway after a long night out. I have these little moments where I just stop and realise that I live in New York. Once that moment has passed it feels like a dream all over again, until I remember it’s not. 

Thanks for stopping by,

Leah x

Get To Know Me Tag

Get To Know Me Tag

I’ve always enjoyed reading and watching these “Get To Know Me” tags so I put together some questions I found on Pinterest and gave it a go just for fun. The questions get a little random but I’m sure you’ll definitely learn something new about 

Distance & Time- Appreciating Long Distance Friendships

Distance & Time- Appreciating Long Distance Friendships

We get so comfortable with our current situation; a job, a social circle, the regular weekend plans that when something out of the norm takes place it takes quite an adjustment to adapt to a new level of normalcy.  Today, I wanted to talk about 

2020- 5 Intentions I’m Establishing NOW

2020- 5 Intentions I’m Establishing NOW

This new year is especially significant for me as it’s the start of a new decade for life in my twenties. I’ve been told that it’s a super exciting time and many people have experienced some of their best days in their twenties. Along with all the good times I also expect failure, doubt, drama and plenty of challenges. It’s a time to make critical decisions and critical mistakes.

We don’t know who we are exactly and that’s what I look forward to. Learning new things, random conversations with people in unlikely places, travelling to far away cities whilst bumping to new music…the books I haven’t yet read, and the talents I have yet to master.

2020 is about seeing with clarity and purpose but also accepting there will be days or even months without knowing what I’m doing.

Clean out your life; tidy your room, your thinking, your social media, the people you associate with and break bad habits.

2020 is about levelling up spiritually, physically, emotionally. Realising what needs to change and doing something about it. Setting boundaries and no longer being used. Being forgiving, staying kind and authentic. Paying close attention to your surroundings and who you allow in your personal space. 2020 is about minding your business.

What I’ll be working on:

  1. Accepting myself for who I am and where I am right now

I’m young and free, living a life in New York City. This had been my dream for so long and now it’s actually happening. Exactly right now. This is just one phase of my journey and it’s a time I will most likely never relive once I leave. I’m appreciating who I am currently whilst working on bettering myself one step at a time.

  1. Being brave and confident

Confidence is not about who can be the loudest in the room. Instead, I’m working on developing a sensible level of self assurance and not always second guessing myself. For me it’s about overcoming my insecurities and not allowing them to control me.

  1. Knowing it’s none of my concern

Not living through the opinions of others. What works for someone else may not work for me. Although I greatly appreciate well intended advice, there isn’t one way of doing things. They don’t know our situation, our thoughts or our feelings or what it’s taken to be where we are today. It’s really none of my concern to worry about any potential judgment.

  1. Doing the best that I can

Somedays I will give more than others. Other days I won’t have the energy or attitude to do anything and that’s completely fine with me. Not everyday has to be a hustle. We get so caught up comparing ourselves to what everyone else is doing but it’s nice to just stop and focus on everything we have to be grateful for today.

  1. Understanding that I can choose to start again every single day

What are you excited for in 2020?

The comments are open to share all your powerful intentions!

-Leah

Memoir of an Italian Summer

Memoir of an Italian Summer

Venice You charmed me with each and every winding street you took me through, with every glass of wine and with every bridge leading to pretty shops and mesmeric worn out houses. Wondering through the alleyways with no end destination in mind; just observing the