A Recap of the Last 10 Months

“A year ago everything was different. And now that I look back, I realize that a year can do a lot to a person.”

It’s been a long time, friends. In my last post, I shared that I would be leaving New York City and moving to Hoboken. That was 10 months ago. Life has been a bit of a whirlwind since then, with one day seemingly blurring right into the next. It still feels like yesterday that I was packing up 5 years of the city into all of my Roadway moving boxes and opening the door to an entirely new chapter. I almost can’t believe it’s already coming up on a year.

When you’re in the midst of a challenge or a struggle, it’s extremely difficult to see the other side of it all. I still remember exactly how I felt in those moments. I was so resistant to this change that I could not envision the bigger picture. Now that I’m well into this transition, I truly do understand why things transpired in the way they did. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — sometimes forced change is the best thing that can happen to us.

With all this time passing, I wanted to finally sit down and focus on writing an update on everything that’s happened since the move, where I’m at with everything now and what’s still to come. (spoiler alert: I’m still figuring it all out)

I turned 40

My 40th birthday completely crept up on me in November. If I’m being honest, it still feels a bit strange to say that I am in my 40s now. I get a lot of “You don’t look 40!” And while I appreciate the sentiment, I always wonder — what are we supposed to look like at 40? 40 is not old, but society has led us to believe otherwise. In many ways, I feel like my life is just getting started. There’s still so much I want to try and do and achieve while on the 4th floor.

I didn’t write a birthday post on here last year like I usually do and I think that’s mostly because I still share the same sentiments as I did on my 39th birthday and all the years before. I am not where I thought I’d be at this point in my life and sometimes I struggle with that notion. But ultimately, I’m playing by my own rules and not the ones that have been placed upon me by others. I will start over again as many times as I need to. And truthfully, that seems to be the current trend of my life lately.

Does a new decade scare me? A little bit, but it’s also exciting to see where my journey will take me. My 30s were hands down the best and most challenging years so far. I did more than I could have ever imagined. And even though I’m in such a different place now, I do believe that better is on the way — although it might take some time to come to me.

In terms of how I celebrated the big 4-0, I didn’t do a party. I always thought I’d throw a themed bash and invite all of my friends and make it this big to-do. It turned out to be quite the opposite actually. My sister took me to Miami for a few days the weekend before my birthday and it was such a special trip that I will never forget. The weekend of my birthday, I decided to do a last minute dinner with a few of my friends at a fun restaurant in New Jersey. On my actual birthday, I went to lunch with my mom and sister. I could not have asked for more. It was the best way to celebrate.

I left my job

For almost two years, I was the social media editor and a photojournalist for a small news publication based out of Hell’s Kitchen in New York. I had gotten this job in the summer of 2022, during a time when I needed it the most. I grew a lot in my photography specifically and loved that I had the ability to help others share their stories in a visual way. I enjoyed a lot of the work I was doing and got the opportunity to meet so many wonderful and talented residents in the community. I’ve done portraits for some pretty cool people, like Kevin Del Aguila (Some Like It Hot), and covered a ton of restaurant and bar openings, press conferences and even protests.

Without going into detail, I will just say it got to a point where I knew it was time to move on. I firmly believe that once we let go of things that are no longer serving us, we open up space for new opportunities to come into our lives. And remember, “You can quit the thing without quitting on yourself.”

I decided to leave last month and since then I’ve taken some much needed time for myself to get back to a better place of self-care and to figure out next steps. I had another freelance client that unfortunately fell through and another one that didn’t work out the way I expected. I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not I want to get a full time job. Since 2011, I’ve been self-employed and have only worked in a contractor capacity. Even with this job, I was in a contractor position. My hope at the moment is to continue down this path with freelance gigs and content opportunities.

Will that change? It might.

There’s a work from home data job I started back in January where I’m able to make my own hours. I’m starting a new social media gig next month and I am hoping to take on another freelance client or two. I’ll see where all that leads me and if I need to reevaluate things I definitely will.

It’s always a scary feeling when you have to start over and there are a lot of unknowns. Even though leaving was the right choice, I still struggled with that decision. I felt a mix of guilt and sadness, but also relief in knowing I would soon have a new beginning. I needed to take that leap of faith.

10 months in Hoboken

There’s a lot to reflect on here — let’s talk about the apartment first. I’ve really grown to love it. There were things that initially deterred me from wanting to live here, like the tiny bathroom and outdated kitchen, but over time I’ve grown so accustomed to them. I felt uninspired when I first moved in because I was still holding on to my NYC studio. I was focusing on all the things I would be losing instead of all that I would soon gain from this move.

But now? I’ve managed to turn this place into a cozy home with my old furniture and a few new pieces. And it’s still a work in progress as there’s more I want to do, especially in the bedroom. I’ve definitely taken my time with it all as I plan to stay here a bit longer, God willing. I think I forgot to mention in my moving post that this is a rent stabilized apartment, which is amazing. I obviously won’t live here forever, but for now it is serving all my needs.

The peace I feel in here is unmatched — that’s honestly something I didn’t often experience in my NY home. It is an absolute blessing to no longer hear my neighbor snore through the wall or be woken up at 3am every night from the people living above me. Hallelujah! I came across a manifestation list for my next apartment that I made and while I didn’t get everything on that list, there’s actually a lot I did get with this new place: high ceilings, no overhead lights, unit facing the back of the building, more windows and natural light (the light in the bedroom is gorgeous and I now have windows in the bathroom and living room), thicker walls/floors, and a quiet and safe place. I did try to manifest a larger kitchen and space for a dining table and God said not today. My little kitchen cart will do for now!

I think the best part about living in Hoboken is being closer to my family and friends and having Kiko way more often. He comes about every two weeks now and absolutely loves it here. I’m around for so much more, whether it’s picking my nieces up from school sometimes or simply meeting with my sister for dinner. She’s right uptown and is literally a walk away if I need her. It’s way easier on my mom having both of her daughters in Hoboken now. She comes here often and I truly see the relief on her face knowing that I am no longer in NY. She was always supportive of that dream, but it’s something she was never very comfortable with.

Living so close to the path makes commuting into the city a breeze. I can be in the West Village in 12 minutes or Midtown in less than 30. The other day I had a few events and it was so easy to come back home in-between appointments. I do feel like I’m getting the best of both worlds. Don’t get me wrong. I still miss living in NYC and sometimes wonder if I’ll ever make my way over there again. But for right now, I do feel happy and content in Hoboken. It gets a lot of shit for being in New Jersey, but it really is the perfect mix of a small-town feel and city living. Downtown, especially, is very lively and I’ve got everything I need at my fingertips.

When I think back to the last two years and how everything fell into place and led me here, I am beyond thankful. It is extremely difficult to let go and say goodbye to specific chapters in our lives, but it’s also an essential part of our growth. We can’t stay in the same place forever. I think I kept holding on to a version of myself that did not exist anymore. And if I’m being honest, I knew deep down that it was time to go, I just didn’t want to admit it.

My relationship with social media

It’s changed. A lot. And I’m not entirely sure why. I think I’ve only posted to my Instagram feed 12 times so far this year. I do try to be present on stories on a daily basis, but I don’t show my face and talk to camera as much as I used to. I sometimes find myself not wanting to share at all and I’ve been keeping things a lot closer to the chest. It’s difficult for me to admit that as I have shared so much of my life over these last 12 years — the good, the bad, and the ugly.

When you are transparent and vulnerable on social media, you open up space for people to give you their opinions. And I have to say that 99.9% of the time I have an extremely supportive, encouraging and uplifting online community. But every now and then, someone will throw their 2 cents in and make you feel that they know what’s better for you than you do. To be honest, I am not always in the headspace to welcome outside opinions and judgments online and maybe that’s caused me to hit the pause button. But just when I start to doubt myself, I’ll get an incredible message from someone thanking me for what I’ve shared or letting me know how much they appreciate my openness. I always take that as a sign that I’m doing something right.

Lately, I’ve been wondering the value I’m even providing online at this point. It’s a weird space for me to navigate and I think I’m trying to figure out how I want to show up on social media moving forward. I’ve been on Instagram since 2011 and have poured so much of myself into my content during that time. I went from posting my daily outfits to exposing some of the most personal aspects of my life. Maybe I’m a little jaded by it all. Or maybe I just need to get back to writing long-form content and focus more on storytelling again. I’m not really sure what the answer is just yet. If you still follow me on Instagram, I hope you’ll stick around as I try to make sense of it all.

What’s Next

This section has taken me awhile to write because I honestly have no idea what’s next for me. Every time I think I do, life throws me a curve ball. There’s a lot that I want for myself and I need to ensure I’m taking the necessary steps to get closer to those goals and dreams. I sometimes get stuck and feel stagnant, but ultimately I am the only one who can push through and make things happen for myself. I admittedly struggle with some imposter syndrome at times and I think that’s deterred me from living up to my full potential — and I HATE that. I hate to even type those words, but it is a truth that often haunts me.

I used to think I’d have it all figured out by the time I turned 40 and I don’t. I’m not sure if I will ever have it all figured out and I think that’s ok. The only constant in life is change. We are always learning and growing and adapting as we go. I keep telling myself, “You have always found a way. This time will be no different.”

So for now, the goal is to stay in Hoboken for at least another year. I’m hoping to get things sorted out with work soon as I believe everything else will fall into place after that. At least I hope it will. I am trying to manifest another solo trip soon. I need it. But I unfortunately haven’t been in a position to make it happen yet. I’m going to continue showing up for myself more  — focusing on self-care, my health, saying yes to new opportunities and putting myself in new environments. And all I can do is take things one day at a time and see where it all leads me.

These last two years have shown me how resilient I can be. They’ve taught me the importance of knowing when it’s time to let go and walk away from things and people that no longer have a positive impact on my life. And most importantly, that it is more than ok to start over as many times as I need to. I hope this serves as a reminder for you too, in case you needed it. Thanks for taking the time to read this and for stopping by the blog again. ❤️

  1. Julie

    My beautiful daughter, this is why I am so proud of you. You are definitely a writer and I hope you continue to do so. I love to read about your experiences and I can feel your emotions that go with it. You have turned a once humble apartment into a palace of your own. Just remember everything in life takes time and if you continue to manifest, God will give it to you. So keep up the good work, stay focused and positive in all you do. If God puts you to it, He will see you through it! I love you with all my heart! God bless you! I see the future getting brighter for you!

    • Naty

      You are the best and I love you so much. Thank you for always supporting and encouraging me!

  2. You won’t remember me by name

    This definitely served as a reminder to me. I needed to read this. I have a lot of the same feelings and worries you’ve been experiencing. I also just turned 40 in October and it’s like you are writing everything that I feel. Thank you for this and wishing you the best and positive vibes. Xo

    • Naty

      I’m so happy it served as a reminder for you and that I shared. I think it’s so important to know we are not alone in what we are feeling/experiencing. I hope 40 will be your best year yet! xo

  3. I always love your long-form personal posts, Naty!! I’m so glad you feel so much more at peace in your new home, it looks very cozy and you’ve inspired me to spend more time making my apartment more of a home. I wish you luck as you navigate the next season of your life!


    • Naty

      I appreciate this so much, thank you! I definitely need to start writing more on here again. xo

      • Hey, Hi – Naty
        Es scheint, dass du dich an einem Punkt befindest, an dem du Unsicherheit und Selbstzweifel erlebst, aber auch eine große Bereitschaft zeigst, dich weiterzuentwickeln und deinen Weg zu finden.
        Es ist normal, solche Phasen im Leben zu haben, besonders wenn man sich Veränderungen oder neuen Herausforderungen stellt.

        💁 Hier sind einige Überlegungen und Vorschläge, die dir möglicherweise helfen können !!

        Selbstreflexion und Zielsetzung
        Nimm dir regelmäßig Zeit, um über deine Ziele und Wünsche nachzudenken. Schreibe sie auf und setze dir konkrete, erreichbare Schritte, um sie zu verwirklichen.
        Selbstfürsorge und Gesundheit ist auch im Leben sehr wichtig”
        Du hast bereits erkannt, wie wichtig Selbstfürsorge ist. Bleib dabei und finde Aktivitäten, die dir Freude bereiten und dir helfen, dich zu entspannen. 👩‍👦👥️👩‍👦
        Setze dich einfach nicht selbst unter druck, weil
        Viele Menschen kämpfen mit dem Gefühl, nicht gut genug zu sein. Erinnere dich daran, dass du deine Erfolge verdient hast und dass es normal ist, gelegentlich Zweifel zu haben…. 🍀
        Akzeptiere, dass das Leben unvorhersehbar ist und dass Unsicherheit ein Teil davon ist. Manchmal ist es wichtig, den Moment zu genießen und darauf zu vertrauen, dass sich die Dinge fügen werden.
        Du hast schon viel erreicht und bewiesen, dass du widerstandsfähig bist. 🙂 Vertraue darauf, dass du auch die nächsten Schritte meistern wirst. Jeder Tag bringt neue Möglichkeiten, und es ist in Ordnung, sich Zeit zu nehmen und in deinem eigenen Tempo voranzukommen.
        Ich hoffe ich konnte dir aus meiner Erfahrung die ich erst selber machen musste um gewisse Sachen zur erkennen und dir hier dies als meiner Lebenserfahrung mit Schicksalsschläge zur vermitteln und dir weiter alles alles liebe und gute weiter wünsche.
        Schöne Grüße aus Germany

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