by Working Girl One
In college Working Girl Two and I were of the first of our friends to intern and live in the big city. We thought were so cool because, well, we were. OK, we probably weren't.
Spending the summer living and working in Manhattan immediately established us as city girls. We were going to graduate, get awesome jobs at magazines, live in awesome apartments and soak up each other's awesomeness (name that movie).
Instead, we moved to a not-so-awesome apartment in Hoboken and were working as assistants in Manhattan. Not exactly the city and not exactly glamorous jobs. Still, we were honorary city girls.
A year later I moved to the city and thought I was there to stay. Another year later, the boyfriend and I moved in together to a lovely fifth floor walk-up on the Upper East Side. We were on the track to stay in Manhattan forever. And by forever, I mean, until my first kid had to go to preschool. I had no intentions of dealing with the shenanigans of getting a 3-year-old into glorified day care on the Upper East Side.
I thought I'd work my way up in the publishing world, make a decent living and gallivant around like a real New Yorker.
Then, I lost my job and the boyfriend got a new one in Connecticut. After I started working again, we decided the right thing to do was move out of the city and closer to his job. I couldn't believe myself when I said the words: "we should move to Connecticut." My friends couldn't either. "I can't picture you anywhere but New York!" was the reaction I received from most of them when I broke the news.
Cue mini quarter-life identity crisis. Thinking of myself as a "city girl" for a few years, I expected to feel different as a "Bridge and Tunneler," -- like I didn't belong in the city anymore or had lost my New York street cred. But apart from maybe being more tired, I feel the same and am not-so-secretly enjoying my suburban life.
Sure, my commute is longer but I have time to read again and I come home to a spacious apartment with a dishwasher AND a washer/dryer. I no longer have a bodega across the street to pick up milk (and Ben & Jerry's) but I have a huge supermarket and I can pack my groceries in a car. Despite having a longer commute, I feel like I have more of a life, an adult life here. It's hard to explain. Maybe it's the nice apartment or that we made a (relatively) big life decision together, but I really feel like a grown up.
I do missing living in Manhattan but I still get my daily fix of the city Monday through Friday and with occasional weekend trips. And yes, it is sometimes frustrating to leave happy hour early to catch the train but, I must say, I'm happy with our choice and my "Bridge and Tunneler" status.