Experience · Graduate Visa · New York

The Reality Of Chasing Your Dreams In New York

….and ending up as a waitress.

I moved here last year on a one way ticket with two of my best friends, two suitcases and an open mind. Fast forward eight months, and now I am even more uncertain about what I’m doing with my life than I ever was in Dublin.


When people ask me what I do, I tell them I’m on a career break. Or that I’m having a quarter-life-crisis. The number one reason for giving up my steady job, my relationship and my room in my family home was to get some solid experience working in the media in the Big Apple. Bar a few internship stints, that hasn’t quite happened yet, but while I wait for my “big break” I can be sure that I have gained an awful lot of life experience in the meantime.

Nothing about my time spent in New York has been plain sailing – between visa complications, job searches, Christmas spent alone, and working 14 hour shifts to afford the extortionate rent the three of us pay to live in a one bedroom apartment together in Manhattan. However, the highs seriously outweighs the lows – the palpable energy of the city, festivals, museums, gigs, warehouse raves, live jazz, working at fashion week, and engaging in conversations with the most fascinating and diverse people.


A friend recently said to me, “if you’re not dancing on tables in your twenties, you’re doing something wrong.” My life here is definitely more ‘Girls’ than ‘Sex and the City’ right now, but if nothing else this experience has thought me to make the most of every single day in this formative time of my life, before I have to really worry about responsibilities and commitments.


People always ask me why I don’t blog, a rarity for a millennial journalist. I’ve gotten to a stage where I’ve become disillusioned with the concept of blogging, because we are now so used to seeing the expertly filtered version of everyone’s lives, their brunches, their artfully captured outfit shots and the spate of hashtags that accompany their every move. Nothing about my life is perfect at the moment – someone literally pointed out to me the other day that I had mashed potato in my hair. Which has motivated me to begin this monthly rambling about how imperfect my life is, because where is the fun without flaws…. In the words of LCD Soundsystem: “I wouldn’t change one stupid decision for another five years of my life.”