7 years & 7 lessons from living in New York!


Today is my anniversary! I’ve been a New Yorker now for exactly seven years today!

Living in the big apple has taught me some important life lessons that I conveniently wanted to share with you all on my 7-year anniversary. In no particular order, here are the seven life lessons that I’ve learned during my seven years of living in NYC.

1. Stuff happens. If you only knew all the drama I’ve been through in 7 years, you may actually question why I still love this city so much. However, I’ve learned that you have to move on and not let stuff get to you. Let’s see, during my time in NYC, my car blew up, I’ve been cheated on, I’ve been hospitalized, I’ve been broke, etc. etc. etc. but you know what? I’ve dusted my shoulders off and kept going. I’ve learned that life happens, and there’s nothing your picture perfect plan can do about it.

2. Everything on God’s time! I’ve tried to control things in my life. I pushed, I shoved and I cried. Still, things only happened for me when God said it was time. I only passed the bar exam when it was God’s time, I only found my current job when it was God’s time and even my blog only took off when it was God’s time. We really must learn to trust HIS timing and his time only. As the saying goes, if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.

3. Fight for your friendships. True friends are very hard to find, so when you do find them, you had better fight like hell to keep them!!! Seriously, I’ve been through my share of friendships, many not worth fighting for. However, for the true friendships that you have been blessed with, do everything in your power to keep them. It’s ok to admit you’re wrong. It’s ok to disagree. However, it’s not ok to lose a true friendship over childish disputes and miscommunication… In other words, grow up!

4. I’ve loved and I lost… but I learned to love myself. So my dating life hasn’t been the highlight of my time here in NYC. However,  I can say that, emotionally, I’m not the same 22-year-old girl I was when I arrived here in NYC! I’ve had my share of heartache but I’ve managed to become this strong loving woman who STILL believes in true love … I no longer worry about those failed relationships because they no longer matter.  In retrospect, maybe the time wasn’t right, maybe I had issues, maybe they had issues… Who knows! Nevertheless, my growth has allowed to accept each situation for what it was/is and not place undue blame on myself. Most importantly, I’ve learned to genuinely love myself.

5. Consistency. I think this is a Creflo Dollar quote, “consistency is the key to the breakthrough”. Whatever it is that you aspire to accomplish in this life, please understand that it all comes at the grand old cost of taking consistent action, daily. Whether that be working out, studying, blogging etc. Consistency is really the only way you will start seeing results.

6. Finances. You want to control your life; you MUST control your finances. To the extent that you can control your life, finances are extremely important. So get your money up, your savings up, and your credit score Waaaaay Up!! Money may not buy happiness but it sure can buy options. I don’t know about you but I love options.

7. Dreams do change and that’s ok. When I arrived in NYC I thought I was going to law school, get a corporate job, get married and have babies with the white picket fence all before I turned 30. Well, I’m happy to announce that my plans have changed. I’ve tossed the white picket fence out the window, it wasn’t really my style. And, I’m not sure what I would even do trying to care for another human being right now but I’m sure when God says its time, it will happen.

Nevertheless, traveling, building a business, real estate and personal development are the new goals in my life. I used to be afraid to admit that some of my dreams have changed because I didn’t want anyone to think that I was only changing my dreams because I couldn’t achieve my original goals, In all actuality, i realized that I only wanted certain things because that’s what I thought “I was supposed to want”. Thankfully, I grew up and realized I’m actually very unconventional and my fairytale life is not so black and white! Oh and another thing, I genuinely stopped caring about what others thought about me! This is a game changer!

So here are my final thoughts!

  1. Stop caring what people think! Do you! Live your life the way you want and be happy! Trust me, people will find fault in you no matter what.
  2. Stop thinking that people want your opinion all the time because trust me they don’t!
  3. Keep your finances, health and love life to yourself. Period!
  4. Be very selective with whom you take advice from regarding your love life. In fact, be very careful who you discuss your love life with.
  5. Don’t trust women who can’t name at least one childhood friend that they keep in touch with over the years. Don’t ask me why, just don’t!
  6. Love, Life Live, Proceed, Progress – Lil Wayne

Here’s to another 7 years NYC!!!!

Ash Renee

Ash Renee, is an NYC Real Estate/Business Lawyer, Consultant, and Blogger. A New York transplant for the last 10 years, Ash loves exploring the NYC restaurants, fashion, and the black professional social scene. Ash was born and raised in Chicago.

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