It is hard to believe that it has been ONE YEAR since M and I packed up our belongings and moved across the country to New York City for me to start my dermatology residency. I remember well the mix of emotions I felt at the time: nervousness to see if I would fit in at my new program, excitement at finishing intern year and finally training in the field I wanted to be in, a mix of anxiety and exhilaration that I was moving to THE most happening city in the US, and most of all, an intense sadness at leaving my family and all my friends so far behind in California. I was so so scared to be leaving my home. I remember when my parents dropped us off at the airport with our 4 large suitcases (don’t be fooled; I also shipped 500 pounds of stuff by Amtrak…what the heck inspired me to do that, I do not know and I don’t recommend it), I started tearing up because I wasn’t ready to leave. To most of you out there, you probably have lived in multiple places throughout your lives. Me? I was born and raised in the Bay Area and went to high school, college, and medical school within 10 miles of my childhood home. I have never lived longer than 6 months away from home, so knowing that I was moving to NYC for 3 years both frightened and excited me. I had lived in NYC before for 6 months when I was interning for the Chief Medial Editor Dr. Snyderman at NBC News (more on that experience here), but all my friends that I made at that time have since moved away from the city. Coming into New York, I really wasn’t sure what to expect.
Now one year later, I’ve grown to really appreciate and cherish our time here in the Big Apple. Many of you may have read about my incredibly stressful period of applying into residency, and initially I thought my and my husband’s happiness was riding on my matching in California. But now, I feel incredibly thankful to God for helping me match at NYU Dermatology. I would have lived my ENTIRE life in the same few towns in Northern California, never experiencing another city, another state, and I feel that my life has been enriched with new experiences and relationships that I never would have had if I had stayed in California. In New York City this year, I had to make new friends and step out of my comfort zone for the first time in a while, and I love that I was given the chance to do that. M and I have a whole new friend group here, a mix of Stanford alumni whom I didn’t know in college, M’s friends from Boston during his graduate school years, a few of my long lost friends from California that I haven’t connected with in decades, and of course, my dermatology coresidents, most of whom are born and raised in the East Coast. It’s crazy to think that I’ve only known these new friends for one year, but it feels like so much longer. I am so happy and grateful for these new relationships and friendships that have made NYC feel like a second home.
Of course, it helps that M’s family lives in the East Coast, and I have this rare opportunity to spend a lot of time with my nieces who are growing up so fast, my brother and sister in law, and my mother and father in law, who truly make me feel included as a part of their family. They make me feel so loved, and because of them, I am not as homesick as I though I would be. M is from the East Coast and his family is settled here, and if I hadn’t moved to NYC, I really would have only gotten to see his family probably once a year. Now I get to see them all the time, and it is a blessing that I’m able to deepen my relationship with them here.
In a nutshell, life takes you to many unexpected places, but sometimes those new experiences are exactly what you need. I know for this California lifer, switching things up to NYC was a blessing in disguise.
I obviously still miss my family and my friends back home in California a lot, but I have been surprised by how much I’ve grown to enjoy life here in New York with my new community. Part of the New York chapter of my life also includes you and this blog! I have a little more free time now that I’m a dermatology resident and I have more flexible hours, so I want to invest more time in this website. This blog is about skincare and beauty primarily, but I also want you to get to know me and I want to be able to share parts of my life with you. Thanks for being a part of my journey!