Choosing A Different Life Plan: Reflections on Year One in NYC


Today we have special guest post from Stephanie Florence who has written a beautiful peice reflecting on her first year of living in New York. It’s part New York City love story and part an inspiring story for anyone considering taking a leap of faith and embracing the uncertainty of choosing a “different life plan.”


I was recently told “True New Yorkers are the ones who chose to come to New York. The ones who left their families and support networks to be in the city. They’re not just the ones who were born and raised here.”


When I started dreaming about moving to New York City that’s all I thought it would be – a dream. I had never lived away from my family and friends. I was even nervous to share this dream with people – because the more people I told, the more people there were to hold me accountable.


As I landed a dream gig, found an apartment in my top area of Manhattan and packed up my belongings, I kept waiting for the catch. It shouldn’t be this easy.


They say everyone has a “Welcome to New York” story. Mine came in the form of a stolen wallet and iPhone my first month here. Next the struggle to have enough money for bills and for fun became apparent quite quickly. I call that the “Are you sure to want to be in New York?” story.


But even in the midst of stolen items or when money is tight I try not to complain. Because this is what I chose. And as a result, I’ve become a smarter person. A more determined person. A person who will be able to say I looked my biggest fear in the face and took it head on. A person with stories of tough times and sad days, but more importantly a person with unparalleled life lessons and rockstar nights.


My brother got engaged this year. My sister got engaged this year. And I moved to a city where I knew one person. I don’t compare myself to them – I look at their current situations and think, “Here’s to different life plans.”


Throughout my first year the hard times kept me grounded. They reminded of my choice. They also set me up to appreciate the good parts more than most would. Here’s to gaining more smarts, more determination and even more lessons in the year to come.


The 20:40 – What choices have defined you? If they’re not creating the life you imagined it may be time to start choosing differently. 


About the author 

 Stephanie Florence is a 20-something who can talk to a brick wall and dance to a kazoo. On every day that ends in “y” you canfind Stephanie meeting people, telling exceedingly long stories and taking the approach of a student…always.

Find her “Going with the Flo” at

on Twitter

on Facebook

on Google+

  • Congratulations, Stephanie, and thank you for sharing your story. It took me until my mid-30s to even try something remotely “daring.” That you embrace your experience with all its vicissitudes is inspiring.

  • So proud of you, Flo! You have taken on the world by storm, always finding the positive and lessons. Thanks for inspiring anyone who’s ever dreamed of choosing differently.

  • I love this story! I thought this line was especially awesome and daring:

    “My brother got engaged this year. My sister got engaged this year. And I moved to a city where I knew one person.”

    Congrats on the NYC move and being brave enough to make a change 🙂 Isn’t NYC the best? I think so, too. xo, Molly

  • Thanks so much Tammy, Kate and Molly! I really appreciate you reading and I’m glad to hear the post resonated with you. Here’s to making daring choices in 2013! -Stephanie

  • Libby

    Well done, Stephanie! So glad that coffee meeting more than a year ago worked out so well for everyone, although we may have to thank Scott Meis for that.