Single Strides

Single Strides Into The City: I’m Moving To New York

February 15, 2016
Single Strides Into The City: I'm Moving To New York
Three years, two apartments, one heartbreak, 200 happy hours, eight boats, 15 dates, one blog, 100 really late nights, 278 times being cut off, one tattoo, maybe five times total at the beach, one job, three lost tans, 50 empanadas, that one time at e11even, a handful of new friends, 56 times being mistaken for Hispanic, 900 mind-blowing sunsets, and one goodbye that will be my hardest one yet…

Back in 2012 I was a senior in college dreaming about taking my big dreams to the big city. I saw myself at a fancy Manhattan ad agency. I envisioned myself living off of little sleep but many dreams. I pictured a tiny apartment but a city full of opportunity. I imagined a non-existent budget but priceless memories.

Then something crazy happened – I fell in love. I fell hard enough that I packed up my dreams for NYC in a little part of my heart and made a choice. Even though I lied to all my family and friends that it was really for my career… I had ultimately moved for a boy (much like this Thrillist article).

I then found myself in Miami – a city I never, ever saw myself in. It seemed like a good thing because I was crazy in love… until I wasn’t. Of course you all know this story; it’s the reason my blog exists (but not the reason why it has continued). It was the muse, and really, it was just the beginning.

So here I was in a foreign city (country). At first, I hated it. I really, really hated it. The people were mean. I couldn’t speak Spanish. I was scared to drive. Making friends was hard as hell (and don’t even get me started on dating). Then slowly I started to fall in love with the city, but no matter how much I loved it there was always something missing.

In truth, the life I built off of heartbreak’s wake was something to be proud of, but then why wasn’t I obsessed with it? I started to think, how much of a good thing is something that ceases to inspire you? What happens when you start to become uncomfortable with being comfortable?

What if what I was meant to do here was already complete? Was I just stalling or wasting time?

Fast forward three years: I’m sitting at lunch with a friend talking about my 5-year plan (you know, the one that changes every week). However, I found a common theme: I was always talking about leaving Miami.

So then I actually did something about it, and low and behold the universe did everything in its power to work with me (for once). I made the decision casually over lunch on December 22nd and got the official relocation approval by February 2nd. It went by so quickly that it feels like it has to be meant to be.

I guess now that this three-year detour is nearing its end I have to ask myself: did I make a mistake back then (you know, choosing love)? And why would I ever leave a good thing now? I think after all this time I’ve finally found the answer to both of those questions with the same answer:

No matter what, you have to follow your heart.

In the end I can look back and say I am someone who truly believes in love and would do anything for it. I can say I’m someone who doesn’t settle for something just because it’s easy. I can say that I’m not afraid to leave something that looks perfect in the eyes of social media for something that’s better in real life.

Sometimes you have to leave a good thing because (maybe, just maybe) there might be something more for you – more ways to love, more ways to grow, and more ways to live. Because you should never let a day go by without being inspired.

And even if there isn’t more and even if it turns out to be the greatest failure of your life… you’ll never know unless you try. So here I am, leaving a good thing (and following my heart) for the small chance that there’s more for me somewhere in the high-rises of NYC.

Maybe this whole thing is dumb. Maybe it’s naïve, but so was moving to a city strictly because I loved a boy and look where that got me? I’d never give up the stories and adventures I’ve had because of it. I am proud that I am someone who follows their heart no matter what the risk is.

In the end, I have no idea what’s out there for me, but I’m enjoying being terrified to jump heart-first into the unknown to find it. Truthfully, it’s kind of exciting, you know, taking a chance on yourself for once. It’s exciting to finally make your dreams come true.

Once upon a time I moved to Miami because I loved someone enough to do it. Now I’m moving to New York City because I love myself enough to give it a shot. I’ll see you in the city, baby.



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  • Reply Tasha February 15, 2016 at 11:33 am

    I know some bloggers love awards and some bloggers simply don’t accept awards. Just wanted you to know I love reading what you write and you have been nominated for The Versatile Blogger Award

    • Reply Sonya Matejko February 15, 2016 at 12:03 pm

      Eek! Thank you so much for this 🙂 really made me smile today.

  • Reply Frugal Flirty N Fab February 15, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    Such a great Motivating post! Best of luck in New York City and you’re right, Always follow your heart!

    • Reply Sonya Matejko February 15, 2016 at 12:20 pm

      Thank you, I truly appreciate that! I hope you’re always able to follow yours too, xoxo.

  • Reply Brooke Lisow February 15, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    Best of luck! I’m sort of envious as well, I think my heart belongs there as well but few questions: do you already have a job lined up? That’s my biggest concern and the financially end of it as well. The city is expensive. You should have a blogger good-bye party before you leave. 🙂
    Keep in touch and can’t wait to read about your adventure in the city.
    xoxo – Brooke Lisow of

    • Reply Sonya Matejko February 15, 2016 at 5:42 pm

      Thank you Brooke! I’m actually just relocating (same job, same boss, same position, etc). Very lucky in that regard 🙂 as for financially, I’m looking for subleases first so I’m not tied to some crazy over-priced apartment and/or broker fees. If you ever decide to make the leap please of course reach out to me (hopefully I would’ve successfully done it by then, haha)

  • Reply Paola from Coral Gables Love February 16, 2016 at 10:13 am

    Best of luck Sonya! We’re going to miss you & I’ll make sure to look you up when I’m in NYC 🙂 Hugs!

    • Reply Sonya Matejko February 16, 2016 at 10:37 am

      Thank you so much Paola! I’m looking forward to getting my final fix at upcoming events up until May 🙂

  • Reply Jasmine Eclipse February 16, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    This is my most favorite blog post that I’ve ever read — and now I have a new favorite blog/blogger to follow as well! I am actually in the same situation you were in. I am from Hawaii, and I moved to Washington DC for a job. My boyfriend lives in Toronto, and I am strongly considering moving there to be with him. Of course, every single thought that you listed here in this article came up — what if it doesn’t work out as I have it planned in my head? But what if it does? I’m just like you, and I always, always follow my heart. Life is so short, I can’t spend it thinking “what if”. Thank you so much for writing this, and sharing your story. This was really inspiring, and I needed to read this tonight.

    • Reply Sonya Matejko February 16, 2016 at 10:02 pm

      Hey Jasmine! Thank you so much for that. It means a lot to hear someone call this their favorite blog post!! And especially someone who’s in a similar situation to where I once was. My suggestion is exactly what the article says: follow your heart. The crazy thing is that by following your heart it’ll lead you to exactly where you’re meant to be – you just might not know what that place is and it could be the opposite of what you thought it would be. For instance, if I moved to NYC then I probably would’ve gotten a job beneath me and been insanely broke. By following my heart I got to be in love, I got to become stronger after heartbreak, and I landed an amazing job that’s helping me back my dreams come true in NYC. In this case, my heart really knew the best thing for me 🙂 I hope you have the courage to follow yours!! xoxox

  • Reply Vance M February 22, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    I think it’s funny how we sometimes see ourselves, as scared little versions of ourselves; a 6 year old if you will. Compare that to how others see us. Imagine a 50 foot woman, taking control of her own destiny; confident, bold, not afraid of risk and to be vulnerable. What does any of this have to do with your move? I remember seeing you ask for tips about New York! My tip is to be yourself, be bold, brave, confident, but don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. I haven’t lived there for many years now. But I think New York will suite you well. It’s big, it’s busy, but there’s something about it that you can’t help but love. Oh and most importantly, after following your blog for some time now, I think you have all the tools you need to survive. Take it one day at a time, and let this next chapter unfold. Love will find you in the Big Apple, that love can take on any form; not just a person.

    • Reply Sonya Matejko February 22, 2016 at 4:51 pm

      Hey Vance! I can always count on your for the most insightful comments on my posts. Truly, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate them. I completely agree with you too about seeing ourselves differently from how others see us. It’s funny how that happens, but I think we should all search for the moment when we can really see our own souls clearly. Anyways, I’m truly excited for this move and I hope you’re right about me having the tools to survive. Thank you so much for your kind words, and I am sure that that’s the place I’ll find love (one way or another).

  • Reply MM February 23, 2016 at 2:04 am

    I have the exact same experience! I grew up in Asia and went to college in America. I moved back to Asia after graduation with my boyfriend at the time and we broke up not long afterwards. I hated everything about this new city and asked myself everyday why I moved getting myself stuck in somewhere for probably the rest of my life. Everything was literally miserable for six months. I simply missed America and couldn’t help but think about how life would turn out to be if I had stayed. As time went on, things started getting better and life has been treating me so well with amazing friendships, abundant career and personal opportunities and life-changing travel experiences. But I never stopped talking about leaving, and yet I never really did anything about it, for three years. Till last year, maybe it was because quarter century life crisis hitting, I decided I needed to do something about my life. I applied to grad school and am moving back in a few months’ time. While I am super excited to be back in America, it is bittersweet to leave where I have been calling home for the past four years. I’ve grown and changed so much as a person during these four years and such a detour was definitely worth it. Totally resonate with you, and thanks for sharing. Good luck with everything in NYC!

    • Reply Sonya Matejko February 23, 2016 at 9:57 am

      Isn’t that crazy? How similar some people’s stories are? The article I mention in my own is one I read right before posting mine and I couldn’t believe someone else felt (literally) the exact same way as me. We’re all connected by our ability to follow our hearts it seems 🙂 and many congratulations to you for getting into grad school in the states!! I hope you make the most of your time in your current home (as I am doing here), and I wish you the absolute best post detour in your new home!! xoxo

  • Reply jok February 23, 2016 at 10:59 am

    I followed my heart and moved in with a guy whom I thought was crazy in love with me. There wasn’t a fairy tale happy ending but like you the experience has helped shaped who I am today and I’m so greatful because of it. By the way the guy I moved in with was a complete jerk and it made me realize and appreciate what I had back at home.

    • Reply Sonya Matejko February 23, 2016 at 11:05 am

      So crazy how that works! It really does shape who you are though. I’m completely different from the girl I was before taking that chance, and regardless of how I got here I’m grateful that I did. I hope you continue to follow your heart and see where it leads you! And I hope to see you around these parts again 🙂

  • Reply Valerie February 23, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    I stumbled upon your blog thanks to Huffington posting this particular entry. I relate to this post so much, because just like you, I moved to NY not only for my career but mainly to be with the boy I loved. 2 years later we are no longer together and I am trying very hard to move on from this heartache(it happened pretty recently). This post made me remind myself that it wasn’t only him who I moved here for, but for myself. And for a while I hated being here and missing home so much, but if I never moved here I wouldn’t have been able to pursue my dreams. Here I am now, doing what I love and enjoying every minute of it… I just hope along the way I will have someone that loves me to share the journey with one day. Thank you for this post.

    • Reply Sonya Matejko February 23, 2016 at 9:52 pm

      Hi Valerie! I’m so glad my HuffPost version of the article led you here. Your story is so similar to my own. It’s amazing that you’ve already been able to look back and realize that it was much more than just moving for someone. Ultimately, you moved for yourself but you didn’t know how that would come to fruition at the time. I hope you always choose to follow your heart and to pursue your dreams. I have no doubt that you’ll find someone to share the journey with (even if it’s on another wrong turn). Hope to see you back here, and wish you all the luck in the world.

  • Reply Jasper Whiteside December 7, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    I relate a lot to what the article says about being uncomfortable with being comfortable. Growth and development doesn’t happen when you are holding still. You need to keep moving forward and exploring and pushing yourself to try new things. If this scares you, try a new restaurant or type of food. Make a small change to give you the courage to make a bigger change.

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