I lived in NYC for 10 years, a beautiful and vibrant city with so much promise, and left because the most important of these promises went unfulfilled.
New York promises those who live there great careers, the world’s best nightlife, and access to amazing and interesting people.
But while those people who come to NYC to improve their careers expect to tradeoff their hours for income, they don’t expect to live a middle-class lifestyle in the process.
Great nightlife also has its drawbacks: the cost of your personal happiness. It may sound counterintuitive, but having potential access to "amazing nightlife" only guarantees a sense of FOMO.
Lastly, that brings us to social life. New York has some of the most amazing and interesting people in the world, but since everyone in New York City feels like they have limitless options, most people who live there don’t invest in relationships.
Six months ago, I decided to move away from this dangerous psychology of constant comparison. I decided I wanted to live somewhere else where my happiness seemed more accessible and something I didn't need to fight for.
Spurred by all of NYC’s broken promises, I couldn’t ignore seeing many of my friends moving the goalposts. They were living with a semblance of happiness that was built on fragile ground. With fewer and fewer close friends and little investment into their most important relationships, I knew I couldn’t afford to be like them.
So with a background in tech and a previously terrible experience visiting San Francisco, moving to Austin was an obvious choice for where to move.
Before settling on Austin, I asked myself three questions:
- Do I think the people there are nicer?
- Do I think I’ll have a better career?
- Do I think I’ll be more likely to meet someone I want to have kids with?
The answer Austin provided to all three of these questions was an obvious yes, and so I moved halfway across the country.
Today I’ve been living in Austin for more than four months and so much has already changed. I bought a car, officially switched from marketing into product, and bought my first ever legit 6-person dining table.
I wince saying this, but I finally feel like an adult now. Unlike during any of the years I lived in NYC, decisions I make now feel like they have consequences.
Of course, my decisions have always had consequences, but the people I’m surrounded by no longer distract me from reality and offer me constant escapes.
Because the game of life doesn’t seem as much like a zero-sum game here in Austin as it dit in NYC, people here invest more in it. They seem more happy and grounded, and I’m happy to have met these people and call a number of them friends.
Build a family. Build a business. Build relationships.
Since I moved to Austin I've met an amazing woman, improved my career, and made friends with many smart and humble people.
When I'm old I don't want to look back at my life and see that I lived for hopes and dreams I would never fulfill. I want to see that my life was filled with meaningful accomplishments. To know I built things that give people a sense of peace after I die.
Don't live your life hoping for other people to like you. Life your life for how you want to see yourself.
It's been 4 months since I've moved now and I’m glad I moved to Austin.