Making Philly Feel Like Home

It has been about one month since moving to Philly and each day that goes by reminds me that this was a good decision. I am not going to say that each day has been perfect because there have been a few bumps in the road since I got the keys to my new apartment. In a very short amount of time, I moved into an apartment and started a new job in a new city. I have had a few people call me brave for making this move essentially on my own – no roommate, don’t know that many people in Philly, a new job where I don’t know anyone. It makes me a bit uncomfortable when people comment on this life change because I don’t see myself as brave, I just wanted something so I did it. One friend described it as my Carrie Bradshaw moment, which I guess in some ways it is- I definitely have the shoe collection!

This decision to move to Philly was years in the making and as terrifying when I did it because I was at a low point in my life and simply needed change. For months, I felt stuck and bored in my routine. I described this feeling to my parents as feeling too safe where I was that it began to feel uncomfortable. You know that feeling when you are on a roller coaster or right before you jump from a tall height and your heart flutters? That was the feeling missing from my life. So I said goodbye to the life I was used to and decided to jump, jump into a new adventure in a new city. I have learned a lot since moving like how to get around, creating a new routine, and most importantly learn more about myself. I was writing in my journal the other night about what I have learned and thought I would share it on the blog.

It’s Not Just Decorating, It’s Creating A Home

I wish I was kidding when I say that I was completely moved into my apartment with decor on the walls and throw pillows perfectly placed on my couch within 48 hours of moving in. A lot of this has to do with my mom because as soon as the movers brought in my couch, my mom started to get out the decorative pillows. When the movers set up my bed, my mom and I immediately started to make my bed because it really made the room feel so much more like a home even though I was surrounded by boxes. My move to Philly took a few years of planning, so in the meantime, I had invested in nice pieces for my “future apartment” for years. Going against my dad’s advice of buying something inexpensive now and then buy a nicer one in the future, I saved up and purchased what I wanted the first time. I did not want my apartment to look like a college dorm room, so I invested in higher end pieces that really put the room together. Moving to a new city where there is so much unknown to me, I needed to create a relaxing place that brought me happiness and be comfortable. I cannot tell you how many times I come home and open the door with a smile because this apartment is mine – most importantly it looks like my apartment. I have had visitors and they can only describe it as a very “Rosie Apartment” and that is exactly what it is. It is a space that has my personality and very welcoming like I wanted it to be.

I Have No Friends

Okay, so a bit dramatic, but moving to Philly I didn’t have a group of people to lean on or do things with. The old Rosie would have been completely traumatized by this fact, but instead, I am forcing myself to not be shy. As someone who is very shy, this has been a bit difficult but I know I won’t make friends unless I try. I plan on having an entire blog post dedicated to this topic because it is something us Twenty Somethings just don’t talk about. How do you make friends?? Right now I am saying yes to everything I am invited to and sending that first text message to grab coffee with an old friend from college. I am also unofficially calling this year my year of first dates because while I am not looking for anything right now and I am simply terrible at dating, I know that I won’t get comfortable with dating unless I try. I have had a few Saturday dates with guys to grab a coffee. Nothing worth pursuing yet, but this is the year I try everything right? Also, it’s a great excuse to leave the apartment on a weekend.

Be A Tourist

Remember when I said my apartment is already decorated and I have no friends? Yeah, well there is not much to do on the weekends alone in my apartment. There was a week after I moved in before I started my job and there was horrible chilly and rainy weather making it impossible to leave the apartment. After a few days of laying on the couch watching movies snuggled up in a blanket, unsure of the last time I washed my hair – I promised myself that I wouldn’t do this again. Who says you need someone to explore or go for a walk. I am picking a new part to explore each weekend to just walk around and learn about my new city. Philly is a big city and there is a lot of it that I am unfamiliar with, but one day on my way to the food store in my neighborhood, I went out of the way to walk up and down nearby streets. I am making lists of nearby coffee shops, restaurants, nail salons, parks, etc so before I know it, I can pretend to be a local.

Call Your Mom

My mom and I are back into the routine that we had when I was in college where I would call her on my walk home. It’s a time where she expects my call, but it is also a way to keep the conversation short. Enough time to check in with the family before mom starts to worry about what I’m eating, am I happy, do they need to come to visit types of conversations. I love my mom and we are able to develop our relationship from kid and parent to friends in life. I let her worry (she asked me to send a picture of my dinner the other night to prove to her I am actually eating real food) and it is nice to call someone to share some life updates and know they will be excited about your day.

Create a Routine

One of my biggest challenges while living on my own in a new city is finding the answer to the question, “now what?” I will get home from work and I can do anything I want, but sometimes this freedom is a little daunting because I don’t have that structure. On the weekends, I wake up early and if I don’t have something planned, my day has me in a slump because I have nothing to do. So now reach out to friends on Thursday and solidify plans for the weekend and I have created a routine for when I get home from work. Without a routine, I feel a little lost, so I try hard to prevent myself from sitting on the couch with nothing to do. I’ll force myself to go to the store to get something and then keep walking just to get out of the apartment.

Working Out

Working out gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy….and happy people don’t shoot their husbands and most importantly it keeps you mentally and emotionally happy. I get home from work around 8pm and immediately go to the gym. My goal is to spend two hours at the gym a day and so far I have been able to keep to this schedule. I feel my body getting stronger, I am in a better mood when I am done and when I get out of the shower and my head hits the pillow, I swear I sleep better! I was one of those people who made fun of those crazy gym people, but now that I am one of them, I totally get it. If I am ever bored or find myself getting lonely, I throw on some sneakers and head to the gym. The other night I was exhausted after work and had a few text conversations going on, so I hopped on a bike and did 5 miles. I didn’t do my normal workout routine but just knowing that I biked made me feel a bit more fulfilled.

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