Why I left NYC: A reflection on three perfect years

9 Feb

Hi, new New Yorkers,

Founder Sarah here. I’m not sure how many of you are aware, but I moved from New York back to Colorado in May 2010.

I have left. And it’s hard to say.

I didn’t flee because I was sick of the grind, getting too old, or so over Manhattan. Why go, then? Well, I fell in love, I got engaged, and I increasingly dreamt of impromptu Wednesday coffees with my parents and weekends at my brother’s. More and more, leaving the party early felt right. I arrived on my own terms, and I left on my own terms, and that was always the plan.

My three-and-a-half years in Manhattan were, I believe, everything anyone moving from far away to fulfill a dream would want. Knowing I’d arrive without a job or place to live — and booking a one-way ticket anyway — forever changed my opinion of what I thought I could do, who I thought I could be. The more I learned about New York City living, the more I discovered my part of it all, the more I was driven to write. And write. And write. I wrote a blog and two books (more on that soon), which led to a steady interaction with so many of you who are building your own versions of the stories I’ve told — plus your own, completely different ones. You are becoming your own NYC experts now.

This blog has been my way of holding on to the city when I didn’t want to believe I’d really left. But I’m very happy here, and now I get to watch all of you, over and over again, live out our shared dream. It rocks.

So thanks. Thank you for trusting me, caring about what I have to say. And I hope you will keep e-mailing, reading and asking, even if I’m looking over my laptop at mountains now instead of a gray brick wall on Third Avenue. (Which I actually do miss.)

The posts are staying up and staying free; that’s what I know for sure. Passing the baton sounds like a lot of fun if and when I find the right person, but I’m not actively looking.

I still plan to return to visit, take meetings, visit old haunts and old friends, and — I hope — hang out with some of you readers.

Annnnnd publish. Love y’all.

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8 Responses to “Why I left NYC: A reflection on three perfect years”

  1. Paul 02/09 at 8:41 pm #

    wow I had no idea…this blog actually helped to give my wife and i confidence to move here in October of 2010…We stumbled upon the blog after we both visited the city in April 2009 and made it our goal to be here by 2010. Thanks for all the blogging and as a still New New Yorker thanks for tips 🙂

  2. Monica Franco 02/09 at 11:50 pm #

    Thanks so much. This blog was so nice to read when I thought I was the only one lost and alone in this big city. Its only been 3 weeks since I’ve moved here and I’m starting to feel comfortable. I wish you the best with your new life and love. 🙂

  3. Joel 02/11 at 2:16 pm #

    Hope the move is treating you well! Thanks for keeping this blog up for so long. It’s been super-helpful to me and to the many people I’ve recommended it to. Let me know if you need help keeping it going!

  4. Stephanie 02/13 at 9:42 pm #

    OMG!! I just read this! Well, though I am sad you are leaving but I am very happy it is on YOUR own terms and that you are in love, engaged and happy. I wish you the very best in Denver and your future! And thank you, thank you for this blog! It has been a tremendous help for me! 🙂

    • Sarah Protzman Howlett 02/24 at 3:43 pm #

      I’m so happy to hear that, Stephanie. Thanks for your kind words. I am hoping to redesign the blog soon and begin to offer things like phone mentoring sessions, and merchandise.

  5. Jen Has A Pen 02/25 at 3:55 pm #

    Our plan has never been to stay, but because of that, I already (after a mere 3 months) feel like I’m counting down- like my time will be over loooong before I’m ready. I fall more and more in love with the city every day, yet I know my life when we have kids won’t “fit” here. And like you, I imagine I will hold on to a bit of the city forever.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Diving in. | Clarissa Explains New York - 03/01

    […] This past weekend we planned to meet-up with Sarah Protzman Howlett, author of the blog NewNewYorkers as well as two books about New York. It was nice to meet her in person after having read nearly every one of her posts for insight prior to moving here. She had the adventure she set out in search of and moved back home to Colorado with a new Irish husband and the distinguished pleasure of adding book author to her resume. Although I applaud her courage in moving to New York as a single female, without a job, or a place to live, and also for choosing the right time for her to leave but – I hope she’s wrong when she says in her blog that 3 1/2 in NYC is “everything anyone moving from far away to fulfill a dream would want.” […]

  2. Guest Post: Diving In | NewNewYorkers - 03/03

    […] This post originally appeared on the blog Clarissa Explains New York. Thanks this loyal reader for the permission to repost! This past weekend we planned to meet-up with Sarah Protzman Howlett, author of the blog NewNewYorkers as well as two books about New York. It was nice to meet her in person after having read nearly every one of her posts for insight prior to moving here. She had the adventure she set out in search of and moved back home to Colorado with a new Irish husband and the distinguished pleasure of adding book author to her resume. Although I applaud her courage in moving to New York as a single female, without a job, or a place to live, and also for choosing to leave on her own terms but – I hope she’s wrong when she says in her blog that 3 1/2 in NYC is “everything anyone moving from far away to fulfill a dream would want.” […]

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