A New York City not-so Fairy Tale.

Once upon a time there was a girl. She was smart, she was well liked, and she was hard working. She lived in a small village just outside of a magical kingdom known as Los Angeles. But she dreamed of a far away land where there were pizza places on every corner that stayed open all night. A place she would never have to drive again.

She became so bored and unhappy with the routine of her life and wanted a change. She even dared to believe that she was meant for something great. Something a little better than ordinary. One day she flew far away, and found herself in the land of New York City.

The girl loved New York and fantasized about the endless possibilities it brought. She saw the rooftop bars and elegant parties at penthouse apartments she would attend. Envisioned herself shopping on 5th Avenue, having drinks at the Waldorf Astoria hotel and owning her own writing studio in Greenpoint.

She saw a life that seemed as possible as it seemed impossible. She watched shows like Sex and the City and Gossip Girl, and would think to herself, that could be me. It was as real as a dream could be. She could taste the $25 cocktails and feel the thousand dollar fabrics as if she had been born into that life.

So she got a room in a tiny apartment in Astoria, a little village just outside her new kingdom and found a job in a bar. Her nights would be spent getting locals drunk and dodging bad tippers who were visiting from other kingdoms. She even managed to find a boyfriend and few close friends.

She loved her new life, although she had never actually been to the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.  Never had she even seen the inside of a penthouse apartment. She began to look around and wonder what had happened to the glamorous world she had imagined for herself.

New York was intimidating and had an easy way of making her feel inferior. She thought about going on interviews for new jobs and then told herself not to. There were hundreds of people applying more qualified and skinnier than she was. She thought about looking for a new apartment. But that would only depress her and make her realize that she would probably always have to live with a roommate. She really couldn’t afford to live anywhere else anyway. Plus nobody actually likes to move.

She began feeling envious of the groups of twenty-somethings that she would see walking through her new village. With their Starbucks in hand their Forever 21 business casual wardrobes. She began to stop and wonder what she was doing bartending. Why wasn’t she in line with them to climb the corporate ladder?

She used to feel sorry for those packs of young professionals. It was certain their life revolved around a lonely, empty cubicle. While hers was filled engaging with interesting people. Her life was also absent of the routine she was trying so hard to avoid. But the interesting people were also sometimes rude. Instead she was slipping into a new routine. This one revolved around pouring “rounds of ice waters for the table” and 4am cab rides.

Now she thought she should maybe be trying to be more like those other twenty-somethings.

After two years she began resenting the person she was. She found that her life was just as mundane and ordinary as it was in her old kingdom. So much time had passed and she was no closer to the exciting life she pictured for herself.

In two years, she had barely written enough to fill a pamphlet. She had been reckless with her time and money, foolishly thinking she had more of it than she did. The lifestyle she was caught up in was meant for somebody much younger.

She tried to give herself pep talks but would crash before she ever had a chance to follow through. She saw job postings and turned herself down for the position before applying. The apartments she saw, she told herself she would never afford.

Her new kingdom had become a concrete jungle created as a place for her to face plant. She tried to steer herself in the right direction. But she saw roadblocks and barriers and hurdles to jump over before she ever even turned on the ignition. She knew something had to change.

So she began searching for the motivation to do something and stopped turning herself into a victim. The girl still had control over where she was going. She decided to stop making excuses and signed up for writing classes. She started organizing her days to break out of her routine. Keeping track of the things she could change, she began to make her new kingdom as magical as she had imagined it.

Setting up small, manageable tasks to do each day, she was able to complete them. It was no long okay for her to create a reality based on the things she thought she couldn’t have. She stopped hearing no’s to the questions she was too afraid to ask. She stopped getting in her own way. If she wanted to live happily ever after, she decided she had to do it herself.

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