1. Moving to “the city” was your life-long dream. All you ever wanted was to get out of that small, suffocating town with the same old people and remove yourself from the cycle of suburban existence. You very strongly identified with the Taylor Swift lyrics: someday I’ll be living in a big old city and…
2. You still hold your hometown close to your heart though. You still sometimes use weird phrases that you always heard growing up or talk about what it was like when you were a kid, as though you are nostalgic for the place that you did everything in your power to get away from (which is weird but hey, the grass is always greener, right?)
3. Since moving, the speed at which you walk has increased by about 6 MPH.
4. It took a little while to master jaywalking, but you can now do so effectively without getting yourself killed, and you realize that prior to being able to do so, you’re not entirely sure how you got anywhere on time.
5. Decoding maps of buses and train and subway systems is still a struggle sometimes, but it’s nothing like it was at first. You know all too well what it means to go uptown and transfer to go back downtown then get off the train to ask for help where you more or less feel like:
6. You weren’t sure what to look for in an apartment at first, because all that seemed to matter initially was that you could chassé down the steps of your brownstone à la Carrie Bradshaw but you soon came to terms with reality, which is that a decent quality, well-priced apartment in a reasonable location is as close to perfect as it comes.
7. In fact, you quickly came to realize that you were deluded into thinking that city living was always glamorous, but you fell in love with it anyway, and learned that half the fun of it is complaining about it. Though you didn’t completely let go of your small-town ideas of what city life was like, and you probably still call yourself a Carrie, Miranda, Samantha or Charlotte.
8. You were confused as to why nobody spoke to one another on the train or said good morning as they walked past each other. You also quickly realized that doing so anyway was not seen as a kind act of neighborly love but rather a gesture that publicly confirms your small town roots.
9. You’re known among your small town friends as the really cool chick that took a chance and went to the big city to pursue her dreams. Sometimes you fantasize about what your life would be like if you hadn’t left, and doing so makes you so, so grateful that you did.
10. You were positive you would find love in the city and were a little shocked that it didn’t happen right away.
11. … But enough sample sales and restaurants with drinks you’ve never heard of made up for that quickly. And plus, half the fun of a very populated area is seeing all there is to offer (is what you tell yourself again and again as you sip another martini waiting to see a potential spouse walk into the bar).
12. You’ve Instagrammed photos of big buildings or the skyline because no matter how long you stay, you’re still a little bit of a tourist at heart, but you’d never admit that. You just think of it as being someone who is in love with the place they live.
13. You are still horrified by the price of even the most simple things, like how coffee will run you about $6 or higher and the fact that the things on McDonald’s dollar menu aren’t actually a dollar.
14. You go back and forth from being entertained, horrified or oddly inspired by the different people and their penchant for unique, personal style. You came from a place where everybody basically looked the same, and if you deviated from that, you were subject to a lot of ridicule. But no longer.
15. The proudest moment of your life was when you gave someone else directions because a) someone finally recognized you as a native and b) you actually knew what you were doing.
16. Sometimes your favorite part of the day is still just walking somewhere with your headphones on, in your fabulous new big city clothing because you know that half the fun of it is just being there, even if all you are doing is just being.
17. You probably have a blog about your “big city adventures.”
18. You’ve started to notice that you wear/own significantly more black clothing than before, and that your shoe collection is getting out of hand.
19. You have your favorite bar, brunch restaurant, date restaurant, place to walk, place to hangout, place to avoid and subway line to take, and it’s when you start settling into these favorites and routines that you realize you’re phasing out of the “I’m new and want to try everything!!!” part of your life.
20. You have great “things and people you saw on the subway” stories for your friends, of which you find hysterical and they find shocking. You will find, if you haven’t already, that the entertainment value of these stories wanes as time goes on (trust me).
21. You’ve definitely started getting into yoga or organic foods.
22. You have subscribed to the belief that the most “touristy” parts of town are the exact areas you’d rather donate a kidney than have to spend time in. For example, if you are a New Yorker, Times Square is your own version of the eighth circle of hell.
23. No matter how fabulous and city-saavy you become, you still have your moments (that you hope no one sees) like tripping on the sidewalk, getting lost on the subway or not knowing about something everybody is talking about, as in, the street name you now realize you had no idea how to pronounce and the neighborhood subculture that you were oblivious to.
24. You have stories about the celebrities you saw, or at least, you tell stories about the celebrities you think you saw/it was at least someone who looks just like them and you live in a city so your small town friends will believe it. And think you’re really cool. You’ve got the art of subtle name dropping down to a T.
25. There is nothing that makes you feel cooler than just casually walking out in the street and hailing a cab like you’ve done it all your life. Because if there’s one thing that doesn’t change about a small town girl, it’s that the little things are the best things, especially when they’re little price tags at a Marc Jacobs sample sale.