I have to tell you a secret. I’m almost certain you already know some of what I’m going to tell you, but I need to document this. I am tired of hiding.
I started my Instagram page a few years ago, but was not active on Instagram until last year when I started posting various photos of my life. In November of 2015, I realized I wanted to take my social media presence a lot more serious. So here I am, ready once again to take a different shift with Instagram and this blog.
First of all, I didn’t start out with the name @thegirlfromnyc. I used to use my first name. It didn’t say much about me. Haha. I know. That sounds ridiculous, but it didn’t embody who I am. For months that bothered me because I want my social media handles to tell my story in a word or two.
I live in Florida now, but I spent almost all my life in New York. My heart will always be there.The first thing I can’t hide are those feelings. I am the girl, lady, woman from New York City/State. I may or may not ever live there again (at least full time), but I ache to be there. It’s hard for me to see pictures of the city and the streets and how different parts of the state look during different times of the year without missing ‘home.’ When I really thought about who I am, I realized, I will not change because of where I live. I am who I have always been. Thus, The Girl From NYC was born.
New York is known for many things. It’s the big city of dreams. It’s the concrete jungle. It’s the city that never sleeps. It’s the city of lights. It’s the home of fashion, passion, style, and dreams. It’s home for me.
I feel as if I was beginning to lose myself in trying to blend into my current environment. I really have to be true to myself. I have to be honest about my likes and dislikes. As you follow along, you will see my preferences (sometimes extremely over the top) permeate through what I share. I hate the feeling of feeling guilty about having or wearing a certain thing. I don’t like the comments people make about my accessories. I know I can’t stop them from doing so, but I’m not explaining myself about them anymore. When I am in New York, people don’t comment about the price of my accessories. No one has anything negative to say about these things. Part of it might be because they have the same things, but either way, I never feel out of place there. That’s probably part of why I like it there so much.
I changed the tag line on the blog’s home page. I plan to use my experiences of growing up in a large city and show you how I plan to keep that identity while living in a small(er) town. This may or may not make you uncomfortable, but I’m not going to hide my expensive taste anymore. If I have the money for it, I’m going to buy it. The more exclusive it is, the better I like it.
There are several reasons why I’m doing this. It will be easier to list them and then explain after.
- Several times, one male individual approached me and told me my expensive taste in handbags has no place in the town where I live. This individual has, on several occasions, proceeded to ask my how much I spent on various bags. Why does he care what I wear? Why does he care what I spent? When I moved from New York, I used to like quality handbags and that isn’t changing because I moved from there. My desire to have and wear them has nothing to do with where I am. If I can afford to buy it, I’m going to buy it. Most people don’t know what I’m carrying on my arm, and I could care less if they did because it’s not about them.
- I don’t place my handbags on the floor/ground. At all! I don’t care if I was carrying around a Target plastic bag with my belongings in it. Floors, especially bathroom floors, are disgusting. Why would I want my bag on the floor? Then when I go home, how would I place the bag on my counter, sofa, or bed? Most people assume it’s because I worship my bags. I don’t. I care about cleanliness. We own a cleaning business, and if I told you the things I saw in some of these places, you would be reluctant to place your bag on floors too. If I worshipped my bags, I wouldn’t let people borrow them, and I have done that on numerous occasions.
- Once I was with another couple and I dropped my wallet on the ground by accident. The husband made it a point to tell me that maybe the Lord was trying to speak to me. First of all, what would the Lord be trying to say? Second, why did this husband feel the need to say that to me when his wife wants the same kind of accessories and bags that I have? I certainly don’t flaunt what I have. I just wear them. Certain things just aren’t necessary to say to people. That was in such bad taste. A spark of guilt started to take root in me until I told my husband what the person had said. He was appalled and reassured me that I shouldn’t feel guilty and I should never explain anything to anyone about anything I have or want.
- One time someone saw a pair of shoes I was wearing. They told me they would recommend Dave Ramsey for my hubby lol. Why? Because I like to shop for shoes? Ridiculous haha. Not that I need to explain myself, but most of my shoes are always on sale. Again, if a pair was $850 but I bought it on sale, and I reallllllly wanted them, and I can afford them, and my husband is okay with the whole thing, why does that bother anyone else?
- A few weeks ago, we celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary, and my gift was a little over the top. It wasn’t over the top for me lol because the word ‘expensive’ isn’t really in my vocabulary. I struggled with the gift for a while. I kept the thing in the box for over a week while I contemplated with bringing it back to the store. When I took it out and put it on for the first time, I decided to keep it and was glad I did. The thing that helped me truly find release in this decision was, believe it or not, a bible study at church about navigating your finances God’s way. Of all the times to get a revelation about being okay with spending money, I’m sure it shouldn’t be in the middle of a lesson about making and sticking to budgets haha. What clicked for me was when our Assistant Pastor said not to have feelings of guilt for those blessings in your life. That sealed the deal for me. Many people don’t know, but some of the most expensive things I own were gifts…and many of them weren’t from Milton…but they were gifts nonetheless. In addition, even gifts he gave me, are still gifts! They are blessings! Why should I feel guilty about that? You’re right! I shouldn’t hahaha. I don’t!
- Once someone told me they wish they could spend money on things the way I did, but they tithe and offer and give to other causes. In a way, it was almost implying that my hubby and I didn’t do those things. Um…we do. We may or may not just have more left over after those things are done. I’m not trying to be mean, but again, if we can afford to do something, why is that anyone’s concern? Won’t we have to deal with the Lord in these matters? I can’t predict the future, so if something happens and I can’t live like this anymore, then so be it. I like what I like. I can afford what I like. When I no longer can, then I will deal with that.
- I’ve heard many times from people that their husband was afraid that I would convince them to spend more money on things. I think that is so preposterous because I am the one who had a website that matched coupons to the grocery store ads. I used to teach people how to save hundreds of dollars each month on their grocery and drug store purchases. People weren’t interested in doing the work to save money, and that’s another reason I’m going to shop how I want to shop and write what I want. You cannot please people. I try to show them how to save, and they don’t like that. I try to show them how to shop, and that’s an issue too. So, I’ll focus on me and my life and my likes haha. I wouldn’t say I just blow money on any and everything. I think being a savvy shopper is key.
- Everyone has their ‘thing’ they like to do. Some people eat out several times a week. Other people have a vacation home. Some folks have really expensive cars. Others have the best electronics, gadgets, etc. For instance, my family rarely goes out to eat. With Milton being a chef extraordinaire, and me loving to bake, and us knowing how to save a lot of money on groceries, it just makes sense to eat at home for the most part. When we do eat out, it’s for social reasons, date night-ish times, experiences in different cities/states/countries. Also, again, we clean restaurants for a living……………………….. Eating out isn’t our ‘thing.’ We would rather cook a meal and invite friends and family to come enjoy it with us.
I’m sure I have more to say, and I will over time, but I think this is a good foundation for where I’m headed. I want to remind myself and encourage you, if you are in the same situation, to be who you are. God made you the way you are. Our life experiences have molded us and helped us curate our likes and dislikes. My husband knew who he was marrying before I walked down the aisle to him. My love for quality (read expensive taste) is not a new development. I went through a phase in college when I shopped for eclectic pieces at the Salvation Army. I don’t do that anymore, but I don’t condemn anyone who does and that’s not below me. I have ventured into the Goodwill with friends, but I don’t go there on my own. Besides that time, I used to be, and now again, am a department and boutique store shopper. Yes, I love deals, and I’m one to shop sales and use coupons at the department store, but if I want something and it’s not on sale, I buy it. I prefer to wait for the sale, but I’m not against buying what I want. If that makes me a bad person, then I’m a bad person lol.
The direction I have for this blog is the same it’s been, but I’m removing the pretenses. I don’t want to be anyone else. I’m not going to dress like other people. I’m not going to buy certain types of things just so people are comfortable following this blog. It’s a personal style blog. MY personal style. MY personal style will show through in what I wear, where I go, and how I plan, prepare, and execute functions at my home. My home decor is another area where expenses aren’t spared. We save so much money by Milton building things for the house and doing all the work himself. Again, if I can find things for my home on sale, I prefer that. I sometimes shop after the season in preparation for the next year, but if I want something for my home and it’s not on sale, I’m buying it. Bottom line. We have to live here. Why wouldn’t we want to be comfortable? I have a very specific decorating theme for my home, and to keep with that theme, I buy the items for it. When we have our friends and family over for dinners, we serve them on the best we have. Nothing is held back from anyone. I don’t buy cloth napkins just to use paper napkins at our dinners. If something gets broken or destroyed…oh well. Life is too short to not enjoy it. My fine china and fancy napkins are coming out for the tea party this weekend, and I cannot wait to treat my friends.
Maybe I have delusions of grandeur. Maybe not. Either way, I’m warning you now. I am going to show who I am and what I like. If that makes you uncomfortable, please feel free to stop reading these blog posts and stop following my social media pages if you are currently doing so, but I’m going to miss you when you’re gone. I mean that with the most respect possible. I just can’t portray myself how others want. I have to write about my passion. Everything I publish from now on will have my stamp of uniqueness and taste attached to it. I don’t want to lose myself. I am The Girl From NYC, and it’s very nice to meet you!
Oh, and if you want to find out what I kept hidden for over a week, go HERE to read all about it.