My First Month in New York…


Hello there, remember me? I’m that girl who told you I was moving to New York and then was never heard of again…

In actuality I did move to New York. About a month ago, and while I decided to take a break from writing about it for the first few weeks, I’m back. And I have a lot to say. Well, not that much to say. But quite a lot more to say than I would have about a month where all I did was watch The Good Wife and bake burger shaped cupcakes.

I have a bad habit of getting overly hopeful about the future. The running dialogue in my head normally goes ‘Well yes, things are bad now, but in a month/week/year/century they’re going to be amazing and everything’s going to be perfect and rainbows and unicorns’. And I was definitely thinking that way a before I came to New York. I was trying to prepare myself but I could only really imagine two situations. One where I was the happiest, most sane, put together, popular person who had ever stepped foot in Washington Square Park, and one where I was a compete wreck, cried every day and came home after a week. I just couldn’t imagine a middle ground. I didn’t know what that would look like.

The entire last month has been about finding some way to realize (spelt with a Z because I’m officially an American now) that my life is never going to be as perfect as I dreamt it would be. But it also doesn’t have to be as bad as it used to be. I’m not the perfectly groomed, perfectly stable person of my dreams but I’m also not the 17 year old girl hiding under the covers too afraid to leave her bedroom. I’m somewhere in the middle, like Texas, or a medium rare steak, and it’s been a big job trying to re-wire my brain into not panicking every time something goes wrong. There have definitely been bad bits, but there have also been bits that have been better than I could ever have imagined, and times when I’ve been happier than I ever could have been before. And finding a way to accept that I can feel both happy and sad together has been a complicated thing to do.

Now that I’m settled I’m going to start blogging more, mostly because it turns out you have a lot of free time at university and there’s only so much Gossip Girl a girl can watch (okay, that’s a lie, I can watch an infinite amount of Gossip Girl) but also because I love this blog, and everyone who reads it.

So I will be back, with more details about the good things, and the bad things, and the things in between. But for now I will leave you with two things to ponder on: bed bugs, and bunk beds. Yes, that’s right, you’re eyes do not deceive you, bed bugs (the explanation behind the picture of my leg above)… and BUNK BEDS….

I hope you’re having a lovely day.



26 thoughts on “My First Month in New York…

  1. OMG, LOVED your blog!!

    At first I just was reading the email, wondering who this was but realizing more and more that this person is a BRILLIANT writer! THEN I saw who it was from (you). Thanks SO much for this awesome update.

  2. *chuckle* If you spell it “realize,” then you’ll also need to spell it “spelled”… to Americans, “spelt” is a grain…

    In all seriousness, it’s terrific to hear from you. New York City can be a bit overwhelming, so the fact that you’re not quivering under a blanket in the back of the closet means you’re doing all right. 🙂

  3. Oh Scarlett! You are a real New Yorker. According to my pal who lived in the village, bed bugs are a hallmark of NYC living. Oy vay! So happy to hear discoveries have also been on the awesome end of the scale. I think you are terrifically brave to move across the Atlantic and I so appreciate your lovely, honest blogs about life as you experience it. You are ace. Thank you and try dousing the legs of your bed, and your pillows with lavender essential oil. Evidently the bugs aren’t fans and will seek out less aromatic victims (a tip from the New Yorker friend). Much love and joy to you intrepid one!


  4. Scarly – you sound happy to me!! Lovely to hear but sorry about the bedbugs but they’re normal apparently so happen to everyone so you’re in with the crowd as well!! Have a happy time and I look forward to the next blog very much! Love, Jane

  5. Congratulations on making it through your first month 🙂
    Exciting times – finding the balance between the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ can be tricky,
    I imagine being on a seesaw – it helps me and makes me smile.
    Hope your day has many moments of loveliness

  6. Great to hear from you Scarlet. The bedbugs sound horrid but I am so pleased that you are settling in to NYC & feeling strong. I think of you often wondering how things are. It was a brave move & I hope you are very proud of yourself. Look forward to hearing more.

  7. Great to hear you are settling into life in New York. I think you are amazing. 17 and moving to New York is such a big deal. Sorry to hear about the bedbugs but life does have that beautiful way of grounding us. You’re right, finding a balance between the good, the bad and the downright ugly can be hard. I always remember something I was told when I was struggling. “If you never had anything bad happen to you, how can you tell when something good happens. You need the rain to appreciate the sun”
    Can’t wait to hear more about Scarly’s Adventures in the Big Apple.

  8. So glad to hear that you are getting settled in New York, I lived in Dallas 20 years ago this year and it was one of the most memorable and important experiences of my life. Look forward to hearing more from your wonderful blog.

  9. Magic, Scarlett. Remember Abraham Lincoln’s sound advice: “You are as happy as you chose to be’. Victoria x

  10. So glad to hear you are settling in your new home city, been thinking of you.. Remember: “nothing bad can ever happen at Tiffany’s” if you’re feeling like you have the mean reds…go to Tiffany’s. Much love xxx

  11. Bravery is rewarded. Leaving London for NYC at 17 is huge! I’m a television producer with a teenage daughter in high school, dog and brownstone with a garden and tiniest kitchen ever. If you ever feel like you need a break from the dorms and want to bake, have a home cooked meal, come out to Brooklyn Heights for a visit.

  12. Lovely post, Scarlett. I don’t know if you care or it matters but if you subscribe to this blog, you get the entirety of new posts on the email. That would impact on the number of people visiting the actual blog page. I’m sure it’s a setting you can change if you want to. Stay safe!

  13. You’re having some good and some brilliant days. This in itself is brilliant and means that the average colour of each week, if not bright pink, is certainly not black. Maybe a lovely shade of maroon, like a damson or some lovely jam.

    I’m not sure to say about the bed bugs, except that you could perhaps give them names eg. Dave and Steve and Andrew. Also, tea tree oil or something called neem oil. Did a project on it in my old job. It smells OK to us but for bed bugs is like a skunk or similar and they leg it.


  14. Agh, bed bugs! I got those at college too. Horrible, isn’t it? I thought bed bugs were confined to old novels, like ague and consumption and apoplexy, but no.

  15. Can’t imagine how to cope with bed bugs AND bunk beds….! So proud of you for making it through the first month – probably the hardest bit. Onwards and upwards. Can’t wait to read more of your news. Love xx

  16. Boy I see so much of myself in you… The way you write, your way of seeing black or white but not think of grey… I’m sure you’ll do great in the city of your dreams (mine’s London but being married with a kid not easy to move there!) and wishing you the best with your writing (you have the Curtis wit and charm in your words, am a big fan of your dad 🙂 )

  17. Have your parents call the university and get something done about the bed bugs!! Don’t let them be politely British either, get American mad!! Bed bugs are not just part of living in NYC and you could take them home with you when you visit. It could turn into a bad problem. This can be fixed but your parents need to act now!

    Congrats on everything!

  18. Glaaaaarghhh bed bugs! Just popping in to say hello and to ask if you knew that they train dogs to detect bed bugs. It sounds like you found them without that particular canine service however so you have extra skills! ‘Chin up’ as my Mum would say (she sometimes added ‘pigeon’ at the end of that phrase) – everyone always makes life look planned and easy and it almost never is. X Karen

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