a personal style blog by Lauren Pfieffer

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

A New York Story

I've been settling back into my routine here in Brooklyn after spending time in Ohio on and off this summer. I think I finally feel like I'm falling back into the swing of things: just in time to head back to Ohio next week. 

My relationship with Ohio has evolved over the last six years in New York. Those first few years I was hell bent on making New York work and threw everything I had into creating a life here. I also just really wanted to. It was my dream and I was finally living it -- even if it was on a barely livable wage in a cockroach infested apartment. It didn't matter, it was New York or no where for me.

Somewhere around year two or three my dedication started to waver. I missed home, sometimes. A difficult roommate situation that left me feeling like a stranger in my own home pushed me towards the home I always knew. I really thought seriously about moving back to Ohio around 2018. The things that once drew me to New York didn't feel as sparkly any more. I was deeply homesick.

I gritted my teeth through years two and three and then then coasted along into four fairly easily. I found my stride in a new job with a renewed purpose and the roommates situation had shifted in my favor. I was working out consistently. Enjoying living in as a single for the first time in the city, discovering what that meant. I had friends that I finally connected with and the city didn't feel quite as lonely as it once did.

Then that all came to a screeching halt in 2020. 

Sometimes I wished I'd blogged through the beginning of the pandemic and what that was like here in New York. My experience seems so different to others who lived outside cities. Everything was so strictly shut down and I didn't leave my apartment for those first few weeks. I was too scared to even go on walks outside. Grocery lines wrapped around the block to shop through bare, ransacked aisles. Whole subway cars sat eerily empty for the first time...ever. Everyone left. I stayed.

It was a loneliness I hadn't experienced before. In a time of such unknown to be away from everyone, shifted my world. It made it so small. My roommates had left, so it was just me alone. I didn't have any family to rely on our a partner to hold me. It was just me.

When it was finally safe enough to travel again, of course the first place I went was back to Ohio. I was working from home and everything in the city was shut down, so it made sense. I spent a few months with my family in the summer of 2020 and that's when my priorities started to shift. 

I was reminded what it meant to be with family again and to have people there for you. For nearly four years, I'd battled everything out on my own. I'd gotten used to accepting surviving as going through it all myself and had forgotten that's not how life should go. It's ok to depend on people, and I was doing that for the first time in a long time.

Over the next two years, I spent time on-and-off in Ohio anywhere from two weeks to nearly two months. Some people worked from Hawaii, my choice was Ohio. Slightly less scenic, but it felt safe in a world where I needed comforting. With every trip back, I had to fight a nagging truth emerging in the back of my mind that I couldn't pretend wasn't there. I really fucking missed Ohio. 

New York began to dim for me as I spent less time there. The people I loved had all moved away. The places I'd frequented, shuttered. The feeling of magic the city had brought me dimmed. 

At what point was this worth it anymore? Being away from my family to...do all of this alone after everything I'd been through? It felt like a step backwards.

I've slowly been trying to repair my relationship with New York over the last year, but it's been hard. I'm still struggling with it, especially going home so frequently. It doesn't exactly make it easy to fall back in love with a place when you're hardly ever here. 

But like any human relationship, be it romantic or friendship, love takes work. There is still so much I do love about New York. Brooklyn, especially. 

I was coming back home this week from a day at the office in Manhattan. Sweaty, exhausted and on a N train stuck on the Manhattan bridge (with no indication of moving any time soon), I couldn't help but sit back and think about how fulfilled I still felt doing this damn thing. The way it felt to walk through Central Park or how it felt to look out the subway window and see the kind of skyline that you never quite get used to. I know I'm not done here yet. I'm just working on the next chapter for me and what that looks like, and I think that still includes Ohio and the special place its holds in my heart. My therapist always encourages me to not look at the world so black and white, and I think that applies here, too. 

You can love two places at once. 

With much love,


Outfit Details

Peasant Top | thrifted 
90s Miniskirt | thrifted
60s Etiene Aigner Messenger Bag | thrifted
Heeled Boots | thrifted
Chain Belt | thrifted
Earrings | thrifted
Gold Chain | my grandmother's

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