September 25th 2015 I made the decision to re-locate my whole life to Albany, NY. As a city-dweller for nearly 8 years, and my whole life in Queens, this was not only a shock to almost everyone who knows me, but also to myself. If you were to ask me in May of 2015 if I would be living in Albany by the year’s end I would have called you crazy. But, things change, opportunities present themselves, even in the result of tragedy, and life changing decisions are made.
So…. I found myself in the little city of Albany…what I like to call “Smallbany.” Growing up with all my relatives here I had a nice support system by my side – but my friends, my social life, my bagel shop…those were gone. I had been working for JDC for a little over a year at that point, where I work remotely, so I had the luxury of living anywhere. That transition in a sense was easy, as I was longing for the space and was totally over living, working and eating out of the same 600 square feet.
I officially moved in, after the necessary kitchen renovation, on November 14th, 2015…and then there I was…owner of a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home. Just me and the cat…
Homeowning is a funny thing. Being associated with the construction and design industry, I thought I had a sense of what certain projects entailed, or how long something would take. People also do their best to try to prepare you, but there’s just no use. No one can prepare you for a month in, because of human error, you return from a trip to an inch of water in the basement. What the hell do you do when that happens?!!?
It’s a learning curve, and a big one. You must prioritize. Right now, my list is at a solid 15 items – both big and small projects – that I expect will be completed by the time I hit 60. You come to the realization that not every room is going to be spotless at the same time. That at least once every 6 months, something is going to break, most likely at the most inconvenient time. That the power in the whole neighborhood could go out for multiple hours for no real reason (as I sit here writing this in the dark because of that exact reason…). But, I swear, at the end of the day, it is totally worth it.
I also realized shortly after moving that I was completely at home in Albany. It felt right. It’s the little city that could with an evolving food/bar scene, great hikes minutes away in one direction and downtown minutes away in the opposite direction. Saratoga is a 20-minute drive where in the summer there are endless options for fun. It’s 2.5 hours away from NYC, 2.5 hours away from Boston, so it’s never a far drive for work or to catch-up with friends.
I’ve always been the type of person to take big risks and to jump in with two feet. The decision to make this move and become a homeowner was one of the biggest risks I’ve ever taken…and it has been the best decision I’ve ever made. People around my age tend to rent for a longer amount of time before deciding to take the plunge into homeownership, and for no other reason other than the fear of responsibility. I’m here to tell you, take the plunge, take the risk…because without risk, there is no reward.