It’s the little things that make a big difference, right? As I become more and more accustomed to living on my own, I’m beginning to notice the small things throughout the day that make me feel satisfied, independent, like a “real New Yorker,” etc. Although I’ve technically been on my own since leaving for college, this summer is my first prolonged period of time in which I’m completely responsible for myself. No RAs, no house chef, no parents. In learning how to adult (the lite version of adult, mind you), I’m learning to appreciate the little victories. Read on for a few of my favorite moments/feelings!
Eating out for a reasonable price (yes!) … then stretching out the leftovers (double yes!)
The best possible scenario for eating out is finding a place that doesn’t charge you an arm and a leg for a meal and gives you a portion generous enough to feed you for another day or two. Granted, I probably eat less than the average human and these kinds of places are hard to find, but still. The principle holds.
Getting to the platform right as your train is arriving
Taking the subway without holding onto anything
Is Subway Surfing considered a sport? Because it should be.
Not having to re-swipe your MetroCard
Mastering the perfect swipe speed is not as easy as it should be. The novelty of this feeling will probably wear off sometime soon, but I still mentally pat myself on the back every time I see “Go” rather than “Please Swipe Again.”
Walking in the general direction of your destination and actually finding it
Just call me a natural navigator! (But actually don’t, because I still can’t tell where I’m going 90% of the time.)
Only doing one cycle to dry your clothes
Faulty dryers suck, but sometimes they surprise you. I get immense relief from reaching into the dryer after one cycle and feeling warm, dry clothes.
Finding the perfect lunch spot(s)
Though I haven’t done too much exploring, I have found quite a few joints that I look forward to visiting again and again. Namely, indikitch (assembly-line style Indian food, like Chipotle but better) and Wrapido (I’m still dreaming of the falafel pita I got there over a week ago). There’s something very satisfying about finding a place that is close to work AND worth the money and wait.
Getting (and sharing) free books!
This one is clearly specific to my job, but hey, it’s my favorite little victory by far. The best is receiving ARCs (advance reader copies) of books that haven’t even hit the shelves yet. For instance, the other day I got Liane Moriarty’s highly anticipated new book, Truly Madly Guilty, and The Story of a Brief Marriage by Anuk Arudpragasam. Say what you want about indies and hipsters, but it’s undeniably thrilling to read something that is not yet available to most everybody else. Almost as thrilling as it is to have a paperback version of a book that likely won’t be sold in a paperback edition for another year or so.
Even better than getting loads of free books for myself (my piles are growing quite rapidly) is sharing the wealth! Bringing my roommate the Humans of New York book after the first day of work and three more beautiful hardbacks a few weeks later made me feel like the publishing industry version of Andy Sachs from The Devil Wears Prada. Generous, literate, connected. What great things to be.