Hey NuYawk,

Can you believe that I’ve almost been here a year? A whole year? A lot has happened. I’ve changed a lot. For the better, mostly.

I can tell when I catch myself doing this weird thing, sometimes.

I use New York City landmarks or even, regular destinations, as benchmarks. But only measuring my emotional progress in this city.

When I take the train back from Harrisburg, and I walk up those steps in Penn Station into the Amtrak corridor, I remember how I felt when I first moved. I was so scared I wanted to cry. I did cry in the car ride to the train with my mom that day.

I knew I did that. Remembering how I felt when I got here keeps me humble. It makes me hungry. I do it when I think about the last time I was in a particular place, if my mind isn’t elsewhere–which is rare.

Back one chilly night in October, after testing out Bailey’s new vanilla cinnamon liqueur, I split a cab with my co-worker and friend once we were finished dinner and in the span of that ride, I did that benchmark thing again.

It reminded me I’m stronger than I realize.

There was the Chipotle at 1379 6th Avenue that I got dinner from the day Brooklyn Boy broke up with me. I wouldn’t allow myself to get a cab, I walked to the NQR at Central Park  South to take me to the 6, fighting tears.

The Le Parker Meridan Hotel, where a week into my new job, my #GlamFam had cake brought out to me during our day of pre-New York Fashion Week pampering and sang me Happy Birthday as I got my mani.

The theater where I worked my very first red carpet for the Bergdorf Goodman documentary, Scatter My Ashes.

We pass Arianna’s block, my fellow Upper East Sider, and my home away from home, where I have laughed, cried, gotten sick and most of all felt grateful to know such friendship.

I snap myself out of it right before I get to the intersection I told the cab driver to drop me off at. My intersection. It seems like not that long ag0, I used to write my address down so  I wouldn’t forget and could Hopstop myself home or if I even knew what my neighborhood looked like because I had only seen it once in the daytime.

A lot has changed. But I’m better for it.

I see what you’re doing to me, New York. And I like it. I’m excited to enter into another year with you.