Alicia Keys created the song, Empire State of Mind with Jay Z that released in 2009 and quickly became a world-wide phenomenon. I remember listening to this song on repeat for the past 9 years and have been waiting for my chance, my turn to experience the life that Alicia was making sound so beautiful and so empowering.

"Even if it ain't all it seems
I got a pocketful of dreams
Baby, I'm from
New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There's nothing you can't do
Now you're in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
The big lights will inspire you
Hear it for New York, New York, New York"

I got a pocket full of dreams

As a young child, I have dreamed and hoped that one day I would end up at a huge publication company in New York City. I have pictured myself in fabulous shoes, walking the streets and going into an amazing office with a view of the skyline...and here I am. I have always been a dreamer and I feel like a dream is the first place you go to make something a reality. To dream something means that you are thinking about it, you are wishing and coming up with a plan. What I have always imagined myself doing has given me a pocket full of dreams that have started and ended with New York City. So, here I am. My pocket of dreams have been opened and I am standing on the corner of 59th and Columbus Circle and my pocket has been emptied. My dreams are becoming my reality.

Concrete jungle where dreams are made of

It truly is a jungle. While all that above sounds so glitz and so glam by the way my dreams have come true, I realized very quickly that living here brings out different eyes. While I was dropped off with my bags, I was soon adjusted to a new neighborhood, new smells, new people and new animals...or bugs. This city is filled with people from all over the world. People with different upbringings, different lifestyles, and different mindsets. I truly don't think that one person is the same here in this city. The lifestyle here is concrete based and is fast paced. People are willing to live in this crowded and crazy place to make thier dreams come true and seek their dreams out.

There's nothing you can't do

While this is true, it depends on which way you are looking at the city and the upbringing you have come from. For me, this city truly has endless amounts of possibilites. So many places to eat, socialize, sightsee, watch, shop, walk, drive, and so on and so on. I did come to the city alone and I was scared. But, the light for me was the endless amounts of things to do and new things to see. I think this also means that the sky is the limit. In NYC there are so many people and so many possibilities to get your foot in the door and make your dreams come true in the workforce. I have learned that people work their a$ off to make a name for themselves. Sit in the sweaty subway to and from work, work long hours, live in tight corners, but it is all worth it for this "dream".

These streets will make you feel brand new
The big lights will inspire you

I am here alone and I have had moments and days of weakness. Being alone, lonely, tired, exhausted, hot, and missing Iowa. But, the feeling I get when I am coming off the subway to a crowded street with skyscrapers all around me truly is a feeling I haven't felt before. Watching people hustle to work in their nice work clothes and preparing for their day is inspiring to see and be apart of. At night looking at all the lights the city creates gives me goosebumps and it challenges me to have a positive attitude and keep smiling through this adventure.

New York is an adventure. I have had my struggles so far but am focusing on the dream. The dream that every one has coming here. The fact I can be apart of this, something this big and this inspiring as a 20 year old young woman is something I am not taking for granted. I am ready to see what the next day has to bring.