I Gave lt All Up to Live in 400 Square Feet…And l’ve Never Had a More Abundant Life

by Amy Ogden

Hi! I’m Amy  In 2014, I was 37 years old and living in San Diego. I was living a charmed life by all accounts – a large townhome downtown, a great group of friends, loving my job in luxury travel PR, a Goldendoodle named Lola and a BMW in the garage. Life was good. But I could feel a calling in my soul that I needed to make a change. A big change. 
 
I visited NYC often for work but always told myself that NYC was a special place for special people. I was normal. I didn’t have the secret password to live in NYC and besides, I was too old. You either move to NYC young and broke or not at all, I told myself. So I sat on the feeling for a while but I just couldn’t shake it. Finally one day, in a very calm and “knowing” moment, I heard this voice tell me I needed to do it. I needed to give up my amazing life in San Diego and move to NYC. 
 
I told my best friend first. She was so supportive as we both cried. I told my company next. I would move with my job so it was more of a “how” than a “if” kind of discussion. Then I told the world. I remember my heart racing as I posted on Facebook. Somehow that made it feel very real.  No turning around.
I wasn’t prepared for how small NYC apartments are or the challenges of owning a very gorgeous and high-maintenance dog in the city. I finally decided to sell or give away everything I owned and I gave Lola to my best friend who is the BEST mom to her to this day. I moved to NYC with my entire life packed into about 7 moving boxes. I was the most successful I’d ever been and had the least I’d ever had. What was I doing?? 
 
Fast forward 3.5 years. I live in the most gorgeous studio in West Village. It’s a tiny 400 s.f. (maybe less?) and I love it. I have everything I need. I live in my dream neighborhood. Living on my dream street. I live across from the FRIENDS building. Does that make me Ugly Naked Guy???  Since moving to NYC I have found more inspiration and creativity than I ever knew I had within. This city has made me better. I dig deeper. Try harder. Say more. Hold back less. Care less. Give more. There’s something about giving up everything you have to find out who you really are. 
 
In the past 2 years, in addition to loving my job as SVP of Brand at JPR (best company in the universe). I have started a blog, a podcast, given a TEDx Talk and started writing a novel.  I’m the same girl who used to proudly state that I “didn’t get along with creative types.” 
 
The message is this: listen to that voice. That voice that tells you to call someone, to send that email, to make that move, to try that thing. Listen. It’s not just your brain bouncing around ideas. It’s a powerful force that sees what’s beyond that risk it’s asking you to take. There’s magic there. You just can’t see it because you’re in the moment.

More About Amy

Amy Ogden is SVP of Brand at J Public Relations, one of the world’s top luxury hospitality PR and social media agencies. She is a TEDx speaker, has a blog, www.SipsofSunshine.com, a podcast with the same name and is writing her first novel. Her mission in life is to inspire and empower women in their lives, careers and spirituality. Amy lives in New York City.

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