Lauren Pfieffer has journeyed from the comforts of small-town Ohio living to the grind of New York City, where she works in social media and the beauty industry. We're inspired by the way Lauren honestly shares the ups and downs of city life and shows her following that it's okay to be proudly introverted as a young twenty-something. Here, she discusses the major transitions she's faced since adapting to a new career and way of life, and how she takes care of herself throughout it all.
Describe a little bit about how your journey from a small town in Ohio to New York City. How did you adjust to such a huge change?
Although I had a typical adjustment period like everyone does like learning to ride the subway, getting to know the neighborhoods, finding a job, meeting people, I didn't experience homesickness or shock. I just instantly felt at home. For so many years (too many), I felt like I didn't quite belong anywhere I lived. New York, at last, felt natural and right. It was an instant click. I'm lucky to have found it.It's funny, but I didn't grow up dreaming of ever moving to a big city. Being an introvert, I actually hated big cities because they were filled with too many people and they didn't have the connection to nature that I needed in my soul to feel at peace. My feelings changed though when I interned in New York City at Cosmopolitan and Seventeen during my junior year of college. I fell helplessly in love with everything about The City. Instead of feeling small, I felt so big. There was all this energy and life happening around me I had never experienced in small town life, and I knew I had to get back.
Do you identify as a New Yorker now? If so, how did this realization come about?
I do! Although Ohio will always be home to me. I do consider New York my true place of residence/refuge. Definitely knew I was a New Yorker when I stopped taking bullshit from people. It could be standing up to the guys harassing me on the street, calling out the bodega cashier who thinks he can charge me extra because I'm a woman, or moving on from a job where a boss doesn't value you. You're taught to be so nice in the Midwest and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. But I was too nice and too naive, and it took me a good year to develop thick skin. You must be brave. Tough. Strong. Fearless. If you are not, you will get taken advantage of in a heartbeat.
How do you cure a bad mood?
It probably isn't healthy, but I love to go thrifting to cure any sour mood I'm in. I can allow myself to get lost in the racks of clothing, aisles of unique trinkets, and shelves of dog-eared books. It helps clear my mind to surround myself with old stories. It's almost comforting to know that all these pieces of the past made it through hardships to get to the present, why can't I? All in all, I'm a firm believer in that there's nothing a cheap vintage find can't heal.
Who do you look up to?
In thinking about who I look up to, I can't name an individual because seriously so many truly incredible ladies are out there. Can I just say ALL my fellow women?! Seriously. It is an incredible era to be female and I am so proud. I see so many of my fellow women sharing their stories, standing up for our rights, and joining voices to inspire a movement. I'm surrounded by everyday heroes, and that's the most moving thing to think about of all. You don't have to be rich or famous or anything to make a difference in the well-being of millions of other females.
Describe one of your daily routines that make you feel in control of your time.
In the morning, I stop always stop at my local coffee shop and order a small coffee with cream to drink on the subway ride to work. My days get so hectic the second I step into the office, so it's essential for me to center myself beforehand with a moment just for me. I love to just enjoy every sip of that delicious coffee as I feel myself waking up and getting motivated to make the most of the day.
How do you stay cozy on a Sunday evening?
When I was younger, I used to hate Sundays, but now as an adult, they're my favorite day of the week. Sundays are all about slow, purposeful living for me. I like to make a nice dinner for myself in the evening and wind down with an extended skincare routine, really taking my time with application and being mindful about what each product is doing for my skin. Finally, there's no better way to end the evening than reading in bed with my cat Tito curled up beside me. We tend to feel so content, we fall asleep with all the lights on.
How do you find your balance?
We live in a "yes" culture. We are so afraid to let someone down, that we let ourselves down in the process and say yes to everything --even when we don't want to, are exhausted, etc. If I find that I am feeling unbalanced in my life, giving more of me to others than I'm giving myself, I take a step back. When I take that moment to reevaluate what things I'm putting energy into and what's coming back to me, I can make smarter decisions for my wellbeing. When I'm at my best, I can be my best for others.
Lauren Pfieffer is a 24-year-old Ohioan living in Brooklyn, New York with her black cat, Tito. She works full-time in social media at Kiehl’s Since 1851, and in her free time shoots her own OOTDs. Her vintage-inspired style has received print features in Seventeen and VIVA Magazines, as well as, digital features on sites such as Teen Vogue, BuzzFeed, and Modcloth.
Find Lauren on Instagram at @passingwhimsies if you love thrifting, New York, and cats.