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In this video, one woman explains why she's never leaving NYC post-pandemic — and why she's glad she stuck it out.

This video is sponsored by Fidelity. Get started at Fidelity today:;269861370;x

Through weekly video essays, "Making It Work" showcases how *real* people have upgraded their personal or financial lives in some meaningful way. Making your life work for you doesn't mean getting rich just for the sake of it. It means making the most of what you have to build a life you love, both in your present and in your future. And while managing money is a crucial life skill for everyone, there's no one "right way" to go about it — you have to figure out what works best for *you,* full stop.

Written by Cassie Harwood

Video narration by Rebecca Cesa

Video by Grace Lee

The Financial Diet site:

This week's video is sponsored by Fidelity Investments.

In March, when it was clear the coronavirus had moved from an international news story on our periphery to something that was going to upend all of our lives, the air in New York City changed overnight. All of a sudden, half the people I knew packed their bags to return to their childhood bedrooms to escape what was about to be the epicenter of the virus in the US.

A few even escaped to a family member's or friend's second home, a privilege I didn't even know some of them had access to. Some have already made moves elsewhere with no plans to return to New York in the next year or maybe ever. I stayed both out of a lack of desire to stay with family for an undetermined amount of time and a general underestimate of what we were really up against.

I didn't think that when my office went fully remote in March we would still be in the same situation in September. I thought this would be a weird minor story I'd tell my grandnieces and nephews about one day. Though maybe in a few decades, it will feel that way.

And as tough as the first few months were, I'm so glad I stuck it out. These past few months have solidified my love for New York more than ever. And I have no plans to leave.

Here are just a few reasons why. Because what I love about New York City hasn't changed. The reasons I moved to New York in the first place, things like culture, vibrant and diverse communities, cuisine, and art, are all still very much in New York.

The city that I loved when I first moved here where you can take an afternoon trip to a different borough or even different neighborhood and be completely taken out of your day-to-day life is all around me. The mostly rich and detached residents who fled to their weekend homes the second the pandemic hit and therefore spread the virus around the country were never the reason I came to the city in the first place. I came here for the New York that thrives when things are more affordable and accessible.

And that is the New York that never left. Because the pandemic taught me that community is more important than ever. There is a reason why as of my writing this New York is doing almost the best in the country in terms of containing the virus.

We understood early on that it's not about ego. It's not about politics. And it's not about the individual.

If we are going to make it, we're going to do it together. And whether it's by wearing a mask, converting parking spaces to outdoor dining patios, participating in mutual aid groups, or even just taking lockdowns seriously when we needed to, the kind of community that the city showed is the exact kind of thing this country needs more of going forward. I'm proud to be part of a city that came together and treated one another with care.

And I have no desire to retreat into some isolated bubble going forward. Because New Yorkers have accepted the reality that is now keeping so much of the country well behind the rest of the world, we're now on the other side of the worst of it. But aside from a few exceptions, I see everyone in my neighborhood continue wearing masks, continue distancing themselves from other pedestrians, continue being polite in the six-feet-apart grocery store line.

I even took the subway for the first time in months a few weeks ago. And every person, every single one, was wearing their mask and sitting six feet apart from their nearest neighbor. We haven't tried to get back to normal too soon after restrictions were loosened because we've seen the worst of this pandemic so far.

And we have no desire to go back to that. Because a permanent solution to a temporary problem isn't a good idea. For a few weeks after lockdown began, I became obsessed with a real estate listing in a nearby-ish suburb.

It was a picture-perfect 19th century home with beautiful windows, multiple bathrooms, and best of all, a backyard. But before quarantine started, my husband and I decided over many conversations over several years we just weren't suburb people. Sure, I've been jealous of people with outdoor space privilege.

But when things are back to normal-ish, and I was stuck in a town I didn't love with a mortgage I could barely afford, I would have heavily regretted that decision. I'd rather stick it out in the adoptive home I do love and maybe eventually try and move somewhere with a balcony. Because the city will need people like me to love it as it comes back.

We tend to forget it sometimes, but the city will be back. Museums will be back. Libraries will be back.

Broadway will be back. The street vendors and corner bistros and hole-in-the-wall jazz clubs will all be back. And we need people here to love it, to take advantage of all the city has to offer, commit to the city being a more accessible and vibrant place than it was before the pandemic came.

We need people to ride bicycles through increasingly car-free streets, to have picnics in flourishing community gardens, to take care of our elder neighbors and buy tickets to our lesser-known shows. And I cannot wait to be one of those people, to embrace my city with open arms and more fierce pride than I've ever felt. Because New York City simply deserves it.

As I mentioned, this video is sponsored by Fidelity Investments. They are here to help you reach your savings goals. And if you're looking for an easy way to finally start investing what you save, check out Fidelity.