Real life in NYC can be very different from what you see on TV and in the movies. This is a concept that's hard to accept for some non-New Yorkers. Especially in that first year or so of living here, I would get so many texts from friends and family saying stuff like, "I saw in Us Weekly that Kim Kardashian was in Times Square - WHERE WERE YOU??" People...I was working. At my job. You know...that thing you have to do in order to pay your rent every month? Yeah that.
There are also some things that a lot of people don't think about when they're like, "Omg after visiting for 2 days I want to live there too." For one thing, I'm sure your hotel was really nice, but if you moved here you will most likely be in a building that does not have central a/c. "Oh but it's cold up there right?" Well yes...in the winter. But in the summer? Those buildings act like an oven and I can assure you that being in an apartment with no a/c SUCKS. We have two window units and two fans and we're still not as cool as we'd like to be...plus all of those electronics make your electric bill double. Apartments here are tiny (again, unless you make a crap load of money) - less space for a family, less space for pets, usually no space for a washing machine and dryer, which means you have to take advantage of laundromats or hope your building has a laundry room somewhere.
Another thing: taxis vs subway. A lot of tourists love to take taxis everywhere because they're fast and you don't have to be confused by the subway. However, unless you live in Manhattan (which is more expensive) or have a job where you're making a crap load of money, you're not going to want to throw away your money on taxis all the time. You need to learn the subway system and take advantage of it. Not having a car payment and insurance payment is fabulous, but it can also feel constricting knowing that you're confined to NYC and however far the MTA will take you. For example, in order to get Chickfila I have to take a subway and bus ride into New Jersey that lasts at least 2 hours! Wanna take a weekend trip? You'll have to find a train or rent a car first.
Don't get me wrong...living in NYC can be glamorous if you take advantage of all that it has to offer and have a great group of friends that can resemble the ladies on Sex and the City or Ross, Rachel, and the gang. In fact, this past month or so has been so busy and so fun that I did kind of feel like I was living out a movie or TV show. However, the majority of the time my life is a lot like yours - I wake up earlier than I want to, go to work, and come home to try and figure out dinner. The main difference is that instead of driving to work I take the subway.
NYC is not for everyone. It's one of the greatest places to visit, but not everyone will want to live here. My husband likes to say that the city will chew you up and spit you back out if you let it and I tend to agree. But boy if you can manage to make it work here, it will really change your life.