Monday, July 27, 2009

on reading the New York Times wedding announcements...

An actual g-chat conversation between me and "K":

(Please excuse the look of it. We all know IM's are no place for proper punctuation.)

K: did you read the main nytimes wedding story from sunday?

Me: no i'm not that insane. i don't read times announcements. they make me feel bad about myself.

K: but they're inspiring sometimes
usually about love overcoming obstacles
like the one about the guy who was engaged and broke up with his fiance for his true love

Me: oh yes that is so inspiring for the girl he dumped

Not quite Katherine Heigl in 27 Dresses, but you get the gist...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

wish and bliss

For someone like me, for whom "happiness" has always been complicated, truly blissful-perfect-in-the-moment moments are fleeting. And since I've had a few of them today, I figured I'd put them somewhere so that I can remember...

walking off the subway platform and hearing someone bust into a great rendition of a song you love - right as the train doors close...
dinner with two great new friends who it feels you've known for a long time...
feeling girly and cute in a new dress...
not having to work tomorrow...
a "can't-put-it-down" book...
a shower, clean pjs, and a glass of red...

Last year I started a book called The Wishing Year. Similar to Eat, Pray, Love, it is about a woman who started using the power of wishes to help her achieve dreams - a man, a house, and inner peace. For the most part it wasn't my kind of book. I don't fit in her target demographic (divorced, 30's, etc.) but one concept she talked about really stuck with me. She said a friend of hers wrote down what she wished for in a man/partner/spouse/whathaveyou and put it under her bed. Six months later she met him. I thought it sounded nice, and though I didn't care for the book I gleaned that the power of wishing comes from the hopeful mindset, I decided to give it a shot. That was April of last year. The lined sheet of notebook paper is still under my mattress. Needless to say the 6 month mark has passed.

I have to remind myself every day to be hopeful, enjoy the present, and since I am a perfectionist and a true Virgo, keep calm and not stress. Being able to revel in the blissful moments and hang on to the wishes, the hopes, and all the while, the reality is a daily struggle. I know it is this way for others as well. This stands as cyber record that today I did it. And tomorrow is always another day (Scarlett).

Monday, July 20, 2009

burgers and books, a typical evening

It is restaurant week here in New York. To me this is something Couples do. Yes, Couples with a capital C. Also on that list are weekends at bed and breakfast's upstate. Perhaps my male counterpart will arrive by Fall so that I can see the leaves change. Doubtful. Central Park it is.

(image: NYC Rest. Week)

Anyway, back to the food. A good friend of mine, one of my first friends in the city, is moving back home in a few days so tonight we had her farewell dinner at one of the several locations participating in this week's restaurant bribery. We chose Aspen and I had a great arugula salad with goat cheese, bison sliders, and then molten chocolate cake. In all honesty, I've had better. The salad was good and the chocolate cake was too but it would have been nice to have something amazing for an entree. Plus the service was kind of lousy and the atmosphere (think Aspen, Colorado all NYC chic) was kind of weird. Oh well. I got to go to a fancy-ish restaurant with a good friend - one who I thought would outlast me in the city. Funny how that stuff works.

I'm currently reading this book. I'm pretty in to Young Adult lit right now after reading the Hunger Games. This one took a while to get into but it is getting kind of intriguing now. So now I ask, do I watch my Netflix movie and chat with my family and friends on the phone tonight or do I read? Hmmm... tough choice.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Keeping up with the Jones' (Baby)

If I ever seem to have it all figured out it is because I am doing a very good impression of someone who does. I knew when I moved to New York that I wanted to work in book publishing. Tonight I took a "job" at the Upper West Side apartment of a couple who seem to have it all. Husband works in books, like I do, though I won't say in what capacity; Wife is tall, thin and gorgeous; Baby Boy is adorable; Apartment is spacious; Life is perfect - or so it seems. When I got home I Googled said Life all in the name of curiosity and semi work related research and it got me thinking...

I am the type of person who is never satisfied. I'm always looking to the next thing (see last night's blog post for affirmation of this) - always wanting to be better, have more, do more. These days that means dissatisfaction with what has firmly become the "status quo". For the most part, I love my job and am happy with where I am and what I'm doing. But I'm not settled. Not by a long shot. For the past year and a half I've gone back and forth... Do I want to write? Do I want an MBA? What is the next step?

I obviously have no idea or else I would be pursuing it. Something always stops me short. I've researched my options (in true form, fashion and keeping with my anal retentive personality) but that's it. I think I'm just waiting for the answer to reveal itself to me. When I moved here it was scary. I didn't know if I could hack it all alone. When I called my mom in full anxiety mode from the corner of Prince Street and apartment-hunting-"oh-my-god-am-I-really-doing-this?" panic, she said to me, "You have to really want it." I guess I'm waiting to really want the next thing.

Until then I suppose I will have to find some sort of satisfaction in envying the lives of others (and their babies!) as I recognize and remind - some day I will figure out what my next step is going to be, and take it.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I get by with a little help from my friends

I travel for work.

Last year I had a work related trip during ten out of the twelve months. I went to California twice and Texas three times (four if you include a trip to Austin last summer - for fun). In total, I spent one month of the year in the state of Texas. I think that gives me voting rights. My suitcases never stay tucked away. I've racked up enough JetBlue points for a free flight over a period of nineteen months - and I didn't even fly JetBlue every time.

Traveling is great. I love having a nice clean hotel room all to myself, ordering room service, not even making my own bed, getting to see a different city and getting out from behind a desk. It is also so tiring. Preparing to be gone from work and catching up after I come back is stressful. I don't dislike flying but it wears on me. And I always feel like I'm missing something great here in NY when I am gone. Last December I was really feeling the stress of constant travel after I had been to Philadelphia, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Dallas, Orange County, Boston, El Paso, San Antonio, and San Fran again all within weeks of one another.

I just got back from my latest work adventure - this time to Chicago. I must say I do love the city of Chicago. I'd never been and it was definitely one of my favorites of all those I've been to. Prior to this trip, I'd gone the longest stretch of time ever since I began my job. I spent three whole months in this city without getting on an airplane. During this time I relaxed, I enjoyed the ups and downs of the day to day, and I didn't have a constant feeling like I had to cram life's experiences in between the next take off.

But sitting here right now I wish I was still in Chicago.

I have always been a mess of contradictions. I'm not happy unless things are perfect and since things are never perfect, I'm always reaching for more. Certain stressors associated with this most recent trip have left me feeling down and the constant and consistent feels strained. I have tomorrow off. I haven't had a day off almost two weeks. Maybe a little vitamin D and Central Park R&R will calm me down.

Yesterday I walked out onto Broadway to find that Paul McCartney was serenading the city of New York from atop the Ed Sullivan theater. Hoards of people lined the street and those in the office building across from the concert lined up in rows of office windows with their faces practically pressed to the glass. I caught the end of Sir Paul's set. I could vaguely see him through the trees and neon lights of the Late Show sign as he rocked clad in a pink shirt. After Helter Skelter and Back in the USSR, I walked up Broadway to my sitting job, confident that I'd chosen the coolest city in the world to live in, pissed that my camera battery was dead, and feeling momentarily calm in the decisions I've made - while the crowds passed by.

That helps a bit... If only he could play for me every day.

Me walking through Millenium Park (Chicago)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

my Independence Day weekend was...

  • a date with a very nice guy with whom I'm not sure I felt chemistry. I'm learning more and more about its importance. Where am I going to find it? Seriously, I'm asking.
  • relaxing on our patio with chips, salsa, hummus, good friends, Scrabble, and cards. Ever since I found a deck of cards in a junk drawer the other day, I'm obsessed. Takes me back to summers with my grandparents. Wonderful memories infused with thunderstorms, small town charm, and night time locust sounds.
  • taking said deck of cards to my Friday night job and playing solitaire on the floor while the babies slept, just to mix it up a bit.
  • going to a friend of a friend of a friend's 4th of July BBQ. Eating hot dogs and hamburgers on the roof of a city apartment building really makes one feel like a summer in the city type o' gal.
  • climbing up fire escapes to spy bits and pieces of several fireworks shows (Hudson River to the right, Jersey to the left, and Queens straight ahead!) among shrieks of delight, Mary Poppins moments, and a glorious 360 cityscape view. Beautiful!
  • embracing my patriotism with good ol' American apple pie a la mode at my favorite down-the-street diner. Nothing beats sitting at the counter at 11:30pm laughing with your roommate and planning ways to take over the world.
  • bright red night-time cough syrup for what I hope is just bronchial inflammation from too much BBQ fun (and smoke). I'm headed off on Thursday for business and I cannot get sick.
  • spending Sunday laying low -- drowsiness kicking in. Sleep. Time.