Thursday, September 30, 2010

dear new york: an anniversary letter

Tomorrow marks three years of big, bad city life for this quiet California girl.

I was going to wait and do my anniversary letter then but I have a friend coming into town so we will be out and about in the (hopefully not too bad) weather.

Dear New York:

Another year for us. This was definitely the hardest one yet. We tested and
challenged each other in ways I think neither of us really expected.

I often refer to this year as my "What Color is Your Parachute?" year. You decided to spice it up a bit and, at times, make me wonder if I even had a parachute at all. But I digress with the awful metaphors. You were rough on me. We were rough on each other. I resented you and insulted you and you remained patient and steady, showing me that through each trial there was a purpose but to be honest, I still don't know what your plans are for us.

This year I really started to wonder if I am doing what I want to be doing with my career. I crossed my fingers many times only to find that the competition was stiff and I just didn't make the grade. This year I felt lost and unsure of myself more often than not. But through it all I held on to what I knew to be true: I may have moved here for the job but I stay here for you. We
aren't done yet. I am making the choice to be present in each moment, feel the losses, learn from them and grow stronger in my relationship with myself (and by extension my relationship with you.)

This year we lost a couple of friends but got closer to others, even helping one choose her wedding dress. Not bad for the girl who didn't know a soul when she picked up her little life and moved here three years ago. In a city of millions of people it is so easy to feel lonely and we absolutely felt our share of that. There was many a bad date and several relationships were
tested. Some floundered and failed and some grew stronger. I have a sneaking suspicion you've known all along that this was going to be the challenging year and that you are not done with me. But I have faith that good things will come from us. You need to make sure I can hack it, that I know that a rough year doesn't mean we weren't meant for each other, that any decisions I make for myself are made with a clear head and a calm resolve.

I know we will continue to have our moments but I only hope that the coming year is filled with happiness and luck. I hope that anything that is thrown our way will only strengthen us. I hope that one year from now I will be able to say, as I do today, I still love you New York. Thank you for three life changing years.

"It can destroy a person, or it can fulfill him, depending a good deal on luck. No one should come to New York to live unless he is willing to be lucky." - E.B. White

Monday, September 27, 2010

somewhere out there

I have abandoned you all recently. I'm sorry but things have been crazy on my end.

I'm dealing with roommate drama, one girl moving out and getting a new one to move in, my real "big girl" job and I've gotten a lot of sitting jobs lately (my "2nd job.") During one over the weekend I heard words I never thought I'd hear a four-year-old say: "I wanna play with my iPad." There she was flicking her little finger across the screen to navigate among the hundreds of math games on there and I had never touched one before. Life is funny that way.

Due to drama I haven't been sleeping well. I am nearly falling asleep at my desk.

I also have some potential VERY exciting news which I can only tell you about if it happens (sorry!) Please, friends, keep your fingers, toes, and eyes crossed for me. I REALLY need it.

That's all I've got for now. I'm still here! How are all of you?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

a blog post in three minutes because it is 11:41pm and i still want to read before i go to sleep...

1. I had a good day today.
2. I had a good day yesterday.
4. But the flooding in my apartment is fixed.
5. This was tested by the huge rain storm that came through today.
6. NO water on my bed this time.
8. BFF comes to visit in a couple of weeks.
9. I am going out with a good friend tomorrow night.
10. I spent 2 hrs on the phone tonight.
11. I can't remember the last time I talked on the phone for 2 hrs.
12. And had a good conversation.
13. Today at work I made a playlist of "calm" music. It included Bob Dylan's "Forever Young" which I have stuck in my head right now.
14. That just says it all.
15. My three minutes are up. Goodnight!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

practice kindness

I woke this morning and realized what day it was. As if I could ever forget.

September 11th is my baby brother's birthday. On this day in 2001 he turned 16. This day is a difficult one for so many people. Now my brother has to share a happy day with such tragedy. That date was bizarre in our house to say the least. I had rebelliously decided I was not going to go to college that semester. My days that September consisted of nothing as I did not have a job either and didn't get one until October. On that morning I was far from the New York City in which I live now. Three hours behind in California. My dad woke me up around 8am and told me what was going on. I turned on the TV and since I had nothing to do that day I watched the coverage all day. I remember seeing people jump out of windows, the continuously looped footage of the towers falling. I remember waking up in the middle of the night because I couldn't sleep and turning on the TV to find footage of family members begging for information on their missing loved ones. Even so far away in California, there was a quiet. I did go to Target that day to get out of the house and there was no one there. Everyone was glued to their TVs in disbelief.

That night we went out for dinner to celebrate my brother's birthday. We were the only ones in the restaurant and the coverage at the WTC continued on the TVs behind the bar. I felt weird going out and celebrating but for my family this date is first and foremost a day of celebration.

My first trip to New York City took place the following June. My friends and I went down to the World Trade Center site. I took photos and remember feeling guilty for it. Like I was dishonoring a sacred space. I have been to the site a handful of times since. Mostly with friends and family in from out of town. I live and work uptown so I don't have much of an occasion to be in that part of town but each time I find myself down there randomly, I pause and honor in silence.

The other day I was walking down the street, fully immersed in my own problems and drama, and I saw a woman wearing a tank top that said "Practice Kindness." That simple phrase has stuck with me ever since as I try to move past a rough summer, rifts in friendships, and all of the other personal issues that pale in comparison today. But the message seems like a good one especially in light of all that is happening in and around that site. Practice kindness.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

when nobody tags you, you tag yourself

I figure it is time for another post and since I am back from the Hamptons and life is in full swing once again, I figured I'd avoid complaining and talking about it with this lovely list of q&a fun that I stole from my friend DSS.

1. Favorite flower: calla lilies

2. favorite color combination? I don't really know. Used to be brown and teal blue.

3. favorite celebrity couple? Please don't hurt me but I kind of like Tori & Dean because they seem so chill with each other. Beyond that I honestly don't care.

4. theme song? I often find a lot of solace and comfort in music so I have a lot of songs I consider to be my "theme songs." But the first that comes to mind right now is Beth Hart's 'As Good as It Gets'

5. favorite 'i've had a bad day' food - any mexican food!

6. lipstick, lip gloss or both? usually lip gloss or chapstick

7. favorite magazine? people (i'm not much of a magazine person)

8. favorite thing about fall? everything! fall is my favorite season. i especially love autumn in new york. the leaves in central park, the chill in the air, the halloween decorations on stoops in west village... fall was my first season in the city and it will be forever imprinted on me and will always be a big part of what i view this city to be.

9. what has been the best vacation you ever took? London! (Pics are from this time but I also count my semester there which was basically a vacation!)

10. what is your dream car? I'm weird. I don't really have one. I would probably say some sort of Toyota Hybrid because they are reliable and I like hybrids but behind that I'm not a flashy car kinda gal.

11. what is your favorite fall trend? do riding boots and scarves count as a trend?

12. what is your favorite photograph you have taken or that has been taken of you? i have a few that i've taken and made enlarged prints of that i love and have had framed. right now i have 2 8x10's from my recent trip to london in great frames that i got at tjmaxx for $14.99! one photo is of a pond and surrounding scenery in hampstead heath and the other one kind of contrasts it as it is an angled shot of a red telephone booth lined up with big ben. maybe at some time i will take a pic to show you what they look like (or at least post the photos here).

13. what is one food you would never eat under any circumstances? weird animal parts

14. what is your favorite quote? "i am not afraid. i was born to do this." joan of arc

15. who has most impacted your life? my parents

16. what would you like to be known for? kindness, compassion, and making a difference in someone's life

Saturday, September 4, 2010

reflections from the hamptons

I am in the Hamptons this weekend.

As the hired help but still, getting paid while I swam gentle laps in the gorgeous pool, sunned myself and relaxed with a book since the family is off having fam time at some event is nothing to sneeze at. Besides it gets me away from my crazy apartment.

Changes are coming for me. It is time. This has definitely been the year the novelty of this great city has worn off. I have been tested, surprised, and pushed to discover more about myself, what I want, what I can withstand and what I seek in life. I will elaborate more another time. Life here, like life in general, is not glamorous. It is tough and amazing, provides perspective and, if you're lucky, hope. It is gritty and raw, while in the next breath uplifting and inspiring.

Right now, while enjoying these last bits of summer, it just tells me breathe.