Monthly Archives: June 2014

The people along the way

Change is hard for most people. I actually do really well with change. For a long time I wasn’t happy so change meant hope. From that I learned to embrace it. Now change to me no longer means hope but growth. Because I enjoy change it’s not hard for me to adapt to new scenarios quickly. I think that having that skill has also helped me when I travel. I also do not stress or have as much anxiety as I used to. I realized that I, alone, am in control of my own reactions, therefore, in control of my happiness in that moment. I still struggle on occasion and have to remind myself to be cognizant in practicing my reactions to situations. At times I lose my temper or cry in frustration because I’m not feeling heard. It’s tough shit.

I learned that most people aren’t reacting to you, in fact their feelings have shit to do with you. It has all to do with their own insecurities. All negativity stems from fear so their fear of whatever reason may come up and coincide with me and my changes and what I’m trying to accomplish. The past couple years I’ve realized that I can’t continue to put people’s happiness and feelings before my own. I’ve learned I need to set boundaries. I’ve learned having expectations lead to disappointment and that the only expectation that should be set is one of your own flexibility. Things rarely go according to your plan. Shit happens. Plans need to be adjusted. Being flexible allows you to shrug off the bullshit and keep a positive attitude. These realizations came up rather easy. It’s the putting what you know into practice that’s hard.

Everyone has opinions when it comes to your life. The only way you should be living it is by being your truest self. Sometimes people get hurt along the way of your path. It’s unfortunate, but friendships strain, relationships dissipate and people don’t always support your decisions. You have to be strong and not let the negativity seep into your soul. It’s toxic. The balance is to do things with compassion and honesty. I feel as long as you have the best intentions and people still don’t support you then there’s nothing that you can do. You wish them well and continue on your way. It’s freakin hard. You want people to like you. Not everyone will. You stay humble, you stay grateful, and you thank the people along the way for the purpose they have served in your life, even if you don’t know what that purpose is yet. It’s the only way to live.

change

 

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Late In the Game

With so much on my mind my thoughts ping pong from Ahh, omg I’m moving to the best city in the world to Holy shit I don’t have a job or an apartment lined up yet how the fuck am I going to make it to At least I won’t get fat with all that walking to Huxley’s never encountered rats before and has refused to shit in snow. He’s gonna hate the city to Am I really making this huge of a change at the ripe old age of 31 when everyone around me is either talking marriage, already married, or having babies??

The voices in my head clearly aren’t on the same wavelength. I’ll find a job & apartment. My legs will be nice and toned. Huxley will adjust and yes, per ushe, I find myself going against the grain. It should be known that I am in no rush to have the family, living in the ‘burbs, making dinner every night for my husband kind of lifestyle. Do I want it? Yes. I’ve always wanted kids. I imagine that life and have a movie clip playing in my head of what that entails. Do I want it now? Not in the least. That doesn’t mean I think any differently than those that do. I’m just not ready for that.

I feel like I just started getting into my groove only in the recent few years. There’s a reason why it’s called the quarter life crisis. 20s are all sorts of cray and in the 30s things slow down. Your 20s are spent being insecure and unsure of who you are or what you want, trying to find your place in the world. Life is full of inconsistencies and you do things with a complete disregard of outcomes. You party hard, eat crap, don’t sleep and think fuck it if they fire me, I never liked this job in the first place. You blow your money on shit that has no return on investment. (ROI for those that weren’t in the know). You date guys because they’re hot and hopefully have a job and that’s really all the criteria you need. Shit is in disarray because it’s all you know. But you never question it because everyone else is in the same position you are in and you’re having fun. Living the same life you do but with different jobs and just trying to go with the flow.

Then you start to approach 30. Although time speeds up the bullshit minutiae slows down or completely dissipates. You’ve hopefully, at this point, gotten rid of the toxic people in your life that were good to party with but frankly were shitty people. You know, the ones that you’ve probably heard me say suck at life. Those people also suck life out of you. They’re toxic. Get rid of them if you haven’t already. You start sleeping better and eating better. Your mind is on your financials. Oh shit, this whole time I should’ve taken advantage of those companies offering 401 k matching. Why didn’t I get a FSA back then, it’s pre-tax dollars. How do I not yet have a set tax accountant and financial advisor. What’s the liability and what’s the comprehensive going to cost me on my car insurance.. But also because you ideally have more money you’re able to put quality over quantity. Instead of shit beer all the time you drink superb craft beers. Instead of the jack and cokes you have your choice of good bourbon (W.L. Weller, Buffalo Trace, Whistle Pig, good old Pappy and more) straight up, on the rocks, or even as a cocktail. (Old Fashioneds are my fave). No more fast food 3x a day or “treating” yourself to Chilis. Now you can go to steakhouses for special occasions and yelp $$ – $$$ restaurants weekly. You also graduate from all your furniture being from Ikea to having just a few leftover select pieces that can pass as the good stuff. The stuff that was already put together and delivered straight to your house. Instead of taking a road trip to Tijuana in a 00′ silver honda civic you can pay for an all inclusive resort in Cabo San Lucas. Your group of friends now extends from your main h.s. homies to work people you’ve met along the way and even friends of exes you stole in the break up. Most of the bars you go to are ones at weddings and the only showers you’re caught up in are of soon to be mothers or soon to be wives where most of what you’re making rain is money. Money and love. In being 30 you can opt in and jump on the bandwagon of marathon running, triathlon training, tough mudder obstacles kicking your ass, and what in the most recent year or so made popular that cult called Cross Fit.

A huge kicker for those still checking off single on applications in their 30s is that dating is the fucking pits. The pits. It’s not fun like it used to be. Your criteria has changed from is he hot to revolving around: is he hot, is he really single, is he divorced, does he have kids, if so is there baby mama drama, is he too old, what’s too old, has he been tested for any std’s, is he financially secure (read: does he have a brand name car, does he work at a reputable company, is he living on his own, does he rent or own..) why did him and his ex break up, where does he live, can I do the commute to wear he lives, and the list goes on and on and on. All those things come first then the true quality credentials are asked: is he compassionate, is he funny, how does he treat people (i.e. will he tip wait staff well or be shady and either never tip or leave less than a 16% tip). It’s insane. Dating is a sport to be mastered if single in your 30s. Good luck to the contenders.

But alas, in your 30s you’ve magically started to become more responsible, you now ask the right questions and hopefully you are giving heed to experience rather than the material but doing it in a way that makes you prioritize the need. It’s crazy how responsibility and maturity creeps up on you. Them fuckers just hit you with the 30 stick and said man up bitch, now’s the time.

Back to my point..

That was a really long-winded ramble to what I’m feeling about my readiness for this move. Hopefully you’ve learned something from it. (Again, the acronym for return on investment is ROI. You say it as such, pronouncing each letter R-O-I. Go ahead. Practice. You’re welcome) Because I am in my 30s I know who I am as a person and what I want to make me happy. Maybe even more importantly, I understand what I came from and accept what I’m unable to change. (honestly that probably has less to do with being 30 and more to do with all those hundreds if not thousands of dollars I spent on therapy to do the necessary work of self awareness. There are a shit ton of people I know in their 30s  even 40s that don’t know shit from shit about themselves or anything really and are complete assholes. Send them good vibes and positive thoughts now please. The less assholes walking the streets the better #nomoreassholes)

I can genuinely say I’m living my life the way I want to live it and I’m not willing to compromise that yet to fit someone else’s mold esp not society. I’ve traveled 14% of the world. That ain’t shit people! Really. Only 14% of the world. 21 countries and so many cities I can’t keep track of later and it’s only 14% of the world! I’m ambitious. I want to travel to at least 100 countries. I got 79 to go. There are 195 countries in the world. I can make this happen. I’ll just keep on truckin…

I’m 31. That number is so fucking disconcerting. I had such a hard time the year I was 29 because 30 was around the corner. It was a bit of a melodrama. Turning 32 is not any better in that regard. I only have about 4 ish months left. I’m no longer just 30 I’m IN my fucking 30s. It’s not even the age. I’m embracing being in my 30s. I kinda actually love it. It’s the damn number. Our mortality is slapping us in the face and ain’t that about a bitch?!  Or maybe it’s because I got a clock that ticks that only half the population can commiserate with. I usually work better under pressure. That kind of pressure is unforgiving. Not only that but I gotta think about shit like freezing my eggs. Say what? It’s true my ob/gyn’s nurse practitioner (that bitch) told me last year that I need to start looking into it now. Wait, hold up. I gotta what now??? Oh, pay monthly rent for storage space so the eggs I already got in me can kick it until I’m ready to raise lil people? I’m pausing for affect. You can’t see it. Just know I am.

I’m uprooting my life at the ripe old age of 31. (Another tidbit: During the early 20th century the life expectancy was 31) I’m ready. I wasn’t equipped with all the tools I needed before (well still lacking thousands, if not millions, of dollars that would really allow me to live the way I want (read: should) to live). I also now have conviction in who I am and can stand by every decision I make and whatever statement I say. My choices in life and my choices in words are no longer callous. I’m sure I’ll be back in Cali once I’m ready to fertilize them eggs and live in the ‘burbs with my financially stable husband. Who doesn’t like personal space and sunshine? But for now, although I’m late in the game, I’m ready for New York and ready to play and rock this shit. Hard.

Besides, I’m a hustler baby, I just want you to know. It ain’t where I been but where I’m ’bout to go

those-who-hustle5

Change gon’ come..

New York City was one of  my first real loves. It happened 8 years ago. I was smitten the moment I got into the cab to Brooklyn from JFK airport. That first trip I did all the obligatory tourist visits (Emipre State Building, Liberty Island, Museum of Natural History, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Rockefeller Center, Times Square, Broadway to watch the musical Rent, have a frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity, eat a hot dog at Nathan’s in Coney Island, buy fake purses from the back of a store on Canal Street etc etc etc) but I also partook in doing things off the beaten tourist path (Go on my self mapped tour of consignment and boutique shops to satiate my retail needs, attend a concert for a live taping of Good Morning America at Bryant Park for Robin Thicke at 6AM on a weekday, marvel at the beauty of the Brooklyn Botanical garden, fall asleep on a green park bench in central park to a guy playing the saxophone in the mid afternoon, watch Common hump a random girl at SummerStage after Joss Stone opened the concert, wander through the most beautiful library I’ve ever been to, order from a Halal cart out front of a club I spent hours drinking the night away in then precede to convince a cab driver to drive me all the way back to Brooklyn from Mid town Manhattan, hit up underground jazz clubs because I was in the company of people in the know, steal a couple steins from a beer garden, talk to the crazy lady who muttered to herself out front of the Brownstone she resided in about how her neighborhood quickly was becoming gentrified…) Everything about New York drew me in. It pulled at my heart strings and elicited a kind of excitement and admiration that nothing had before. I do have other favorite cities. If you know me I’m sure it’s come up in conversation before. Chicago is one, Paris and Prague are others and most recently Chiang Mai in Thailand made the cut. But New York is different. In New York you really feel alive. There a sort of vibrancy that pulses through your veins while in The City that will leave you wanting more.

Since then I’ve been back to visit numerous times. Each time exploring the city in a different way but the feelings of awe and longing remained to be true. Recently I made the very impulsive, yet long time coming, decision to move to New york. And since then I’ve had a “New York” playlist running through my mind. We’re talkin’ “New York, New York”, “Empire State of Mind”, “No Sleep til Brooklyn”, “New York State of Mind”, “Give My Regards to Broadway”, even “6th Avenue Heartache” among countless others. Right now, as I write the first post to what will undoubtedly be an amazing blog (let’s hope I keep it up, for your sake. whoever “your” is) our (mine and Huxley’s. duh. The blog is called lil’ pup, big city) new adventure has already started to work itself into fruition. My thoughts have been fragmented into To-Do-lists before I leave; outlined below for you in bulletpoint fashion (you tell me what person with even slight OCD doesn’t love bulletpoints. right.)

  • Sell my furniture (damn. I really love my table.) and car (yeah, that sexy ass car I’ve come to be proud of esp after the buyer’s remorse and pretentiousness escaped me. to me it signified that in some way I made it, all on my own. all miss independent hands up in the air type shit)
  • sift through what clothes I want to bring to New York, then do that again about 10 times over to whittle the closet down to Manhattan apartment standards
  • call the Vet to get Huxley medication so he’s knocked out on the flight there and doesn’t embarrass me for being part chihuahua (ugh. i know. chihuahua. huge point of contention for me btw, but I digress, we can discuss that in another post)
  • organize for a garage sale so hoarders can bargain with me until I acquiesce to their relentless griping of not being able to spend that full 2 dollars and instead can only give me $1.50 (fine, you assholes win, now take it and go away)
  • have the garage sale all while getting drunk on mimosas or cheap beer (remember, I’m now on a strict budget so that I can get drunk on the good shit in New York )
  • finish running errands in preparation for my sister’s babyshower that I will very sadly be missing (boo! i won’t be there. but yay! it’s a boy! )
  • and the list goes on and on…

Oh and lest I remind myself of the things I need to do after I move:

  • find an apartment
  • find a job
  • find a dog park for the “lil pup”
  • find new Drs
  • find my new favorite restaurants and bars
  • find a laudrymat if my apt doesn’t end up having washer and dryers in the building
  • find find find….

Lots of things to find. Clearly I’m on a search for something and I’ve convinced myself I will find it in New York, NY.

I’m rambling but this is how my stream of consciousness talks in my mind. I never said I was a writer. I’m starting this blog because in all selfishness I don’t want to become obsolete to the people I’m moving away from that I know and love or the people that have already moved away from me that I know and love (cough cough. Ali. cough cough. Kathy). So if you’re interested you can keep up with this whole me moving from the only place I’ve ever called home to way across the other side of the country business blog of mine. I mean, yes, I re-downloaded Vox to my phone (all thanks to Jan and Mich’s continued vox campaign) and I have been using skype for years (skype handle:leilucero. add me. once I find an apartment I’ll show you how the broke and ambitious live in manhattan, a city of over 1.5 million people. i know. crazy.) but this way we can pretend I’m still around. To mix it up I’ll add some random travel, pics of the lil shit monster most refer to as Huxley, some quotes by some people, probably even some dating antics of weirdos I come across. We shall see what I bless you with. The options are seemingly endless at this point. I don’t promise it will be insightful, inspirational, witty, articulate or even grammatically correct. And the look will probably change. But here it is anyway. Oh, technology and social media. You’re welcome.

Also, did you know people in New York laugh at us when we refer to SF as “the city”. It’s ok because in my head I laugh at them when they call it San Fran. Who’s stupid now??

Right when I started writing this post Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” popped into my head and has been on repeat. I now feel obligated to share with you the lyrics  below. It became the civil rights anthem in the 60s. Do I need to write the disclaimer that obviously I’m not comparing my move to New York to the civil rights movement? The words are just making me reflect on what’s happening in my life currently. If you needed a disclaimer, there you go, consider it disclaimed.

“A Change Is Gonna Come”

I was born by the river in a little tent
Oh, and just like the river I’ve been running ever since
It’s been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gon’ come, oh yes it will
It’s been too hard living, but I’m afraid to die
Cause I don’t know what’s up there beyond the sky
It’s been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gon’ come, oh yes it will
I go to the movie and I go down town
Somebody keep telling me don’t hang around
Its been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gon’ come, oh yes it will
Then I go to my brother
And I say, “Brother, help me please.”
But he winds up knockin’ me
Back down on my knees
There been times when I thought I couldn’t last for long
But now I think I’m able to carry on
It’s been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gon’ come, oh yes it will
______________________________________________________________________
* I apologize for my overuse of “air-quotes” but I hope as you read this you mentally “air-quoted”. and if you didn’t please do so now.
** I also apologize if my writing is difficult to read and offends you and/or you found grammatical errors and you immediately wanted to edit. Actually, I’m not sorry. You’re the one that chose to read it. That’s your bad.
*** BOOM. (aren’t you tired of people that say that?! I am. BOOM. I’m also tired of words and phrases such as selfie, mind blown, nailed it, check out this frozen let it go parody, totes, amazeballs. stop it. just stop)

**** I obviously had to end this with a picture of Huxley in the travel pet carrier. After 2 days of treats  and “good boy’s” to lure him in he’s slightly warming up. No, that’s not a look of fright and uncertainty at all. We’ll be fine.

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