And now, Phase Two..

I’m in NEW YORK CITY. (NEW YORK CITY?! who remembers the Pace Picante commercials??) I touched down in New York yesterday morning around 7:30 EST/4:30 PST. I’ll always remember the day I left because it was 07/07/14. Pretty cool date, I thought.


It was weird thinking that I got a one-way ticket and that I was trekking Huxley across country with me to New York a bit sedated. It was all surreal. Like, I was going through the motions but I don’ think I quite grasped that this was such a huge change. It still felt like I was just going to New York to visit.


Poor lil’ Huxley Bear was trying to scratch his way out of his carrier throughout the night. I did give him medication but I think his nerves were at full force so he still had a lot of anxiety. He’s a pretty active dog with a lot of energy and hates being restricted in any way, so I can’t imagine the flight was fun for him. I am thankful, however, that he did not bark. I was really nervous about that. It’s not like I could get cray cray and yell at him at the airport to be quiet. Could you imagine? He did pretty good considering.


I feel like I’ve been saying goodbye to friends and family for a while now. Once you decide to make such a huge change there are waves of emotions, not just for one’s self internally, but also from those closest to you. That, to me, is what affected me the most. The last few days became a little overwhelming in that sense. It was difficult for me to be excited about the move when it was so bittersweet and I felt a sadness from the people that love and support me. Being a part of that sadness and not being able to help it and know I was the cause of it is a strange feeling.


My last day was a busy one. I started off having breakfast with one of my favorite people, ever. You know those people you meet and you just click with right off the bat? They just get it and get you and you don’t need to explain yourself. Yeah, I was lucky enough to have met my soul sister. She’s ride or die. And I’m soooo gratfeul for her. We ate our feelings for breakfast. Clearly.


I also ran last minute errands and went to AAA to say goodbye to Curtis. Unfortch, I accidentally deleted  that photo. But you can imagine, it’s a pic of me and big black teddy bear Curtis. The bestie picked me up for lunch and we ran more errands. Then came the packing. Packing is a bitch. A. Bitch. I was sweating profusely in my mom’s garage trying to get everything together while the bff and the seester watched on. After packing I had to say bye to La and my unborn nephew.

<Insert photo of ugly cry here>

I didn’t want anyone to come to the airport because I knew that I would breakdown in tears. It’s not cute to have swollen red eyes with smeared mascara schlepping around a nervous semi-sedated dog and other crap while trying to also hold down more tears. It’s really not.  I didn’t win that one. I wanted to be selfish but I also got the need for my girls wanting to say goodbye. I’m happy they did but shit, seeing your pregnant best friend cry is heartbreaking.


I’ve been feeling so much love and just thinking about that alone makes me choke up. I’ve built an empire of amazing individuals who truly love and support me and want me to succeed and be happy. I’m grateful, humbled and blessed. When something so impactful happens, like a marriage, a death, a sickness, a birth of a baby, a breakup, or a move, people really come together. It forces you to once again be reminded that nothing lasts forever and that life is ever evolving and people want to hold on to the memories and that moment before life alters because the unknown is scary. How will this change affect me? Change, even if it’s not for you directly, makes you questions your own life. This person is having a baby, should I also be at that stage and do I even want kids? This person made a career change, am I really happy with my job? This person is getting married. I want to get married but do I want to marry the person I’m with? This person’s family member is dying. I’m feeling impending mortality myself. I need to look at or redefine my bucket list. I want to die happy. Change forces you to look at your life and evaluate your happiness and reevaluate your goals if needed. There are so many moving parts so when someone or something shakes things up it’s interesting to see the riptides thereafter. It’s like the butterfly effect in that a single occurrence no matter how small can ultimately change the course of the universe forever after.

Fast forward to today. I’ve now lived in New York for a full 24 hours. Here’s a map of Manhattan. Get acquainted. I’ve pointed out where Hux and I are currently located.


I’m at the Phase Two part of this big cross country move. For the act of simplifying I’m chalking up this move to 3 Phases, cleverly entitled Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3. (sometimes the wit escapes me) Phase One was the decision to move, wrap up my Cali life and get me to New York unscathed (this way New York can do the necessary beat down). Phase Two started once I landed in New York and had to deal with all my baggage (you can use that literally and figuratively). I am now living out of suitcases trying to find a job and apartment so that I can successfully move into Phase 3 of this 3 part drama series.








Phase 3 is the goal. Right now it looks like a mirage teasing me with a promise of water in the desert. We’ll get there. Enduring Phase 2 right now is the immediate struggle. I’ll romanticize a bit for you what Phase 3 will look like. Well at least what I envision. Ready? It looks like this; that moment when I’m walking down to the subway and push through the turnstile, swipe my yellow metro card and walk through the subway doors in my cute black pencil skirt paired with a bright colored top, a sexy leather work tote that fits my laptop and cute Tory Burch makeup bag from the bestie nicely, and black Cole Haan studded toe ballet flats (this life is one of me in flats. I had to buy these suckers from Nordy’s rack before I left. I know, me in ballet flats.. strange). I’m coming from a happy hour of cocktails shared with my awesome coworkers from my awesome high paying job right in the heart of Manhattan. We were celebrating a day of great productivity and accomplishments. On the ride home I’m smiling to myself because happy hour was a steal and although I dropped a lot of money I am winning because the bar had awesome prices. Smiling to myself I look up and catch eyes with a hottie in the crowded subway car who smiles back. My exit is the next stop. I get out, even more satisfied with my day because of that brief encounter with Mr Hottie. As I get through the front doors of my doorman’ed building (again, remember I am romanticizing. we can all dream for a building with a doorman) I greet my doorman homie and check my mail. I see something from home. I open it as I take the elevator up to my apt. It’s from Cali. Someone sent a card saying they were just thinking of me and hoped I was enjoying my New York life. I open the door and there’s lil Huxley bear happy, excited and can’t wait to tell me about his day. We made it work; Huxley, I and New York. We were in Phase Three…

Jetblue 1 way ticket for Hux and I: $338

Extra Baggage fees: $125

A shot and a whiskey ginger at the airport: $15

A cart to take my luggage through the taxi line when I arrived at JFK: $5

Taxi from JFK to the UES (Upper East Side): $64.83

Breakfast/lunch bagel: $3.40

Monthly unlimited ride metro card: $113

Lagunitas IPA while waiting for the girls to meet up at a sports bar before dinner: $9

Dinner with some of the girls I already know in New York to celebrate: $28

Starting my new life in a new old city: PRICELESS



*Please excuse my sweaty shining bloated face. It’s muggy and hot as shit here. My body is walking around thinking it’s a sauna. Honestly, I haven’t stopped sweating since my garage sale on Sunday.

** Of course right when we get to Ela’s Huxley shits on the rug. Thanks, dog. Way to give a good impression on the people who’ve graciously let us crash in their cozy apt. That photo is of our walk towards Central Park on Museum Mile (5th Ave)

*** I took my first solo subway ride. It was a straight shot, no transfers, nothing crazy or difficult. But I was still proud of myself. I have some anxiety around trying to figure out the system and getting lost. I don’t know why given I’ve taken the cal train solo numerous times. And I used to bus it to high school everyday until people got cars. Wish me luck with the NY subway system. It seems really daunting.

**** There are a lot of people who sent me off to New York in such a sweet sweet way. Thank you for the sweet cards and gifts, texts and calls. And simply just spending your time with me. I am forever grateful for your support and well wishes. Because of you beautiful people I went into this with confidence and conviction. Continue to send out your good vibes and prayers. They work. Thank you. A million times over thank you.



One thought on “And now, Phase Two..

  1. Cin Mai Garcia

    I love reading all of this Lei…it makes me laugh, smile, and cry. I really can’t believe you’re gone. I miss you and wish you nothing but the best, success and happiness! Love you…



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