Monthly Archives: November 2014

Giving thanks

I have so much to be thankful for and humbled by. I’m so blessed; I have a wonderful amazing support network comprised of other beautiful strong people whom I admire and love dearly; I have a wonderfully playful adorable pup who is loving and loyal and has brought me so much joy and taught me responsibility; I have a sweet roommate who has turned into a friend that I trust and appreciate; I have a job that pays me to continue to live a lifestyle I am accustomed to that many people would dream of; I have my health; I have amazing opportunities that continue to make their way into my life at every turn; I have freedom and literacy; I have education readily available; along with clean water; I am alive.

I have an abundance of goodness in my life that I stopped taking for granted along the way.

I recently volunteered at a soup kitchen in Chelsea. It is the biggest soup kitchen in Manhattan. I spent 4 hours of a Sunday on my feet handing out water to the homeless that were eating off their food trays given to them by other volunteers. We fed  over 1000 meals. I spoke to so many people some were very thankful and sweet; some were not very friendly. Some were blatantly abusing the system and working the different volunteers to get more trays of food. It made me sad to think that they felt they couldn’t just ask and be given the food; instead they felt they had to work an angle to get what they needed. Not what they wanted but what they needed. This is what some of these people are taught through their struggles and it broke my heart.

I’ve volunteered more than a handful of times at random points in my life in varying ways. When I was attending junior college I was a part of the UNICEF club and volunteered with grade schools to make lunch with the kids or do arts and crafts. At a company I was with I helped spearhead the backpack and school supply drive and assisted in the toys for tots by collecting money and buying the gifts for those that didn’t have the time to do so. I’ve participated in clothing drives.

I’ve always wanted to be a consistent volunteer but life always got in the way. I wanted to do more and contribute more but for one reason or another (not knowing where to go to find volunteer work, not having the time, etc) I didn’t. When natural disasters hit I was quick to donate money. Sometimes that avenue is easier than giving of your time. But also, sometimes money is what will really bring relief to certain situations. My dad always told me when I was a kid that whenever I found money on the ground or somewhere random I should donate half of it to the church.That stuck with me.

I do little things for strangers that I don’t feel necessary deserve praise. It’s so little and doesn’t impact my finances much but if someone were to do them for me I would feel good. Little things make the world go ’round. If someone is having a shitty day or a shitty life and someone reaches out a hand in a tender way without asking for anything back it solidifies human connection. We are all connected to each other in one way or another.

With all the crazy in the world people need to pause and be kind to one another. Hurting someone’s small business in protest does not help bring about justice. It in fact creates more turmoil and anger and grief in the community. People need to support and uplift and try to affect change in a way that forces people to listen. Allowing someone to bully someone and not intervene condones a bully’s behavior. Not speaking up for what is right and what is moral makes one a coward and in my eyes just as bad as one behaving badly. Once there is anger and lack of compassion and fear people stop listening and just react. It completely breaks my heart to see all that is going on in the world and in the news. I’m too sensitive and emotional to continue reading all these new articles about the sadness and the crazy.

I try to be positive and optimistic and I will continue to try to be true to that person in me but in lieu of recent events it’s been tough. I will also try harder to give back to my community if not to A community in need. I can’t sit around anymore and wish to do more for those in need. I have to do more for those in need.

Volunteering at the soup kitchen was such a wonderful experience. One that I will try to make regular. It was beyond rewarding. It was completely humbling. These people that are homeless or in low income families were in real need. Some people were my age. Some people had their children with them. It shocked me a little actually. It also broke my heart but instilled in me a faith in human kindness. People want to help. And people getting help appreciate it.

I spent Thanksgiving yesterday at the house of 2 friends I have become closer to since I moved to New York. Their parent’s opened their home to me and another friend and shared a special occasion with strangers. My two friends Dahlia and Kimia are both amazing, loving, generous people and I saw firsthand how they got to be that way. We all laughed and shared stories over a delicious meal and good wine and the bomb ass pecan pie I made from scratch! It truly made me feel love and gratitude in my heart, especially being so far away from home and loved ones I usually spend Thanksgiving with.

IMG_9089

IMG_9092

IMG_9095

IMG_9110

IMG_9098

IMG_9107

IMG_9106

IMG_9108

My heart is full (as well as my belly) and I want to thank all of you that have supported me and loved me and continue to do so. I am grateful for every single one of you.

Thank you.

Advertisements

My Tuesday

I want to explain to you a day in the life. I’ve said this before. Days in New York are long. People here hustle and they’re efficient in speed and accuracy. I love the pace. I’m getting quite used to it. If I am stagnant for too long I become restless and need to, at the very least, go on a walk. Although I can see this kind of life not being sustainable for too long, I am loving it right now.

This morning I woke up leisurely; very comfy and very cozy in my bed and I lingered. After a bit the guilt of being late to work and letting the pup outside to do his business got to be too much so I eventually got up. I threw on clothes and tromped down the many flights of stairs so that Huxley and I could do a quick walk around the block. I took my sweet time getting ready when we got back; catching up with the roomie as I did so.

I finally got my shit together and figured out what to where and hurriedly arrived at the subway stop. As my train gets there I realized that my optimistic hope in getting to work before 8:30 just wasn’t feasible. The train was just too crowded.

People here pack on that shit like sardines. I’ve been more intimate with strangers on the subway that I have with anyone in the last year or so. It’s such a strange thing to get used to.

So there I was stuck waiting for the next train. 10 minutes. Sigh. Train finally comes; I get on and it’s crowded per ushe. At least I was able to hop on this one.

3 stops and got off at my transfer and waited another 5 or so minutes. Thosee mere minutes while waiting for the train always feel like the longest. I was finally on my way and 2 stops later I was ushered off the E and up the (working! yay! that shit never works) escalator so that I could walk up an additional couple flights of stairs to the free flowing midtown east air and speedily walk 2 blocks to my building that is forever under construction.

I productively worked 4 hours then hopped on a train to union square on a break so that I could return something at Nordys Rack & Forever 21. Then I was back on the subway to work. All under an hour. Another productive 4 hours later then I was off to Hereld Square Macys to return more shit.

I did a closet raid last night to see what I needed to return before Thanksgiving. There is no way in hell I’m going in any department store from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Don’t even. I don’t play. That’s what Amazon is for.

I got on the M train the wrong direction. Ugh. Mother… I got off at the next stop to turn my ass right back around towards the right direction of Macys. Once I hit the streets after the subway I was feeling all sorts of anxiety. (As if I weren’t already feeling enough). So many people everywhere and even worse so many of them don’t know how to walk. The Christmas displays were out and so lovely but I couldn’t calm myself enough to slow down and be a spectator. Screw it. I decided I would come back to pay them the attention they deserve on a day where I was feeling all zen and mentally prepared for the crowds and Holiday chaos. Right.

Bam. I was then hit with the Macys insanity. Perfume people were trying to douse me in their shit and everyone is taking pictures of the decorations. I’m exasperated at this point and do a quick prayer to preserve my sanity. I return my crap at the respected levels in which said crap belongs because you can’t just do it all in one register. No. That would be too easy.

I complete the transactions, walk out, and immediately felt lighter although the anxiety didn’t truly escape me until I was far enough away from that midtown mess. I vowed to myself I would never go back to that Macys again. I’ve done that 3 times too many. I’d rather just keep the shit, never use it, and eat the money then go back and experience more of that type of hell.

It was at this point in my day that I try to jump on the express train to get home. But again for the 2nd time I was unable to because it was too damn crowded. The next train finally arrived and I moved to the side to let people off. (don’t ever be that asshole that tries to get on the subway when people haven’t gotten off yet. I hate those assholes). In doing so I apparently cut some dude off trying to get on. I didn’t give a fuck. I wasn’t able to get on the last one. I was determined. I got on and this mother fucker pushes me. And not in the way everyone pushes to get on but pushes me because he was irate. I turn to him and am like “dude. we’re all trying to get to the same place. relax”. I might have also gave him a death glare. He goes to say everyone is pushing blah blah. I was pissed. But then of course later I realized I wasn’t proud of my behavior. We’re all cattle being herded somewhere during rush hour. I didn’t need to react to his douchebaggery. I had to remind myself to breathe. Whooosaaa…

After all that drama I went to Trader Joes to get some grocery shopping in before Thanksgiving. Surprisingly it wasn’t as busy as I thought it would be and the lines were shorter than when I’ve been in there prior. Color me happy. But alas, there were no more pecans. NO MORE PECANS?! Grrrrr… I’m making pecan pie for Thanksgiving and I need my fucking pecans people! Chopped or whole. I didn’t care at this point. After grabbing an unnecessary amount of snacks and the necessary amount of real food I wait at the bus stop to take me, my 2 very full bags of groceries, my big laptop bag and my tote bag 8 blocks up to 79th street. Of course, I had just missed the bus. I saw it drive by as I waited to cross the street. It’s like seeing your life flash before you. Not fun.

I chat it up with the man sitting next to me as we waited. We continue to chat it up on the crowded bus where I had to stand with all my shit. A sweet elderly man with a kind face asked me if I was Filipino and said his wife was from the Philippines. I told him Happy Holidays as he got off the bus.

Finally, finally! I see my building; walked up the stairs and into my apartment. I unloaded the groceries and all the other shit I was holding. I sat down and played with Hux for a few minutes, grabbed my package for the postoffice, updated my grocery list for things I still needed on my phone and was back out the door and down the stairs.

Thankfully the postoffice closes at 7PM. I dropped my pkg off with only a couple people in line then walked in the direction to the grocery store. Evidently, pecans are like gold here in New York because 2 freakin’ cups cost me 12 mother fucking dollars. I bought 2 packages. Along with other crap of course. I heard the sound of more money going down the drain and I schlepped more groceries back home.

I got home and put together something easy and fast to scarf down (asparagus, toasted sourdough bread with boursin and salami) and sat and enjoyed that with a glass of wine. Oh but wait, Huxley wouldn’t let me forget I still needed to let him out before the night was over. It’s at this point when I’m walking down the stairs I really take notice of the newest pain to add to the list, my knees. I start dreaming of an elevator building and continue that fantasy as I walked Huxley around the block.

So all this takes you to the present moment. I am now sitting in my living room in the corner chair by the window sipping more wine with my feet up and the lil shit monster laying next to me. This morning feels like a week ago. Such is life in New York City. I’m not kidding when I say days here are long. At home a long day consists of work then dinner with a friend and possibly target in between. It ain’t about that life here. God, I miss Target.

Let me recap and summarize my day for you:

  • 7 trains
  • 1 bus
  • 8 hrs of solid no bullshit wk productivity
  • 3 department stores
  • 2 grocery stores
  • 1 post office
  • 1 person to yell at
  • 8 times up/down the 3.5 flights of stairs
  • 2 glasses of wine

With all this being said I’m exhausted. I had a wonderful busy fun weekend which I will get into later, if there is a later..

For Thanksgiving I’m going to spend it with my lovely friends Kimia and Dahlia, a couple other friends of theirs and the rest of their immediate family. I am very excited. I love these girls tremendously and I can’t wait to meet their parents and give them pie and drink wine and have fun conversations. And of course eat a bunch of good food (pecan pie especially). I am looking forward to relaxing the rest of the weekend. Catching up on only a few hours of work. Painting a canvas for above my bed. Longs walks with Huxley in new areas of the city to explore and areas we already have. Cooking delicious meals. Having the apartment to myself.

I’m just excited to decompress and to have alone time.

Today was a long day. Every day tends to be a long day for the most part. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I feel alive in ways I haven’t before. It’s strange and new but oddly comforting. This is exactly what I need to be feeling right now. It adds in another level of appreciation. I’m starting to understand why people say you need to move a handful of times in your life for a myriad of different reasons. It truly brings on new revelations and types of awareness and understanding. I’m curious as to what else I will learn but for now I am spent.

Good night.

November Rain

Yes, it’s rained but more so I wanted a catchy song title so it was either that or ‘Gone Til November’ and since I don’t know how long I’m gone for ‘November Rain’ it is. So much has been going on this month. I’ve always been the type to stay busy and have tons of plans on the calendar. I tend to feel bored or lonely if I don’t. I’ve mentioned before the days are long here in New York and I really love it. But then come the days where I crash and want nothing to do with anything and need a little life break; only allowing the food delivery guy to disrupt my day by bringing me something fried or cheesy or both in major excess with sides and sides of carbs. One day I will find a balance. (Most likely I will not) The last couple of days have been more of the latter. Tonight however I do plan on cooking a delicious healthy meal and washing it down with wine. Yeah baby. Get in my belly.

Some highlights of November thus far, in no particular order:

  • Impromptu happy hour with Eliza & Kimia on the worst day I’ve had in New York to date
  • Mario Batali walking tour with Becca & Ela for Becca’s birthday
  • Meeting the floor manager at my new favorite neighborhood bar who gave Ela and I exclusive tastings from a special Bordeaux reserve
  • Watching all the colors change with fall in full swing
  • Cheering on all the NYC Marathon runners while drinking mimosa mix out of a camelbak water bottle
  • Coming home to the dog walker scrubbing away at a stain on the couch that he didn’t know the cause of nor could give me any info thus resulting in me having to drop ir off at the cleaners and pay top dollar for
  • Rochelle coming to visit NYC for the first time
  • Niners/Giants game at Metlife Stadium and having the Niners WIN!
  • Coming across an awesome craft beer bar and enjoying 2 very lovely different types of IPAs
  • The degrees continuing to drop the last few days and my fingers feeling for the first time the burning freezing sensation
  • A single’s trivia event
  • Not seeing Festival of the Lights because they reached capacity 3.5 hours before they closed (jerks) and instead finding an awesome whiskey bar and staying out til 3AM
  • Deciding my next career move

Not all were spectacular moments but all were definitely highlights. There’s more to come in November as we got 11 days left, but there you have it folks. Some pictures below for your viewing pleasure. These were from the Mario Batali tour, a happy hour night and some randoms. (Because there are so many I’ll have to do pictures continuation posts). I know, patience is a virtue. See you’re learning something. You’re welcome

Enjoy.

IMG_8586

IMG_8513

IMG_8514

IMG_8515

IMG_8581

IMG_8519

IMG_8518

IMG_8520

IMG_8521

IMG_8579

IMG_8527

IMG_8528

IMG_8555

IMG_8552

IMG_8542

IMG_8529

IMG_8530

IMG_8541

IMG_8590

IMG_8537

IMG_8531

IMG_8600

IMG_8567

IMG_8566

IMG_8577

IMG_8571

IMG_8570

IMG_8573

IMG_8649

IMG_8653

IMG_8668

IMG_8681

IMG_8617

IMG_8628

IMG_8689

Invigorated

I’m drinking a lovely IPA. I haven’t had a good craft brew in a hot minute. I love this shit. I’m currently sitting at a craft beer bar in the East Village while waiting for one of my favorite people and I just had a moment.

I used to go do tastings with my ex all the time. Even before that I enjoyed good quality craft beer. I feel like a little part of me is back. No one I know here in New York loves craft beers. For the most part I’ve seen people drink shit pbr and bud lights. It’s so not my thing. Carbonated water just doesn’t do it for me. It makes me super gassy and I spend all my following minutes burping away while wishing to be drunk. But that’s all besides the point.

Back to my moment. I’m sitting here at the bar really enjoying my IPA. Like really really enjoying it. And they start bumping old school Janet Jackson and then! (Yes, it gets better!) Then they start playing ‘Man In the Mirror’ by Michael Jackson. This song right here speaks to my soul. It brings out any and all good feelings I had growing up and truly makes me happy.

So now I find myself reflecting on who I am and this so called ‘man in the mirror’. There are big changes in the works folks and I’m very excited. Like color me fucking happy excited. I’m looking at a career change that will enrich my life personally in ways that I hope will engulf me and satiate this need I’ve had for fulfillment for so long. Stay tuned. Clocks are turning and I’m so pumped! Cheers!

October in photos

I can’t believe it’s almost mid-November. I’ve been here now in NYC for 4 months.  I turned 32 last month. It’s soon to be the year 2015. Time is flying by so fast even though my days are so long.

Huxley and I are preparing for winter. We both now have winter coats ready and waiting. We’re wearing our raincoats sporadically. Some days are really nice; some days I just want to spend in bed listening to the rain. The heat in the building was turned on a few weeks ago. My apartment gets so warm at times. Too warm. We’re unable to turn off the heat completely. So although it may be in the 40s outside, I’m super toasty inside. And I’m still sweating as I walk up and down and in and out the subways. So sexy. It’s going to be really fun when I have a heavy coat on. Just experiencing seasons alone has proven to be expensive. Things you don’t think about when you really only have 1 1/2 – 2 seasons in Cali.

Anyways, here’s a barrage of photos highlighting random October fun for your viewing pleasure.

IMG_7631

IMG_7688

IMG_7705

IMG_8636

IMG_7774

IMG_7786

IMG_7809

IMG_7927

IMG_7836

IMG_7845

IMG_7919

IMG_7916

IMG_7907

IMG_7918

IMG_7896

IMG_7921

IMG_8003

IMG_8017

IMG_8047

IMG_8092

IMG_8081

IMG_8091

IMG_8095

IMG_8139

IMG_8106

IMG_8122

IMG_8162

IMG_8487

IMG_8296

IMG_8298

IMG_8226

IMG_8285

IMG_8289

IMG_8291

IMG_7939

IMG_8336

IMG_7856

IMG_7859

IMG_8396

IMG_8416

IMG_8424

IMG_8403

IMG_8435

More changes to come

I’ve been thinking lately of making a career change. Ask me what and I’m unable to respond to that. I’m still unsure of that tiny little detail. I started my job a month and a half ago. Do I like it? Not one bit. Am I happy I’m getting paid? Fuck yea I am. My savings is still sorely lacking. And by lacking I mean it’s nonexistent; but like everything I’m giving it the gift of time. But my closet sure is growing by the day given my penchant for online shopping and pretty new things.

This company is such a chaotic mess. People are constantly pointing fingers and throwing others under the proverbial bus. My boss is basically a bipolar nut job. She huffs and puffs all day long complaining loudly of all the things she has to do and what her calendar looks like. It’s obnoxious and uncalled for. My new coworker started 3 weeks ago and although she’s nice and I really do like her; she can be just as draining with her negativity and incessant talking. I hate how I’m so sensitive to my environment. I try to work with my headphones on but that doesn’t seem to help. I’ve even tried to nicely tell her we should be positive since we are here for at least the interim. She’s not the kind of person to be positive. I’m at a complete loss.

So here I am. I’m struggling to maintain some semblance of sanity as I get through my days one at a time. It’s tough. I’m overwhelmed with my workload and I still don’t know the ins and outs of the business because my boss keeps telling me she doesn’t know shit either but to ‘just go with it’. She keeps repeating her go to mantra ‘it’s all about adaptability, flexibility, and a sense of humor here’. She says that and my immediate reaction is to roll my eyes and/or punch her in the throat. Just kidding. Not really…

With all this said, I’m beyond drained at the end of the day. When I’m riding my 2nd train on my commute home and I approach my neighborhood that’s when I really start to relax. The Upper West Side is a completely different world from where my job is midtown. Once I walk up the subway steps and hit the fresh air blowing from all directions I see trees and sidewalk space. Every time I get off my stop I feel like I’m in a different world. It’s amazing.

That’s the misconception with New York. Manhattan is huge. It’s not a 14 mile radius like San Francisco. You really feel the difference in the varying neighborhoods. It’s wonderful.

Because the days in New York are so long (people pack in so much in one day here. ie work, errands, volunteering, a workout, hh [happy hour], walking/feeding the dog, dinner with friends or a date etc all in one day!) I like to decompress by enjoying a glass of wine or cocktail. So I end up coming home, running some errands then I let the lil pup out and feed him then I’m on my way to a restaurant I’ve been meaning to check out. If possible I’d prefer getting together with a friend but if not I still really enjoy solo time at the bar of the reataurant.

The problem that presents itself is that this shit gets fucking expensive. I probably cook 1-2 meals at home a week on a really good week. I miss cooking but I prefer to spend my time out of my apartment. I mean, I didn’t move all the way across the country to New York City to spend all my time in my apartment. Especially since winter is coming, I know that I most likely won’t want to leave my apartment when the weather is shitty and unbearable.

Currently I am siting at a new restaurant that just opened 3 weeks ago that I’ve been meaning to check out. It’s trendy and has an awesome bar. The bartender has been feeding me tastings. It’s great. I’m also 2 blocks from home. Beyond ideal. I have so many restaurants and bars around me I can’t get over it. Ela and my roommate are separately on their way to meet me but I wanted to get some writing in and have some solo time before. I love this shit, I really do. Not just the writing but the being able to go sit a a bar in a restaurant so close to my apt and have a drink and be in my own little world. I recommend you all do it. You will feel empowered, I promise.

Anyways, I recently bought the book ‘What Color is My Parachute’. It’s supposed to help you decide the what’s and how’s of a career as well as providing tips on landing the what’s and how’s. A lot of it I’m aware of (given I’m a recruiter and all) and some of it I don’t agree with; but I figure anything helps. I’ve gotten to the part where I now need to do ‘work’. As in, there are exercises that will help me tune in on what careers I need to start focusing in on. I don’t mind the work. You get in what you put in right? Right. (That shit was rhetorical)

All of this career shit is TBD. I keep thinking that I didn’t move all this way, miles and miles from home, to become complacent in a job I thoroughly do not enjoy. Please send good vibes. I’m very self aware but I want to make sure my next career move truly brings me joy and can use any help in the right direction. And even in of itself I just want a next career move. In all ways possible I want to enrich my life. Fortunately or unfortunately, I am constantly reminded of my mortality and that shit scares me to no avail. I’ve spent so many days, months, and years unhappy. I won’t allow myself to be in that kind of position again. I am telling you all this so I can be accountable. Feel free to hold me to that shit and call me out when necessary. Put me on blast. If any, I will respect you more for calling me out. I dare you.

Big.Love.

The problem with dating is that most people eventually grow to have expectations. I guess with that the inverse would then be to know how to manage those expectations.

I went on 6 dates since I started the inevitable dating game. The first and only guy I’ve been on a date with here in New York City. My friends here have told me that he’s done way more to woo me than most guys in New York do when they date. Since I don’t have any other guy in New York I’ve dated to compare him to I really have no opinion on that. There was a connection and there was definitely chemistry. I thought he was a good genuine guy. Unfortunately, for one reason or another in which I am still confused about we are no longer seeing each other. Even more unfortunate is that I now find myself in a place that is really unsettling.  Not because I’m hugely heartbroken, although I am disappointed. I mean, 6 dates hardly constitutes as knowing someone; even though we’ve seen people get married for less.

What’s unfortunate, (or fortunate depending on how you look at it) is that I got a taste of something I didn’t realize I was missing.

When I went on my first day I had zero expectations. I expected to walk away with a cringe worthy story I could share over drinks and laughter with my friends. I was taken completely by surprised when I found myself wanting to see him again. I didn’t think I even wanted to start dating. I frankly put myself out there because it felt like it was time too not because of a longing I had within me. (Lest I remind you I’ve been on a dating hiatus since around the March time frame)

Now that I’m no longer seeing this British dude I find myself in a precarious situation. I got a taste of the good stuff. No, not sex. Although that is good too. I’m talking about intimacy. And not intimacy in a sexual way. I mean in the way that someone held my hand and it made me feel good, secure, whole, and lovely all at once. That in having a conversation and sharing something private made me vulnerable to someone else while terrifying and exciting me. And his vulnerability only made him that much more endearing and interesting to me. The way that when you are looking into someone’s eyes you just see them completely raw. The truly listening to someone else because you want to soak up their words and the meaning behind them.

Intimacy.

I reveled in it. It felt fantastic. I forgot what that felt like. I forgot how whole intimacy can make you feel. Or maybe I didn’t forget. Maybe I wanted to forget because sometimes it’s easier that way. Complacency is such an easy feat. Sometimes putting aside feelings and longing is easier than putting in work.

So now I find myself here in this strange place where I am craving a deeper connection and true intimacy. It’s hard admitting that to myself. Even harder to accept that I’m ready to share my life with someone again. I was told recently by someone I love how much of a loving person I am. I never thought about that before because no one has ever said those words to me. It’s not that I don’t believe it to be true it was just nice to be acknowledged for what I strive to be. It got me thinking about how much love I have to give and how much I want in return. I’ve done the mediocre love before. I’ve given more than I’ve received and vice versa. I don’t want that shit anymore. I want the kind of love that will move mountains and write stories. I want big love.