Category Archives: New York

3 year love affair

New York and I are celebrating our 3 year anniversary today. It’s been an amazing 3 years with so many incredible ups and a fair share of downs. We’re still learning each other me and New York. But wow, what an amazing time we’ve had.

Because #lists here are a few highlights…

Awesome New York’y things I’ve done:

  • Opera at the Met
  • Watch the balloons for the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade be blown up
  • Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
  • Karaoke in K-town
  • Dumplings in Chinatown
  • See the Rockettes holiday spectacular during Christmastime
  • Philharmonic in Central Park
  • Watch the SF Giants play the Mets at Citifield
  • Yankees Games
  • Islanders vs Rangers at Barclays
  • Picnics in Central Park
  • Summer Movies in Bryant Park and along the Hudson
  • Staten Island Ferry
  • Dance on a float for the PRIDE march
  • Attend Protests in honor of democracy, equality, and morality
  • Walk the entire length of Summer Street
  • Cheer on friends run the New York City Marathon
  • Eat at incredible restaurants
  • Live in 3 neighborhoods in Manhattan and now 1 in Brooklyn
  • Eat at Smorgasburg
  • Amazing shows on Broadway (Jersey Boys, Lion King, Curious Incident of a Dog In the Nighttime, The Humans, Kinky Boots, Les Mis, Aladdin, On Your Feet, A Bronx Tale)
  • Shit shows on Broadway (School of Rock, Oh Hello, Fully Committed…)
  • Attend more shows/performances off broadway – Hasan Minhaj’s ‘Homecoming King’ was a big one to highlight, Opus Cactus by MOMIX was another
  • Go to comedy clubs and have a star make a guest appearance (Jim Gaffigan at New York Comedy Club)
  • Go to the Sakura Matsuri cherry blossom festival at the Botanical Garden
  • Live jazz at jazz clubs in the village
  • Montauk
  • The Hamptons
  • Random street fairs

Awesome New York’y things I’ve still to do:

  • Endless list of eats
  • Billy Joel at MSG
  • Helicopter over the city
  • Shakespeare in the Park
  • Walk around the Cloisters
  • Picnic on Governors Island
  • Attend a live taping of a show
  • Watch a movie at IFC, Paris Theatre, Nitehawk, Foreign Film Art house Cinema
  • Transit Museum
  • Upright Citizen’s Brigade
  • Bushwick Graffiti walking tour
  • Sunset drinks on the Met rooftop
  • Check out St John the Divine Cathedral
  • Double decker bus tour
  • Manhattanhenge
  • 9/11 Museum
  • High tea at the Plaza
  • Rolffs for drinks at Christmastime
  • Watch the tree lighting ceremony at Rockefeller Center
  • Ice Skating in Central or Bryant Park
  • More amazing broadway shows (Dear Evan Hansen, Hamilton, Beautiful, Miss Saigon…)

In addition to the above so many amazing things that have happened since I’ve lived here. Too many to list out for now. But trust me I am grateful and loved.

Tonight in honor of me and New York I’m having a dinner with a handful of my favorites then hitting a rooftop bar. I’m toasting this beautiful relationship I have with this incredible city. It brings me joy to celebrate so that is exactly what will be happening.

Thank you for enriching my life and helping me grow New York. I love you.

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Passing through the funk

The last couple months, give or take, I’ve not been myself. Or rather I’ve not operated the way in which I’ve operated let’s say the last 8 ish or so years. I lost a job that I wasn’t happy at and although I’ve been sending out requests to the Universe to help me break away from the organization I didn’t expect it to happen at the time it did and the way in which it did.

Funny how that works.

You put out your desires and it always comes back. The Universe may not answer your requests in the way that you predicted but it certainly responds.

To be fair it’s not to say I wasn’t grateful it happened.  To paint a picture I’ve got a metaphor. Those are always good to help visualize the situation.

Let’s say I was a pinata hanging off a tree in a pretty park. Getting fired was the last crack of the bat swung by the Universe that hit the pinata and now there lay all my life’s contents on the floor along with my cracked and broken pinata shell. What do I see you ask? Right here’s a reminder that I have a credit card bill coming up. Oh look, there’s a ‘go-get-’em-tiger’ well wishes card the Universe left me. Oh what’s that sharp ugly thing? Oh that’s my pride. And there, there are the dreams I have for my future career. And look, right here, I see my savings. Aww, there’s a picture of all the people that love me. Oh, here’s the shit I didn’t want to deal with but now how to face; fear. Somewhere in there is opportunity but it seems to be hidden underneath all these fun sized rainbow colored emotions.

Sensory overload and I didn’t know which to pick up and open first.

To further play on the metaphor I was being greedy and tried to open them all at once. As if one could stomach all that at once right?

So not right.

In turn what ended up happening was a magnificent sense of feeling overwhelmed and lost and frankly, sad.

I was navigating through the shock of being fired. The relief I no longer had to work for a boss I couldn’t respect and an organization I was checked out of. The gratitude directed to the Universe that it heard my plea. The confusion of not knowing what I wanted to do next but knowing I wanted to do it (whatever it was). The anxiety of no longer having that “stability” (i.e. healthcare benefits, monthly metro card, bi-weekly paycheck, unlimited PTO etc) and having to figure out logistics of living. The loneliness of not having my core supporters enveloping me in a big empathetic hug.

It’s been a tough couple of months. I spiraled. To be fair I also had bouts of good and motivation but it was really more of the I don’t need to shower it’s not like I have fun plans I am going to lay in bed and binge watch whatever I want while eating mass amount of Trader Joe’s chicken tacos with melted cheese on top and not think about how I have to let Huxley out to do his business at the minimum of 3x a day and run the risk of seeing my neighbors variety.

I tried to come out on top numerous times and to be honest I was getting pretty angry at myself. I was mad I felt some of these things when this was my clean break. Feeling lost and overwhelmed felt like I was lacking control. And that’s always been hard for me. The not having to control since most of my upbringing I was controled.

But I realize sometimes that simply a funk is a funk and a person may need to be funky.

It’s important to grieve. In this case I was grieving a job I took pride in and worked my ass off at. I was also grieving this career I made for myself over the course of 10 years. I was grieving a dream I envisioned and fulfilled in moving and living in New York. I was grieving for a part of me I was struggling to let go.

All the while procrastinating..

Procrastination is such a bitch. Seriously, it’s the worst.

Tell me why it’s so easy to procrastinate a dream, a goal, a desire? It shouldn’t be but alas here it was. Procrastination staring at me in the face and it was ugly and whispered very sinister things at me.

I had all these ideals that I couldn’t move forward unless I knew exactly what I was going to do career wise. I wanted to go from 0 to 60. It was just like me to turn my head to all the gray area.

I was feeling that if I wasn’t there (there being a insert job title here in this awesome new career at a fantastic non profit living a fulfilling meaningful life) immediately then I would be a failure.

Ok, unrealistic expectations much?

It’s a lot right? Yeah I put a lot of pressure on myself. And when I didn’t meet the pressures I was even harder on myself.

Cue back to I don’t need to shower it’s not like I have fun plans I am going to lay in bed and binge watch whatever I want while eating mass amount of Trader Joe’s chicken tacos with melted cheese on top and not think about how I have to let Huxley out to do his business at the minimum of 3x a day and run the risk of seeing my neighbors.

So.not.fair.

I feel like I’m at a turning point. Yay. I’m starting to feel more like myself. It’s a very welcomed feeling.

Here’s to uncovering the clues for beautiful opportunities!

 

 

 

To let go; to bring in

As the year comes to a close I’ve been doing a lot of self reflection. There was a night I gifted (well not quite gifted since it’s something we should give ourselves more frequently with zero guilt) myself where I sat down to be with my thoughts while I drank some fantastic wine with a smell good candle lit and Huxley snoozing on the bed by my side. It’s kind of incredible what a treat a night to yourself spent in the way you want to does for your being. It’s so completely underrated. 

I suggest you all give yourself a night immediately. 

You guys, I’ve done a lot this year. And it’s crazy to think I just realized how much I’ve done. I tend to jump in headfirst and boom there’s autopilot. It used to work for me. It was a survival skill I learned very young to help me through life that I now know wasn’t easy, ideal, or to be honest very loving. I don’t want it to sound like love was lacking in my life but the love was conditional and hard. It wasn’t conducive to a child’s growth or mindset.

But what I want now for myself is to be more mindful. I want expansion. I want to be seen. And by doing/having/being I will then create so much more opportunity in my life. 

I’ve learned that what I tend to do is expend ALL energy I have in work, friendships, whatever. And then as fast as I started I’m left exhausted, tired, and heavy with no energy. Ugh. It’s depleting. And it’s not sustainable. 

I’ve learned a lot about myself over the past 5 years. And I haven’t done it without help. 

If ever there was a segue to the idea of therapy I’m going to take this as it. 

Therapy is important. It is fruitful to being a well rounded person who can look at their hardships and give themselves love. Love to forgive. Love to accept. Love to take action. 

I cannot stress this enough. Therapy is important. It can have a negative stigma and that’s bullshit. 

Would you ask a sommelier what wine they recommend that pairs the best for the plate of food you’re about to order at an established 4 star restaurant? Did you not have a coach to guide you and challenge your physical and mental strength and capacity for whatever sport you played in school or professionally? Do big wig executives not have a board of trusted advisors to check in quarterly on the roadmap and to advise them of sound decisions to ensure a company is headed in the right direction? 

Then why the fuck as a human being living as an adult do you not have a therapist or life coach who has studied, mastered and understands human behaviors, thoughts, and emotion. It’s imperative as a citizen of the world and if, at the very least, as a person who craves something beyond them, to understand who they are by unearthing what they came from to discover who they want to be. Read that again. Please.

You guys, your ego is an incredibly powerful thing. It can hinder so much of who you are. But by acknowleding and recognizing how and when it shows up and why will allow you to move mountains. 

By any means do I think I am moving mountains but by every fuck out there I have the ability to do so. And there’s a fuck for you if you think otherwise.

I am a better person for asking for and seeking help. I’ve always had a problem asking for things. I had pride. I had ego. I had insecurity. 

Now? Now I have and am still learning love for myself. And compassion. 

I want so much for myself. I know you do too. We owe it to ourselves to give ourselves all the resources to actualize our wants.

This is my life. I have to remind myself that I have time. I also have the skills and resources in abundance. 

So this is me. 

I am so grateful for what 2016 has brought me from experiencing the opera at the Met for the first time, to the travel to far away lands, to all the glasses of wine and bowls of fondue at Murray’s Cheese Bar, to those bartenders at Murrays Cheese Bar who didn’t judge me for all the glasses of wine and bowls of fondue I scarfed  down and instead hooked me up, to my super who unclogged my toilet and gave hux love, to drs appointments and physical therapy for my knees, to all the people that have visited me and shared with me their first New York moments, to the seamless food delivery guys that brought me lunch at work daily, to Huxley’s sweet lovable nature, to being able to surprise my best friend on her birthday, to all the apt cleaning I did resentfully, to the subways that came at just the right time, to my shitty narcissistic boss, to becoming a certified coach, to the friends that I’ve laughed and cried with, to saying goodbye to my brothers, my mother, and Becca who beacame one of my best friends, to the overpriced New York everything, to the Greek guy who reminded me how I want to be loved, to being published in a handful of online articles for work, to my rooftop views, to relinquishing my Cali license, to 2016 and everything in between. 

I let go of stories I narrated to myself that don’t serve me. I let go of the negative ideas and perceptions I held of myself. I thank them for the lessons I’ve learned. I am grateful for everything. I hate the turn of connotation of the word has taken but I will say it. I feel blessed. 

For 2017 I bring in expansion. However that means. I say yes to love, to opprtunity, to life.

I breathe it all in. I expand. 

Gratitude

There are so many wonderful things to be grateful for. With Thanksgiving this past week it’s a really great reminder to give thanks and have gratitude (especially in lieu of the current state of our country). 
I try to keep daily reminders of gratitude. Sometimes I forget to write them out but never am I not grateful. 

In honor of Thanksgiving and because #lists below are all the things I am grateful for in this moment:

  • Friends and family near and far more specifically… 
  • – my mom. I miss having her around. Especially now with her being in the Philippines she’s so far removed from my life. She has done so much for me. I miss her terribly. Wish I could be around her for the holidays.
  • – my brothers. One in the army and one in the air force. They decided to dedicate themselves to the good of the country and I look up to them for doing so. I also appreciate them so much more and spending time with each of them separately earlier this year has made me closer to them and that means the world to me.
  • – my sister and nephew bear. They came to visit me in New York not too long ago and it wasn’t easy but I needed it. Not being able to see my nephew grow daily and hang out with my sister weekly breaks my heart.
  • – my Bay Area friends. They are so much of me. They are beautiful in every way. They are supportive and loving and incredible. My life is lacking without them. I feel it every day.
  • – the one very special friendship I made in New York. B, you know what you mean to me.  Thank you. 
  • – the friends here I have that get me, love me, accept me through this very weird strange transition in my life. 
  • Taking a risk by moving to New York City. It truly is one of the best cities in the world and the most culturally diverse. I fell in love with this city 9 years ago and held on to the dream that I would one day live here. Dream realized.
  • Having a good job at a great start up company that provides benefits, unlimited paid time off, awesome coworkers, and a bi-weekly paycheck
  • Huxley. 4 and some change later my little pup continues to teach me about responsibility, love, playfulness and companionship
  • My west village apt. Before I set out to New York I envisioned living in this area. 3rd times the charm in in my New York apt search! I’m surrounded by endless amazing restaurants, great subway lines in short walking distance, Washington sq park, dog parks, Hudson River, and great boutiques. My apt is cozy, gets amazing light, has a responsive helpful nice superintendent and an amazing roof deck. I hit the New York apt jackpot
  • Travel travel travel. I’ve had some pretty incredible trips this year and have even more on the horizon. My perspective has broadened because of it and I’ve met some incredible people along the way. Not to mention strengthened existing relationships that were already so dear to me and on top of all that I’ve seen beautiful sights.
  • My health. Things are a little worn down but it just gives me character. I’m healthy and I have a full functioning body. 
  • Pretty things. Flowers, sunsets, architecture, stylish clothes, my west elm mid century dresser. I like pretty things.
  • Everything I learned from coaching. It opened up a new world for me. One for which I will never look at things the same. I realize from it that I have so much to give. That there are people walking around that also have so much to give. It’s a beautiful community. 
  • Choices and opportunities and signs of goodness that continue to show themselves to me. 

I’m so very grateful. There’s so much more that I haven’t listed. One of my best friends is in town this week. I had thanksgiving with a small group of humans and 2 of which are people I’m only starting to get to know. I spent the day happy. It will be one I know I will remember forever…

Lastly, I am thankful for you. Thank you for wishing me love and goodness in my journey. I will never take that for granted. 

Xx

    Like Sands Through the Hourglass

    I had a beautiful birthday after my incredible trip to Morocco. It was perfect. I did exactly what I wanted to do and I felt zero guilt for doing it. I did have a little work hiccup where I found myself typing furiously on my humongous tablet looking phone in response to a passive aggressive email from someone who really gets to me. But with that said, I woosah’d and got over it and happily went about my perfect day.
    4 years ago on my birthday I adopted a sweet tiny lil pup named Kona in Cali. He is my first and only dog. Today he is a happy healthy 4 yo lil guy named Huxley who lives in New York. He’s the best. On my birthday I celebrate Hux as well. I never knew what it meant to have an animal. It’s amazing. This lil’ one has helped me get through some tough times as well as some big life changes. I’m so grateful. 


    Suffice it to say Huxley got extra love on this day and lots of treats (human food included).

    I took him to the dog park so he can get in his favorite pastime of fetch on. It’s funny. He gets so focused on playing fetch he has no time for other dogs. 


    After the dog run we walked through Washington Square park.


    I then dropped Huxley off at home and went about my morning. I wanted to grab a sourdough bagel from the only bagel shop I know of that serves them in the UWS.


    It was delicious. 

    I continued through the UWS and stopped by a nail salon/spa where I treated myself to a manicure/pedicure AND 30 minute massage. It was blissful. 

    From there I meandered into Central Park. It was a beautiful day and wanted to spend as much of my day off outside as I could. 



    While at the park the bestie called to wish me a happy birthday. It was so great to hear her voice and talk about my day and trip. I realized then exactly how much I miss my people. 


    One of my favorite things about New York are all the street performers. I was able to truly stop and listen and appreciate so much talent. 


    This dog was really enjoying himself. He wouldn’t budge although his dad was ready and waiting. 


    Love all the music.

    I found a nice spot on a bench to sit and read and relax. 



    I was super immersed in my kindle when a man approached me saying he was an artist and if I could please sit for him as he drew me. Funny enough earlier I had walked by someone being drawn by another artist and had a fleeting thought about how nice it is to capture a moment in time in that way in Central Park. 

    I asked him if I could continue to read my book since I was really into it. He said please no I need you to look at me. Would only take 15 minutes. I was thinking how much it must suck to want to show your talents and be creative but not have any takers so I agreed. 


    His name was Jacob and he was Armenian. He had a little portable radio playing classical and opera. I told him it was my birthday. Coincidentally, Pavarotti a little while later played on his radio and the dj made mention of it being his birthday. I take all these little beautiful signs and coincidences as the Universe reminding me that it’s here and paying attention. 

    My “15 minutes” took about 30. I can tell you how awkward it is to sit and stare at someone for that long while they turn you into their art. It’s pretty vulnerable but with any vulnerability there’s something truly beautiful about it. It’s the feeling of someone “seeing” you literally and figuratively. 


    Jacob gifted me with his art and I thanked him and let him work on his next subject as a crowd began to form when he was almost finished.

    I found my way to another bench with the intention to finish my book but instead took in my surroundings and enjoyed more performers.​​​

    Writing this and sharing with you I feel like I’m reliving this day all over again and it’s putting me in such a great mood.

    I started to make my way home. When thinking about dinner instead of going someplace fancy and getting an expensive meal I decided Chinese food in bed with Netflix on was more the day and my speed. 


    Thank you all for the birthday love and the best wishes and good vibes. Huxley and I both had a truly wonderful day.

    It’s going to be an incredible year. I feel it in my bones.

    Identity

    I’m sitting here in downtown Manhattan in the middle of a crowded DMV. I’ve lived here for more than 2 years now. I’ve had 3 home addresses. I’ve had 2 jobs. But for some reason renewing and changing my license from California to New York feels more permanent.

    It’s as if I’m committing to New York all over again. This time my glasses aren’t rose colored, they’re slightly foggy and vision isn’t clear.

    This time there are no expectations. There is only reality.

    Frankly, I don’t quite think I’m in the right headspace for this emotional endeavor. I guess I didn’t think it would be such a big deal.

    But alas, this is where I find myself. I’m sitting here and a part of me feels like my identity is being stripped from me. I don’t know how to describe it but it’s unsettling.

    I am well aware I made the choice to move to New York. And I’m also aware I made it happily. and willingly. and on my own.

    So much has happened since I first touched down in New York that hot July day in 2014. So much.

    I am still me. But maybe I’m a more refined me. I’ve shed some parts of me while bringing in new layers of skin to help serve as protection and defense against New York’s sometimes harsh, yet (if you can see it) beautiful realities.

    I can’t help thinking I may have also lost a little bit of me that I loved. I’m struggling to understand what that may be. I haven’t quite put my finger on it. Could it be the blind optimism I outwardly projected in every circumstance? Maybe it’s the knowing there was an unknown I had yet to discover.  I don’t know..

    I’ve been told a lot that I carry myself like a New Yorker and people can’t tell I’ve only been here for a mere 2 years. In response I have mentioned that I’ve toned down the Cali pleasantries. (It’s a real thing.) But it’s more than that. I’m still well mannered and friendly and I still smile at strangers. But maybe a little bit of me has hardened and closed itself off. Maybe the naïveté and beginners luck has worn itself non existent.

    I feel like I’m saying goodbye to something I now want desperately to hold on to. My identity is changing here in New York. I’m saying goodbye to California and the life I used to have. I already feel out of the loop with my best friends back “home”. And I know, vice versa. A lot of them don’t even know how I live out here or what a day looks like for me. It makes me a bit sad. I’m disconnected.

    This is a goodbye to California. It’s real. And it feels more real since I already have a life here. I’m not starting over this time as I say goodbye. My life here is established. I’m just moving on this time. It’s hard. I wasn’t prepared for this.

    I’m at an impasse. My heart is in stalemate and I’m not ready to say goodbye.

    All.the.things

    It’s been a while. Which is really unfortunate given how much I love to write. I frequently think of updates I want to post about or topics I want to write on or pictures I want to share but the problem has been finding the time.

    Time is an ever elusive mother fucker. Yup, it sure is.

    I’m currently at a coffee shop on a Saturday evening trying to pump out as much work as I can before I leave for Puerto Rico tomorrow. And no joke you guys, Tony Bennet’s song ‘I left my Heart in San Francisco’ just came on in the background. I’m going to take this as a reminder to have gratitude and think about home and my people in Cali…

    *Pause to reflect*

    There are so many things.

    In fact today was a day of All. The. Things.

    We’re talking errands (ie laundry, returns, picking up toiletries, etc.] unpacking from my Illinois work trip, repacking for my Puerto Rico trip, submitting coaching forms and homework, catching up on all the real work I missed while on my business trip, finding time to play with Huxley while battling overwhelming guilt for being gone back and forth for long periods of time, catching up on personal life stuff like bills and taxes, and the like.

    yeah..

    All. The. Things.

    I had a conversation with my coworker while we were in Chi town about how New York has a way about it. It breaks you down mentally and physically. It has you grinding like you never had before. It has you wondering where the fuck the time went. But in spite of all of that it really has you loving it. There’s no other city like New York City, that is for fucking sure. I haven’t lived anywhere else besides the Bay to compare it to but I’ve spoken to so many people about this and it seems to be the overwhelming consensus.

    I still don’t know how long I will live in New York. This July will mark 2 years. It’s speedily approaching. I have so many exciting changes in the works (more to come!) and so many things to look forward to  I can’t help but think of what else I can accomplish here. Even though I don’t give myself credit I really have given myself some things to be proud of. It’s a hard thing to remember.

    Wish I could give you more but just wanted to give a quick update. I’m alive and well and busy as fuck. But most importantly I am doing ok and I am grateful. 🙂

    -xx –