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

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    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.

    Morocco bound

    At this exact moment I am drinking a Brooklyn Lager with a pastrami sandwich in front of me and Stevie B on the sound system waiting for my flight to a faraway land called Morocco.

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    Almost ready to board!

     

     

    Morocco has been on the top of my list to visit for a few years now. That along with Turkey and India. I originally booked a trip to Turkey but with all that was happening this year I decided i wouldn’t feel safe traveling there. With India being ridiculously hot this time of year, Morocco was the winner.

    I’ve desperately been needing to get away. More specifically I’ve been needing to adventure and broaden perspective.

    I bought a nifty backpack that can transform into a duffel. I packed modest and loose clothing and toiletries and proudly did so at a minimum. Years of travel have really taught me that overpacking is another undue burden I put upon myself that I have the power to alleviate. Small yet big wins.

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    I’m excited. I need this. I expect this to be an impetus for something already festering. Good things are a coming. I’m throwing it into the universe and the universe always has a way of realizing dreams when you do so.

    See you soon New York. I promise to be back a better me.

    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.

    Whoa..

    Time is really escaping me in this wonderful crazy fast paced city. I didn’t mean for it to take this long for me to update. There has been so much happening and so much I’ve wanted to write about since I last posted.

    Firstly, I’m surviving and well (enough). Since the last you’ve heard from me 2 months ago, I’ve been to Chicago for a work trip, Puerto Rico for a girls trip, SXSW in Austin for an alcohol/drug fueled get away from New York trip, worked more of my ass off, moved to the West Village with a roommate, been on a few dates, became a certified Life Coach, gotten a new boss, my company raised series C funding, been back home to Cali  to say ‘goodbye’ to a lot of things I love including family, gotten a raise, and  booked my next big trip to Turkey for the fall.

    Whoa..

    Things ya’ll. Big things and I’m still trying to figure out the time to process it all. It’s hard.

    Sometimes I wonder if I’ve come this far because I haven’t had time to process or maybe even possibly because that I won’t allow myself to. Huh. Food for thought..

    I digress.

    Life moves very very quickly here in New York. My 2 year anniversary is fast approaching and so much has happened since I said farewell to being a Cali resident July 2014. I’ve really solidified some really amazing friendships I have here. I will cherish forever these people who have been a part of my new life; who btw probably don’t or won’t ever even understand the magnitude of their contribution to my life. It’s crazy.

    When I set out to move to this city I had so many ideas and ideals of what my life would look like.  So many personal goals I set myself to accomplish. So many dreams I thought would remain unrequited and just what they started off to be… simply dreams.

    I’m somewhat stupefied, yet somehow simultaneously not at all amazed that I am where I am today. In some ways I really surprised myself but in others I always knew that I could be capable of anything I set my mind to.

    Could I be more vague? hah. Get at me if you have questions.

    I am proud and unbelievably grateful to be where I am in the place that I am. I worked very hard to be the person I am today. I went through a lot of life’s shit already. I survived it. I’m still here and I’ve experienced many wonderful things, some really sad things, and some things I sometimes wish I didn’t but because I did, I gained perspective, appreciation, and gratitude.

    When I packed up my life in California to live in New York City I really wanted to be living in the West Village. Besides that I  longed to be working in a start up that I truly believed in, that had leadership I could admire and get behind, that was headed somewhere substantial, where I could grow and learn and showcase the skills I’ve acquired thus far, where I made solid friendships, where I had a lot of fun, and that truly appreciated my efforts. Is that a lot? I didn’t think so. I also wanted to fall in love again. That’s really hard for me to admit. I’m being very vulnerable right now admitting to whoever reads this that I wanted to fall in love again and that frankly, I have been ready for it.  {*Sidenote: Man, it really does make things so incredibly real when it’s ‘said’ aloud (or in this case written) out loud.}

    I really put in the energy and time the moment I landed in New York to get to where I am.  2 out of 3 major things accomplished in less than 2 years ain’t bad right? Besides, along the way I stumbled upon Life Coaching and so many other truly wonderful things and experiences and people.

    Thank you for those who believed in me and sent me your support silently or that cheered loudly along the sidelines. Clearly, your efforts have not been ignored! It’s funny though how writing things all out seems like whoa, but in my head and my heart things kinda end up feeling like I’m living by either surviving or not. This must be why it’s important to process. Huh. Imagine that.

    Regardless, it’s nice to be able to pause for a minute.

    Like, whoa…

     

     

    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 –

     

     

    Thank you, New York

    I’ve been here for almost a year and a half now and there really have been some days/nights that stand out because they were so special. I was asked over my birthday from a very dear friend what have been my favorite days and I couldn’t think of more than 2 on the spot. It was a great question that kept me thinking..

    And because lists, I present you with the below (in no particular order):

    1. My old roommate really instilled in me the belief that Valentines day should always be celebrated. It isn’t just about having a significant other. It’s about love even if it’s for yourself. My Valentines day was fantastic. I treated myself to a day of pampering. That included a massage, a facial, and getting my nails done. After that I bought pretty flowers for the apt. And that night my roommate and I threw our one and only party together. In Cali I loved to host and have people over for any given reason. With feeling a bit unsettled in not having a really strong core group of friends; I was excited to have all my different friends meet each other. I love strengthening bonds and sharing experiences with people just as much as I love bringing people together. It was such a great night. We had yummy desserts, great wine, and played fun rounds of cards against humanity. It was the perfect day that turned into the perfect night. It was the first of many nights that the people I loved in New York would enjoy each other’s company and come to love each other like I do.
    2. On the night of my anniversary with this beloved city I received a job offer from a CEO I was introduced to almost a whole year prior. This was a  job I wasn’t expecting nor did I apply for. But it was for a company that unknowingly at the time, had everything I wanted in a job. I received a great offer and I celebrated and treated myself to a glass of wine at a local wine bar and enjoyed my own company while I reveled in the fact that New York gave me the best anniversary gift it could. You see, I had quit my job at a company I couldn’t get behind that I was very unhappy at prior to traveling to Tanzania for a few weeks. So I didn’t have any income and probably needed to start thinking about how that was going to change. This just goes to show timing really is a thing of beauty.
    3. There was a night, on a random Tuesday, that I met up with all my coaching peers at one of our friend’s gorgeous apt a month after our classes had ended. I had just returned from Tanzania a few days prior. It was a night full of love and celebration for everyone’s going ons since we all were together last. We laughed, we ate, we drank, we shared stories. It was a night I felt and maybe even just started to feel like I belonged to something really special. These people are my super hero squad and I feel so blessed to know each of them.
    4. It was a few weeks or so into my new life in New York. I don’t know what day it was nor do I remember exactly what happened on that day. I wasn’t working yet but I had settled into the new apt in the UWS with Huxley and my new roommate. Hanging out in the sun in Central Park was all I wanted to do. I packed a picnic for the both of us. Really good stuff too. And brought a blanket and my new kindle. We unpacked in front of Belvedere Castle by Turtle Pond. The sun was shining but it wasn’t too hot. Huxley and I spent hours there not paying any mind to time. At one point I remember a mother and her cute kid came around. The little girl was excited to see a puppy and came up to Huxley. Hux has a history with toddlers and is very wary because of how he was treated when he was a pup. I was shocked to see how good he was with the little girl and she was so playful and happy. It made me feel like Huxley accepted his new city and I made the right decision. I was in love with that day. All of it.
    5. One of the turning points in my New York life was the day I grabbed Huxley, put him in his subway/bus bag (my old shoulder bag that turned into his transportation carrier because carries are required for dogs on public transportation), took the crosstown bus to my leasing office, and  picked up the keys for my new apartment. I remember stepping into my (admittedly very small but very cute) apartment as Huxley sniffed about and explored, thinking finally, I have a little bit of space in this crazy chaotic too crowded city that is just mine. Although it was quite a tough process that wasn’t conducive to good thoughts; once that was over I felt like I could breathe a little easier with my key in hand.
    6. Last year on Thanksgiving day I could’ve spent feeling sad I wasn’t home in Cali with family. What I did instead was take Hux for a walk in the light snow super early then sauntered over to check out the rest of the balloons that were blown up for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade near my old apt and be a spectator in some of the hubbub. There were crowds of people but it was so fun to watch as the volunteers who walked with the balloons were prepping for the start and checking to make sure everything was still on par. Huxley was even spotted by a photog who asked to take his photos in his cute red snow vest. After we watched and waited for a while we went back to the apartment so that I could get started on my pecan pies. Later that day with 1 pie in tow I met up with Dahlia’s friend so that we could train it together to spend Thanksgiving with Dahlia, Kimia and their wonderful parents in Long Island. This was the first time I met their parents and I fell in love and again felt so grateful to have met some pretty wonderful people who took me in and welcomed me to their family and their home on Thanksgiving. Truly a day of thanks.
    7. For a while I was volunteering at the St Francis Xavier soup kitchen in Chelsea, it’s the biggest soup kitchen in New York. It made me feel fulfilled to be able to give back even if all I was giving back was just time. There was one day that a choir was going to perform. My duty that day was to direct the lines for the food. We had 2 different lines; those that were disabled and any others looking for a hot meal or two. The average number of meals we served on Sundays ranged from 1000-2000 meals. You can imagine it gets busy. Then a really beautiful moment happened. I stood there directing as the choir started signing New York State of Mind by Billy Joel. I was filled head to toe with so much gratitude and so much love. I felt so incredibly fortunate to be in New York, to be able to serve a needy community, and to be listening to music that spoke to my soul. It was beautiful and I was enraptured with my love for New York that was growing deeper by the minute.

    All of the above are such beautiful moments of time that are so special to me. These are a few of my New York highlights. I’ve had plenty of wonderful moments and experiences both shared and private. I continue to feel grateful. And as I listed these it makes me smile thinking of all the happy moments but I also anticipate all that’s to come.

    Thank you, New York. And thank you to those that opened and continue to open up their arms, hearts and homes to me as I figure out my way through life in this city.

    I’ve got great plans for me and New York next year. New York get ready. It’s gonna be a good one. ❤