Saturday, January 05, 2008

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes

Yet another year has passed by. I've grown quite a bit. Professionally, I've gotten a promotion - more responsibility, but hopefully ::fingers crossed:: more fun. Emotionally, I've learned (or at least I think I have) not to fall in love too quickly. To "guard your heart" is even more important than I realized. Spiritually, I've had an on and off relationship with God. Sometimes I just know He's there every step of the way. Other times, I struggle to recognize Him in my life...

Though I've grown, sometimes I feel as if I'm bumbling along wasting away my 20s. I still struggle to find myself. Identifying my likes and dislikes has proven to be an enormous challenge. Do I do the things I do because I want to do them? What are my goals? Am I focusing on the right things? Who am I? Why am I here? What am I supposed to accomplish? What if I figure out the answers to these questions too late?

At the beginning of 2008, I challenge myself to find some direction, to actively pursue it, and not to get stuck in a routine because it is comfortable. I insist that I actively pursue something anything that I love. Life should no longer pass me by while I passively let the time slip through my fingers.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

What exactly have I been up to the past few months?

It's clear that I haven't posted in a long time. A few months ago I took on some more responsibility at work. I started planning my own events rather than just helping people with theirs. Needless to say, I was psyched. It's not that helping other people with their events bothered me. The whole experience actually taught me a lot. However, the new role brought me a new sense of empowerment. I finally had control over my own (rather small) domain.

It started as a trickle of events - one, then two, then all of a sudden it was an uncontrolable deluge. In a department being pulled in all directions at once - with hundreds and thousands of events a year - they had no choice but to bump up my workload. My excitement has since dissipated. Getting more events has lost its luster (though there are the few that have piqued my interest). Generally speaking though, events have become mundane for me now. I'm ready for the next challenge.

In the meantime, as my work load intensified, I was also preparing to close on my apartment. Let's just say that 60 hour weeks alongside preparation of coop paperwork is just not fun. After I finally closed, it took me 3 1/2 months to pack and move in because work would not let up. Of course, if I had a strict deadline I would have done everything in my power to meet it. I didn't have one though - which was a blessing. Otherwise, it would have been an extremely unpleasant moving experience.

Now that I'm finally living in my first place, I finally have some time to myself again. Rejoice!!! I've begun reaching out to friends again. If I'm not out and about, I have the pleasure of looking for furniture and decor. So much fun!

I keep falling in love with my new neighborhood. Each and every time I stroll around I discover yet another aspect that makes me enjoy it even more. The quaint brownstones, the restaurants, the owner operated shops, the proximity to the city - I think I made a good decision.

Here's to a wonderful 2007!

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Saturday, July 01, 2006

Early Retirement

I have returned home from a day at the beach and as The Southerner said, "It rejuvinates the soul like nothing else." I have always had a love affair with the summer. My favorite part has always been laying out on the sand, squishing the sand between my toes and fingers, having the ocean breeze flutter through my hair, taking a dip into the ocean when I get too hot - I even like the salty film it leaves behind.

Today, I have decided on two more goals:

1) I really hope to have an early retirement - hopefully sometime in my early 40s. I understand that this will be difficult to do. I understand that it will be highly unlikely. However, I can still hope to retire at an age when I still have the physical capability to go out, explore, and experience new things.

2) When I retire, I would like to have a house on the beach. I don't want to settle for an apartment because there are tasks I'd like this house to aid me in performing. I want to be able to wake up in the morning and sit on my front porch to enjoy the warm ocean breeze. I want to sit outside and watch the sunset. I want to be able to have my friends and family come over (and stay over) and breathe life into my home. I want to entertain my guests with elegant cocktail receptions, charming breakfasts, casual lunches, dynamic conversation, and stories of years past. I want to enjoy these things without having to deal with the hustle and bustle and stress of being at work.

Money isn't everything. Time is much more precious. Most of our time shouldn't be spent slaving away at a desk. It should be spent fostering the relationships that make our lives worthwhile. I won't look back one day and say, "Yes! I really enjoyed that time I stayed at work until midnight staring at the computer screen so I could make that event perfect." Instead, I will look back fondly at the little moments - sitting around chattering and chortling with my nearest and dearest, a look, a glance, a hug at a time it was needed the most. Retiring early will give me more of these valuable memories and will make my life all the more worthwhile.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Man

I miss having quiet time. I miss having time to think. I miss the imagination that free time affords a person. I miss writing. I miss blogging. I am missing all these things because I'm working for "the man."

Corporate America has its benefits and its drawbacks. For starters, it provides me with a steady paycheck. There are some perks - cars home after working late at night, free dinner after working past a certain time (or if I happen to have an event and I have time to sit down and eat), comraderie among (some) of my coworkers, getting special treatment at new venues (on occasion), etc. Each of these perks has a price though the greatest of which is my time.

Working in a department with a ton of turnover and an odd schedule (Normal workday: 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.; Event workday: any time they need you to be there) causes someone like me to put in extra hours. I'll have to wait and see if there is a payoff at the end.

I would love to start my own business, but obviously cannot do so until I have capital. I won't have capital until I save enough from working. Working for the man is a necessary, but important evil.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Seriously - where has the past three months gone?

Time has been flying at an unreasonably fast pace. I have no idea where the past 12 weeks have gone. I haven't had time to post at all primarily because I've been insanely busy at work. I've had one high maintenance event after another. Every time I think I'll have a break I *might* get one slow day, but inevitably something will add on to my workload. I haven't had time to breathe. I haven't had time to relax. I've been one huge ball of stress. It's really sad.

What ever happened to graduating from school and getting a nice cushy job where I can relax a little bit?

Who am I kidding? I'd get bored with that, but it would be nice if I wasn't so exhausted when I go out on the weekend...

Saturday, February 04, 2006

In memoriam

I've been waaaay too busy to post, ,but I just wanted to take a moment to remember Betty Friedan who passed away today. She was the author of The Feminine Mystique and aided the femisnist cause through founding the National Organization for Women.

'Tis a sad day.

Monday, January 09, 2006


I may be overwhelming myself with the number of resolutions I have made for this year, but they are all things that I think are fairly imperative. I've already begun acting on most of them, but frequently that isn't the hard part. It's more difficult for me to keep going. Eventually there will be a million and one excuses that will tempt me not to continue my progress - indolence, love of food, lethargy, lack of self control & self discipline, loneliness, fear, paranoia, and so many more. As of now though I'm surprisingly motivated and I will use that motivation to its fullest.

1. I will not call or speak to him. There is no reason why I should. I should not want to associate with someone who has no interest in me. I am a great person and there is someone out there who will appreciate me. I do not have to keep taking blow after blow to my self-esteem simply because he doesn't know what he wants. Plus, I'm young. I want to have fun. I want to meet other people. I want to do things for myself and stop setting myself aside for him.

I've been fairly successful with this. I haven't contacted him since early December. I think about him still, though. That'll only stop over a longer period of time.

2. I will get healthy. I will not continue to eat when I'm already full. I will eat smaller portions so I can still enjoy eating a variety of food, but not overeat. I will exercise. I will be healthy enough not to get winded after jogging for a few minutes. There is no reason why I should get winded at the age of 21. I am old enough to understand that my family has a history of high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer and to do something about it. Exercise and eating healthy will lower my risk and hopefully give me a better standard of living when I am old. I'm not gonna deny it though - I mainly want to be healthy now so my clothes fit and look better.

I'm trying really hard to eat more healthy food. It's just really hard in my house where there is a never ending supply for candy, cookies, cakes, chocolate, snack foods, and leftovers. Not to mention huge amounts of dinner every night. I really am trying. I've been using the elliptical machine at least 4 times a week, but like I said I'm easily winded since I'm so out of shape so I don't stay on for very long. I've called a gym to join, but whenever they call me back I'm not around and every time I call them back my contact isn't there. That's been fairly frustrating - especially because I don't know how long this motivation is going to last. Anyone know of a better gym for me to call? I'm looking for someone to teach me how to use the equipment, clean showers, lockers, and a pool, somewhere in midtown (anywhere from 5th Ave to 8th Ave between Columbus Circle and 40th St) or something close to the N,R,Q,W. Preferably nothing too expensive, but I'm willing to spend more for a clean place to shower afterwards.

3. I will *finally* try new activities. I have a list of things I've always wanted to do. I will start chipping away at this list. I will try new things. I will not fear doing these things without a friend in tow. I do not need to allow self imposed social anxiety prevent me from doing what I want to do or exploring new interests. Besides, it'll be a good opportunity to make new friends.

I've already gone out on a limb and I've signed up for a cooking class in February. I've also decided that I'm going to go to an event - I'll let you know more about that after I go. I feel a bit silly even thinking about going to this, but I can't rule it out if I've never gone before.

4. This is closely related to the previous resolution - I will do things outside of my comfort zone. I will learn to say no. I will stop placating people at my own expense.

We'll see how this goes.

Here's to a new year!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Random musings from yesterday's wandering

I was so focused on the fact that I remembered that I was uncool in high school that I forgot some of the other things that The Historian and I did yesterday.

Bloomindale's needs to lower the thermostat. It is ridiculously warm in there. I was completely parched by the time I left.

Did you know that there is a Home Depot in the city? As we were wandering around in search of a beverage, we came across it. It is unlike any other I've seen. It was neat, there was no musty smell, and the displays were fabulous! As you enter and take the escalator upstairs, they had a display meant to look like someone's apartment. On one side was a wonderful (kitchen? - I can't remember what room of the apartment) set up and there were these large "windows" overlooking a fantastic (cardboard) view of the city. On the other side of the windows was a "balcony" with outdoor table and chair set and a barbecue. Wonderful display concept.

I am completely aware that Dylan's Candy Bar is a total ripoff. $9.99 for a pound of bulk candy is completely ridiculous and yet I still couldn't control myself. I simply had to fill up my bag with jelly rings, chocolate covered gummy bears, turtles, and peach rings.

I most definitely prefer the Upper West Side to the Upper East.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Now I remember why I'm so insecure

As much as the past has scarred me, it has been a distant memory and I had forgotten who I was before I had started college. Today I was reminded of who I was when I was in high school.

I had met up with a friend of mine, The Historian, whom I haven't seen in 3 1/2 years. She and I are both horrible at keeping in touch with people so it really comes at no surprise that it's been that long. I recognized her as soon as I saw her standing outside of Five Points. She hadn't changed a bit.

We entered the restaurant for our favorite past time - eating. Brunch was fantastic and completely well worth all my anticipation. We started with mimosas and shared an order of churros and hot chocolate. The churros were tasty (and surprisingly thick and plentiful - I was not expecting five churros over one inch in diameter), but they weren't covered in enough sugar. That was corrected by dipping them in the warm, thick, hot chocolate. They didn't match up to the warm doughnuts I had at Stanton Social the other night, but they were still gratifying. What deep fried food isn't? Then we proceded with the meal. I had the turkey pot pie, which was absolutely to die for! It wasn't technically a pie, you see. The turkey filling was placed in the bottom of the dish. The sauce was neither too thick nor too thin. There were just enough vegetables and they were not overcooked or mushy, but they weren't too raw either. On top was a gently placed biscuit. The biscuit was fabulous as well! I could have eaten it all on its own. It was crispy, golden brown, and flaky on top and fluffy on the bottom. These two parts put together made for one really great dish and one very satisfied eater.

We continued to shop in the area. Two pitstops were at spaces where new and upcoming designers rent space to sell their goods. It was totally interesting to see what they had created. I really give these people credit - their work is what they have a passion for even though they've placed themselves in a precarious financial position. Besides that, some of them were really talented. They created unique pieces that were beautifully put together. I was tempted to buy a lot of clothes/jewelry, but I controlled myself and only got one citron necklace. It became a must have for me because I can wear it as a necklace three ways and as a belt. Come to think of it, I was so entranced by it's multipurpose nature that I never really checked the mirror to see what it looked like on me.

Wandering around SoHo was fun and much more enlightening than I had expected it to be. Chatting with The Historian had brought me back to the past. With comments she made in passing I remembered that in high school I wasn't part of the "in" crowd. Don't get me wrong - I had my circle of friends and had good times with them, but we were not the popular, pretty, pecunious, party girls. We had formed our own little cocoon and accepted each other's idosyncracies. We worked hard at school. We were obedient. We ate a lot. We got far more enjoyment out of the little things in life. We were fanatics of various things, things that many teenagers don't care for - Footloose, *NSYNC, Rent, Harry Potter, baseball and the list goes on and on. We were aware of things our peers never really discussed outside of school and found joy debating things like politics or religion. We had fun in our own way, but we didn't have fun with the in-crowd. We weren't complete social outcasts though; we had an amicable relationship with the in girls, but they were merely acquaintances. We were dorky, but that was ok because we could all be dorky together.

In any case, as comfortable as I was in my own group, I was more than aware of the fact that I was excluded from parties and other such gatherings. I didn't start getting pretty until the end of my junior year and I didn't really become "attractive" until the summer after I graduated high school. I was completely a late bloomer and even now I lack some key social skills. I didn't have a boyfriend until my freshman year of college and up until then I had worried that I wouldn't kiss anyone before I died. Yes, it was that bad.

Then college happened. My first year was horrible. I was a fish out of water. There wasn't anyone I really cared to socialize with. I transfered to another campus after a year. Ever since then, things have been on the up and up. Pledging my sorority has been one of the best things I've done thus far and that was really the first time I was ever part of anything that even remotely resembed the "in" crowed. Even though I didn't have an endless amount of friends in Greek life, girls in my sorority were (and still are) friends with girls in other sororities and guys in fraternities - in historically white, black and Latino Greek letter organizations. We can pretty much have a good time with anyone and people appreciate that about us. I didn't transform into Ms. Popular by any means in college, but I was far more comfortable in my own skin. (The extra male attention didn't hurt either).

Essentially the past two years temporarily erased my four years of high school and I had completely forgotten why I'm still insecure to this very day. Now that I remember, I hope I can do something about it.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


The weeks surrounding the holidays mean only one thing for college students - a month long vacation. I miss having long breaks immensely even though I've only been working for 5 months. No more 4 week long winter break or 3 month long summer break to look forward to.

I am exceptionally jealous of all my college friends who have this extended respite between semesters. For me, this month is not a break. It's a mad dash to catch up with friends who are home from school. It's been crazy trying to figure out how to see everyone while juggling my work life and commute.

Last week I had dinner at Stanton Social with The Southerner, a friend of mine from high school who had transplanted herself to the South for further education. I hadn't seen her since my birthday in August and there has been lots and lots to update each other on. I got there early so I went upstairs to wait for her by the bar. To my left was a couple exchanging presents. Or, rather, there was a guy giving a girl bag after bag and box after box of those pretty blue Tiffany boxes. I was forced to contemplate my singlehood for much too long, but finally The Southerner arrived in a frazzled state. I knew we had a lot to talk about.

As we walked down the stairs she burst into storytelling. When we arrived at our table we could barely cut the conversation long enough to select our meal. We needed to confer because Stanton Social offers those small plates that have become ridiculously popular as of late. We decided upon Red Snapper Tacos (a surprising delight!), French Onion Soup Dumplings (a dish the restaurant is known for - a complete and utter disappointment), Paella Cakes (so-so), Pulled Pork Sandwiches (another average dish). Once ordering was out of the way we continued to examine various events that comprise the tapas of our lives- tales of heart break, break-ups, hook-ups, future plans, friendships etc. etc. Soon, our meal and heated discussion was over and we shared a plate of warm doughnuts, covered in sugar, and dipped in caramel, chocolate, or strawberry sauce. The frenzy of recapping the past few months died down and life seemed much, much sweeter.