I feel like I woke at some point during the spring and decided that I needed to make some serious changes. Maybe it’s this birthday — 33, the Jesus year (go Google that if you want to fall down some weird rabbit hole…). But in actuality, it’s been a long time coming.
The NYC I know and love really doesn’t exist any longer. On the surface level, the atmosphere is sterile and the rents no longer justify the return. The people I have hung with hard for years are moving away and that bums me out. The places that make up my history from my youth are being erased just as fast: J&R, Pearl Paint, Grey’s Papaya, Kim’s, all the storefronts around town I have funny memories associated with. On a deeper level though, I’ve been thinking long and hard about what I want my future to look like and I don’t imagine it being in NY at all at this point. The desire to be away outweighs every remaining feeling to keep waving the flag. I’m tired and bored with my town.
Once I just admitted that to myself, things have been shaping up pretty interestingly. Moogfest was more amazing in the expanded format — until the end when I got stuck in Greenville flying back home. Highlights were Metro Area, Jimmy Edgar, a Nile Rodgers chat, interesting panels in general sponsored by Afropunk and Kill Screen. I was so glad I went and will plan to return for the next one in 2016.
Right now, I’m in Europe at the halfway point of 2 week trip. I spent a few days in (freezing) Amsterdam, my first trip, and it was pretty fascinating. A vibrant very walkable place that was both alien and familiar. I met some cool folks who gave me daily life tips on things I would’ve never imagined. I can see myself there. Now getting the heat back in Lisbon and wrapping up in Berlin before home. I’ve always thought of myself as someone who could be comfortable everywhere and it’s pretty true still. It’s been a fun trip and I’m excited to go home and plan out the next moves from there.
Nothing new to report. Still kinda treading water and figuring out what I’m doing with myself.
I’m fully booked for my Moogfest fest adventure and have 3.5 more weeks until I’m back in Asheville. My childhood summers were spent less than an hour away from there, so visiting there last time was like an spiritual recharge for me. Not to mention the fest itself has expanded to day panels and even more music than before. I’m beyond excited for this.
My head is reeling that a 1/4 of the year is already down! I’ve decided to make some goals to challenge myself to fulfill:
1) Finally get my driver’s license! Not having it is making me feel a little pathetic the older I get. Moving heavy things around is such an ordeal of calling in favors and/or waiting around for help instead of being able to do most of the carting around myself. It’s also knocked out a lot of the places I can visit since public transportation/cab prices are not as favorable as NYC in many other towns. It’s one of the last independence blockers for me. Gotta do it. I give myself a deadline of September 1st.
2) Get serious about being in shape. Last year, I was knocked way out of commission by my knee pains. Finally after months of hobbling around and dealing with new meds, I’m finally feeling close to my old self again. Now I just need to break all the sedentary bad habits I leaned on for coping with the hurting and shed some of these (very!) unwanted extra padding that crept up on me. I miss running around and being active. I need to get a lot more disciplined in that respect.
3) Jump start a creative project. I signed up for an online travel writing course at Matador and my output has been nothing so far. Ditto for the music I was working on with varying energy bursts last year. I need to commit to something and stay with it (this poor neglected blog included). I have so many ideas and finally need to let them live a little. Creative me is always the happiest version.
I think doing those three things will help my spring be interesting. I also need to do more arts stuff for myself (concerts, museums, movies) and unchain myself from desk a lot more. Baby steps though.
This is a year that’s kinda flown by at a breakneck speed. It seems especially crowded with rollercoaster weirdness in retrospect, but I’m beginning to think that it just what life is meant to be. Especially in a relentless place like NYC.
I’m feeling good about 2013 overall. I started it on a great (well maybe a little discombobulated) friends note and plan to end it more or less the same way. I accomplished almost everything I wanted to: security in my work and home lives, strengthening all my friendships, and hearing some new and exciting music. The love life kinda the pits but that’s not the end of the world. I’m still considering if I want to leave town and start somewhere else anew or not in the near future. Montreal has been added to the places I can see myself living list. I had a good trip there in March for Osheaga. My only gripe with this year was not nearly enough travelling. My major time off was a staycation and I only spent about 2 days in Montreal. On deck for 2014 though is my return trip to Moogfest in Asheville, a birthday time beach journey (thinking Belize or Costa Rica), and hopefully making my way back to Europe.
Nowadays, I’m thinking a lot about what the future holds in a more concrete way. It’s easy to just float here in NYC. You can live infinitely with roommates and making the bare minimum to get by and have fun with your friends for years. I’ve always had slightly more ambitions (and now an insane amount of grad school loans that I need to make a dent into), so my version of where I wanted to be the past couple of years involved living alone, more space, and a job I don’t (totally) hate to make that all possible. Working to live is not the most exciting, so I’m really dragging out the white paper and markers and trying to think about where I see myself going. Your girl, the night owl, is really not made to sit in an office from 9am every morning. It’s the 21st century and I will create the better way if it doesn’t exist yet.
It’s nice starting a new year with no regrets. I can get a little fitter, be a little less messy, and keep staying positive for 2014. It feels like a good place to be.
Five years ago, I was living on my own (no roommate) for the first time, working at a job I hated, and trying to think of a way to jump start my life/career. I was on the verge of applying to a grad school program that some of my coworkers recommended as something I would take to like a fish to water. Six months passed and I had gotten laid off from that job, accepted into that program, and was freelancing at the Times of all places before giving it all up to be a full time student in the fall. Right now, I’m working at a job I have a day to day love/hate relationship with, still living on my own in what might be what feels like my first adult place, and still trying to figure out what to do with my life/career. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose indeed…
Things do feel different though nowadays. That’s all a part of getting older I suppose. Gray hairs popping up, bad knee joints knocked me out of commission for most of the summer, stubborn roundness clinging to my middle. Stakes feel a little higher than they felt back then. I’ve worked in the ad industry for about 9 years (7 years full time around school), so it’s a milieu I feel very comfortable in. I do find myself burned out by the thanklessness of my chosen job description and the long hours chained to a desk though. I really have begun to feel that I’m not built for 9-6 (8) office life. I’m not a morning person and can get more done in less time left to my own devices instead of giving face time every day. I’ll never be good at office politicking and unfortunately in some of the places I’ve worked, unless you’re going for Machiavellian ruthlessness, you’ll never advance. That’s not me. I have no desire to the boss in a place I don’t own/feel personally invested in.
I still think of leaving town (often!), but I’m also at a place where I’m back to loving NYC and just want to find my place that makes me the happiest within it. If my ideal job/career doesn’t exist, I might be hitting the stage where it’s time for me to create it.
There’s definitely some irony that one of the few times I was committed to posting this year, I had to go through a two day password reset odyssey and ultimately code hack just to do it. I was determined.
This weekend, I’m back where this whole thing started: Wes for my 10th college reunion. I started my blog while bored during Senior Week and it kept me amused as I spent a chunk of my summer still on campus working on the yearbook. And then followed me to NYC as I fumbled my way through getting settled in, going to work, and having an ungodly amount of fun as a young girl in the midst of the fun period in town. Time flies when you’re just putting one foot in front of the other and living your life. In many ways, it feels like these 10 years passed overnight, but in others, I feel like I’ve lived 20 lifetimes. I’ve gotten a little slower and wider and have a few strands of gray, but I feel the same inside. I’ve still got that commitment for living a great life on my own terms and as always finding new and interesting music to play to death. I think it’s rare to have lived 10 years without many regrets behind me. It’s been an adventure for sure. Here’s to another 10 years! And hopefully less sporadic updates.
I’m still here. Here beingon this site, in New York, same hangouts, same friends, same routines.Newish job, kitty, and determination to make things a lot more awesome in the near future. I find it hard to believe that I’m almost 32 and have been reassessing a lot about where I think my life is heading. But also all about doing what I can do to have the greatest present possible. Work in progress, just like things here. I’m definitely feeling the urge to be back in this space though. Keep watch.
Some days I feel like the city is conspiring to drive me out. And then I’ll turn a corner and think I live in the greatest place on Earth. And I think it’s not NYC, but me.
I’m standing at the crossroads of my life here. Since the end of June, my old apartment has been packed up in a storage unit near the Navy Yard. I finished one sublet and now am in a roommate share situation, both in Bushwick. Still freelancing in Midtown for a mothership like agency. It’s been just over 6 months since graduation. The time has to come to officially figure out what I’m doing with myself.
I’ve been putting in motions to get out of New York intently the past 3 months. Sending out tons of applications to the West Coast, but at this point I’m focused Euro bound. I’ve researched visas intently and applied (and got accepted to) a language school in Paris that supplied me with the pre-registration form I need to get my process started. I even had a job interview in Berlin about a month and a half ago. I walked around (shivering because it’s cold as hell there) and looked at the city with fresh eyes wondering if I could see myself living there. The pluses are the cheap rent, great transit system, lively scene, and already having a boatload of former Brooklyn dwelling friends there. The minuses were the weather and the traditional German food not winning me over. A girl can’t subsist on doner and sushi for too long. Then hopped over to Paris for about 36 hours to scope out the language school and wonder if I could see myself there either. This week is a Skype interview (a new strange experience) for a position in Amsterdam. The only time I’ve been there was passing through the insane Vegas-like Schiphol Airport. We’ll see how it goes for sure. I’ve realistically calculated myself out of here by February 1st. This –whatever direction it might be in — is definitely happening.
It’s been a bizarre weather week in NYC. Minor earthquake in the middle of the week (didn’t feel a thing) and the crazed panic over Hurricane Irene. They actually shut down the whole transit system which never happens. Overreaction central in the city. I spent most of the last 2 days not especially concerned and bored to death in the house. And probably will remain here tomorrow since the subways will probably be too fucked up to bother with tomorrow. Good times.
It’s reminded me that I’m overdue for some sunshine. I spent the bulk of the summer working and didn’t experience the beach at all. I think that’s probably why I’m full of such happiness and cheer lately. I need some Vitamin D. Just the excuse I need to go visit Alex in Portugal, eh?