lessons learned, volume one.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

in case you ever decide to move to new york {if you don't already live here} i thought maybe there were a few things you'd like to know. and so, i present to you my first rendition of lessons learned {in my first month living in new york city}.

there is static electricity everywhere. you. will. constantly. be. shocked. i think this is the universe's way of shocking you back to reality. did i really just move here? really?

the subways are truly unlike any other form of public transportation in an other city on earth {except maybe london}. you will be enthralled at first. navigating them correctly is the biggest feat you'll make in the first few weeks upon moving. take every successful trip as a win, and remember it the next time you get lost. turns out, the subway is a little bit like a metaphor for life... sometimes it's confusing and convoluted. you may even head in the wrong direction, or look up and be totally unsure where you are {and before you know it you'll be at a hundred and twenty fifth street far too late on a sunday night thinking to yourself, something doesn't feel right here}. but eventually you get back on in the right direction and end up exactly where you need to be. and so, such is life. we always seem to end up where we need to be. and while we're on the topic of subways, you might notice it's quite annoying that there is no cell phone service down under. so plan your route in advance, and don't think that your commute hour will be full of catching up on your correspondence.

speaking of, the three hour time difference with the west coast is tough. no ifs ands or buts about that one. but, eventually you'll figure it out. don't try too hard like i first did. you'll talk to the people you're supposed to, and that is that.

google maps will be your best friend. so will hop stop.

people work a lot here. excuse me, did you get that? people work a lot here. and. so. will. you. it's best to get used to that reality now. 

you will need an apartment. and quickly. you will panic. so you'll hire a broker and set your maximum budget at an amount that you believe is already out of your price range. then you'll see a few places and before you know it you'll be upping your budget again because then and only then will you find an apartment you actually want to live in. don't settle. just know, that in a matter of days upon moving here, your bank account will seem dangerously low. how much is that fee again? the thing is, you just might get distracted by your broker's subtle southern accent and be calculating his age, not his fee.

if you keep thinking you'll run into natalie holbrook and her little huck, don't. give. up. hope. it'll happen, eventually. there's always next month. and same rule goes for taza and her sweet little clan. someday, oh someday. 

just when you think it's not really as cold as people say it is here, it will be. but colder. and, if you happen to experience your very first snow storm on your very first weekend here, just know it's not going to be as bad as the media makes it out to be. but hunker down with a bottle of red just the same.

if you are a deli lover then, new york is your city. deli's. on. every. corner. with every food item you could possibly imagine. eat your heart out.

you tell yourself you're not the type of person who needs things delivered. delivery, really? come on. being a bag lady up and down the steep hills of san francisco prepared me for this you think to yourself. but then you try lugging two surprisingly heavy whole foods bags {i swear i was in the ten items or less line!} home on the subway a mere two stops, and you realize that no amount of preparation will make you ready. it's that moment you'll reconsider the art of delivery.

late. late. late. late. everything is late. people stay up late. eat late. workout late. attend meetings late. you have to be one step ahead, but while everyone is so busy being ahead of the game, they end up being late for everything else.

oh, and you must be okay with aloneness in all of its glory. embrace it for everything it's worth. and become your own best friend. but, see, you already were before you moved, weren't you? so you've got this one in the bag.

and those are your lessons learned from little 'ol me. more to come as i learn to navigate this great big city. until then, thanks. for. putting. up. with. my. one. word. non. sentences. i. don't. know. where. that. came. from. xoxo.

*all photos courtesy of my iphone and edited with picfx. i haven't been all that good at taking pictures in my first month here, but i did manage to snap a few gems. i made them extra large this post, just because. 

meg ryan moments.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

i found myself in a food emporium in the middle of korea town late one thursday night upon moving to new york. it was valentine's day and i was there purely for the frozen yogurt. because of all days to treat yourself, valentine's day is the one. extra rainbow sprinkles, please.

i strangely felt very in my element, even in this anonymous state. just hours before, i'd fit in my very first post-work yoga class, popped in for an essie-head-over-heels-red-manicure, grabbed a salad at my favorite vegetarian place, and had a long walk home gabbing with some west coast lovers. and then there i was, all by myself, soaking in this strange scene at the food court. the girl next to me slurped the biggest bowl of soup i've ever seen. the elderly man at the table across the way held his newspaper mere centimeters from his face struggling to make out the text. the couple to my right decided to eat dessert first as they scraped the bottom of their frozen yogurt container clean, and their mound of fried rice appeared.

it was completely and utterly random, and for some reason i was happy. there i was, not a soul in sight who had any idea who i was, nor i who they were. and i realized that's the crazy, beautiful thing about new york. you can be whoever you want. at anytime. on any day. anywhere. and before you know it you're asking yourself, how'd i get here again? so on this particular night i did the next best unpredictable thing i could think to do... have myself a meg ryan moment and head to the top of the empire state building. 


welcome to the empire state building said the man with a cheeky smile dressed from head to toe in an ancient shade of burgundyish red, hat and all. these uniformed gentlemen take their jobs very seriously as they usher tourists from one line to the next, in this elevator here, but don't touch any buttons, it's all automatic! i liked everything about these men. especially the one who said, now that's a valentine's day smile. 

so i stood there in my hot pink beanie amongst couples on their way home from a romantic date-night, and a few tourists, and i waited my turn. all the while replaying the end scene of sleepless in seattle in my head thinking, there is no way annie waited in this line, meandering through the ropes like a maze at disneyland. she pushed her way right to the top. oh, what scene would i cause to cut to the front of the line? i thought to myself. umm hello people! the love of my life is at the top! i have to get up there! i mean it was valentine's day after all. a girl can pretend.

turns out, it's really really cold at the top. i did a few laps. took a zillion pictures. didn't take the deep breathe i wanted to take staring off into the distance while soaking in the scene. but, i was still so grateful to be doing this thing i've been wanting to do my whole life all on my very own. it kind of symbolized my entire new york adventure. baby steps do lead to bravery. 

i can't help but relate the feeling to a line from one of my favorite weepies songs, can't go back now...

i can't really say why everybody wishes they were somewhere else
but in the end, the only steps that matter are the ones that you take all by yourself

so, here's to taking steps all on our own.

as i made my way back down, i thought... you know what, new york is the best valentine i could possibly ask for this year. just me and you, babe.

have heart.

it's no secret valentine's day is my favorite holiday. any day with extra hearts involved, and i'm a goner. thank you, b, for sharing this sweet little video with me.

i'm a little behind in my love day posts, but hey, at least it's still february! happy belated valentine's day, you little sweethearts you.

blogger and believer in love.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

i believe that i have several identities, and one of them is most definitely blogger. it's a label i feel comes with several attachments, like oh you write your feelings on the internet. but also oh! you are apart of that kick a** group of creative women who are changing the face the internet - and writing and publishing - in fact. well, whatever we may categorize a blogger to be, i miss the days of being one. 

it feels like long gone are the days when i had hours upon hours in my quiet little haven, in my city by the bay to just think. and to express. and to gather my thoughts. and write them down. i miss that sacred time of reflection. and quite frankly, i miss my corner of the internet i created as a place to call my own to document what is most important to me. giving my undivided attention to writing is hard to come by at the moment. this new pace at which i'm functioning - one where i have to be one step ahead - leaves little to no brain space for quiet moments of writing. nor does it leave me in a place where i feel fully satisfied with my words. just like a relationship, these words deserve tender loving care, none of this half-committed wishy washy stuff.

in due time. in due time.

that’s what i keep telling myself. 

once i have a place to call home. once i get my bearings. once i find my stride in my professional life. i'll find balance. and i will sink back into my normal routine. my essence... blogger. and always always a believer in love. 

and don't take the subway late at night.

Monday, February 18, 2013

i have never in my life been more grateful for two people than i am for my mom and dad. we've had some rocky years, the three of us, but we sure did make it through, now didn't we? it seems like a lot of tough sh*t {pardon my french here, although the circumstances do deserve a word a lot worse than that one} has happened lately. yes of course there has been so much good, but amongst the goodness came a whole lot of bad. rock bottom, in fact. stressful and unplanned situations, but guess who was there?

sometimes we all just need our parents. 

my mom and dad, they are truly the most supportive individuals a daughter could ask for, and i couldn't be more thankful i have them in my corner. 

and that's all i really wanted to tell you, sweet readers, on this president's day eve after mom and dad spent a full three days as east coasters. it was a weekend filled with walking and endless apartment viewing and discussing financial matters and freezing our buns off and bundling up and dining out and opening our eyes and hearts to a new life in a new city. i know it's hard adjustment you two, i really do, and i can see you digging deep to feel proud of me rather than fearful. for this i am oh-so-grateful.

honey, will you do something for me?
will you be careful? 
yes, of course.
you promise?
yeah dad, i will.
just be cognizant while you're walking around. 
i know, don't worry.
{long pause}.
and don't take the subway late at night. 

so yeah, thank you for loving me. 

*photo captured during our first time adventure to chelsea market.

the journey

Sunday, February 10, 2013

dolls, i miss you.

here's the truth... nyc has been keeping me quite the busy bee this past week. i'm a little lost, hence a lot of my energy is dedicated to finding my way instead of stopping in to write to you. between work and apartment hunting and navigating the streets, i don't have much left over {that and my darn corporate housing spotty internet}. but please know, i'm constantly opening my memo pad to jot down thoughts to you. like how sometimes waking up in a new place can be gut-wrenchingly difficult, but also how necessary it is to experience that feeling in order to grow. i'm loving every minute. even the tough ones. because i know it's all part of the journey.

i promise more will come when things settle a bit. just grant me a little more time to adjust, oh would you please!

until then, loving you.

*photo from my instagram - apartment with a view. 

lost and found.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

i sat on my first solo subway ride in new york city on a chilly sunday afternoon after being in the city for less than twenty four hours. it was the n train, and within sixty seconds of sitting down i started to cry.

i felt so inspired.

and mostly i was just so grateful to have this feeling back. it's one that used to catch me off guard at random moments in san francisco. on the bus… a street corner… driving across the bay bridge. it was a feeling that let me know i was supposed to be there, wherever there was.

but see, this overwhelming joyful inspiration disappeared over the past year, and i thought i may have lost it forever. i guess all it took was three thousand miles, public transportation, and a girl willing to take a big risk to get it back again.

oh you sly inspiration you, stay as long as you would like. i am so happy to have found you.

{picture via my new pin board nyc}

happy you.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

i think everyone in their lifetime needs to experience a happy you party! recently i got lucky enough to have my very own and i must admit it was one of the best nights i've ever had. ever. a happy you soirée consists of a night in with your best friends doing your absolute favorite things. now we can officially cross another thing off the 'ol bucket list: long overdue slumber party with a few besties and the littles {the littles happened at an earlier date}.

the best part about my happy you party is that it was a complete surprise. i knew these lovely ladies had something up their sleeve, but i had no idea it would be this wonderful. and i should also mention, it was one of my life dreams to be truly surprised, and boy did these sneaky gals really pull it off.

wow, do they know me oh so well. there were blue barn salads and veggies and cupcakes and balloons and endless wine and manicures and face masks and dancing and fits of laugher until our bellies had no more laughs left to give. it. was. the. best. ever.

i can't thank you enough for creating such a perfect night. you really are the bestest friends a girl could ask for. promise me we'll keep this slumber party tradition alive forever and ever and have happy you parties just because. xoxo.
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