I'm writing again for the first time in a year. I just wanted to register my excitement, both for that and the fact that I'm up past 8 p.m. it's an fun-filled wednesday night. somehow having an outlet for my thoughts makes me feel a lot more hopeful than I can be happy and energetic, or at least articulate why I'm not.
I also did grocery shopping tonight. I ask you--how productive can one person be.
tonight is my two month anniversary in new york. I just got back from checking out the brooklyn flea market in williamsburg with greg and now I'm on the couch eating kit kats with sigmund (he's not eating kit kats, just keeping me company). it is hard to put into words what all is happening. on the one hand everything feels like a huge deal, but on the other it feels very much like normal everyday life, so that I can't figure out what is important or significant or worthy of note. it is certainly not what I expected, though I don't know what I expected.
how is new york? this is the first question everybody I talk to from back home asks me and I feel I have provided very inadequate responses. for my friends that still are on livejournal, this is my attempt to answer that question.
I am LIVING in brooklyn. just the day to day grind of making a living for myself--going to work, getting around, grocery shopping, going out--takes up most of my time and energy right now. it is very much like I have to relearn how to live and do very basic, fundamental things like that, because everything is very different here. small things, like managing to get food for the week or do laundry or buy curtains, are big accomplishments but nothing I can talk about when someone asks me how is new york. this question is so difficult to answer. I don't know how new york is because I am still figuring out how to exist here. trying to make my way in such a different world than I have ever been accustomed to, every small detail feels terribly epic, every day is triumph and tragedy, but outside of this context none of it adds up to anything. and so I am sorry, friends, that when you ask me how new york is I can't really describe it to you, because the way my day to day looks from inside my life is completely different from how it looks outside.
I read somewhere online before I moved here that when you are living in new york, some days the city beats you and some days you beat the city. so far, this is the best approximation of life here I have come across. having a "successful" day, whatever that entails, running errands or barhopping or exploring a neighborhood you've never been to before, you feel like you won, even just doing grocery shopping and then making dinner I can feel like I'm on top of the world. but some days nothing goes right. some days the city wins and I go to bed feeling bruised and defeated. I can't eliminate those days because living here is just too wily and unpredictable. what I'm striving to do right now is to raise the bar for the days I win, once the day to day things become comfortable and a normal part of life. but first I have to relearn everything. once I master that I hope I can have a good answer. all of this is to say that right now I don't know how new york is. but I look forward to the day when I can turn my attention outward and find out.
from the qualifying notes for a saks mystery shop:
"You must be able to look/speak/portray yourself as a typical Saks Fifth Avenue customer. Please keep in mind that the typical Saks shopper has an annual household income of $250,000, on average,
and you must appear to be a typical customer."
this seems like a pretty apt metaphor for my time in new york so far. money is so weird here. there's simultaneously extravagant amounts of it and none of it, and everyone is constantly trying to get more of it and then lavishly spending it. I'm having a hard time keeping up.
I am so immature in a lot of ways, and my need for approval, validation and attention from people who don't really have any role in my life in a grander sense is one of the most frustrating. why do I care about what people who don't care about me, think about me? or whether they think of me at all? there is no "fair" in relationships, you're not going to get out what you put in, it's not an equation, it's more complicated than that and that shouldn't define a relationship's worth or that person's value to you. people aren't going to necessarily give you what you give them, that's life, grow up and accept it. "fair" is the most utterly naive concept.
it's pretty revealing, when I really care about someone deeply i don't even think about that, but when I don't care so much about the person I am so much of the time "keeping score" remembering all the things that I have done for them and whatever. how childish! how disrespectful to human relations that are worth so much more than these petty demands. I have to learn to see things in a more loving, productive context where I focus on giving out of love, not out of need, and on cherishing experiences, not keeping score. ways to be happier. I am working on it.
if you are my friend and you are not a self-absorbed whiner, then I am really sorry. I have not devoted enough love, time, thought or energy to you, because I have been completely caught up in giving all of that to my self-absorbed whining piece of crap friends. but seriously, you guys RULE! let's hang out.
I feel like 2010 should have been a more important year for me than it was. I graduated college and got my first full-time job, but I feel like I sort of trudged through this year in a haze. things overall have not been too stellar. I didn't really accomplish any of my goals or learn any of the lessons that have been presented to me over and over again. I've been lonely and discouraged and focused on all the wrong things. I feel like I made a lot of bad decisions and not a lot of good ones.
I might be in a better place emotionally than I was this time last year, but I feel like that's come at a major sacrifice to my personal growth. I've regressed in a lot of ways. essentially I am pretty disappointed in myself. I dropped the ball this year and I feel like it was almost a total waste of time. I am tired of feeling like I've been coasting, but it's hard to find the motivation to be better. I don't know what I'm working toward at all anymore. things seem a little hopeless when I have so little focus or ambition. I want to have dreams and goals but I can't feel connected to anything.
katherine told me the transition into real life from college seems to have been particularly difficult for me and I think that's true. giving up journalism as a career goal I think took a much bigger toll on me than I've acknowledged. being a journalist was a huge part of how I defined myself, it was what motivated and inspired me. I was so proud of the work I had done and now that I'm not working toward that anymore I just feel lost. I don't think I made the wrong decision, because I still believe the reasons I gave up journalism--basically that I'm not passionate and driven enough about it--are real, but I have nothing to fill this void. my job search was bitterly disappointing, but I did end up with a job that is okay or at least not anything I can complain about and will hopefully be a good springboard to future opportunities that actually give me some opportunity for personal fulfillment and growth.
I've tried over and over again to get myself out of this glum mental state by setting goals for myself, but I've found it really difficult to stick to any of them, no matter how small or inconsequential. so I've decided to try to make a more general list of resolutions for the new year, sort of principles to guide me as I try to get my life back on track.
1. focus. identify what's important and not important, what is fulfilling and not fulfilling. devote time and energy to those things and (try to) ignore the rest.
2a. put the lid back on the thermos when it has liquid in it. this isn't specific but it is forefront in my mind because I just spilled water on myself and I always do this.
2b. spend time on myself. I feel withered. watch more movies, read more, write more, exercise more, think more. do things because they are good for me and will make me happy, not because they will make me better to other people.
3. be more loving. I think this is the one area what I did succeed to some degree in 2010, but it bears repeating. loving other people more is something I always want to resolve to do.
4. be more independent. probably the absolute most important thing I need to work on. maybe it only feels like I got weaker this year because last year I was only dependent on one person and now I am dependent on many, but either way it is completely inhibiting my growth as a person. I feel so lost when I'm alone and this is just really unhealthy.
5. be brave. I can be so inhibited by stupid insecurities and fears. I think this ends up hurting me more than I realize.
this hasn't been a bad year in the sense that nothing bad happened to me, but it's been a bad year for me personally. I'm in sort of a gloomy mood right now, but I don't want to stay this way. I want things to get better. I know it's up to me and I'm going to work on it.
I was scrolling through jobs.fsu.edu and I found an opening for a reporter at WFSU :( this was my dream job. I physically can't not apply.
I have made some truly legendary poor decisions in my life, but thus far, graduating college has been the worst mistake I ever made.