Fixer Upper

I don't want to write like, a retrospective post on this past year. I don't really want to detail all the things I hated that happened, all the things I've learned, how much I've changed, etc.

What I do feel like saying is that I'm in such discontent with my life. I'm happy, most of the time. I'm just incredibly discontent. I don't like where I am, I don't like what I'm doing.

I think I know how to get out of it. But we'll see when we get there. I know there are major issues I have to deal with. I know I need more of the people I love, in my life, closer. I know that I need to stop thinking that everything will fix itself if I just move to another city again. I need to stop preventing myself from growing roots somewhere just because I want to be somewhere else. It's unhealthy, and while it feels all glamorous to jet around the US and visit people, I remember being so much happier while I was in NYC, and I knew who I was and where I'd be each week. Not that there weren't things I lacked then... but I had more concrete steps to change things then, instead of hoping that this ambiguous new city would be the key to 'happiness.'

I have to get to a stable place again, where I feel like I'm not constantly spending energy simply adjusting to life, so that I can focus on things I know make me happy, like working on projects. Like playing piano. Like singing. Like writing, like reading. All these things that i know make me happy, but that I forgo in exchange for nights on the couch, devouring TV movies and endlessly clicking links on the internet, hoping that either of those things will actually satisfy me and make me happier.

I feel sort of shell-ish right now. Like there's not much that I'm doing to work on "me", on who I am and what I'm good at. And I desperately need to get that back and feel like I'm useful again.

I need to give myself the freedom to explore creativity again, to stop feeling like I can't do it just because I *haven't* done it. I need to let myself do things for their own sake, not as a means to an end. Like this! I dont' know what this post means. But the important part is that it doesn't have to mean anything. It doesn't have to define me as a person, or even as a person at this moment. It just is... and I need to let myself feel and do more things without pressuring myself to imbue it with MEANING and FEELING, as if doing so would make it more worthwhile.

Test

On Friends

Lesson of the year is that no matter how "so right" things seemed at one point, they probably weren't since obviously shit didn't work out.

But it's a testament to kickass friends how quickly my story turned from self-pity and regret to strength and resolve in the aftermath. <3

On Long Distances

It's funny how things shake out.

A few months ago I was coping with a somewhat long-due end of a long-distance relationship with half of my energy, and packing up my belongings to move across the country for a job with the other half. Among other reasons, neither of us saw ourselves moving to the same city so that we could have a proper functioning life together, and yet here I was leaving I city I loved for 6 years so that I could take a chance on a brand new company, that I was head over heels in love with. And the use of that romantic terminology is key.

Because that's where the taboo lies right? I think a lot of the time we hear about friends moving places for relationships, and we cynically say to ourselves, "Man, what if that doesn't work out? Wouldn't that suck? She/he probably didn't think that one through, in my opinion" and all these cautionary tales about relationships and all the reasons they fail.

When I got my new job - sure there were some "Wow, are you sure you're ready to leave New York?" sentiments, but overwhelmingly, I was congratulated, applauded for starting the next chapter of my life, taking a chance, and people reassured me that this was the right thing to do.

I remember talking with my friend Zoe just a while ago, and wondering why we felt so much more confident (and supported) moving for jobs versus relationships. Why do we tend to be more cautionary and in my case, put the brakes on a really -- well, this is all subjective, naturally -- good relationship that despite a lot of wrong, also had a lot of right going for it? Why, when it comes to jobs, are we so exponentially more willing to take that leap?

Because as it turned out -- this job didn't work out. And while I think I'll be okay in the short to mid-run, it is every bit as terrifying and "now what am I going to do?" as I might begin to imagine moving for a relationship would be.

I mean - right now I'm in the raw thick of it. It's fraught with "how could things go so wrong?" and "I wish this went differently." It's figuring out practically what I need to do next now that I'm settled in a new city, but also emotionally how I'm going to move on and find that next thing that's going to make me feel wanted, make me feel worth it. It's knowing that all of a sudden I have serious trust issues even after both of us making huge commitments.

How do I fall in love again? How do I find the motivation to get out there and apply for new jobs and interview and start at a new company without fearing at every step that it's going to go wrong again?

How do I take a lesson away from this that isn't just cynical? That isn't just how the world is unfair and you have to play the game and not give up 100% of yourself?

And what, if anything, do I take away about long distance leaps of faith going forward?

courage to be vulnerable, strength to pull through

- things that it takes to survive caring about someone and yet not be together, because to be together would require sacrificing those bits of what you admire so much about each other, the drive to succeed, the curiosity to explore, your hopes and dreams for the future.

The 404

The Plan

April 25-29: Pack, ship/donate unwanted goods
May 3: Ship
May 8: Fly to Seattle
May 9-13: Find/sign apartment
May 14: Fly to LA
May 20: Anne's Bachelorette Party
May 22: Anne's Wedding
May 23: Return to Seattle
May 25: Start new job
May 28-31: Move into new apartment

//collapse

To be fair, I can't refuse to believe in fate...

... but also continue to believe that there is such thing as The One.

It's the hardest thing, to believe that if it's meant to be, it will be

Because maybe we actually just irrevocably fucked it up and then what?

NYC Places - Text Dump

Pete's Tavern
https://foursquare.com/venue/128

Only been here once, but it was an awesome once, a meeting of the minds with @TJAllard and crew to discuss a new interactive project.

Recommended: Sauteed Chicken Liver with Marsala Wine, Onions and Mushrooms

Village Pourhouse
https://foursquare.com/venue/31891

Back when Rock Band nights first took off, this was the place to be. It's where I first met @chrisa9 and @leighalexander, where I rocked the stage with @alex_navarro and @samitsarkar. Been a while since I went back, mostly because it got too crowded for my taste.

Macondo
https://foursquare.com/venue/40773

First stopped by here during @chrisa9's birthday after-party. I vaguely remember drinking delicious white sangria out of a crazy watering-can style carafe. Repeat visits led me to discover their great selection of tapas we well as an amazing hibiscus margarita.

Recommended: Sangria Blanca, Ceviche Camaron

Pastis
https://foursquare.com/venue/1132

The time I remember most here was a beautiful Saturday brunch with @beeme. New York had finally started to give us sunshine this season, and it was the perfect afternoon to catch up and share great stories.

Recommended: Sunday brunch, to see all the well-dressed but hungover Saturday night praters.

Blaue Gans
https://foursquare.com/venue/32590

Memories of celebratory afternoons with the @Candystand crew, leaving work early for a pint (okay a few) of beer, schnitzel, sausages, and vulgar commentary from @BernarBekirov.

Recommended: Jager Schnitzel, Apple Strudel

Back Room
https://foursquare.com/venue/20844

An old AOL coworker brought us here after a few rounds at Whiskey Ward. A crazy dark alleyway leads into an unmarked door, opening up into a speakeasy-style, velvet-lined bar. Sexy, with a hidden VIP room (behind the bookcase), cocktails served in teacups, beer served in paper bags.

Recommended: Don't tell your cohorts where you're going and surprise them.

PDT
https://foursquare.com/venue/36524

Another hidden bar gem, loved by me because they deliver tasty tater tots from Crif Dogs next door. Hard to make reservations for, but fun to enter through the phone booth.

Recommended: Have the number handy; the phone line for reservation opens at 3pm for each night, and spots fill up quickly.

Angel's Share
https://foursquare.com/venue/2189

Trifecta for the hidden bars - this one is located behind a barely-marked door in a highly trafficked Japanese restaurant. First time was, rather appropriately, with a covert date. Great to look out at the East Village while sharing a cozy couch.

Delicatessen
https://foursquare.com/venue/139481

Cute little Nolita spot with a ton of weird personality. My first trip there marked a great afternoon excursion from the AOL office with some of our team.

Recommended: Cheeseburger Spring Rolls (YEAH)

Black and White
https://foursquare.com/venue/9204

The AOL outing staple for when Central Bar was too close and too crowded. Many nights texting for friends to meet us there, sniping tables, taking smoke breaks on the lowered patio. An almost-kiss that ended up going nowhere, but nonetheless great memories.

Sahara East
https://foursquare.com/venue/646

A staple hookah bar during the time I was dating a full-time smoker. Okay food, okay ambience, but served its purpose - a place to spend a nice evening out with friends.

Sultana Cafe
https://foursquare.com/venue/85661

Frequented this hookah spot less, but I remember the events more. Once right after the big breakup, met here with a high school friend who was in from out of town to get perspective, grounded.

Cleopatra's Needle
https://foursquare.com/venue/1496

Came here for jazz night with a freshman-year crush. Food was meh, music was meh, the date? Ended up pretty meh also!

The Burger Joint
https://foursquare.com/venue/17754

A hidden greasy burger place in the middle of the swank-ass Le Parker Meridien hotel. Always packed, with a line slinking into the hotel's posh lobby, but a pretty good burger to make up for it.

Symposium
https://foursquare.com/venue/179320

An amazing Greek restaurant, with a gracious and friendly host. We came here at first because they didn't check IDs and have amazing pitchers of sangria. Stayed for the to-die-for food selection.

Recommended: Symposium Mixed Appetizers Plate, Potpourri of Greek Foods (one order of each will satisfy a two-person table)