A New Life…

The thing about change is that it seems to come in waves, at least for me. Life goes on and things seem to become routine and then bam, EVERYTHING changes.  I’ve never been the type to be opposed to change, in fact, in my younger years, I tended to “get bored” easily and make rash, drastic decisions rather hastily.  But the older I get, the more I appreciate the routine, the expected, the safe.  However exciting living in NYC was, it was also safe for me because I had a routine.  I had my local coffee shop, my go-to pizza place, my nail salon of choice and my weekend routine (Zabars, the NY Post and if weather permitted, a stroll in Riverside Park).  I had my weekday routine too. Subway to work, coffee or a designer juice (don’t ask) downstairs, and the camaraderie of working long hours in a crazy start-up where coworkers were more like siblings.  My free-time was spent doing whatever I wanted, for the most part.

As things begin to change and I begin to get into a new routine (12 minute walk through scenic downtown Newport to work, evenings and weekends spent catching up with old friends and relaxing by the water), I realize that EVERYTHING is changing once again, and maybe for good.  This is the last weekend (possibly forever, but certainly for a while) that I’ll truly be on my own schedule, doing whatever I want and going wherever I please.  No, I’m not pregnant or anything but I am about to get a permanent roommate and I think one of my first big lessons will be compromise.

Because I’ve been fairly independent my whole life and spent the first 25 plus years of my life un-attached, my biggest fear about co-habitation is the minute details that make up life.  What will we eat for dinner, what kind of eggs will we buy (I prefer organic brown…)  what kind of soap we’ll keep in the shower, how the bed will be made… Also, will I ever lie on the couch with total control of the remote again? These tiny details terrify me as I realize I probably won’t always have it my way. I can’t even imagine the life-altering that will ensue when I (someday, like sommmme day) have a house full of children and dogs to think about! So readers, any advice for a first-time co-habitator?  Speak now or forever hold your peace!

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Location, location, location?

I recently spent 5 days in Buffalo, NY and while there, I got some “inquiries” as to why I live in NYC and also whether I would I ever consider moving to Buffalo (it’s cheap! the foods great! I could have a huge house! The people are nice!). This got me thinking.  It’s true, I do consider location a key factor in happiness.  Afterall, location determines a lot.  Whether you have friends and family nearby, the climate, the food, the cost of living and really the overall quality of life.  But do I need to be in a specific location to be happy? Maybe, or maybe not…

On my flight home I got to thinking about why I moved to NYC in the first place.  There were a lot of reasons.  But probably the key reason was the image I had in my mind of what it meant to live and work in NYC.  The clichéd notion that living and working here would make me important, successful, rich and by association – happy.  Truth be told, I love telling people when I’m traveling that I’m from NYC, there’s a certain air of credibility and coolness that those three little words generally give off. Or at least in my own head they do…

So now I’m stumped. As I’m about to embark on another chapter of my life – I must know –  Is it the actual PLACE you live that’s important or is it everything else – such as the right job, loved ones, a nice house/apartment that make a place great?  One wise Buffalonian said to me “I’ve lived all over (he hasn’t really, but I digress) and I can be happy anywhere as long as I have a job and a nice place to live.”  It seemed so simple yet so true. Doesn’t it??

So I ask you, wise readers, do you think your location factors into your happiness or do you think if you have a job, a partner and a nice place to live, you can “be happy anywhere?” Let the debate begin!

Editors Note:  In no way does the above post mean that I am moving or planning on moving to Buffalo, NY.  Just pondering location in general my friends 🙂  As noted in previous posts, I am thinking of heading back to New England to reunite with my beloved Atlantic Ocean, Wicked accents and lobster rolls 🙂  But as you all know, anything is possible so we’ll see…

Things Even a Strong Woman Needs a Man For…

During my nearly two years in a long distance relationship I’ve grown to be a pretty strong and independent woman.  I’ve artfully mastered dining alone at a local coffee shop, cooking for one, and I’ve even learned how to enjoy painful holidays such as Valentine’s Day with my not-always present main man (thank you Skype!).  Even still though, they are definitely a few situations where only a man will do.  I know what you’re thinking…that’s a whole ‘nother blog though!  Below is the G-rated laundry list of times when I wish FF was not so long distance!

When I’m sick…I can’t speak for every lady out there, but when I get sick, I immediately get cranky, depressed and weepy as an added bonus.  I just want someone to make me soup, fetch me more tissues, keep my Gatorade and gingerale supply fully loaded and appease my whining.  I know it sounds like a dream job but someone’s gotta do it!

When there’s a mouse in the house! As luck would have it I made it 30 years of my life without ever seeing a mouse and then broke the streak a few months ago when at least one little bugger took up residence under our stove.  I became a paranoid mouse-obsessed shell of myself as we waged our own little war via glue traps, poison packs and other assorted animal cruelty methods.  (Editor’s note if any PETA supporters are reading this,  my roommates and I did throw out all the glue traps when we read about the torture a mouse may endure if getting caught on one.)  Friends, family and coworkers all came to my support with helpful remedies and tips for mouse-fighting but without a man around to bravely set the traps, move furniture and poke around for potential victims, I was left to my fend for myself.  In others, I borderline stalked our poor handy man with a barrage of texts, emails and panicked phone calls – if you’re reading this Rick…sorry about that!

When I can’t figure out my taxes…I’ve never claimed to be a financial wizard but over the years I’ve successfully mastered both Turbo Tax’s and H&R Blocks “do it yourself” tax platforms and felt pretty confident in my abilities as a self-tax doer.  Things got slightly more complex with multiple jobs and city taxes and different addresses and somehow I missed a measly little form or two causing the IRS to “get in touch.”  Do I attempt to fix it myself? Find an accountant? Go the local H&R Block route?  If only I had a man around to make these tough decisions for me…sigh…

When I want to try that new romantic restaurant…As noted above I’ve learned to appreciate dining alone or ordering takeout for one when my girlfriends are busy.  But there’s certain places that you just can’t go alone – or even with your gal pals – without looking totally pathetic.  That new little romantic Italian joint that plays soft jazz, has floating candles on the tables and specializes in “romantic fare you can share?” Yeah, that will just have to go on my “when FF visits” list for now…

Any other LDR’ers out there?  What are your “I Need My Man” moments?  I’d love to hear ’em!

My fifteen minutes…

It’s funny how things work out.  I just got back from a trip to LA and everytime I go there, I come back to NYC thinking I may be more of a west coast gal then an east coast one.  This trip was no exception.  Also, while I was there, I connected with someone who got me thinking about my life path, my destiny – you know, all that good LA-ish type stuff… Kidding, but seriously, this person did get me thinking deeper than my NYC brain usually thinks, but hey, I also had a 5 hour flight to sit through… 🙂

Anyway, I remembered (or rather reminded myself) that I love writing and would start doing again and I also told myself (see last post) that I would start doing more things to make a name for myself.  Well call it fate or call it a coincidence but the very next day I get contacted by CNN to appear on their CNN Newsroom show.  I also got a tweet from someone at CNN who told me he “lives for my blog” which pretty much made my life since I didn’t think anyone except my parents and my loyal Newport buddies actually read this thing!

Someone once told me that if you leave things in the universe’s hands they will work themselves out and I’m pretty sure that’s true.  There are highs and lows, ups and downs, setbacks, surprises, and things to work out, but at least tonight, I’m giving my crazy overactive, overanalyzing, ball of stress, plan-making mind a rest and having a lil’ faith…

Here’s a clip from my network television debut.  It was only about 3 minutes so I figure I got at least another 12 minutes of fame left in this lifetime! 🙂

Comments welcome…and yes, I know I say “I know” a lot!  Rookie mistake, I’ll do better next time!

Keeping it up…

Bet you didn’t think I’d really do it did ya? Here I am! 🙂 Let’s see, what significant happened today…

Well the planning for the 30th is fully underway. I realized that everyone has their own idea of the perfect party. It’s funny because usually the best nights I’ve had have been completely random, unplanned and not at all what I would have described as a perfect evening. On the other hand most of the times I’ve carefully orchestrated a “perfect evening” it’s gone horribly wrong.

When I thought of my ideal 30th – it obviously included my best friends and my man (who probably won’t be there…sadface). Beyond that though, my “demands” were: trendy neighborhood (althought I’m not sure why because I never actually hang in trendy neighbors now…), juke box (this is big one for me but may have to deal), a comfy seating area while also having an ample “dancing area”, oh, and free private room, and of course, cheap and delicious drinks. That’s not too much to ask is it??

Anyway, stay tuned because I think we may have found the “perfect place!”

Everything Happens for a Reason…

This title is courtesy of my Sigma Kappa days which are now almost 10 years in the past. It was one of the cliche phrases repeated to us over and over again during pledging. Even though it’s pretty cheesy I’ve always kinda thought it was true (and hey, I’m kinda cheesy myself) and have said it to myself hundreds of times when dealing with bumps in the road.

Lately I’ve been having my annual (OK, monthly) “where am I going? what am I doing? am I living the life I’m supposed to be?” freakout and I’m sure a few people around me (sorry FF) noticed. I’m sure it’s the approaching 3-0, or maybe just the Newport nostalgia I feel ever spring when the weather turns nice and I can no longer go for a walk on the Cliff Walk or for a Astro Bomb at Johnny’s. (For those of you who don’t know about Johnny’s Atlantic Beach Club – read my one of my favorite old columns here!)
Anyway…this week I was lucky enough to attend the 140 conference hosted by Jeff Pulver. The conference was a 2-day event that focused on the power of now. What the heck is that you ask? Well as it turns out, it was exactly the inspiration and reminder I needed that:
1) I can do anything at anytime, it’s never too late
2) I love what I do now
3) I can always do more, do something different, go somewhere else, nothing is impossible!
There were many amazing speakers, some you’ve obviously heard of like Ann Curry (swoon!), Mayor Corey Booker, Dennis Crowley (co-founder of Foursquare for all my non-social media friends) and then there were some you definitely haven’t heard of, which is what I thought was so cool. Some were completely and utterly random and even a little eccentric but they were all inspiring and shared a common trait of passion and drive. Most wanted to accomplish something and did, in most instances more than they ever dreamed. All of them used social media in some way to achieve their big things and it was pretty rad to feel their energy and hear their stories. A few sound bytes from the day really struck a cord with me, which brings me to my title, “everything happens for a reason.” I think I was meant to be there and here those things and be re-inspired and reminded that I can still do it all, make my mark and conquer the world. Perhaps most importantly, I was reminded of something that is extremely easy to lose sight of, especially living in Manhattan.

Money can’t buy happiness….

We’ve all heard this a million times but I will be the first to admit, I don’t “buy it” for a minute. I can almost guarantee I’d be happier if I had more money. If I had more money I could travel the world which I KNOW would bring me happiness. If I had more money, I would help family members and loved one do the things they can’t afford to do, and if I had more more money, I’d hire a personal trainer, buy a boat and buy my first pair of Christian Loubotins (OK these are the totally superficial and selfish ones, but still…I would!)
After hearing a lot of people tell their stories of how they chased their dreams and never once did it for the money, it reminded me of something my small-town heart already knew deep down, but that I may have temporarily lost sight of. That thing is: people in this city often put too much weight into the pursuit of material wealth. How can you not in the most expensive city in the world I guess? It’s often all about where you live, what you wear, even where you eat and drink but it’s rarely about what you’ve done and what you believe and who you are. It’s good to be reminded of the things that matter and also to be reassured that yes, it is possible to be successful and happy and NOT rich…although often times if you stick to what you know and love, you just might get rich doing it…someday.
OK enough preaching – goodnight NYC – I still love you, I just have to be reminded every once in a while that the size of my apartment doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things!

Pondering life from 30,000 feet…

Currently en route back to NYC from Lala land… Had a great few days in LA with coworkers and a great meeting with a new client. Sitting at an outdoor cafe a few hours before boarding my flight back to the concrete jungle I had yet another epiphany about life. NYC is NOT the place for me. This time I mean it! I am beach person – always have been, always will be. I instantly feel better just knowing that the ocean is nearby…and when I can SEE it and SMELL it and FEEL it – I feel 100% at home. I guess techincally NYC is an island and the ocean is nearby, but dirt doesn’t count as sand and for some reason there is no “ocean breeze” to be found…

When I think back on my years living by the beach in Narragansett, RI, Newport, RI and then again in Long Beach, NY – I realize I was A LOT more relaxed and “chill” and “easy-going”…

These words used to describe me but now I am just another nervous-nellie (as Carrie Kerpen my lovely boss calls me), high-strung, uptight, stressed out, negative-Nancy NY’er. Not cool 😦

Yes, I moved to NYC to focus on my career, dream big, live the NYC life and expeience it all while I was young and uninhibited. But now I’m not so young, not so unihibited and fully aware that I can HAVE an amazing job and DO an amazing job from anywhere (well maybe not anywhere, but definitely from somewhere other than NYC…like say a beach town in Cali, New England or elsewhere…)

Will I feel this way tomorrow? Who knows… When I wake up tomorrow morning to the bustling scene of a NYC spring morning on the Upper West side and go get my morning coffee and bagel from Zabar’s will I still feel like I need to immediately move to a beach town and chill down my lifestyle? Not sure… But for today – I have decided, in the words of the great Ray LaMontagne – “Gotta get out of New York City…New York City’s killing me…”