Friday, August 24, 2012

8:57

This morning, at 8:57, I walked into the McDonalds across from the Empire State Building to get the 2-for-$4 deal. See, it's a McMuffin and since I'm not eating carby things, I just throw the bread away and eat the egg and sausage. I did this yesterday too. It's about a block from my office, it's on the route I walk every morning from the 1 train to the office.
This morning, at 9:02, I know that because I actually did look at my watch this morning to see if I was on time, (clearly I wasn't), I walked out of McDonalds and down the block to my office to start my day.
This morning, at 9:07, someone started shooting people in front of the Empire State Building, where I was not five minutes before.

Yesterday, I posted on Facebook about how I was thankful for the people in my life. I meant it then. I mean it now as well. There are all those sayings about how we should 'live for today' and 'life's too short' and we 'never know when it could be over' and all that. Do we need anymore proof of that? People are shooting people around the country like we are all part of some sadistic game of Duck Hunt, all the while, politicians are arguing that civilians having guns is some sort of human right. Meanwhile, while you all argue about this, people continue to die needlessly.

What's most upsetting to me is that none of this makes any sense. It doesn't make sense for people to get shot outside a building on their way to work. It doesn't make sense why this nation hasn't woken up, looked at the stats from other countries that don't allow guns, and followed suit. It doesn't make sense.
Today is a weird day. Everyone in our office has commented on it. It was weird before people were shot and it's weirder after. I'm just going to continue to trust. And believe. And know that I don't have the answers but I have faith in who does.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Keep walking...

Last year, it was right around this time, when I knew something was going to change in my life. I felt the stirring in my soul, in the innermost parts of my being, that something was going to change. So I started walking.
That's actually what I started doing.
I started walking.
After work, I would just start walking through the city, listening to whatever music felt right at that moment and at whatever point in my walk that I felt the inner release, that's when I would get on the train. Sometimes that was 10 blocks and sometimes that was 40 blocks.
I've felt a change coming and so tonight, I walked. I walked 50 blocks actually.
It's amazing the amount of clarity that brings me. Not only is it great to wander through this city at night, but it's freeing to walk without aim or destination, listening to music you love.
So something's coming. I don't know what it is. But until I find out, I'm just going to continue walking.

As silly as this might be to some people, I found myself thinking about this video. I wish I could say I was thinking about this story in general, but alas, no. I was thinking about singing peas. See, they sing about how the little vegetables should keep walking around the wall of Jericho, taunting them and telling them they won't be able to knock it down. But what the peas didn't understand was that it wasn't about the vegetables to knock the wall down.
So while that's only tangentially related, I feel like the change that is coming is representative of that wall falling down. So I'll keep walking, no matter what anyone might say, and allow myself to be open and receptive to whatever that change is. After all, the version of me that sits here this year and the version that sat here a year ago are completely different..and I love that.
(Fast forward to minute 21 on the video to see the song I'm talking about.)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

2nd anniversary

This blog was going to be much different than it has become. I was going to muse about how today is my second anniversary living in New York City and I was going to make a list of all the things that have changed for me and what I've learned. It was going to be both witty and heartfelt and was going to mention Friends, Sex and the City and 30 Rock at least twice each.
But what I really want to do today is just say how thankful I am to be here. I work a "regular" 9-5 job that's really anything but regular and I'm chipping away at my life goals list by BLEEPing on a monthly basis. Being entrusted by our readers each month to create something that matters is something that both humbles me and drives me to push harder and go further, not just in the work of the magazine, but in all avenues of my life.
The version of me that lived here a year ago is a very different version of me than what's here today. Over the past year, I've taken more risks, I've tried more new things and I've seen more growth than the previous year. I've allowed myself to let go of the self-made barricades and step into my own skin in a way I never have before. I've seen my circle of friends expand and contract in the best ways I never imagined and I've seen just how strong the strands of my long-distance friendships are.
Ultimately, I'm just thankful. I get to live in the place I've dreamed of living. I didn't compromise that dream either. I have a job that pays my bills and another job that pays me in completely different and equally important emotional and personal ways. I'm thankful I've internalized the fact that I'm a work-in-progress and allowed that to be alright. It's alright to be me, no matter what.
I'm 29 years old and I still have no clue what life will look like in 6 months, in a year or in five years. That's fine. I'm just thankful I'm here. There are so many people who are too scared to uproot their lives and chase their dream and while I was nervous about moving thousands of miles away from my friends and family, I knew it was what I was meant to do. That I have the support I have and am being given the opportunities I usually feel are, undeservedly, handed to me is unreal.
I was called an hero at work today. It was a very public and very unexpected compliment made in front of people who I have the utmost respect for. I'd be lying if I said it didn't overwhelm me a little. In that moment, on this day, a day where I'm already so thankful to be here, it served as a public validation of what I've known inside. I'm right where I'm supposed to be. It's hard not getting to do the pledge with my ridiculous and amazing family on the 4th of July. It's hard not getting to support my college gang in person when they are doing amazing things and accomplishing their dreams. It's hard not being able to afford to fly to my friends' weddings. It's hard not having real Tex-Mex whenever I want it...
But the trade off is exhilarating.
This past week, I've felt the winds of change. Something's about to change in my life and while I don't know what it is right now, I can't wait to find out. Here's to another year of living and discovering the city and myself. Stick around. It's sure to be a fun ride.

Monday, August 13, 2012

I don't have the Hunger

I finally saw The Hunger Games this weekend after many months of pushing against the current of the pop culture river that's been flooding the landscape of our consciousness. You'd think that a pop culture lover like myself would have been there on opening weekend to see something with such a following, but I wasn't interested. And now I wish I hadn't seen it at all.
I was never on board with this film or the books the films are derivative of. I know the premise, I know it's not necessarily anything new. It's basically The Most Dangerous Game but with children killing each other. And it's that last part where I have issues.
I don't have any interest in participating in a story about children killing children. I don't care that it's making a profound statement about both the society of violence we live in and the filth that so many people engage in watching on television. (Which I do believe it does and does so incredibly well) I certainly don't think weaving a love triangle into the story of needless death makes it more enjoyable or even more meaningful. If anything, it's white-washing the world's most horrible act in order to make it a sanitized story "appropriate" for the masses.
No, I haven't read the books and I won't be either. I know millions of people really enjoy the books and are drawn to how well written they are and how engaging they are. To each their own. But as for me, I can't bring myself to put my psyche through the thought that an 18-year-old is snapping the neck of a 12-year-old because it's okay to do so, which in the confines of this story, it's perfectly accepted and expected to do so.
So, I'm sorry Hunger Games. I won't be participating in watching any future films or reading any books. It grieves me too deeply to do so. In a world where we have real teenagers killing each other and themselves on a daily basis, I can't entertain even a fictional version of the same injustices.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Doing the wrath

Wrath of the Titans was not completely terrible. I mean, it was no where near great, and a lot of the special effects looked as if they were created for the first Harry Potter movie, but I do feel like there was one very redeeming moment.
Perhaps it's because I'm in the Olympic spirit, so anything about people having the ability to rise up above insurmountable odds makes me feel all warm and enables me to self-Oprah-fy my life.
I was watching this movie to enjoy a calm day doing nothing. It's hot outside and I don't really want to be wandering around in it. Sometimes, we don't want anything deep, we just want something fun that will entertain us for a short amount of time. Then, as the heroes of the story were pleading with one of the god-like characters in the movie, the token blonde warrior princess says, "I'm sorry you think that being human is not enough. But we humans have the power to hope when there's no hope, and we believe when to believe is idiotic. And sometimes, in spite of everything, we prevail."
Cut to Ryan having a moment.
Here's what's so funny to me about it. This is just the kind of line that Aaron Sorkin shoves down our throats each week in The Newsroom, making us feel like he's brilliant and that it's the best show on TV (it's not). But when this gal said it, I thought, that pretty much sums up everything the Olympics have been showing us over the past week.
So in that respect, I enjoyed Wrath of the Titans. It didn't change me like, say, The Lorax did (judge all you want, it's lovely and made me happy in a way few films have), but it was enjoyable for an afternoon and aptly coupled with the Olympics I'm watching in the background, I walked away inspired. Even if it's in a pseudo-Sorkin way.

Truly inspired

The Olympics provide the entire world with the thrill of sporting to a degree that no Superbowl could ever measure up to. The feats of the most talented and driven athletes in the entire world take us all by storm and for me, it's hard to focus on much else. It's all Olympics all the time for me.
Today though, I was struck by Oscar Pistorius from South Africa. You've probably seen him in ads for different things. He's the runner that had both legs amputated. After almost four years of lobbying and fighting, he was finally allowed to qualify for the Olympic games, having to prove that his blades he runs on don't give him any advantage and won't present any danger to his competitors. If you ask me, I'm fairly certain anyone that has two legs amputated doesn't have any advantages but whatever IOC.
What I thought was so amazing today was the fact that the commentators were saying that he was just lucky to be invited to the game. He then went on to finish second and qualify for the semi-finals. Is he going to make it past that point? I don't know. But it doesn't really matter. He's already shown that no matter what your apparent disability might be, you can accomplish anything.
There's an unbelievable amount of heart and drive inside this man and I must say, out of all the Olympians that are inspiring people all over the world, this man just might be the most inspirational of them all. If he can race in the Olympics with all he's overcome, what's our excuse for not being able to do anything?