Saturday, July 19, 2014

The New Place

It’s been three weeks since I moved into my new apartment in Brooklyn. As sad as it was to shut the door on my emptied out apartment in Washington Heights, that sadness and sentimentality wore off quite instantly. From the minute I started unpacking the bottomless boxes of ‘stuff’ (clothes, shoes, accessories, books and decorations – you name it) until the last piece of jewelry was placed into its designated spot on a little black table – I have been falling more and more in love with my new place. My new room is smaller, but it provides just the right balance of cozy and chic in such a way that spending the whole day locked in it working on something does not sound like a bad idea. I remember when I first moved into my previous place – nothing seemed right. I felt lonely, I felt like the room was too big (which a lot of people would love but to me it did not provide that cozy, homey feeling), I felt uncomfortable sleeping in my own bed. I could not spend a day, or even a few hours, on the weekends just staying in – I had to leave the apartment early in the morning, or otherwise, I would get depressed. With time, of course, I got used to my apartment and by the time I had to move out it truly had become my home. I am not sure whether that was due to my first real experience of living on my own or if it was just never ‘my place’, but this time things are different. I am happy to go home from work, thinking about coming to my bright, welcoming room; I am comfortable with staying in, I’m in no rush to get up and go every morning on the weekend. As I unpacked my boxes, barely being able to fit everything in, I looked around at my over-packed room.  I had to be inventive with creating as much storage space as possible – book shelves had to become shoe shelves, a coffee mug became makeup holder, a writing desk is now a designated jewelry stand. There is stuff everywhere, but this is exactly the way I like it – it’s cozy, it’s welcoming, it’s home. 








Friday, June 27, 2014

Moving

For the past few weeks I have been overflown with anticipation of moving to a new apartment. Having stayed at my current place for the past two year, I knew it was time for a change. It happened very quickly - with my lease expiring on June 30th, I gave myself a plan to start looking for an apartment right after my birthday, May 17th. Ironically enough, on May 18th I got a text from one of my best friends asking if I knew of someone who would want to move in with her in her apartment in Brooklyn. I did! I had been considering moving to Brooklyn for a while at that point and of course I took it as a sign. We started discussing the possibility of me moving there, listing all the things that would work out just great and how much fun we could have together. From that point on I knew that was my only option - this was right for me. So a couple of weeks later we met up with the landlord and the lease was signed on the spot. This is how things typically work with me: if I let go of the situation - like in this case I was not stressing out about finding an apartment, I knew it would happen - things just work out in a magical way. So I was set with an apartment. I have been picturing my new life at a new place, excited about all the changes in my life. A couple of days ago I started packing (boy, do I have a lot of stuff!) and I would get a little sentimental here and there, just seeing my closets and drawers empty out, but it hasn't really hit me until this morning. I was walking out the door leaving for work when I realized that this was my last morning going to work from this location. Tears formed in my eyes and I couldn't help but let out a heavy-hearted sigh. How sentimental of me. But it is hard. It has been two years of me living at this place - this was my very first NYC apartment, my first place of living on my own; I went through the highest of ups and the lowest of downs here; I grew as a person, shaping into the person I am today. I know I will continue to grow and change no matter when I am, no matter where I go, and don't get me wrong I am still very excited about my upcoming change, but it is a little sad. I have always had a difficulty with leaving something (and someone) behind. Letting go is a great skill and I am working on improving it. I know I have some great things ahead of me, but I can't not take this time and not thank life for the past two years. I will stay forever grateful for the great experiences and a great learning process it has given me.







Friday, June 20, 2014

All or Nothing

The ‘all or nothing’ mentality has been guiding me through pretty much my entire life. When it comes to working towards something, it has been a big deciding factor dictating what path I end up taking. I either eat extremely healthy, or I eat everything and anything, good or bad for me; I either have no plans and just relax every day after work, or I plan everything all at once. When that ‘All’ mentality kicks in, I enjoy it for a while, giving myself props for how well I am doing; until I get so overwhelmed by having to follow my own ‘rules’ that I eventually fall off the ‘healthy path’ and go back to doing nothing. Do you ever experience such moments? I have been thinking for a while about what may be causing such behavior. As we all know, our lives consist of some black, some white and a lot of gray. This gray, this uncertainty, is exactly what I try to avoid, usually by trying to separate everything into white and black. This way it’s easier to see what is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad’, what is ‘right’ and what it ‘wrong’, without any uncertainties. However, what if something simply cannot be categorized at strictly ‘black’ or ‘white’, what if in fact it just is ‘gray’? The great lesson here is trying to accept this gray and avoid defining it because aren’t our lives all about going through this uncertainty to find something that is meaningful? Let life take its course, as at the end of the day, everything will work out just the right way. Do not be afraid of trying new things, embrace the uncertainty in your life as it will guide you in the right direction. Whether you are doing all or nothing, it does not really matter at any given moment as you can change your behavior at any time. So don’t stress out, just take a step back and enjoy the current state of your life. 

Last weekend I had a great time visiting Media, PA - a small town right by my hometown, not very far from Philadelphia. A city girl that I am, I see a great deal of charm and appeal in small towns like this. All the cafes offering authentic foods and drinks, the shops displaying arrays of dainty little items - everything seems so genuine and heart-warming. It is moments like this, when you can walk though the calm and welcoming streets of such small towns, that make you realize that life is full of moments to enjoy, whether you have it all or nothing.







Thursday, June 12, 2014

Days Like These

Do you ever have those days when all of your fears suddenly arise, when everything that bothers you in your life, everything you generally try not to think about, starts appearing in your mind and weighing down on you heavily? Those days when you become more self-conscious than usual and you start questioning your own self-worth – are you really the nice person everyone thinks you are or are you in fact a selfish soul who only cares about her/himself? You want to be better, you want to please everyone, but what is the formula that makes everyone happy? During these days you don’t care about how you feel, you just want the people around you to be happy because their happiness makes you feel better, it makes you happier. I don’t like those days as they make me question whether everything I have been working towards is actually right for me. Am I pleased with how things are in my life? Yes, when I think about my own goals and my own self (is this the definition of selfish?); but do the others accept? Are they alright with me not being right next to them? Will they be pleased with my decisions and choices? And if the answer to any of the last three questions is ‘No’, should I change my life path? In days like this I start questioning so many things. But this is only certain days, tomorrow things will be different.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

No Changes

There are certain things in life that escape our memory and do not carry much meaning in the future; there are certain things worth holding on to and revisiting every once in a while. Sounds, smells, tastes – there is a whole array of feelings that can bring us back to a certain moment of our lives. And it is not a bad thing. I think it is very nice sometimes to revisit a certain memory, to relive a certain moment. In fact, one of my favorite occupations is to go through my old pictures every once in a while, and reevaluate the course of my life, what I had been up to at that time, and if there is anything I need to improve or change in my life.

As I was thinking about what to write in my next post, I went through a number of picture folders saved on my laptop. I came across this folder with pictures from a year ago. I have been ignoring it for quite a while, as I thought it would not make sense to post pictures from last year where I look so much different. However, I think I do have a meaningful topic associated with them. Yes, here I’m blonde. Changing my hair color on a frequent basis (very frequent to be exact) has truly been a weakness of mine for the past few years. I keep going back and forth with dying my hair from dark brown to almost the lightest blonde. There is something about the change of seasons that truly makes you crave physical changes; or maybe it’s not the seasons, but the mood I am in at the time; or maybe it is the seasons that dictate the mood… Anyways, who knows what it is, but this time around things truly changed. As I look at my old pictures, I realize that I don’t want to go back to that. I loved how things were a year ago, but this is a new stage of my life and I am taking it more seriously this time. I want to make an effort to stop going back and forth, especially that usually these changes are triggered because someone says something. I want to stop and think about what I want and what is more comfortable to me. And this is a good sign that as I look at these pictures, I do not feel the need to change. I do like what I see but for the first time in my life it does not mean going back to the way I was.