Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Frustration Day

Currently having a bit of a mental freak out. I'm sitting in my makeshift little room looking at all of my crap that I somehow have to get up to Columbia, but can't because I don't have a key to my room because Columbia is stupid. I'm looking on my computer at all of the loose ends that I need to wrap up for work, which I SO don't want to go to because it's on the exact opposite side of Manhattan as Columbia, where I really need to get today.

I've approached this summer with the mentality of the problem solver. I knew going into it that I would have experiences that were new and challenging, and every time I come up against something that is unfamiliar or sticky, I slow down, take a breath, and take a moment to think of some possible solutions. Basically, I've had a lot of practice being an adult. As the summer draws to a close, however, I am growing weary of solving my own problems and stepping outside of the box. All I really want to do right now is crawl back inside my little box and go back to school, to the land of half-adults who never really have to emerge into the real world. I want to go back to comfortable problems, have somewhere to call home again, and think about something more in depth than how to induce PR people into sending me pictures when I ask for them.

I also want to stop complaining. but I am in such a limbo position right now that I'm not sure what else to do. I'm itching to finish everything up (literally and figuratively after getting attacked by mosquitos two nights ago), and I am so frustrated that I am having to live by someone else's schedule right now.


---- UPDATE, 6 Hours Later ----

I stopped complaining and problem-solved. And my problem is solved. I've got one more load worth of stuff to take up to Columbia on move-in day and I should be set.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Summer Outpouring of Thoughts

Someone asked me a few days ago, "what is your philosphy on life?" It's been itching at me ever since. This morning, in my element on a Sunday morning at my computer next to a good cup of joe, I took it on.

"All the world 's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts" - William Shakespeare, As You Like It

I spent a good while of my ride to Tenafly yesterday thinking about this. What do I believe in? For the most part, my philosophy on life is something of a "live and let live" situation. I believe in balance and respect. The only thing that is the end of the world is the actual end of the world, or for the individual, death. Other setbacks are simply that, setbacks, and the human being is fantastically elastic if determined enough. Personally, I believe that every experience is to be learned from; everything from getting lost (or, getting to know a place you have not previously acquainted yourself with) to getting hurt (I'll only wrestle next to a metal table once!), to losing a competition (I lost the position of Political Science Student Association Freshman rep to Sara, and then decided to explore Urban Studies), to trying something you are new to or afraid to do (showing up at 5 in the AM to the corner of 114th and Broadway knowing absolutely no one for my first bike race, and becoming obsessed for months thereafter).

Not only do I allow myself to try the unexpected, I seek it out because as far as I am concerned, I have no idea what the potential of my person is, and therefore I should not confine myself to my comfort zone and stunt the possibilities. That's why I moved to New York. For the first 18 years of my life my goal was to get into college, and at a young enough age I realized that once I got into college I had no idea what I wanted to do in life, so I wanted to be in a place that was diverse enough to teach me some things and provide some opportunities that I had no idea existed at home. The idea of a restaurant critic was some vague idea that I had really never even thought of in suburbia.

I live life for new experiences and new takes on life. That is what this summer is about; more about finding out what I DON'T want to do with my life (I knew I didn't want to work in media before I took my internships this summer), that what I do. Now I know WHY I don't want to do this, because it is a farce and requires little to no brain power. Now that I have that out of the way, I can more accurately whittle down what I DO want to do with my life, and spend the next couple of summers really honing in on what it is I actually like.

For a less self-centered look at life, though, I turn to the word respect. I don't believe that there is a right opinion, which is why the word "opinion" exists in itself. While I certainly have my personal take on things, I respect every single person's ability to formulate their own opinions based upon their own experiences. Even the people I most vehemently disagree with I believe have a right to their own thoughts and feelings. I think this is why I like Pres Bo so much, he is so pro-free speech. I guess I would say that I believe every person has the right to their own little bit of personal space on Earth, mentally, physically, vocally. Everyone has a right to express their opinions, however biased or plain awful that they may be.

If everyone though like me the world would be so boring (another reason I showed up on Columbia's doorstep). When I was at home, no one ever contradicted me, with the exception of a few favorite high school teachers, and occasionally my family. I got to Columbia, and all of the sudden I was greeted with all of these different lifestyles and views on life. Some of my best friends became those that questioned me on a fundamental level. It drove me crazy at first, but then I realized that for the first time in my life I was having genuine intellectual conversation, and now I feel on it. More than anything in the world, I believe success in life depends not upon the answers that you give but the questions that you ask. Why is this the way it is? Can it be changed? My favorite question to ask myself is "Can I..." If I can come up with no legitimate reason not to do something, then I go for it.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Musings of a nomadic writer obsessed with exercise

I've had writers' block for a while now, not really able to get the words that I feel down on the page. I have a peculiar internet situation--I live on it at work, literally, and then go home and don't have access, and don't feel like walking to someplace where I can get access because I've been staring at it all day long. It's a roller coaster of overexposure/underexposure, and it's terrible for my blogging habits. Today, though, my mind is flowing better than it has been in the past.

My Monday through Wednesday job can be mind numbing, and Monday is always the worst. Today I feel much better. Tuesday is usually the day I decide to take initiative and invent something for myself to do. I usually come up with something fairly cool on Tuesday, show it to my boss, and then get some sort of direction for what to do on Wednesday. If I had more than one more week here I might figure out how to break this cycle and move it up a day, but for now I'll deal.

I have just realized that I have half-undressed in my office today. Normally, I sit under the air conditioner and it is on full blast, so I have to have a sweater. Today, however, it seems to be a little bit warmer and I have no need for the sweater. I've also taken off my scarf and my belt because I was walking for the entirety of my lunch hour, and came back a bit sweaty and hot. And then there are the shoes, which as flats just beg to be taken off when I sit down. While I am certainly not indecent, and can look quite put together in just a minute or so, I realize that i have more articles of clothing strewn about me than I do on my body.

I went to BerryWild for lunch today. I've got it figured out--1.1 miles there, net 2.2 miles. Takes just about an hour, burns just about as many calories as the fro yo, and I get to explore Murray Hill and Kips Bay. Beautiful lunch hour.

Monday through Wednesday it can be really difficult to figure out when to get in my exercise, the kind that keeps my mind functioning normally. I don't get home until 7 or so, and by that time I'm so tired from sitting around all day that I just want to sit around a little bit more. Other days I have somewhere to be after work and don't get home until 8 or 9.

Last night I meant to go running when I got home, then plopped on the couch to savor the last of my Murray's cheese instead. After the cheese, I thought that running wasn't such a good idea, could be painful. After a few excruciating minutes of not knowing what to do with myself, I decided that it was a beautiful evening and I really needed to get out, so I went for a walk instead. I headed to McCarren park, just in case I was feeling up to a run by the time I got to the track, but ended up taking a left, checking for Top Cheftestants milling about 20 Bayard (yes, Season 5 lives half a mile from me and are currently filming!), and ended up following my nose down streets I'd never walked down before. It ended up being a Tour de Williamsburg of a few miles. I found a few new places that I didn't know existed, and the location of a few that have been on my list. I ended up running the last 3/4 of a mile or so, too, because I wanted to make it home before House, which is my new favorite show, and the only one that I actually watch on a regular basis. Of course, when I got home at 5 to 9, some stupid awards show was on. So I watched One Tree Hill, which was awful. When did it become cool to marry out of high school and have lots of kids? Then I went to bed early...

...and I actually dragged my butt out of bed this morning pre-7 AM so that I could get a little real exercise in. I was planning on running, but the urge to get on my bike overcame me, so I went for a lap in Central Park. I found that I feel much better this morning after riding than I usually do after my regular, sedentary morning ritual. I knew that once I settled into my schedule I'd be more up for exercising in the mornings, but now my summer is almost over!

I think I am really going to miss Brooklyn. Everything is so convenient, yet homey and non-Manhattany. I am even starting to get used to the 6 mile ride into the city. the Queensboro Bridge is usually the largest hill of the day, and it's a great warm up.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

My Red Leather Shoes

Today is a lazy day--but a lazy day with a mission, and a few obstacles. I was out of reading material, and completely unwilling to sit around my apartment and watch television, so I set out for Manhattan in my red leather flats. While my choice of shoes does not normally make it onto this blog, today I felt as if they added something to my story.

I have told several people in the last few days that it is supposed to rain today. It was cloudy when I woke up, as the minutes wore on the day seemed to be getting darker. And yet I left my house in red leather flats, you know, the ones with the designs cut into them. Sure enough, as I made my way down the stairs to the L train, I felt the first drops of doom fall upon me, but I kept walking. Somewhere between buying Truman Capote and buying an American Apparel t-shirt to stencil at the Obama Summerfest in Central Park tomorrow came the downpour. A true, humid-weather, New York summer downpour, complete with thunder and rain drops the size of dogs. Really, I think I saw an H2O imitation of Coal somewhere out there this afternoon.

Alas, other than the wet shoes, I made it through the rain without melting. It has let up now, as I sit in a Columbia computer lab waiting for my shoes to dry after picking up my mail.

I have this weird craving for a soda. I have given up soda, maybe for real this time. Well, kind of. I let myself drink it when I go drinking and don't want alcohol. Aspartame is my vice. My general cravings for diet soda have almost disappeared, except for right now. I think it is something about being in Lerner at Columbia. Next door to the computer lab that I am in is one of my favorite soda machines on campus. It ALWAYS has Coke Zero. I guess it's a good thing that it's card swiper has been disabled, or I would probably be drinking one right now...