Wednesday, May 30, 2012

NYC Living: The Battle in my 20s

At the moment, I am staying with my friend Lisa and her roomie Therese. Their apartment is in Manhattan's Lower East Side. It's so nice and the place reminds me of collegiate living. However, instead of college students the people outside are college students turned professional. There are families also living in the complex, which is weird because I keep thinking this place is a fancy college dorm.  As I fry spam for breakfast this morning the hustle and bustle of people outside has caught my attention.  I wonder for a minute what it would be like to live and work in the city. From my first two days, I love it already. I love city life. I love that there is something to do everyday. I love that it is so diverse. I love that I can go anywhere with just a metrocard and not have to pay for a car or gas.

However, my number one buzzkill thus far are the prices. It is ridiculously expensive to live in New York city. You will need to earn a 6 figure income in order to live comfortably. Most of my friends live on the outskirts, like Brooklyn, because rent is cheaper. Hence, if I really allow myself to consider living here I need to come to the realization that it will be tough on finances. I have to either find a good job right off the bat or intern (suffer for 3-6 months) and pray that they hire me full time on an income level that I can survive on.

As much as I love being young, going out, and being with my girls. I realize mid-20s can be tough shit. It is difficult to get noticed amongst the 100s of qualified job applicants. I have to learn the virtue of patience and determination in the face of constant rejections and no call backs. I have to chug out resumes and cover letters like a machine and send them to as many places I can think of. I have to reconsider interning in order to get my foot in the door. Essentially, everyday lived is a day of possibilities. Some days may have more bad luck than good luck. However, I have learned to take it as it comes and pray for the best.

This contemplation did not come from nothing, though I know it may seem kind of out there. The last time I was in NYC was for a cosmopolitan photo shoot. My friends and I won a a contest and we were featured in a Dove ad. I remembered our bright and hopeful magazine statements about our future and what what challenges we faced thus far. Our perception at that time was innocent and we never really understood the depths of those challenges until we lived it out of college. I know the challenges will always be there but I have learned that taking chances is important and I think above all else that is what separates our generation from those in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. Our generation is for taking chances and living a life that is often undecided and scary. However, the thrill is once in a life time.

Going along these lines, I remembered when I met my h.s. friend Joey for the first time in almost 6 years on Monday. He is an aspiring photographer working in the city and when I asked him how he came about his job now he simply said, "I had to lift shit."

Yes, he had to lift shit. He had to work his way up. He had to be the slave. He had to make due with what he can and try his best to earn the respect of his colleagues. That is the reality of our 20s. We have to take chances, move out on our own, and lift people's shit. I think that is a perfect way to end this overlong blog post. The reality of me moving to NYC will have to be understood before I make any real decisions.

Thank you concrete jungle for making me realize how thankful I am to be young and how much harder I have to work to get to where I need to go.

NYC Living: Staying Out Until The Sun Rises

In an amazing feat I have managed to afford a flight to New York City to visit my college besties. Well, they're more than that, they're like the brothers and sisters I never had. :) So to me, they are more than just friends, they're family. Granted we've been apart for 3 years and because we are so busy and far apart it is difficult to try and catch up. However, when those moments come they are memorable.

For Memorial Day weekend, my friend Marybeth graciously granted me a buddy pass to fly with United Airlines as a standby passenger. $500 for RT between East Coast and Hawaii? Fuck Yes! I will gladly stand in the long standby lines if it means I get to see my friends again.

The first day I arrived (Sunday), I did not have a chance to rest. I stayed with my friend Polliann (she is so awesome because she graduated from Seton Hall law school) who rented out a hotel room at Hotel Pennsylvania (Across Penn Station) for the sole purpose of having a weekend celebration for her graduation. Mind you, weekend celebration equates to the longest post celebratory shit show. She has been partying it out since Thursday night (Graduation day) and was going at it for 5 days straight. Unbelievable. My first night out in the big city was amazing. The night life was thriving. The people were bumpin' to the music. The guys were gracious enough to buy drinks for ladies. It was so surreal and I felt like I would wake up any moment.

The second night we headed out again. Instead this time, we were hard pressed to find a place open on a weekday. We were also turned off by the fact that shots were $17! It was definitely a "What the hell?!" moment and we were loosing faith that the 5 day celebratory event was finally coming to a close.

However, the heavens opened up. God proclaimed, "You shall have fun tonight" and proceeded to send us two random Jewish club promoters who paid for our entire night of table service and unlimited vodka. Alleluia! Thereafter, we proceeded to Time's Square at 4am and roamed the streets to find a local Mcdonalds. I must say chicken mcnuggets taste so much better at 4am in the morning when you are high on life.

As my amazing friend Lisa says,  
"You know it was a good night when you're out while the sun comes up."

The past two days thus far is a testament to that.

The following day, I wanted to go exploring on my own because it's nice to go at your own pace. It was liberating to navigate my way around the city. I got lost a few times but I got the hang of it eventually. :)

I visited Mr. Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum. I grew up watching the shows so I thought it would be nice to see all the cool stuff he hoarded. Yes, I kid you not, Mr. Ripley is a freakin' hoarder! He collected everything! Beer canisters, masks, pictures, figurines, shrunken heads. He was an amazing adventurer and very well known for his travels. His museum made me realize everyone has something special in them. Even if it may not be realized, it's definitely there.

My walk through Midtown took me through all the usual places, Time's Square, Rockefeller, Top of the Rock, Bryant Park. However, only two places amazed me.

9th ave and the NYC Public Library. 

9th Ave is a foodie dream. All shops of different foods, culture, and diversity. Strolling down, part of me wished I had enough cash to try everything. The smell of halal, curry, samosas, and spice left my mouth watering. The district is so diverse and I was in love with it automatically. 

NYC Public Library is a nerd heaven. I was impressed that the library is open to everyone. The study rooms were filled to the max. The books were shelved high to the cathedral ceiling. I strolled around around and took some time to read a few excerpts from books and sat amongst the throng of people studying or lounging around. The hall ways were lined with artwork. The marble structure of the whole building was impressive. The grand opening paid homage to the people who gave money to start the library. Knowledge is truly shared in that place. The realization gave me a very distinct feeling of American patriotism. After living in the Philippines for 3 years and not finding a single library or having access to this amount of knowledge, I was definitely thankful for the opportunity.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

An excerpt from my old Valedictorian speech :D

I opened my old high school journal and out popped my old valedictorian speech. It's been years since I saw these words. I realize I need to find my old determined self once again. I was so competitive and probably overly ambitious. That side of my personality waned a bit over the years but I realized I need to get it back.

"I stood still for a moment wishing I could get one more year in high school. However, I knew I could not and truth be told I did not want to because I experienced all my school had to offer. I have no regrets because I did everything I could and I succeeded to the best of my ability. Lastly, I have no fear in taking the next step, turning the next page, and taking the next jump. The risk is worth it and I hope we all take it. Fellow classmates, let us all look to the future with determination to fearlessly conquer our dreams."

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Families are Forever

Rest in Peace cousin Carlito :'( Love yea, I wish I had met you!. Times like this we should keep our head up high and stay strong!! Grandma's taking this the hardest, she thanks you for all that you have done!!!!! Death leaves a heartache no one can heal while love leaves a memory no one can ever steal. Families are FOREVER♥ FLY WITH THE ANGELS, COUSIN!
"For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one;he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help"
Psalm 22:24
 ♥ REST IN PEACE UNCLE CARLITO ♥ WE LOVE YOU Love Always,MAKAYLA && MALIKAI! -we never knew you but heard alot of good thing about you. Our heart aches for your wife && kids. But now you have no pain && you are not suffering no more now you can REST IN PEACE! KAT && UNCLE BOY Stay STRONG && COME back home to us SAFELY!!! FAMILIES ARE FOREVER && ALWAYS ♥
Rest In Love CARLITO, I love you cuz! UNKO BOY AND KATZ KEEP YOUR HEAD UP, stay strong! To the rest of MY FAMILY IN THE PHILIPPINES LOVE YOU ALL,be strong for each other! :) *families are forever*!
A close family member died today. Just taking a moment to memorialize the love we have for family.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May Memories..listless and nostalgic

I should be finishing this paper but I am not feeling the inspiration at the moment. Maybe writing random shit will help me get through my writing funk. It is now May! We are now almost halfway through 2012! How freaky is that?! May is also Graduation season. My Facebook feed is full of undergrad friends talking about their last class, their last paper, senior parties, and graduation day.

Is it weird that I will be 3 years out of school as of June and yet I am still very cognizant of what it felt when I got out of my last class and finished my last final? A "bitter sweet moment" is an understatement. It was an unyielding and overwhelming sadness! I could not wrap my head around the fact that I will soon close a part of my life that was so integral to my personal and professional growth. I still have all the thank you notes from my Club Flipino family tucked away in a box so they won't fade. I still have all my Georgetown t-shirts (accumulated over 4 years) of different colors and from different clubs and events I was involved in. I still plan to make it into a quilt..eventually. However, I have yet to find time to learn about basic sewing to make happen. :(

3 years have passed by and yet I find myself reliving memories at random. Most of my facebook albums from 4 years of undergrad life is set to private and only I can see them. I felt it was inappropriate to leave them up since the people who friend me nowadays are co-workers. It wouldn't be very professional if there was a picture of me hanging over a toilet being seen around work. :) So most of the albums are closed and there are some moments when I flip through them and I still laugh at the distant memory of what was. It is a nice pick me up moment that gives me a bit of happiness during the most dullest or frustrating moments of my life.

I guess I shouldn't really be blogging about this since I'm still in single digit years after graduating. However, nostalgia hits me hard sometimes and I felt I could put those feelings on paper just for fun. It's always nice to reminisce...but it gives us encouragement to continue living and make new memories, new pictures, and new albums. Eventually those albums will close and we'll look at the memory in fondness and appreciate our life even more.