Sure Things

It’s strange how distorted memories become when you look back at them. In that exact moment, you may have been so sure of yourself. Everything seemed just right. Then, when you reminisce, those moments seem so hazy and you can’t separate what was good from what was bad.

They say, “there’s no such thing as a sure thing”, so how do you ever really know what’s right or what’s meant to be?

If sayings like these are so accurate, such as “anything is possible” or “anything can happen”, then how can someone ever put all of their faith into something or someone?

It’s hard not to become jaded lately now that we live in a time where people are constantly re-locating, changing jobs, and refusing to settle down.

It’s common now for people to put off the serious stuff. Instead, we just want to stay young and be free. It’s becoming harder and harder to find people who want the same things.

So, how do we keep up with anyone these days?

We meet hundreds of people who come in and out of our lives. All of them somehow contribute to our experiences and growth. We pick and choose which ones we want to hold onto and which ones we should let go.

Often, we try to hold on as long as we can. We don’t want to let go of the feeling, the connection. Then all of a sudden, when it’s gone, we don’t know whether to go back or move forward.

Because nowadays, it is much harder to really connect with someone the way people used to.

It’s rare.

I used to think that I had a pretty clear vision of where I wanted to go and who I wanted to be. It was easier when you were young; to think that things won’t ever change. You envision that you’ll end up with a certain person or live your life a certain way. But it’s never that easy.

It makes me wonder if I ever really knew what I was doing.

Searching in the City

Have you ever re-watched something (a movie, a show, etc.) that you saw when you were much younger and thought to yourself, “Wow I really had no idea what was going when I first saw this”?

Well right now, I’m doing that exact thing with Sex and the City episodes and I’m five seasons deep. Lately, I’ve been re-watching every episode of Sex and the City all the way from the first episode of the first season and it is truly mind-blowing to finally understand what they were talking about now that I actually live in New York City. I guess there are still going to be people who will never fully digest how accurately this show depicts the city and life as a whole. It may be pompous to say, but you never really understand it until you live here.

Now, I’m not trying to be melodramatic, but I was in need of something to relate to (I probably should have started reading a book or something) Watching this show has somehow brought me to this existential realization which I am slowly manifesting through this blog entry.

I have only lived in New York City just shy of two years, but I feel as though the number of experiences I’ve had far surpasses that time frame.

The recent episode of Sex and the City that I watched really hit home for me.

The main character, Carrie Bradshaw, narrates as she types,

In New York, they say, you’re always looking for a job, a boyfriend or an apartment. So, let’s say you have two out of three and they’re fabulous. Why do we let the thing we don’t have affect how we feel about all the things we do have?

As I once again compare my current situation to where I was last year, I look back and notice that I’m always searching for something or someone. I always wonder if anyone can really have it all.

Last year, I can remember loving my apartment, loving my job, and loving every bit of New York City that I was soaking up.

This year, I find myself in a not-so-content situation.

It is true what they say. In New York City, you’re always looking for a job, a boyfriend, or an apartment.

I can tell you this much: I’m definitely still looking for one of those things.

In a city that’s constantly undergoing change through the lives of the people who are coming in and out of it, it’s hard to really keep it all together. You never know what’s going to happen here, but I think that’s the exciting part. Yet, at the same time, it’s absolutely terrifying.

At the End of the Day…

I can’t tell if this is just a phase that I’m going through right now. This phase of lonliness. If it’s the same phase that any person goes through in their twenty-somethings. Who am I kidding? Of course this is just a phase. At least, I hope so.

This is how we relate to other people. We experience certain things at certain ages that other people our own age can relate to. And when we get older, we look back and realize how silly we were during that period of our life (which is why our elders look at us knowing that it will pass)

I always got frustrated whenever my Mother would lecture me on how ridiculous I was acting towards a particular situation. (She still does that) My immediate response was always, “You just don’t understand.”

Well, that’s a ridiculous thing for me to say because she was my age once and she has most certainly gone through the same, or similar, experiences as me. It’s human nature to be able to feel certain emotions when we see someone going through a familiar struggle that we’ve once been through. It’s called empathy.

People write songs about it, make movies, television shows, etc. We produce these things because we want to make people feel a certain way. We all want to relate to one another.

It’s difficult to go through this life without being able to really connect with someone. This is exactly what I’m constantly searching for. And I’m almost positive that it’s what everyone else is searching for as well. Even if they don’t want to admit it, or if they do a remarkable job at portraying that they don’t care; what we need in this world is to connect, to relate, to feel.

Ever since I’ve moved to New York City, I’ve found it much more difficult to really get to know someone. Everyone wants so badly to have their space, yet we all seem so lonely once we get it.

It’s a fast life here, living in a large city. To constantly be surrounded by thousands of people who don’t really care to get to know you.

Ever since I moved into my new apartment, though, I’ve become very attached to certain restaurants, bars, coffee shops. I’ve found a comfort in seeing familiar faces and being recognized. What I have noticed is that it truly makes someone’s day when you acknowledge them as an individual; when you notice them, when you make an effort to get to know them. It’s an amazing feeling to be noticed.

At the end of the day, it’s just good to know that someone is thinking about you. In a large city like New York, it’s easy to get distracted by other things and people.

I hope to never lose the ability to connect, to relate, to feel. If I did, then this city would just completely absorb me. I can’t give in.

New Year, New You

In an effort to avoid bombarding readers with an additional “Happy New Year!” post on New Year’s Eve, I’m going to publish this post early since it’s something that has already been on my mind for the past few months.

I caught up with a close friend last night, and we talked for hours about various topics about life. When we arrived at the topic of what our plans were for New Year’s Eve, we both began to look back on how much has changed in our lives this past year.

We’re approaching the end of 2013 and are about to begin another new year full of new experiences and memories that we’ll eventually reflect on as we, once again, approach the end of the year.

Although a new year may not seem so monumental to some people, it’s quite monumental to me. It’s a time to sit down and look back on all of the things have happened in the span of a year; the gains, the losses; the heartbreaks, the accomplishments; the failures. I always look forward to a new year and view it as an opportunity to learn and grow from the year(s) prior. I pin point the highlights, whether they be good or bad.

It’s always nice to have someone who has been there with you throughout the year; to help recall on the memories that we tend to block out; the hard times. It’s funny when we remember the hard times. Looking back, it never seems as bad as it actually was when we were in the heat of the moment. Remembering the hard times is what reassures me that I’ll get through life’s obstacles and come out of them being a stronger person, with a better perspective on life. It allows me to focus on the things that I want to change about myself.

I don’t write in my journal as much I did prior to buying my iPad, but I do still use it as another tool (other than my friends) to help me recall memories and events from past years. One major thing that I still use it for is to see if I actually accomplished the things I set out to do in the upcoming year.

I’ve developed this tradition with myself (ever since I’ve had my journal) where I list out realistic goals that I want to accomplish in that year. I’m proud to say that I typically accomplish the goals that I set out for myself. It’s because I’m the kind of person that believes that word is bond. Aside from making promises to other people, the most important promises we make are the ones we make to ourselves. If we can’t hold true to the things we set out for ourselves, how can we ever expect to hold true to the things that we tell other people?

It may seem selfish, but it’s absolutely necessary to work on yourself first before getting involved with someone or something that may take up a significant amount of our time. We should try to be the best version of ourselves, always. And this is why I’ve heavily overused the phrase, “New Year, New You” this past month as I’ve reflected on 2013 (A phrase that is a re-occurring theme for a majority of the January issues within my company’s magazine titles)

New Year, New You.

2014 is another new year where we have the opportunity to become whoever we want to be; to utilize the experiences that happened in the past year and learn from them.

Here’s to 2014.

When to Call it Quits

As a public confession, I have to admit that I haven’t been a very good friend lately. To my friends who are actually reading this, I’d like to say I’m sorry.

It’s understandable that as we get older, our priorities change. As we acquire more responsibilities, we lack the down time to see or even speak to our friends as frequently as we did when we were in school. We become busy and too involved in our own lives.

Throughout the many changes that I’ve been adjusting to in the past few weeks, months, and even year, I’ve been putting my friends on the back burner. I’ve been rescheduling on set plans or even completely dodging them. And it’s because I’ve been focusing all of my attention on performing well in my job, adjusting to a new living situation, and avoiding a mental breakdown.

The question I ask myself though, is at what point do we give up on making an effort to keep our friends in our lives? Is it when we start our career? Or get into a relationship? Move away? Get married? Have a family?

And how much time will pass until our friends stop responding to our efforts?

I guess it depends on the person.

As I’ve gone through these waves of change, I’ve done a fantastic job of shutting my friends out of my life. I can only blame myself for not reaching out to them when I was having a hard time. I tried to be strong and deal with it on my own. Because it was too frustrating for me to explain what’s been going on when all I really wanted was for them to be by my side to get through it all.

Like any relationship, friendship involves reciprocity. It only works when both sides are making conscious efforts. And like any relationship, friendships can involve break-ups.

It’s natural that people grow apart, but when do you call it quits? As sad as it is, not all relationships or friendships have a happy ending.

I guess all we can do is try our best to hold on until someone gives up.

To my friends who have already given up on me, I do miss you and I’m still thinking of you…

Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

The beginning stages of any experience can always be slightly uncomfortable. When we’re placed in a situation that we’ve never been in before, we don’t know how to react at first. It can take a decent amount of time to warm up to the unfamiliar feelings. Eventually, once we dip our feet in and test the waters, we become more at ease. The fear of the unknown starts to fade away and we become less and less uncomfortable until we reach the point where it’s just normal.

I’m the type of person who becomes easily overwhelmed by experiences in the beginning stages. Like anyone though, I always push through the rocky start and get to smooth sailing once I’m in my comfort zone. Of course, it does take me some time to reach that comfort zone.

I’ve written a lot about the transitions that I’ve gone through this year, as well as in past years. I’ve learned that no matter what the situation may be, my adjustment process goes through the same pattern every single time.

Regardless of knowing that things will eventually be okay after a little while, I still manage to panic in the beginning stages.

Aside from being the type of person who becomes easily overwhelmed by experiences in the beginning stages, I’m also the type of person who gets easily excited leading up to new experiences. I tend to have very high expectations for upcoming events and envision them to be much more grandiose than they actually are. I think it’s because I just really want things to work out the way I want. In reality, the rule of thumb is that things don’t always work out the way we want.

(For those of you who have seen 500 Days of Summer, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the below reference)

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My Mother always told me that I need to learn patience. It’s because I always want to fast forward past the hard part so that I can get to the easy part. The thing is, the hard part is the part that counts. Learning to get comfortable with being uncomfortable is necessary. It’s a part of life. It’s something I need to learn to get better at.

Forced Togetherness

A subject that I’ve been trying to avoid writing about is love. I’ve drifted very far from understanding the idea of it.The concept of it. The meaning of it.

Last night was one of those nights when you’re out with your friends and the conversation revolves around relationships. Unfortunately, I had nothing to contribute from my personal life because it’s been a while since I’ve been close enough to someone to consider it a relationship. Lately, I haven’t even reached the point where I didn’t have to wonder if the guy was going to text me that week.

What I was able to contribute to the conversation was a quote that I saw on someone’s Instagram. It went something like, “How lucky one must be to have someone that makes it so hard to say goodbye” I’m not exactly sure if that’s the correct wording, but hopefully you can comprehend the gist of it.

I miss the feeling of having someone who makes it hard to say goodbye.

Ever since I’ve been single in New York City, I’ve learned how easy it is to forget about someone. The hard part has been getting to the point where it’s hard to say goodbye. They say that the recovery time of a break-up is half the length of the relationship. Well, I’ve been long past my recovery time from the last relationship that I was in.

Since living here, anyone I’ve dated hasn’t even come close to retrieving relationship status. They’ve all been cut short…by me. It’s become too easy to drift away from someone, especially if your paths don’t typically cross on a daily basis.

Yesterday, I watched a Youtube video by Buzzfeed that said that many relationships grow out of “forced togetherness”. I 100% agree. It makes sense that the more time that you spend with someone, the more they grow on you (of course, it can go in the opposite direction as well; you can end up hating each other)

The more time you spend with someone in the beginning stages, the more you get to know them. Then, when you get to know them, you can decide how you feel.

However, if you cut it short, you’ll never know if it could have grown into something more.

I think what the problem is, is expecting the magic to come first. We want to dive right into love and obtain it right away. This is one of the many problems of my generation. We want quick results.

Well, what I have learned from my past is that you fall more and more in love with someone as you spend more time with them which is why it takes so much longer to recover from long-term relationships. This is also why it’s so easy to get over someone if you’ve only been on three dates with them. You don’t really have much to lose.

I’ve been expecting the magic to come first. Instead of putting in the work early on, I just want to get to the “being in love” part because I know what it feels like. I want that feeling so badly.

Many of us have had that one person that set the standards for all of our future relationships. There’s that one person that really got to you. That one person that hurt you more than you’ve ever been hurt. That one person that you’ve been so head-over-heels for that you would do anything for them.

Unfortunately, those of us who have been traumatized by that one person have been so affected that we’re incapable of feeling like we’ll ever get to that point with another person.

This is the place that I’ve arrived to.

I don’t know if I’m just not trying, or if I’ve become jaded, but I’d just rather not put in the effort of getting to know anyone anymore. It’s not a place that I want to be and I didn’t hope to be here.

Right now, I’m just waiting for someone to prove me wrong.

23

Lately, life has been moving too fast for me to be able to sit down, collect my thoughts, and put them out in the world. I’ve been holding everything in, which has been quite noticeable through the lack of writing I’ve been doing on this blog. It seems that time goes by much faster when you’re not watching it. From my last entry up until present day, I’ve gone through enough changes for it to feel like it’s been a whole year. Now that I’m looking back, the vast collection of changes that have happened to me since I’ve moved to New York actually does add up to a whole year. Yesterday, I acknowledged the fact that I moved into this city exactly one year ago on December 1st, 2012.

A whole year of my life has been devoted to this city; experiencing it, learning from it, growing from it. This past month alone, I’ve transitioned from the very first job that I obtained as a college graduate to a new job in which I was recently promoted to in November. Within the same week of adjusting to this new role, I also found out that my roommates decided to not re-sign the lease on our apartment (my very first New York City apartment). This is a lot to digest in just one week.

In the span of one month, I’ve managed to transition into a new job, move out of my first New York City apartment, and move into a new apartment. The phrase that I’ve been using lately is, “When it rains, it pours” and I’ve found this to be completely true.

The entire month of November, it has been pouring and I just wish I was more prepared, but I guess there’s only so much you can do but roll with the punches. Life throws these things at you and that’s the beauty of it. You can never predict what’s coming next.

Most of my close friends have seen me through this time of transformation. On the outside, it may have appeared that I was keeping it together, but on the inside, everything was falling apart. Piece by piece, I’ve been shedding a lot of layers in terms of finding out how much I can handle before I completely break. I’d say that I was pretty close to breaking this month.

But I didn’t.

On a more positive note, I believe these changes were necessary. Change is always necessary. Chuck Palahniuk had a quote in a book that I read a few months ago called, “Invisible Monsters”. The quote went like this:

“The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open”

Well, I’ve been trying to find true happiness for quite some time since I’ve moved into New York City and I like to think that I’m getting a little closer with every obstacle that life has thrown at me.

I never imagined to be where I am today, at this young age of 23. I really had no idea what to expect. From observing my friends’ personal experiences at this age, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to it. A lot of the songs that were written about the age of 23 aren’t the most up-lifting, but I couldn’t understand why. Now that I’m here, I get it.

This is an uncomfortable age. They say that people in their 20’s have a hard time dealing with this period of “quarter-life crises” This is when the big changes happen; it’s the most confusing, lost, and vulnerable time of your life.

It’s exciting in a way, though; the unknown. I suppose this is also why your 20’s are also regarded as the best time of your life. Our lives are still in the making. We haven’t settled yet. There are still more surprises.

In the short amount of time that I’ve been in my 20’s, I can tell that I still have many more changes coming my way.

23. I’m ready for you.

Inevitability

Inevitable; A word that can bring either a positive or negative connotation depending on the context. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, “inevitable” is an adjective defined as “incapable of being avoided or evaded (i.e., an inevitable outcome)”

The two ways [positive or negative] that a situation can be viewed as inevitable are the following:

1.) In the sense that we are destined
2.) In the sense that we are doomed

If you are typically a person that is described as seeing the glass half-full, then you would most likely go with the perspective that the outcome of a situation was destined to happen; that there are greater forces beyond our control that holds our fate. This may be due to the belief in God or many Gods, astrology, superstition, or a variety of other reasons. Regardless, people who feel that we are destined are generally optimists.

For example, let’s say a person is unfortunately diagnosed with a chronic illness. If they believe in destiny, then they will see a silver lining; a greater picture. They will feel that this was meant to happen for a reason and they will be more comfortable with the truth.

On the other hand, if you are typically a person that is described as seeing the glass half-empty, then you would most likely go with the perspective that the outcome of a situation was because we were doomed; that there is no hope and that negative things were bound to happen as if we were the victim. Similarly, this may be due to a variety of reasons as well. These people who feel victimized by negative circumstances are generally pessimists.

Now, let’s take that same situation where a person is unfortunately diagnosed with a chronic illness. If they believe that they were doomed, they will have a more difficult time being comfortable with the truth.

The truth is this: Unfavorable things are inevitable. We cannot predict them. It’s a part of life. In the simplest of phrases, “shit happens”.

But the part that matters, that part that measures our quality of life and overall mental state, is the way in which we deal with the bad situations, the misfortunes, the hardships that we encounter. The next steps after any situation are within our control. What we make of the cards that we are dealt paves a path for the direction that the situation is heading towards.

If we choose to suffer, then we will suffer. If we choose to rise above, then we will become stronger.

Life gets hard, but it’s important to remember that perspective is everything. You may not be able to foresee or control the inevitable things, but you are able to react in a way that can turn a bad situation into a good situation.

Big Moments

Two days ago was the 2nd Annual Runner’s World Half Marathon which took place in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. A year and two days ago holds a memory that was a significant milestone in my life. It’s one of those days that you’ll remember for the rest of your life and each year will feel a rush of nostalgia overcome you on that exact day. Last year, the inaugural Runner’s World Half Marathon also happened to be the inaugural half marathon of my life. Last year, my whole world changed.

Now, I don’t mean to sound over-dramatic here, but I can definitely say that the course of my journey in life was turned upside down a year and two days ago.

Running has always been a large part of my life. Working at Runner’s World has given me opportunities as a runner that I could have never imagined. Running a marathon had always been on my bucket list. Of course, I wanted to get a half-marathon under my belt first. The Runner’s World Half Marathon was that opportunity for me.

I had no idea what to expect. I had never trained for a race of that distance before. I didn’t know how I was going to feel before or afterwards. All I knew was that I was nervous and I couldn’t believe that it was going to finally happen.

A year and two days ago, I ran my first half marathon. What I didn’t realize was that running this race would give me the courage to make other decisions that would change everything else for me. A year and two days ago was the same day that I broke up with my college boyfriend. After that, things were different. I moved to New York City and embarked on this new journey which I’m still currently traveling.

It’s amazing to look back at the course of a year. It’s even more amazing at how little we know about how drastically one moment can cause a ripple effect of bigger life-changing moments.

They say your 20’s is the time where you’re the most lost and confused. They say it’s the time of self-discovery.

Well, as I’ve written in past blog entries before, it really is.

This entire blog is documentation of this transformation period. Looking back a year ago, I didn’t realize that running this half marathon would plant a seed that would allow me to grow as a runner and a person.

This year at the Runner’s World Half Marathon, I couldn’t believe how far away last year seemed. I couldn’t believe how far I’ve come. I couldn’t believe how different things are now. Yet, I’m thankful for that moment.

I guess big moments do that to you. They make you reflect on your life. Sometimes we have to appreciate these moments. At the time, it may seem like something little, but later on it will end up being something big

As the saying goes, “Enjoy the little things in life for one day you will look back and realize they were the big things”

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2013

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2012