They sent me to Binghamton

I've always wanted to be on the east coast, and the universe responded…by sending me to Binghamton, NY. Oh you've never heard of it? Neither had I, but I do so love adventures and that's how I choose to view this. Let the adventures begin!


Leave a comment

I’m coming home…but not today

home·sick
adjective

experiencing a longing for one’s home during a period of absence from it.

This was a feeling I had never experienced in all the times I had moved. Sadness? Yes. Excitement? Yes. That bittersweet feeling of having to let go of something that just started? Absolutely. Nostalgia even. But homesick? That feeling of actually wanting to go back home? Missing home at the present time and not just with thoughts of the past? Never…until recently.

Perhaps enough time has passed that the novelty of a new routine filled with new people no longer outweighed being surrounded by the familiar and knowing you will always be supported by family and old time friends. That having new places to explore isn’t always the most exciting thing if it means almost always exploring alone, even if alone time is highly valued. That at the end of the day, no matter how successful, how big of an impact relative to the size of the community, how many new friends are made, it doesn’t mean anything without feeling supported or appreciated for the effort. That being taken for granted no matter how much admiration is given is still just being taken for granted. That perhaps Dorothy was right and there really is no place like home.

I started thinking about this.

The Bluff, Loyola Marymount University

Could I possibly be happy here again? Bask in the seemingly endless blue skies and bright sunshine?

Huntington Beach Pier

Hold on to the adventurous spirit that had awoken inside me when I moved to upstate New York and explore places I had never been to before?

Thousand Steps, Laguna Beach

Thousand Steps, Laguna Beach

Thousand Steps, Laguna Beach

Wake up the foodie inside me and eat all the things?

And then I drove for a couple days and experienced the traffic – which has only gotten worse! – and decided that, nah. We cool as just homies, LA.😂 Although I very much enjoyed this visit, both the new places I’ve been and the familiar faces I spent time with, it was just that. A visit.

I will say though that for the first time, coming home in a year or two is now an actual option for me. Not that I was opposed to it before, but I hadn’t taken it seriously as something I may actually want to do some day. Who knows what time will bring and what I may want in the future, but for now, my heart is still in New York, and given home is where the heart is, New York is home.

View from a plane flying out of JFK airport

…even when it’s technically spring and you get this white stuff instead.

Downtown Binghamton during “spring”

Besides, I’m not done. There are still places to go, people to connect with, and a community to help grow. Time to hit pause on this thought for a year or two and then reassess later. For now, time to hunker down and enjoy the second winter. 😂

Advertisements


1 Comment

We All Can Fly

A couple Saturdays ago, 81 North Media and Productions, a local media entertainment and recording studio, presented Matthew Cornwell, a very talented musician also local to the area. He also happens to be my friend. No, really. He knows my name and everything, I’m not just making that up. I know him through his girlfriend, who does my eyelash extensions and who I travel around the world with. Only in Binghamton will you find such a strange collision of worlds…

But I digress.

The show featured Matt’s new album entitled “ICARUS,” which was inspired by the Greek mythology story of Daedulus and his prideful son, Icarus. Daedulus had created wings made out of feathers and wax so they could escape the tower they were imprisoned in. Prior to their flight, he cautioned Icarus not to fly too low to the sea because the wings will absorb the water and cause him to crash, nor must he fly too close to the sun because the sun will melt the wax and he will crash, to which Icarus replied, “I stickith to you, Father. I dost do what I desire!” Then he flew too close to the sun and crashed down…oh the arrogance of youth.

Now I will admit that I had to look up the exact story because I got it confused with the Minotaur and labyrinth story. Daedulus was the one who designed the labyrinth so I wasn’t too far off, but I had my stories mixed up. In any case, just the fact that Matt decided to reference Greek mythology is completely fascinating to me. One, I love Greek mythology, and two, not many people are familiar with it. Now since I know Matt personally, I was able to ask him what inspired him to use “ICARUS” as his album title. Fortunately for those who don’t know him personally, there was a portion of the show where Matt got “interviewed” about his album, so they got to hear it for themselves. What a brilliant idea! Who came up with that? (Not me)

So why “ICARUS”? Well, just like Icarus flew too high towards the sun in spite of, or perhaps because of, his father’s warning, Matt described the making of the album as embarking on a similar journey in his life, where he pursued his “Hollywood Hills” dream, continuing to go up, and up, and up…only to find out, the hard way, that success is not necessarily what awaited him at the top. That aiming too high up will only lead to crashing back down. Thus, he decided to get grounded, regroup, and come home to Binghamton.

A year and a half later, BOOM! “ICARUS” was born.

I have to say, all personal biases aside, the album is DOPE. Granted it is exactly my kind of music but I think even if it wasn’t, I would still appreciate how easy it is to listen to, the flow of the album, and the quality of the sound. Now because I do know him I also have the added benefit of knowing how driven he is and how much he cares about his work and the people he works with. With the advent of social media and consequently the birth of the instant gratification culture, I was impressed with how he waited until he was satisfied with the quality of his album, based on a higher standard that he put on himself, before releasing even one of the songs as a preview. When I talk to him, I hear fully formed ideas and a clearly defined vision. Now the details and steps on how to get there aren’t quite there, but… that’s why I’m here.

I’ve always been a systems thinker and a problem solver. If I can sum up what I’m the greatest at, it’s getting things done. So when I meet a highly driven person like Matt, who is from Binghamton, bound to be part of the growth of its community, and willing to pay it forward for the people he works with, I am compelled help. Specifically, I am compelled to take his vision, create a system with actionable goals, and get. It. Done. There is nothing more fun to me than to take a seemingly vague idea and turn it into reality. And if it results in paying it forward to this community I now call home, then my work has been done.

When Matt and I were brainstorming for taglines for this show, we came up with: wax wings, too close to the sun, we all have wings. But then he mentioned that one of the songs on the album has a phrase in Greek that translates to,”We all can fly,” and that just felt right. Because it’s true. We all can fly. And if I can help it, we all will. At least those I’m working with here in Binghamton.

Όλοι μπορούμε να πετάξουμε


πετάξουμε.We all can fly.


1 Comment

“Settling Down” – What’s that, and is it contagious?

When I made the decision to move to Binghamton permanently it was with the understanding that it was more like “permanently.” Why? Because I can’t seem to sit still. For someone who highly values making a home and establishing some sort of roots I sure can’t seem to settle down. I just…don’t want to.

Shortly after I moved here “permanently” I was already thinking about where my next move was going to be both geographically and career-wise, something I voiced often to friends.

“You never know, though, maybe you’ll settle down when you meet someone.”

Um. Sorry. You lost me at “settle down,” and then you continued on with “meet someone” and suddenly all of the evens I had were significantly less than the cans, and therefore, I can’t even. 🤷🏽

I’m not sure why I am so strongly against the notion of settling down, whether it’s in context of a romantic relationship, career, or where I want to live; it all just makes me feel antsy. So when people innocently suggested I may perhaps possibly maybe one day feel that way, I looked at them with Thizz Face.

So then I started to think, why? Why do I feel this way? Is it because I moved every few years in my childhood so that has become my norm? What draws me to move in my adult life anyway?

Upon some introspection I realized I just have a need for change because I get bored easily. I need a constant challenge and a semi-regular change of scenery, at least every few years or so. Then I came to the conclusion that perhaps those who said I might settle down when I meet someone were right. Maybe I do need a man to ground me and give me a reason to stay. Because otherwise I really have no reason to stay anywhere. My friends will always be my friends regardless of where I live. My family doesn’t have a choice, they’re stuck with me. I like new adventures. They make me happy and get me excited about life. Why settle down anywhere?

And then it happened. I found a reason to stay. I stopped dreaming about where my next adventure would be and started thinking about what my next adventure would be, here, in Binghamton. My daydreams about the future still contained uncertainty, which I seem to enjoy, but they were located in Binghamton instead of Boston or NYC or even back home in L.A. and I still felt just as excited.

So what happened?

Kidding! I wish that’s what happened, but no. I did not meet Isaiah Mustafa. He did not suddenly carry me off on his white horse to the house he built just for me with his bare hands while also making me dinner with food he, himself, hunted and gathered. But I still hold out hope that one day this may happen. 😂

What actually happened was I took my head out of the clouds, looked around, and realized I lived in a growing community that I really want to be a part of. I want to be a part of its growth. Not only that, I want to be one of the reasons for its growth. I want to not only effect change, but lead the change, or perhaps lead the leaders who will effect change. I want to help local people realize their dreams, spread their wings, and share their vision with the community. I’ve realized that I don’t care about the world but I do care about my little world, and I’ve decided Binghamton is my little world, at least for the time being.

Of course the way the universe works, it conspires to get you what you put out, so after this train of thought, two of my friends coincidentally asked for my help with their projects. In helping them organize their thoughts into clear goals, deconstructing a seemingly messy project into concise, doable steps to lead to their success, I realized that a) I’m really good at it, and b) I thoroughly enjoy doing it. And just like that, I decided to call Binghamton home and consider the possibility of a new side-gig as my new adventure.

Just like that…I settled down.

For now.


Leave a comment

I was never ready

I wasn’t ready to go to sleep yet so I decided to go through my journal and coincidentally came across my last entry before they sent me to Binghamton. In that entry I wrote about how sad I am to leave. Mind you, this was when I thought I was only going to be in Binghamton temporarily for 6 months.

Anyway, I wrote specifically about a text message I received from a friend who told me she was sad I was leaving for 6 months. I quickly closed my journal after reading that sentence. I’m not even sure why. I just suddenly felt sad because in my present state of happiness and just in general how happy I’ve been since being here, I had forgotten how hard it actually was for me to leave. Both times.

The first time I left I was sad because it seemed I had just gotten into the groove of things with my new apartment, best guy friend as my roommate, and new gym. I had just gotten into routine, just started to hang out with new friends, basically just started settling in. And then I got the news of the “opportunity on the east coast,” which I had asked for the previous year. I know it was what I wanted but it didn’t make it any easier. I wasn’t ready, but I had to go.

Then, when they pulled me out of the assignment in Binghamton, I also felt really torn because it seemed sudden, even though I ended up being in Binghamton for a year when it was only supposed to be 6 months. I found a new group of friends, started traveling to different cities on the east coast, and learned to enjoy the slower pace of life. Just in time for me to leave. I wasn’t ready, but I had to go.

Then 4 months after living in L.A. I finally decided to take a job back in Binghamton because I just couldn’t see myself being happy in L.A. anymore. At that point I had rekindled my friendships and got back into the groove with my old gym and gym friends, and of course as the universe would have it, just started talking to a guy who really interested me in a way I haven’t felt in a very long time. Again, I wasn’t ready, but I had to go.

I had forgotten all that. I had forgotten how hard it was to leave people and certain routines behind and how sad I was. But one thing I wrote still resonates with me:

“I’m not ready, but the thing is, when opportunity comes, you take it then or not. I can’t wait, expecting it to come again.”

Wow. Go 27 year old me!

I just wonder when I will stop chasing opportunities and…settle. Not saying I’m ready for that because the thought still frightens me but maybe I’m closer to that than I used to be?

Not sure but the walk down memory lane has gotten me feeling a little sad. Oh nostalgia…

 

 


Leave a comment

A Whirlwind of Motion

It’s only mid-March and I’ve already done a lot of things, some for the first time and others because it’s a known favorite.

First, an old favorite: Snowboarding.

These were taken at Gore Mountain, which is part of the Andirondacks. It’s a pretty large mountain (none of which I explored because I’m a scaredy-cat and did the same run over and over) and I was fortunate enough to go on a weekend when it was actually warm and the sun was shining. It was a little too warm for me on day 1 but the snow was still great. I also finally invested in a helmet. Not because I’m looking to be the next Shaun White…more as a precaution like if I fell while getting off the ski lift and got hit on the back of the head (which happened to me while I was in the beginning stages of dating this guy…reason number 455 why I’ll never be the female equivalent of Hitch #noGame).

I’ve also been going at night locally (Greek Peak) since lift tickets are only $20 during the week and it’s only 45 minutes away! One night I went when it was 10 degrees… it’s a good thing I finally learned to put on my ski mask properly after years of owning it…

Then I switched gears and went all fancy that one weekend in February when it was 65 degrees! I went with friends to the Liberty Ball in Philadelphia, a formal, black tie event sponsored by the Four Diamonds Foundation in support of pediatric cancer research.

The nice weather didn’t last long (of course). The Northeast likes to tease around this time of year. So back to indoor activities, this time, indoor rock climbing at the Lindseth Climbing Center at Cornell!

And since we were at Cornell, my friend suggested we visit the “Harry Potter library.”

This library is easily the coolest one I’ve been to! If I had gone to school here I definitely would’ve been at the library a lot.

Even though I’ve been out and about, don’t think I’m not spending time enjoying my new home! When I bought the house it was a fishbowl (I.e. no window treatments) and now it’s a fishbowl with cool looking shades!

And last night I did my most favorite thing ever…I sat on the couch with my two kitties while watching a movie in my lion onesie! I’ve lived here for three months and I just now got to this! For shame!
What’s next in store for can’t-sit-still me? More snowboarding, this time at Jiminy Peak in Massachusetts, then meeting my Cali friends in Denver. Then possibly visiting my friends in Boston. Or perhaps the introvert side of me will put her foot down and insist on another onesie weekend, who knows. One thing I know for sure is 2017 has been amazing thus far and I can’t wait to see what’s next. 

Life has been so much better since I’ve let this little girl come out.


Leave a comment

It was the best of days, it was the worst of days

A few weeks ago some friends and I spent the weekend at the Charles Dickens Christmas-themed Skaneateles. We spent the time enjoying the costumed carolers,

walking the decorated streets of downtown Skaneateles,

and relaxing at the luxurious Mirbeau spa, complete with our own fluffy robe.

‘Twas indeed the best of times. There’s nothing quite like enjoying a relaxing weekend with some amazing ladies whilst enjoying a glass or two (or three or four) of wine and indulging in some freshly baked donuts.

I had been to Skaneateles in the summer and also had a wonderful time, but I must say seeing it in the winter with all the costumed carolers and decorations made it a lot more fun. That and I indulged in shopping this time. 😀

Until next time, Skaneateles! I heard there is a boat tour in the summer so I’ll to come back for that!


Leave a comment

A Rollercoaster of Emotions

Anger. Happiness. Guilt. Nervousness. Stressed. Excited. Joyful. Pride. Peace.

I went through all of these emotions the past couple of months in an almost cyclical pattern. You see, I had this idea to sell my condo in California, which was tenant-occupied at the time, and also buy a house in New York at the same time. I had this notion that because this was my second time around with the home buying process, I would be much calmer about the whole situation…I was wrong. By nature, the whole transaction involves people and things that are out of my control so when things went wrong, it got very stressful. It doesn’t matter how mature I’ve gotten or that I had been through this before. Oh well, it all worked out in any case and that’s really what matters.

And now?

I’m mostly happy. Life has been good. A few hiccups here and there but overall, I am very happy.

Especially, especially because lately it has become very clear to me how precious and good the people in my life are. Those who offered an ear when I was stressing out. Those who offered to help without me even asking. Those who send me cards and small gifts just because. Those who are genuinely excited for me with the things happening in my life right now, even though they also have exciting things going on in their own lives. Those who go on adventures with me. Those who make me laugh, even when I’m extremely upset. Those who listen, truly listen. And you. I am especially grateful for you, whatever role you may end up playing in my life. You make me want to be a better person. You’re showing me what I actually want…or more accurately, what I didn’t know I wanted…And more importantly, you’re serving as a spotlight, shining light on the shit that I was letting into my life simply by being you. You might just be the kindest person I have ever met and thank you for showing me that I’m worth someone like you. I wasn’t sure what it was going to take for me to really, truly let go of that one, but I guess it just took getting to know you. Screw that guy, and the other who is suddenly interested in me again now that I’m very clearly moving on.

bye