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!


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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…

 

 

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Embrace the Shitty Day

One day I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, upside down, and in the wrong room, possibly even in the wrong house and in the wrong neighborhood. Nevertheless, I told myself everything was fine. I got up, got ready for the gym, and when I got there my mood was foul. It was as if my mood stepped on a pile of dog shit and the smell kept following me everywhere. Yes, it was very early in the morning and I’m not naturally a morning person. Yes, I’m currently injured and am limited with certain movements, which makes me very sad. And yes, I was going through a bit of boy drama at the time, which I normally overcome by lifting heavy weights, but that was not an option given my injury. Hence, the shit attitude.

However, my brain insisted that I was fine. After all, logically speaking, nothing was wrong. My brain gave a small salute to my emotions in  acknowledgement of these issues but then carried on per usual. I mean really, I’ve been through worse so this is child’s play, right? Wrong. 

I got through half of the class when I started feeling tears forming in my eyes, which for me is a very rare thing. Clearly something was wrong. Normally, I’m more like:

That day, I was more like Leslie Mann, barely able to speak without wanting to burst into tears. Fortunately for me one of the ladies at the gym immediately caught on to my mood so she suggested we go for a walk. I told her what was going on with my life and how I’m more frustrated with how I’m dealing with it more than I was about what was actually happening. And then she told me something that I will never forget. She said,

“Sometimes, people have too high of an expectation on how one should act, including themselves. It’s true that you’re normally very chipper and up, but everyone is allowed to have a bad day. You actually do have a lot going on, especially all at the same time. It’s OK not to be OK. Let yourself have a shitty day.”

While I’ve gotten better over the years in terms of acknowledging my feelings and letting myself feel like shit sometimes, it appears that I still need to learn how to embrace the shitty day even if logically it doesn’t make sense for me to feel that way. After all, since when did emotions run on logic? As I left to go home, she called out to me,

“I hope you have a good shitty day.”

And so I did. I fully embraced the shitty day and ended up having the best shitty day of my life!

Slowly but surely I’m getting closer to getting my shit together…


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Turning Thir-thir-thirty

Around ten years ago my younger cousin was teasing me about entering my twenties and how I was “getting old.” I responded that I wasn’t old until I turned thirty, jokingly saying that it was so old I couldn’t even bring myself to say it.

“I’m not old until I turn thir…thir…thir…”

Well, on my thirtieth birthday said cousin sent me a text message that simply read,

30.

Touché, little cousin. 😂

It’s funny how ten years ago I truly did think 30 was old, even though I was joking about it. On the other hand, now I get it when people older than me would tell me back then that you don’t really start knowing who you are until you’re thirty. I was also told that it’s all downhill from there, at least physically. Do I agree? Absolutely.

For the first time I feel comfortable in my own skin. I know who I am and I’m unapologetic about it. Oh you think it’s weird that I’d rather be by myself than hang out and party? Don’t care. You think it’s strange that I’d rather meet people somewhere rather than carpool even if it means driving alone for 3 hours? I don’t feel the need to explain. I only invited certain people to celebrate my birthday with me and you weren’t one of them, so now you feel hurt? Well…I do feel bad about that but I’m also no longer giving priority to other people’s feelings when it means sacrificing my own happiness.

Physically, I’m probably in better shape now than I was in my twenties BUT I’m noticing aches and pains that I didn’t have to deal with in my younger years, even though I was also active then. I also noticed that I have to try a lot harder with my diet to maintain my size and fitness level, something that had never been an issue in the past. Would I trade my thirty year old self for my younger twenty-some year old self? Well… only if I get to keep my thirty year old mind. Otherwise, nope.

Above all how I feel about entering my thirties is captured perfectly in this photo:


I feel an immense joy and excitement at where I am in my life, physically, emotionally, professionally, and just everything-ally. I never could’ve imagined life would turn out this way for me and I am truly grateful for being this blessed. Throughout the drastic changes in my life that occurred in my twenties I’ve had tremendous support from my family and friends (both new and old). I’ve reconnected with people in my past I had previously let go of, I’ve let go of people who were toxic or detrimental to my growth, and I’ve met various people in my travels that though our acquaintance was brief, still left a meaningful impression on me.

I cannot wait to see where life takes me next!


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Impromptu adventure, ey?

Last Friday I received an email about discounted hotel rates for Niagara Falls. Since I was feeling sorry for myself that day due to my current gimp status (bum knee) I decided it was a sign to go off on an adventure and remember how blessed I actually am. I would’ve loved to make it a weekend adventure but I had another event I needed to go to on Saturday afternoon so I couldn’t make that happen. Besides, there’s something really fun about spontaneous day trips with no planning other than a destination in mind.

As it turned out another friend of mine was also free for an impromptu day trip to Niagara Falls the next day so Sunday Funday it was!

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Woo!! New adventure buddy!

I had been to Niagara Falls a couple years ago with my parents and at the time many of my friends were insisting that the Canadian side was so much better. I couldn’t imagine that being possible given how awed I felt seeing the Niagara Falls on the American side and going on Maid of the Mists but after this weekend, yeah, I’d have to agree.

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These pictures don’t do it justice AT ALL. The enormity of it and just the sound of the water rushing down really shows how miniscule we are in the face of nature and in the grand scheme of things. As in if we fell into the water, nature will not stop. It will not care. We would just get swept away and life will move on as if it never happened. So why care about the little things? I may have a bum knee but I can still walk and this is only temporary. People may annoy me on a regular basis but those same people, one-on-one, may be the perfect companion at the right time. Someone may have hurt me and chipped away at my friendship piece by small piece but maybe that same someone just needed time to grow, and maybe the potential I saw will come into fruition given time.

I’ve started realizing recently that my black and white approach may have been necessary for self-preservation in my younger years, but I think it’s time for me to learn patience and forgiveness now that I know myself better and can see beyond specific moments. I used to let the little things bother me and was unable to see beyond that. Not to say they don’t bother me now, they definitely still do, but now I try to think about the circumstances in which these moments happened. Is this person going through something? Did I just misunderstand what was said? Does this person know how upsetting it is to me? Is it worth my time and energy to let it bother me? Basically, I try to build context around it. And when my emotions take over me and I can’t seem to see beyond my feelings, I am now able to reach out to my friends who help guide me when I see red.

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I have by no means perfected this but I think my self-awareness and conscious decision to do this every time someone or something upsets me will be extremely beneficial in the long run.

If this is thirty, I’m so ready!

…but thirty year olds can still goof off right?

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You know you miss someone when…

I saw this on my social media feed the other day and felt a little pang in my heart.

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I don’t currently feel this way about anyone but seeing this did remind me of a time when I felt exactly like this.

Around 5 years ago I was selected by my company to attend the National Space Symposium as part of the young leadership program. It was a great opportunity for networking and only one person in our division is selected every year. I felt extremely honored and excited, especially since I had been working my butt off at that time. I remember that year clearly…I was working constantly, to the point where I felt like I was burning out, but then I started to get recognition, I got promoted and even got a bonus, and then I was told that I was selected to go to the symposium. It was a very uplifting feeling and I remember just feeling so happy at that time.

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Look at that ecstatic face!

The National Space Symposium was held in Colorado Springs, Colorado and it was beautiful that time of year.

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I listened to various speakers from leaders in the space industry to astronauts, and I got to see some pretty cool things as well.

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It was business by day, all out fun by night, so at night I would network…and party at the same time!

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So what does this have to do with missing someone, considering I was having the time of my life? Well, at the end of the last night, right at the peak of my happiness and feeling of inspiration, I remember thinking to myself, “Wow I’m so happy right now. I want to call The Ex so I can share this moment with him,” and then feeling my heart sink when I realized it just wasn’t possible to do that anymore…so then I took one last sip of my drink and with a heavy sigh, I called it a night.

NOT! This was in my early twenties so of course I wasn’t smart enough to do that! What did I do instead?

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At least that’s what I attempted to do. Luckily, one of my new friends stopped me from doing it.

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I wish he was around to stop me when I made the stupid decision to reach out later on, but that’s a story for another time.

Back to the present…I’ve been feeling melancholy and a little lost this past week, not sure why. Maybe I really did leave my heart in Barcelona? Or maybe I’ve been seeing too many straight-to-the-heart memes lately? In any case, the weather was kind enough to allow me to do what I normally like to do when I feel like this, which is to take a walk.

 

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Glendale Park in Endicott, NY

 

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Can you spot the bunny?

It was really nice being there, especially because I remember the last time I was there I was in a completely different place in my life. At that time I had no idea how long I was going to be in  Binghamton, I couldn’t stop thinking about The One Who (Once) Made Me Crazy, and I just couldn’t have imagined the way my life has now turned out. Now I feel extremely grateful that my life has turned out better than I could have imagined despite my emotions bouncing all over the place at the moment. It’s funny how life turns out when you just let go and stop trying to plan every little detail. Being there was a great reminder that I should just let go and let God, as they say. Or chill the eff out as the younger generation would say. So yes, that is what I’ll do. No spreadsheets, no flow diagrams, just faith. 😛

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A Sunday Kind of Love

A friend of mine sent me this article on the difference between soulmates and life partners and it totally resonated with me. Every relationship, situationship, whatever-it-was-tionship since my ex had been like fireworks. Brilliant, beautiful, extremely intense and all encompassing, then inevitably fizzing out. I saw this pattern in myself and after the last one I knew that no matter how good it felt at the time, how amazing the connection seemed to be, it just wasn’t sustainable and more importantly, at the end of the day, it’s not what I want to come home to. So I knew this, and in fact I’ve known this for some time now, but I hadn’t realized that although my mind understood this, some part of me still couldn’t let go.

Underneath the logic of my mind my heart was apparently still defining love as that all encompassing, passionate, you-know-my-soul kind of connection, I-just-met-you-but-I-feel-like-I’ve-known-you-forever type of feeling. The kind you see in movies and read in books but don’t think is actually possible…until you feel it and it’s like, oh shit, it’s totally possible, but now you’re crazy.

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What I thought I wanted, I actually had with The Man Who (Once) Made Me Crazy and even the one before him. I acknowledged they were a major part of my growth and got over them. But although I never really wanted to be with The Man Who (Once) Made Me Crazy after it didn’t work out, for some reason, he kept on resurfacing on my mind over, and overand overand over again. So then I would do a little stalking investigating and find that when I would see his pictures or read his posts I would feel…nothing. So WHY then, WHY was I so obsessed??

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It has been driving me nuts! But then I found out he got engaged and it forced me to really face it. So face it I did and as I was brushing my teeth and talking to myself about it, I had an epiphany! It actually had nothing to do with him, as a person, at all! I had been over him romantically the day I cried my eyes out from the airport. What it actually was, was my inability to let go of my idea of love. Every time I thought about him, what we had, or what could have been, I was really thinking about love and coming to terms with realizing it’s not what I actually want – well, at least not how I was defining it. And the real reason I was upset over his engagement wasn’t because I wanted to be the one engaged to him or even due to some petty wish that I would have gotten engaged first. As it turns out, the real reason I was upset was because with his now being unavailable, I was forced to let go of my idea of love. It wasn’t him I couldn’t get over; it was the love he represented in my mind.

Can I just say, the moment I realized this I suddenly felt so free! Like, seriously, it was as if I was carrying a burden this whole time and I finally realized I was carrying something I didn’t have to.

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Given that, I decided to contact him to say congratulations and to thank him for helping me grow as a person. I didn’t expect a reply but as it turns out he was really glad to hear from me and told me that I had also made a great impact in his life. That warmed my heart. When people tell me I’ve done or said something inspirational it means the world to me.

I am now at peace and just so, SO happy with my life. I have not yet found my Sunday kind of love (nor am I really looking), but for now, alone time Sunday is the love of my life. Have I mentioned how much I love upstate New York? 🙂

This past Sunday I went to Taughannock Falls and as usual, the greenery blew me away. Can’t wait to go back in the fall!

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And that, for now at least, is my Sunday kind of love. 😉


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It’s the Final Countdown!

At work, at least! This is my last week at work and I cannot wait until my last day is over and I can start planning for my move to Binghamton, NY! So far, the stats of well-wishing, I’m-gonna-miss-you and such are as follows:

Number of people who were not surprised: 2
Number of people who were surprised: Everyone else
Number of people who asked if I’m moving because of a guy: 5
Number of people who asked if I’m moving because of a girl: 1
Number of people who joked about me liking the snow: 3
Number of guys who seemed compelled to tell me they think I’m pretty…several times: 2
Number of people who gave me really touching, great compliments (i.e. we’re going to miss your efficiency, you’re a really great worker, etc.): 9
Number of awkward I-love-you or I-have-feelings-for-you: 0

I mention the last one because at my previous job it seemed that as soon as I gave my two-week notice, the cat came out of the bag and two guys I worked with made me feel uncomfortable with their confessions. Now I’m not trying to be all “oh, woe is me, it’s so hard when people think you’re pretty, the struggle is real!”

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Rather, it made me feel uncomfortable because both of them were married at the time…with kids…one of them even has a daughter the same age as me. I mean, that’s just wrong, right?

Thankfully, that does not seem to be the case at this job, even though it did make me feel uncomfortable that two of them complimented me because they think I’m pretty at least twice within the same conversation. I don’t know, that just makes me feel weird. I mean, of course, I’m flattered but it just doesn’t mean as much to me as the compliments from my other colleagues when they say they will miss me because of how good I was at my job. Sure, telling me they’re going to miss seeing my pretty face is flattering but I didn’t do much to get that. I got it from my mama. But hearing that people are disappointed I’m leaving because it’ll be hard to replace me, or that if I ever need references not to hesitate to contact them, or the best yet, “If I had my own company, you would definitely be offered a position. You have a steadiness that not many people have.” Those are the compliments that really warm my heart and make me feel good. It tells me I’ve been doing something right, especially when it’s coming from different departments (program management, my manager, technical team lead, suppliers, etc.).

This new stage in my career and in my life is particularly exciting for me because not only am I moving to the other side of the country, I’m also changing careers. I will no longer be an engineer and instead am going over to the dark business side. I have to admit it hurts a little knowing that I can no longer call myself an engineer but I think this will be a good career path for me. I’ve thought about where I can go from here as an engineer and my options just didn’t appeal to me. On the other hand, making this lateral move will hopefully open new doors for me that previously were unavailable as an engineer. And if not? Well. I can always go back to being an engineer. The important thing is that I try and see where this leads me.

Ah, life changes. How exciting and scary you are, but how I love you so!