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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What would my message be?

Slowly, my mental and emotional state are coming back to an equilibrium. My thoughts still tend towards life and death, and our relationship with death…well, specifically my relationship with death…and why we react the way we do upon hearing news of someone’s death, whether that person was close to us or not. Obviously, our reaction to the death of a loved one is vastly different than that of the death of a stranger. But the feeling of shock and sadness is the same. The “why??“‘s, “that’s not fair!“‘s is the same. The sudden slap in the face of, “oh crap, time is not limitless and you truly never know when your time is up” is the same.

Grief is intermixed with the fear that comes up when being faced with your own mortality. Along with the grief of losing a loved one comes the questions of,

“What would happen if I die today?”

“What will people say about me?”

“Have I truly lived my life to its fullest?”

“Am I living my live as if it’s temporary, because that’s exactly what it is.”

“Do I even realize what a gift I’ve been given with each day that I have on this earth?”

And to make the emotional rollercoaster even rockier, the guilt comes.

“Why didn’t I call more?”

“When was the last time we spoke?”

“Did I even ask how he was doing? Omg no I didn’t because I was so caught up in some mundane thing at the time…”

“Did he know that I truly cared about him?”

“Did I ever tell him how proud I am of him for doing exactly what he sought out to do?”

I still don’t understand why we feel this way about death. And by “we” I really mean me because who am I to say what others go through in their grieving process? But I suspect it’s not too different. And although my heart still hurts from the unexpected deaths of my cousin and of my friend, my thoughts are starting to take a more positive spin. I’m refusing to keep on turning a blind eye to the fact that I will die someday and so will all of my loved ones. Instead, I am actively thinking about how I’m living my life and how I keep nurturing my relationships that are so important to me. In a response to someone asking him what his message was to the world, Ghandi said that his life is his message, and I intend to do the same.

I am not in control of how others receive my message or how I’m viewed but what I am in control of is one, figuring out what I want my message to be and two, doing my best to ensure my words and actions reflect that message.

Once I started thinking about what my message is I realized I’ve actually felt this way for a long time, I just never consciously put words to it. If there’s one thing I hope to leave my friends and family with when it’s my time to pass, it’s this:

Be true to who you are.


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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.


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Each month, it’s always a surprise how I’m going to feel during that special time. Am I going to see a rainbow and start crying, like this guy? Am I going to start sketching on the back of an envelope and let my artish side play? Or, my favorite, am I going to be inexplicably happy and listen to Backstreet Boys all day (true story)? Well, this time, I came up with this:


(It sounds like I’m all depressed but actually, I’m quite happy. Especially because I just ate two pieces of chocolate that I got from my trip to Costa Rica).

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Reality vs. Expectation


When I took my impromptu trip to downtown Corning this past weekend I was in an extremely happy state until I got an email from The Man Who Made Me Crazy. I didn’t let that get me down but the email was on the back of my mind for the rest of the night. I didn’t read it that night in fear that it would totally bring back memories and emotions that I had worked so hard to let go of, so I waited until the next day.

And guess what? I read the email…and felt nothing. Well, I shouldn’t say nothing because I did feel something, and that something was relief. I was expecting to have to stop myself from responding in a way that would start things up again. I was expecting to be bombarded with all these mixed feelings of hurt, anger, and hope, and needing my friends to slap some sense into me. Instead, I read the email and decided that it did not even warrant a response. No, sir, you do not get to start things up with me just because we are now in the same time zone and it’s convenient for you. The time has come and gone, this ship has sailed onto bigger and better things, and I am way too happy to invite that kind of craziness into my life again.

Then I got to thinking, most of the time disappointment comes from our expectations being set too high and the reality not being able to meet those expectations. And unfortunately, I feel like this happens more often than not. Well, I’m not sure what’s going on but so far the reality has been exceeding my expectations. It’s not like my expectations have been set low, either. I mean, from my co-workers being super cool out here and turning into actual friends I’d hang out with, to the people I’ve met at the gym who also are turning out to be more than just gym-buddies and actual close friends, then you have the beauty that is upstate NY along with the surrounding areas that I’m having fun exploring…it is way more than I expected. I knew I was going to be happy moving here but I really didn’t expect it to be like this, and I am just so thankful.

So cheers to life, to happiness, and to finding that reality is actually pretty damn good sometimes!

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A look five years back

A friend of mine recently turned 25 and said something along the lines of,

“Quarter of a century! How scary!”

To which I responded,

“Girl, don’t EVEN! It only gets better from here!”

She’s not that much younger than me. In fact, she’s only about three years younger but ever since the age of 23, I have felt the difference of each passing year. I’m not sure if it’s going to be like this past 30, but I’m convinced that each year in your 20’s is a significant jump in terms of lessons learned and maturity. In fact, I can hardly even relate to my 25-year old self anymore. If I were to meet my 25-year old self, I would look at her, smile, and fist-bump her. I would tell her,

“Girl, you keep doing what you’re doing. Keep on having fun and enjoying the single life! Now, there’s going to be some craziness next year, but for now, you do you, boo!”

Perhaps I’m going to look back at this and think I’m full of shit and I really haven’t learned a thing, but I really don’t think that’s the case. If anything, I think I’ve grown so much because I’ve made mistakes, learned from them, then decided to do them again…and again…and again…until finally I stopped being so stubborn and stopped trying to do something or be with someone who was clearly wrong for me.


I started thinking about how much I’ve changed over such a short amount of time and what experiences I’ve had. Let’s go back five years, shall we?



Ah yes. This was such a significant year for me because of all the things that happened. I got promoted, finally started being comfortable with my lead position at work, I was with someone I really loved, I bought my first home – I really thought I knew exactly where my life was going. Really, I did. I was convinced that although most people didn’t start knowing who they were until they were in their thirties, I knew who I was at 23. Go me. And then…



My then-boyfriend and I split up at the beginning of the year. It was a good breakup, as far as breakups go, which meant that we got back together shortly after we broke up…and then we broke up again. I didn’t see that one coming at all. Looking back, there were all these signs and red flags that we were not meant for each other, but stubborn person that I was (and still am), I chose to ignore them. To this day I have not felt as much heartache as during that time. Heart break is no joke, man. It felt like someone took my heart and shattered it in slow motion.

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I have to say though, that year was also a lot of fun once my heart started to heal. It was the beginning of a fantastic, ultra-single type of life that I most definitely lived to the fullest! Go me!


The next two years was basically a roller coaster of ups and downs as I dated different guys. In fact, during that time I was really starting to fall for this guy who ended up choosing his ex over me. So what did I do? I decided to contact my ex and we started seeing each other again…yeeeeaaah…all my friends just looked at me, dumbfounded, but they knew I had to learn the hard way. Folks, he/she is your ex for a reason. Remember that reason because more than likely, that reason is still there.

And then…HE came into my life and thus The Crazy Period started.


Although I never ever, ever, want to feel that way again, I’m glad for the experience because now I can relate to girls when they say that a guy has made them crazy. It’s true, my friends. They really can cause you to willingly jump in the crazy pit and stay there for an indefinite amount of time. Mine lasted a little over a year…And if you think you’re some exception, you’re wrong. No one is exempt from this. Not saying it happens to everyone, just saying that the possibility is definitely there.

The universe must’ve had plans for me though because even when I still decided to go back to The Man Who Made Me Crazy after the first time I cut things off, the universe made sure that something even bigger happened so that I finally walked away. It hurt. Not as much as the breakup with my ex, but it still made me cry…and I hadn’t cried over a guy since the first time my ex and I broke up.


After I finally crawled out of the crazy pit, I realized that I actually had a lot of things within myself that I needed to fix, guy or no guy. I had a lot of anger and hate inside of me that was essentially poison. It was preventing me from truly being happy. So then I made a conscious effort to let go and forgive because I knew that it wouldn’t do anyone, especially me, any good to keep harboring such negative feelings. Then guess what happened? The universe finally sent me to the east coast and I seriously haven’t been this happy in my life EVER. Letting go has been the best decision I have made thus far.

Five years doesn’t seem like a long time, yet seems like a long time. I was a very different person five years ago and I’m sure I will be a very different person five years from now. Unlike my 23 year old self, I have come to terms with the fact that I am just now getting to know myself and I have no idea what the future brings for me. All I know is that every year is just going to keep getting better.


Happiness is a choice

What I’ve noticed is it isn’t just people from back home who would give me a look of sympathy and an “oooh girl, you’re brave for agreeing to this” type of pep talk every time I mention where I moved from and where I moved to. Even people from Binghamton tended to look at me, completely dumbfounded, when I would tell them that I chose to move from beautiful, sunny southern California to grey, cold Binghamton. It’s crazy! I get a lot of, “but…why? Of all places?”

And I get it. Truly, I do. There are so many things I can do back home that I have to drive hours just to be able to do over here in Binghamton. There are so many different types of activities and places that I can go to in LA depending on what I feel like doing. Beach? Sure! Mountains? Sure! Desert? No problem! As for Binghamton, first I should explain that when I say “Binghamton,” I actually mean Binghamton, Endicott, and Johnson city (the “Triple Cities”) but I just call it Binghamton because really, if most people haven’t heard of Binghamton, then likely they’ve heard of Endicott and Johnson city even less. Plus, it’s just really small. To give an idea of the scale, I can probably drive from Endicott to Binghamton in 20 minutes, 25 with traffic. Suffice it to say, there ain’t much to do out here! So yeah, of course people look at me like I’m crazy when I tell them I chose to move here.

The thing is though…these are just things. My happiness does not come from things. My happiness comes from the experiences I feel because of these things, sure, but certainly not from these things themselves. I choose instead to embrace these changes, both good and bad. I choose to be extremely grateful now when I see the sunshine, when I go out on the very rare days I don’t need a coat, when I hear good music somewhere that makes me want to dance, or when I do visit a city where all the conveniences I was used to is now available. And when bad things do happen…well, that’s just life and I will do my best to see the humor in the situation. I may have some downs but for the most part, I choose to be happy.