Dogs are considered man’s best friend because of their loyalty to their owners. Unfortunately, that loyalty didn’t grant them the position of being at the top of the food chain. Loyalty in New York seems almost naive; you don’t stay with a company because you are loyal to your manager or the company; you stay because you know the benefits outweigh the costs of leaving for you. Loyalty isn’t valued unless you are lucky enough to find someone who genuinely cares about you (doesn’t happen very often here). A wise person once said to me when I had two job choices I was torn between, “you don’t choose a company because you like that person who interviewed you. He could leave one day soon, and then what are you there for?”
One of my best friends is coming to visit for the third time since I have lived in New York, and she is ecstatic. She already has a list of places she wants to visit (Museum of Natural History) and where she wants to eat (Amy Ruth’s). No matter what time of the year, there always seems to be a million different things to do here that I never feel like I can come close to finishing it. Just when I think I’ve tried the best places, yet another 10 open that seem intriguing. It sounds fun and all, but then it gets to be a bit exhausting. Sometimes, I just want to relax and not try anything new and rely on old favorites.
My friend is going through a mini quarter-life crisis. She just sent an email asking me what I thought the purpose or meaning of life was, and I felt like I had to think about it before responding. But after thinking about it, it’s all a lot more than all of the superficial crap that we are surrounded with – money, designer name products, diamonds, even luxurious trips around the world. It’s about our relationships with people, with animals, with things. If we all had deep, fulfilling relationships with those in our lives, we would feel happy and satisfied. But then what if everyone in your life in proximity to you is not fulfilling you? Then what do you do?
Last December, I visited Australia for the first time to realize what it meant to be immersed in an obsessed coffee culture. Although I grew up with a dad who is a complete coffee fanatic, I had no idea how pathetic overall quality coffee accessibility was here. Everywhere we went in Australia, I never saw a single person pour milk from a carton into their coffee – steamed milk only! Australians do not just drink coffee for the caffeine and morning jolt; they are drinking it because it’s supposed to taste good and be prepared well. Yet if you are in New York, sadly if you want this, you will probably need to wait in a line of at least 15-25 people at any given time of the day at Stumptown or Blue Bottle. Oh, and you will also be labeled a “hipster.”
Tonight, we went to see Sans Merci, a play about a lesbian woman who gets brutally injured in Colombia, who finally meets the mother of her college lover, who died in the same attack three years before. The mother does not approve of her now dead daughter’s relationship, yet she says expresses that “love is the intersection of two poetries,” yet each person’s poetry is a different type of madness, so when those poetries collide, they create intense passion, protectiveness, and rage. If this is truly the case, does that mean that if your love survives, that you then have achieved the most ultimate form of poetry, and thus total madness in your life?
In the almost four years that I have been at my company, there have been constant changes. We’ve had five different CEOs, mass structural changes, and plenty of turnover to the point that I am now considered one of the “OGs” of the company. Most people who have started after me have already left. Whenever someone is “out of office” for an “appointment,” everyone immediately thinks that s/he is interviewing. I have been made fun of for that for the last three years (e.g. “So how was your interview – er, I mean, doctor’s appointment?”). It’s an obvious sign that company morale is terrible when everyone just anticipates that everyone else is on their way out.
Today, I received my first Birchbox in the mail with deluxe samples of new beauty products. I love skincare, and I especially love gifts in the mail. However, while going through samples, I thought about how excessive these once-a-month boxes could be, especially since I may not enjoy or even want to use so many samples. The product that annoyed me a bit claimed that your skin isn’t the only part of you that needs anti-aging help; your hair needs it, too! It seems like overkill in my book. Sooner or later, we will “need” to start applying anti-wrinkle treatments to our nails and nose hairs.
I decided that I would change my workout routines and begin going in the morning. I thought that if I took the train earlier in the morning at 6:15, it would be less crowded. Unlucky me, this was not really the case. And while commuting to work at 8:50am last week, pre-morning workouts, was crowded, one thing it never had been was loud. For some reason, the people on the trains at 6:15am feel that it is okay to talk louder and have everyone listen to their life stories. Initially, I thought that a fight was happening, but it was just a regular conversation. Just a regular morning on the 6 train.
It’s strange to leave the house at 6:15am on a Monday morning and see how quiet it is in a place as bustling as Manhattan. When I got out at Herald Square for my early morning workout, it stunned me how deserted it was. For the first time, I noticed the plaque on the sidewalk in front of the sixth avenue entrance, noting that this is the original Macy’s. I even looked up and noticed the surrounding architecture for the first time. Being there this morning was almost surreal, as though I wasn’t even in the real New York – at least, not the New York that I know.
For four years, I had to deal with constant subway construction, train alternatives, and delays while commuting between Elmhurst, Queens and Manhattan. The weekends were always frustrating, especially when I would come back from a weekend out of town, because I always had to anticipate subway construction, which would result in trains being re-routed and ultimately not running often at all. Now that I live on the Upper East Side, even when there are skipped stops or subway construction, the wait has never, ever been as long as it was when I lived in Queens. It’s another major reason living in an outer borough frankly just stinks.