Friday, December 31, 2010


I’m currently on a bus to DC to visit my lovely sister for the new year and finally have a second to sit down and think! Before getting to Herald Square and crawling over 4 feet of snow outside my front door, I grabbed a sandwich for the long journey ahead. When the friendly (almost suspiciously friendly) cashier handed me my order, he looked me directly in the eyes and said, “You’re going to have a good year. Enjoy your new year!” I was hardly expecting to get a side of good fortune with my avocado sandwich, but I didn’t complain. I smiled and nodded as I rushed into the subway.

What is it about January 1st that makes people make promises to themselves and those close to them? Is it merely an excuse for a new beginning, life, friends or aspirations?

I would imagine that if I were take a poll of what the New Year meant to most people, it would go something like this:

“It’s a time to reflect.” (AKA “Look at your life. Look at your choices.”)


And the one we’re all too familiar with:
“Get a gym membership and stop eating burritos.”

In the whirlwind that has been the year of 2010, I’m finding it difficult to reflect and process everything that has happened. I feel like trying to sort through events, people, and memories of this year is like trying to get to the bottom of a jar packed to the brim with sand.

I’ve grown and learned more than any other year in my life. This time last year I was sitting in my dirty college apartment, laying out my new year’s dress. There was no reflection or speculation involved… I was so incredibly wrapped up in my bubble and generally so happy that the farthest I had thought about the New Year was no where beyond how I was going to get home from a party at 3 AM on January 1st, 2010.

I can honestly say that I am not as happy as I was this time past year-- “happy” meaning “blissfully oblivious” of course. I’ve written a lot about how difficult changing my lifestyle has been… I have a wonderful job and place to life, but the process is nowhere complete. However, I’m not sad or regretful about this (you thought this was a suicide note until now, didn’t you? Maybe not… how many suicide notes have the word “burrito” and “sparkles” in it?). In fact, it’s pretty incredible. I feel so fortunate to begin 2011 with a necessity to make my life happen. When I packed up my car literally two weeks after graduation and threw myself into the middle of a new life, I had no idea what was going to happen. Beginning a new year when everything around you is so comfortable and happy makes it all the more difficult to make a change and keep promises. I feel like I’ve been given an opportunity in disguise.

Therefore, “hopeful” is a good word to sum up the end of 2010 and the start of 2011. I generally try to stay away from the phrase “New Year’s resolution” because, from what I can tell anyway, it tends to be associated with disappointment and expectations that are a bit ridiculous (again, I will never stop eating burritos as long as Chipotle is in business). To bring about change and improvement takes time. In order to train and condition yourself, you have to be ready for a few bumps along the way. Don’t give up at the first sign of resistance! In short, don’t let a change in the date change what you want and deserve. If you’re happy with your life, then keep it that way—who cares that you sign your checks to Chipotle 2011 instead of 2010? (Okay, I’m done with the burrito jokes… but, as a side note, you might want to look at your life and look at your choices if you’re writing checks to Chipotle, just saying.) The significance of your decisions is not dictated by the significance of the date.

 If you’re not completely satisfied like me, face the New Year with a new mindset. Don’t feel pressured to make specific goals (although you can). This isn’t a senior thesis. There's no deadline. This is your life and who the hell cares if it takes past 2011 or even 2030 to finally feel at peace and accomplished?

So as I sit on this bus and pensively gaze out the window (this would be more dramatic and artistic if I were writing in a journal and not balancing a laptop on my knees while inhaling my sandwich but whatever… You work with what you got), I really feel excited and maybe a little terrified about continuing the new chapter in my life. The funny thing is, I probably won’t even notice when it’s over and I’ve started a new one!

I hope everyone enjoys whatever you’re planning to do tonight whether you’re going to a party, going to Time Square (I’ll pray for you), or just staying home (good for you—another ridiculous expectation of NYE is to have fun at midnight which I have discovered only happens maybe 30% of the time… in my experience, most people blackout or have fallen asleep by the time the ball drops).

In the words of middle school teachers who think they’re being funny, “See you next year!” 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Get in the Christmas Spirit!

Rianna, Me, and Chris at this month's Digital Dumbo! Those candy canes did not make it through the night...
  I had a great time Wednesday night at the monthly Digital Dumbo hosted in Dumbo, Brooklyn! My roommate Rianna first told me about it when she was first got hired at her dream job at Carrot Creative and I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to meet new people and network. This time, the event was fully equipped with ugly holiday sweaters galore and a SWEET photo booth that I thoroughly enjoyed (as you can see).

Since this was my second Digital Dumbo, it was not nearly as awkward as the first... As I've mentioned before, I despise awkward situations and there is always bound to be one when meeting someone for the first time. However, once you get past the small talk and have a couple (or several...) drinks, it's so much fun. You've got to put yourself out there, put on an ugly sweater, and go for it! How else to find new opportunities and friends? Well, the ugly sweater may not be necessary (although very conducive to starting a conversation), but you get the point.

Hope everyone is gearing up for a wonderful holiday! I'm SO ready to go home! Have a lovely weekend...

Friday, December 10, 2010

At least you're not interviewing in China!

Happy Friday, all! It's definitely been a long week. NYC is currently trying to test my Southern tolerance with unbearably low temperatures and wind, correction, LOTS of wind. This winter will be a true testament to how much I love this city.

I've recently been reading some pretty shocking and tragic statistics/articles about unemployment. I am so grateful to have a great job, especially during the holiday season. Regardless, I can totally relate to the millions of people out of work. Not only are you constantly being rejected (sometimes from companies you don't even want to work for), but you feel as if you're a failure and there is something wrong with you. Trust me-- I know how it feels. But you must remember that you are one of millions that are out of work and a good chuck of those people are not dead beats or losers. They're just people who have hit a few road blocks and it may sound cliche, but a lot of it is bad luck. Things can't always go the way you want them to and, in the end, that is what makes you all the more prepared and grateful for the future. It does get better-- patience and being positive is the key.

In January 2010, 10.6% of the United States was unemployed and as of November 2010, the number has dropped to 9.3% (1). That may not seem like an improvement, but it's something. January 2010 was the highest rate of unemployment in over 20 years (I'm sure it's much longer than 20 years... it's just difficult to type "January 2010's unemployment rate is the highest rate since..." into Google...) and we all lived through it. It IS getting better.

What I learned from my hundreds of interviews is that you can never be too prepared. Firstly, reading up on the company and the people you're meeting with is the first step to picturing yourself actually working there. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not telling you to be a creep and list off the interviewer's hobbies and favorite foods, but try to relate to them. I've talked to several upper management people in a casual settings, and they are usually just as nervous and anxious as you are. Finding the perfect person to work with everyday over the next couple years is a pretty daunting task. So relax-- you're not alone.

Secondly, I changed something about my interviewing skills before I got my current job that really helped me. I actually prepared interview questions and wrote out my answers. This sounds so corny and let's face it, nerdy, but it really works. You should always have your answers to basic interview questions sorted out ahead of time. You're already so nervous, do you think you have to capacity to also remember why you're so awesome and will be awesome at this job? It's more difficult than it sounds. Practice what you're going to say and it'll make things so much easier.

I'm not going to pretend that I'm the best interviewer and I can get any job I want now that I have so much experience, but I really have learned so much. I've had some pretty terrible interviews and have said some things that I regretted almost immediately (these stories are for another day). You just have to remember that you'll have other opportunities and believe that you deserve it.

Okay, now that I'm done with my motivational speech, here's some hilarious news from the motherland. I found this article on (not Liz Lemon's show). Not only is this picture one of the funniest things I've seen, but it really makes me feel lucky to live in a country that doesn't makes you drink for a job... I would most likely be currently unemployed and college freshmen would be leading our country.

Have a wonderful weekend! (And don't pass out on the sidewalk after a night of hard drinking! It's not cute.)


China Outpacing US In Blacking Out-During-Interview Skills: "
While we’re on the subject of prepping for interviews, if you find yourself applying for a gig in China, please be advised that according to the South China Morning Post, “mainland job-seekers are increasingly required to exhibit ‘grey skills’ – binge drinking, playing mahjong and even ballroom dancing – to provide them with an edge in the market.” Several individuals took this advice to heart recently, resulting in the following scene.

Those would be the 4 men who were found passed out in Baguocheng Square earlier in the week, after they’d gone on their second round of interviews for sales jobs at an unnamed firm.

At noon, the company leader invited them for lunch. Eager to impress the boss, they competed in drinking more alcohol. In the end they were wasted. At first, they just sat on the ground chatting, but soon three of them lied down and passed out. The fourth guy leaned against a telephone pole, standing unsteadily, occasionally muttered some words out his mouth and shivered non-stop. Two of them slept while hugging each other and their backpacks. The police eventually called 120. And minutes later three men were sent to the hospital by ambulance.

Passing Out Into The Real World [SCMP]

Competing In Drinking For Job, Interviewees Pass Out [CH]


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

For John

If I'd lived in Roman times, I'd have lived in Rome. Where else?
Today America is the Roman Empire and New York is Rome itself. -- JL

This seriously cannot be happening. 

I had lived in New York for about 3 months already and I was still getting lost. I frantically walked down 14th Street for about the 6th time and was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Not only was I incredibly embarrassed for myself, but I was starving. I was on my way to one of my favorite restaurants in NYC (Angelica's Kitchen) and the last thing I wanted was to get lost.

It's got to be around here somewhere... I swear... I've been here before! Like... FIVE TIMES. Gah! 

As I changed directions and let out an exasperated sigh, a strange couple walked past me. A tall, lanky girl in skin-tight leather pants holding hands with a significantly shorter man with long hair and glasses.

My first thought was: Well they are definitely from New York and and definitely know where they're going and definitely know that I'm not from around here. That's it, I give up. I'm going back to Charlotte.

My second thought was: HOLY SHIT. THAT WAS SEAN LENNON.

I quickly looked back as the couple approached the street corner. The man looked left and right to check traffic before crossing. Suddenly my heart stopped along with my feet. His profile was a splitting image of his father's. I stood in the middle of the sidewalk with my mouth gapping wide open. I wanted to shout at people across the street: Look! It's Sean Effing Lennon! You're going to miss it! Look! LOOK! But knowing New Yorkers, they would have shrugged and replied, Who hasn't? 

As I watched (kind of creepily) as Sean and his girlfriend (who I now know is Charlotte Kemp Mulh-- model of course) crossed 14th Street, I suddenly was in disbelief that I lived in this city. This was the city that John Lennon loved so dearly. This was the city he fought for and began his life-- his dream. This is the city where he started his family and made a vow to start over and give Sean a family that he never had as a child.

Although John's life ended before mine had even started, I suddenly missed him. I couldn't help but think how tragic it was that he missed his son growing up to be a splitting image of himself and all the wonderful things that Yoko and his band mates had accomplished. I knew that John would have given anything to see his boy he loved so much cross the street that day. I smiled and felt proud... for John.

10.9.1940 - 12.8.1980

Friday, December 3, 2010

That Day

 Happy Friday to all! It's been a busy week at work and I could not be any more excited about a fun-filled weekend. It's that time of the year to get to my Christmas shopping and start watching some Oscar-worthy films! Black Swan is out today and it's going to be epic. 

Today I decided to write a small short story. It's been told to me numerous times before and I've always thought it was incredibly sweet. It's the story of how my parents met. Hope you all like it and have a fantastic weekend! Stay warm! 

That Day

It was always the same.

The air sagged with humidity as the sun relentlessly left no street corner or sign untouched. She opened the window hopeful for a breeze, but found that it was just the same. Disappointed but not the least bit surprised, she pulled up a chair by the window and folded her arms on the windowsill, resting her chin on top of her hands. It was an ordinary day on the street she had lived on since she could remember. The fruit vendor across the street fanned himself while a stray dog found relief from the unforgiving sun underneath a large palm tree by the road. The distant sound of motorcycles accelerating and taxis honking from the main Taipei traffic filled the room.

It was always the same.

She wiped the sweat from her brow and sighed with exhaustion and boredom. Her long, dark hair clung to her neck and cheeks as the moisture accumulated on her impossibly fair skin. She took pride in her hair that reached all the way down to her lower back.

It is disrespectful to grow your hair so long.

She didn’t care. She loved how she could wrap herself in it as if it were a silk robe. She loved that she was the only girl at school bold enough to go against the dress code. She loved examining the ends for splits and cutting out tiny imperfections.

She carefully climbed into the window frame and hung her hair out in the open air, brushing it with long, careful strokes.

It was always the same.   

He walked down the street, regretting his choice of clothing for the day. He had lived in Taiwan his entire life, but could not seem to say no to his stylish American blue jeans that were replicas of his idols Simon and Garfunkel. He looked cool, but they were regretfully hot. He was late to work, as always, but couldn't bring himself to get to a pace above crawling. 
When he finally reached his building he quickly looked around to be sure none of his coworkers were seeing him coming in so late. He wiped his sweat-drenched forehead on his sleeve and ran his hands through his thick, curly hair. The sun threatened him as it beat down on his tan skin. As he exasperatingly looked up in the sky he suddenly caught a glimpse of something in the window above. She was gently brushing her hair as the sun no longer threatened, but illuminated her almost translucent skin. He had never seen such a beautiful girl in all his life. 

It would never be the same.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

All the World's a Stage

Have you ever wondered whether you'd be good at acting? It's something I think about quite a bit. How difficult could it be? You are, in essence, pretending to be someone which, let's face it, everyone does (I refuse to believe that  Sarah Palin and Glen Beck are real people-- either that or evolution really let them down). Of course, it's not that easy. I find it fascinating that an actor or actress can (convincingly) transform themselves into live characters after repeating the same dialogue and actions over and over again on stage or on camera. Performances by Daniel Day Lewis or Cate Blanchett are never shy of remarkable for me because I literally forget they are not Daniel Plainfield or Bob Dylan. It are the actors that are constantly reminding me of who they really are that I classify as bad (i.e. Keanu Reeves as himself in The Matrix/The Lake House or Julia Stiles as herself in Dexter-- which I'm still pretty pissed about).

I had the pleasure of seeing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 this past weekend and absolutely loved it. I have always been a huge fan of the story, but this time, it was different. Not only was the production value almost flawless (at least in comparison to the previous films), but the acting was fantastic. I was incredibly impressed with how far Daniel Radcliffe. Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson have come since their days as first years!

Here are a couple hilarious videos of Radcliffe and Sir Ian McKellen (not sure why I have already mentioned him twice in two separate posts) and their takes on acting that I've come across that are sure to have you rolling on the floor! Enjoy and I hope everyone has a relaxing and lovely Thanksgiving!

*** Harry as Dan ***

*** Sir Ian as Gandolf *** 

(Also not sure why these are both referencing fantasy/magic film... I swear I watch other films!)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Happy Friday!

Another week! The job is going great and I really love my office. The people I work with are very nice and the commute is SO short! Not to mention I am only a few blocks from Union Square, my favorite place in NYC! I plan on getting my apartment together and going to see Harry Potter this weekend-- I wasn't all too pleased with the last one, but that's never really stopped me from seeing other sequels (i.e. Transformers and National Treasure. Don't judge.) Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Today is Eve Marie Carson's birthday. She was UNC's beloved student body president that was brutally murdered March 5, 2008. She was a bright, lovely, and an incredibly kind person. I miss her everyday.

Love life.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Love Thy Stranger

Friends and Enemies (Kristen and Abby), 1991
Photographer Julie Moos shoots portraits of couples who are either best friends or worst enemies and places them against a non-descript background. (

I will go out of my way to avoid an awkward situation. I mean it. I can hardly watch an episode of the Office without hiding under a table and turning red. I think the feeling of embarrassment (which is always unfortunately paired with an awkward situation) is among the worst… other than the feeling following a night of heavy drinking (What is that called again? Death feeling?) I hate embarrassment so much that I do anything in my power to prevent it—but not only to myself, to others too. If I see a stranger walking down the street with toilet paper stuck to their shoe, I will stealthily follow them until I can successfully step on the trailing paper and ensure that they will not be embarrassed. If I hear a coworker unintentionally fart, I’ll act like I have suddenly gone deaf... and lost all sense of smell. If a new acquaintance makes a dumb and possibly offensive joke, I laugh loudly and change the subject before anyone realizes what just happened-- “Wait a second…that was racist!” they may say, but they don’t… because I make sure of it. It’s really a beautiful feeling when I am successful in blocking the formation of embarrassment. The best part is that the stranger has no idea that I have saved them from mockery and shame. You’re welcome, I’ll think when I am success in my vigilantism.

I am of course kidding when I make my strange behavior out to be noble. It’s possibly even classified as timid behavior—or psychotic in the eyes of bystanders watching me quietly take enormous strides down a New York City sidewalk in hot pursuit of a stranger with toilet paper on her shoe (remember how bandits in cartoons snuck around? Yeah, like that.) How ever you classify it, I think my reason for preventing embarrassment for people I have never seen nor met before is because of my (somewhat) newfound compassion for other human beings. It can be difficult to relate to a homeless man on the subway or a screaming child in a restaurant, but I have been trying my best to internalize resentment.

I can be an angry person. Unfortunately, I inherited my father’s temper and will sometimes be completely irrational with my feelings. I can be inpatient and much too harsh in difficult situations. But before you change your mind about being my friend, know this: It has become more apparent to me that compassion has a higher rate of resolution and satisfaction than anger.

Last year I attended a No Doubt concert. I have idolized Gwen Stefani since the 7th Grade and I was practically giddy to have the opportunity to sit on a lawn miles away from her. However, I had to share that lawn with a crowd of Paramore (the opener for the show) fans. These are some of my least favorite people. A bunch of pre-teen brats in tutus and bikinis prancing and stumbling around after sharing half a pint of beer. I tried my best to ignore their distracting behavior as I waiting for No Doubt to take the stage, but my anger got the best of me. After intentionally pushing one of my friends and standing directly in front of us so we couldn’t see, I had enough. One of the girls turned around, looked straight in my eyes, and shoved me out of her way. It all went blurry after that.

“WHAT THE [BLEEP] IS YOUR PROBLEM?!” I screamed at her as I pushed her back. She immediately began screaming back, surprised that I had to guts to confront her. Of course, she was much better at screaming and cursing. I have never been the type to lash out at a complete stranger and did not come prepared with “dissing” material. I turned bright red and I could actually feel my head getting hot. At this point we were both screaming obscenities (I’m not even sure what I said… I actually think I blacked out from being so angry) in a wide open space… in broad daylight… in front of hundreds of people… including children. In the end, I didn’t get to throw a punch because her friends pulled her away (maybe they knew I could stomp her little…wait. No. Not the point.), but I didn’t feel triumphant. I felt like crap. The looks of embarrassment on my friends’ faces (and horror on the 9-year-old girl standing next to me) immediately turned my anger into regret and shame. I couldn’t enjoy the concert after that and it still bothers me to this day that I chose to immaturely confront a difficult situation with hate. As a person that avoids embarrassment, I had single-handedly caused me and everyone around me to feel its full effects.

That is the last instance that I can truly say I felt ashamed and embarrassed-- I learned my lesson. Buddhist belief suggests being compassionate to others but the most compassionate towards enemies. When someone shoves me on the subway or cuts me in line, I take a deep breath and put myself in their shoes. How could I possibly know who they are and their motivations? They honestly could be having a terrible day or their actions are completely unintentional. It is better to give them the benefit of the doubt than to just assume they’re assholes. It is completely illogical to assume a person is completely hateful and angry all the time (how exhausting!). That person most likely has a family, loves someone, cares about these issues, etc. They’re just like you.

And if they’re like me, then they’ll help pick up the spilled contents of a purse in the middle of Grand Central Station (and not say anything about the condoms or Justin Bieber CD) or take out a piece of gum for themselves and offer it to the person with bad breath as if it wasn’t originally meant for that person. You don’t have to know someone to understand and love them. So my advice amounts to this: Do yourself a favor… love thy stranger.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Well it's finally happened... I found a job! I could not be more thrilled or relieved to find a place to work and explore. I have applied and interviewed at countless companies-- and I'm not just saying "countless" for dramatic effect. Honestly, I cannot count the number of emails, cover letters, and resumes I have sent out into the universe. But it finally happened like everyone said it would.

People are always asking me what I want to do with my life. To this day, even after reading thousands of job descriptions, I have no idea. I'm not kidding when I say anything sounds good to me because I honestly think that I need to just learn and observe at this point. I know I love film and I love to create, but I don't think I would be the best at creating films. I love to interact with people and work together-- that I know for sure. It's kind of crazy, but it seems like you must try anything before knowing for sure that it's something you definitely want or don't want to do. A woman I interviewed with at a high end fashion house explained to me that she used to be an accountant-- now she's the director of a design team. You never know where life is going to take you.

So as vague as that sounds, I think I'm heading in the right direction, which is forward. I took a full time job as an assistant for a small ad agency and I'm really looking forward to meeting everyone there and learning more about advertising. I had a quick drink last week with a truly inspiring media specialist that just started work in Brooklyn and he gave me a piece of advice that I think will really help me find my true passion: "Never let your title restrict what you can do. You can always do what you love and if you're not doing what you love, you can always get the fuck out."

Happy Friday everyone and thanks for all the support and love!

Also, here's my random favorite picture of the day... Sir Ian McKellen being a rock star. Enjoy!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy (Pi)day!

Another week past! Can you all believe November is here?! That means December is next month-- as in CHRISTMAS. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. So today isn't really pi day... pi day is actually March 14th. You know... 3.14159265... right. You're probably going to stop reading this now. But I think from this day forward on every Friday, I will post one of my favorite pictures/images from the internets. This week will demonstrate my inner nerd... x 8.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

This train is going to Brooklyn

Subway Riders, Bernard Safran
 This summer I had the pleasure of working as a production assistant at a small film production company in Dumbo, Brooklyn. I was so excited to finally utilize my creativity and be able to observe film professionals in their natural habitat-- that being an enormous (but endearing) factory turned office building. It was my first time taking the F train and, still new to the somewhat (ha) confusing MTA, it was necessary for me to break out my handy map even if it meant shattering the illusion that I was a true New Yorker. I discreetly unfolded my map and began tracing the direction of the train when I felt someone watching over my shoulder. I dared not look and find a look of pity or worse...disgust.

"This train is going to Brooklyn."

Damn. I've been found out! Abort! Abort!

I calmly began folding my map and looked to my side as if I had not heard what he had said. Sitting next to me was an elderly Asian man. He had a look of pride in his eyes and smiled gently. It was apparent that he was trying to help me, not judge me. Of course, this kind old man was not going to stop me from pretending to know what I was doing.

"Oh, I know." I smiled.

He began to laugh. It was the sort of laugh that was incredibly infectious and hearty. He shook his head and spoke with a slight accent that reminded me of my father.

"I'm so sorry! I thought maybe you were a tourist!"

I laughed with him and assured him that I was no tourist. Sensing an end to our interaction, I pulled out my book and began reading the wise words of Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma.

"That's some heavy summer reading."

"I suppose it is... I'm just really interested in food..." Before I could continue he immediately perked up.

"Oh really? How interesting! Are you a vegetarian?"

"Er. Yes..."

"Oh wow!"

I was a bit taken a back and even suspicious by his enthusiasm. I glanced around the car to see if anyone else was sitting on the edge of their seats to hear more about my interests. A hipster was scribbling in his moleskine notebook while a homeless man continued snoring in the next seat over.

"You know,"  he continued, "I often find myself in the omnivore's dilemma myself."

I nodded and just when I was about to form words, he continued once again.

"I often watch the news and special reports on the industrial food production facing our nation today. It is shocking how corporations treat people and only care about making a profit."

It was difficult for me to mask my expression of surprise. He was so articulate and passionate, especially for a conversation with a stranger on the subway. Suddenly, a feeling of compassion and joy overcame me. He continued rambling happily on the subject of food, unaware that I was finding it difficult to pay attention... his charisma was so distracting.

"Where are you from?"

"North Carolina... I went to University of Nor..."

"Oh really?! That is fantastic!"

I smiled even bigger this time wishing I could possess the same amount of enthusiasm as him. The F train pulled into the station and I regretfully got up and told him this was my stop. He nodded.

"So I suppose you're a southern girl then?"

"I guess so!" I laughed as the doors opened.

He smiled and waved. "Have a lovely day!"

As the doors closed and the trained pulled away, I found myself feeling as if I had just experienced the purest form of human kindness and connection. This man exuded happiness and had unknowingly passed it onto me-- a southern girl in the big city.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Charlotte, NC 2010

It's become more apparent to me that home is never a specific place. I have lived in North Carolina for my entire life, and when I was subletting in an apartment with a stranger in NYC, I never knew I could be so incredibly homesick. But it wasn't my brick house at the end of a cul-de-sac in Charlotte that I missed or the rundown apartment in Chapel Hill-- it was the people. New York is full of people... over 8 million to be exact. You would think that it would be easy to meet other wanderers (especially since many have experienced my personal space on the crowded subway), but there is nothing more difficult. It's scary how easy it is to isolate yourself.

It's also scary what anxiety and a lack of human contact can do to a person. When I first moved to the city I never thought that I would have issues "fitting in" or finding my way, but to my surprise, I had a few bumps on the way. Because I neglected my mental stability, my physical health began to suffer. I had high anxiety and became even MORE anxious when I couldn't figure out what was happening. My body couldn't handle the amount of stress and lack of joy and so it decided to manifest itself in a physical way. People never really think that your body acts in ways you yourself cannot control. An example could be pain. No one likes to be in pain, yet our bodies use this as a tool to let us know something is wrong. Not only is it one of the most useful tools to our survival, but it goes to show how even you own body can be out of your control. Therefore, what I have learned is that accepting pain or anxiety and taking these feelings as warning signs as well as blessings is how you move past a difficult time in your life.

Everyone is different, but I do believe human contact and love are two of the most crucial aspects of life. Do you think that the homeless man in the subway station gets hugged everyday? How about Barbara-Streisand-painting-Jesus-freak Christina Ricci in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas? I'm going to go with no.

Keeping negative emotions and energy bottled up inside you can be destructive. There is nothing wrong with pushing yourself to work hard, but as my dad says, "Work hard, play hard." No matter what the environment, a home can exist. There are so many things wrong with my current living situation. I haven't had hot water until yesterday (thank Jebus I can take a long shower now!), my windows rattle when the F and G trains pull into the station down the street, my doors don't close, and the stairs might as well be a ladder. But you know, my roommates make it home. I can come home and talk about my day knowing that they'll listen and maybe even give me a hug.

I do miss my house and my school, but most of all I miss my family and friends-- my home. However, NYC is where I am now and I need to make the best of it. Things aren't ideal, but I'm learning and although I know more bumps are bound to come up, I know I will find my home away from home.

Friday, October 29, 2010

And We're Back!

Hello Internet world. It's been a while.

I first started this blog when I was a Junior at UNC Chapel Hill, but eventually gave up becuase, well, there's not much to say when you're in college. In fact, I can summarize: OMGEXAMSPARTIES.

Now, I am a graduate with a BA in Communications thrown into the chaos of the real world. It's always been my dream to come to NYC and so here I am. I'm rooming with two other lovely tar heels in Brooklyn, my room is a little bigger than my body, and living above a night club that hosts karaoke every week is both a boost for my self-esteem and also a very effective sleeping soundtrack.

So what is Amanda doing in the big apple? Good question. I'm currently interning in midtown, but I'm searching for something a little bit more up my ally-- whatever that means. If it helps, I'm left-handed. You're right. That doesn't help.

What I mean is that I do consider myself creative and visual. I mean, come on, I got the "Most Artistic" senior superlative at South Mecklenburg High School for crying out loud! Can you say resume builder?! All inappropriate sarcasm aside, I do love all things art. I've been painting and drawing (you know, the manual version of digital design-- remember?) since I was a kid and now my artistry has manifested into fashion, film, and media.

I hope this blog will not only serve as a way for me to express my ideas and thoughts, but a way to connect to other wandering college grads. I've had a pretty hard time finding where I belong in a city full of people and I think this blog would not only be therapeutic to myself, but maybe helpful to others. I titled my blog "Words into a Paper Cup" as an homage to The Beatles' song "Across the Universe." Apart from the fact that I am a HUGE Beatles fan, it has a lot of meaning. In such a big, bad universe, we should all find our centers and let go of the frustration and sadness. "Nothings going to change my world."

So welcome and feel free to post your own thoughts and ideas. I'm looking forward to it.

Words into a Paper Cup © 2008. Chaotic Soul :: Converted by Randomness