Thursday, June 25, 2015


Every morning I see men and women perfectly dressed for the office. The boy at the office showed me his perfect engagement pictures, two good looking you people with labrador retrievers.
No matter how often I remind myself that underneath it all everyone is a mess I still think other people's lives are more perfect, they look more professional, and they have more exciting and sexy jobs with trips to exotic places, frequent flyer miles, and free food.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

All My Time

All my time is mine. That's the beauty of being single, no one to answer to, plan with, or please. I can work as late as I want to, run as slow as it pleases, take classes, take the subway to Chinatown, or just wonder without an agenda or a curfew.

The thought of accommodating to another person is sickening. I'm one of those all or nothing kind of person. I'm either all in or all out. When I'm with someone, that person takes up all of my awaking thought even when I'm absorbed in something else, I'm watching the clock and making plans in my head. It's a stressful and inevitably resentful way to life. I always end up deferring the things I want to do in an effort to please the other person. I never learned how to balance a relationship with my sense of self. I don't know if that's possible. Maybe it will just workout magically with the right person. Maybe in won't. Life is too short to not pursue the things I want.

I'm the master of my time, my thoughts and feelings. I'm responsible for no one's mood other than my own. I can cry if I want to, be angry and be depressed without being questioned and pressured to fabricate proper answers. I can smile, laugh, dance, and be ecstatic for no reason at all without being shoot down. I have no one to rush to see, nothing to justify. I can dress up and stay out late without being subjected to jealousy or suspicion. I can dress down and feel no judgement or any standard to live up to. I'm liberated. This time is mine. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

A Very Cranky Monday

Lack of sleep turns me into a cranky three-year-old. But this is a small price to pay for a super productive weekend. Some people wonder why I'm constantly running around like a madman trying to squeeze every second out of my life while I wonder why they don't. I operate under the assumption that I'll never have more time than what I have right now. Now is the time. Save nothing for later.

I got done at the ED just before 6am and slept for an hour and half before I dragged my lifeless body to my lifeless office. Unsurprisingly, it was a very frustrating and unproductive day. I struggled to stay awake in the afternoon and to keep my crankiness to myself. I succeeded at leaving the office at 7pm without hurting anyone.

Marc left me a bottle of wine at his hotel, which I said I would pick up after work. The only small problem is that he never texted me the name or the address for the hotel. I walked around midtown for a while but nothing really clicked. Even though I appreciate the gesture of someone bringing me a bottle of wine all the way from France, I'm equally annoyed at the fact I have to go through this trouble even though I don't drink. I'm so tired of people getting me wine I wish there was someway to make a public announcement that I'm allergic! Please stop, just stop buying me alcohol! And what is it with everyone so obsessed with alcohol these days? Having volunteered at the ED for a few months I know see in real life the harmful consequences of drinking go wrong. I remember people calling me out at Criminal Procedure class last semester saying there's not relationship between alcohol consumption and sexual assault. I have yet seen a case at the ED where alcohol wasn't involved. That and my disdain for DUI and drunk people in general makes me not want to go to any place where alcohol is served except at restaurants, which kind explains why I spend all my alone time with my cats.

Ok, before I go further down the deep end, it's time for bed.

A High Productive Weekend

Friday, June 12, 2015

Work and On-Call

On most days I'm a cat lady but every couple of times a month, I become cat woman. Whenever I'm on-call I feel as if I'm cloaked in super power. Tonight was one of those nights. My super power came just as my work day ended at the law firm. I rushed to get in and out of the subway station so I can pick up cell signal. I turned the ringer to highest setting, as I've done obsessively for every volunteer shift.

Cuban Lunch and Movie Night

The most best thing about living in NYC is knowing that anything can happen at anytime, big or small. Today for example, I walked out to a full on salsa band while getting a Greek plate for lunch.
It's such a New York thing to do. I wonder where you would go after eating from the food trucks in Midtown East? We're not talking about the fru-fru fusion or vegan stuff. This is where the real office peeps get their real substantial lunches. A huge plate of grilled pork souvlaki or lamb or combo meal over rice and salad topped with grilled onions and sauces will run you $7 and it's the best $7 you can spend around here. Unless, of course, you go another block down where Jamaican truck dishes out savory oxtail over rice and beans. The lines are long but the service is fast.
I was in the mood for a movie after getting home at a somewhat reasonable hour. Still, after getting my act together it was getting late. Feeling extra heavy lately (not surprising if you see what I've been eating), I willed myself to go out for a walk. I've been trying to pick up running again in the park but this evening I decided to go for a stroll toward the river. Unexpectedly, I walked into movie at the pier.
Next thing I know, there was grass underneath me, the sky with fast moving clouds above me, and a refreshing breeze off the river around me.
Oh, how blissful it is to be here, at this moment. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A Walk in the Park

This is one of the easier days of this summer. Once again I got up early enough to walk through the park to work. The morning was sunny and clear, which made commute even more delightful. The view of the city skyline from the park is breathtaking no matter how many times I've seen it.

The work day was hectic like all the ones before it. Fortunately I was able to wrap things up by 7pm and made it out of the office 15 minutes after that in full running gear. That's right, I brought my running cloth with me to try out a new routine. Running on busy sidewalks isn't the best thing but there is something satisfying about literally running out of work, or literally running home. In my book, it's always great to get somewhere on foot. I dropped of the backpack at home, fed the cats, and went back to the park for a very slow 6 mile loop. I felt extremely satisfied to have finished it in just a bit over an hour.

There's a scene in the Spirit of the Marathon, a documentary about a diverse group of individuals training for the Chicago Marathon, where one of the trainees observed another runner doing down the lake shore without a headphone and remarked, now that's out there. While it's true I've always run without a headphone, I'm now taking it a step farther by running without a Garmin. The little gadget was what got me out there on so many runs, to keep track of progress, to keep myself accountable, to showcase my accomplishment on FB. But by now, I know the exact distance for every combination of loops in the park. I don't need extra incentive to run after being chained to my desk all day at work. And lastly, posted exactly one update since May 18th just to announce my withdraw from a social network made up by an undergrad kid with no social skills. That's a topic for another post.

I'm running on my own now, with no tracker, nothing to show for, no one to share with. And it's feels liberating. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A Wildly Productive Day

7:00am wake up
8:30am walk to work through the Park
9:00 - 12:00pm work my ass off

12:00 - 1:30 Economic Club of NY luncheon at the Waldorf featuring Jack Ma, the CEO of Alibaba, curtsey of tickets from the Professor. The Waldorf is exactly two blocks down from my office and it is as classy and opulent as I've imagined. Jack Ma's speech was described as "provocative" by the announcer, while my professor thought he was overly optimistic. But she also said she's never met an business person who's not optimistic during her lifelong career in the securities industry. To me, Jack Ma sounded like a very charismatic leader and his speech was so inspiring I thought about going to work for Alibaba myself.

1:30 - 5:20pm work my ass off

5:20pm got yelled by a partner for the first time and was excited to feel like part of the law firm culture. What might have been a bit humiliating or offensive interaction to some turned out to be rather exhilarating. Being a no nonsense person myself, I like it when others are straightforward with me as well, even if it comes out in unpleasant ways. Growing up surrounded by people with hot tempers, especially my grandfather, I take no offense for being yelled at for good reasons.

5:25pm rush to school for my evening class

6:02 - 7:50pm got to class late as usual and spent half of the class responding to my work email. I need to pay better attention during class.
7:50 - 8:00pm talking to a classmate working as a public defender for the summer about evil of materialism and waste while wearing a Movado watch, a new dress I just bought, and drinking a can of diet coke.

8:50pm got home completely famished and exhausted. Stayed on the phone with UPS on a package from Amazon that was never delivered and then to find out that it probably won't be delivered.

9:25pm insisted on going to the park even though it was late and I had no energy. Didn't feel like running a full loop so I cut across the baseball fields back to the west side.

10:00pm swinging in the dark in Central Park while feeling high on the fact that I'm swinging in the most amazing park in the middle of the most extraordinary city. I've run by this set of swings many times but they were always guarded by protective moms during the day time. Now they set empty at night, waiting for someone like me.

10:30 - 11:45pm get home, make dinner, eat dinner, watch clips of comedy shows on YouTube.
12:00pm shower
12:30pm getting into bed with my tablet to browse dresses on MyHabit
1:15am lights out

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Day at the Beach


It was a beautiful day at the beach. I'm happy to have been able to share it with my parents. 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Getting to Jersey

With my days being so busy during the week, so many personal things have to be pushed to the weekend. It's true, I can't recall a day when I had nothing to do. Now that my parents are just a train ride away, I can feel more guilty for not being to visit them more often. With something occupying most of my weekends for the rest of the summer, I made a point to spend this weekend with my parents. And even that wasn't easy.

Somewhere there's an ad (maybe for StreetSmart) that in NYC, having a washer and dryer is considered making it. That can't be farther from the truth. Laundry days have always been such a big ordeal from making time to do it, to carrying ridiculous loads up and down stairs, and scheduling bunch of other chores to make good use of waiting time between cycles.

This laundry ordeal drastically intensified with my new work schedule, which is in total conflict with the schedule for the laundromat. We became like the sun and the moon, never seen each other face to face. The weekend is now the only way to catch up on house chores. Trying to start the weekend with my parents as early made me feel like preparing to charge into a battle field.

Things don't get easier. Time don't get more plentiful. There's a time to work, a time to play, a time to speed up, a time to slow down. There is no balance. There is no way to do everything well without descending into blend mediocrity. There's nothing wrong with being average. There is something not right about not taking advantage of whatever is presented in front of you. This is my time to take charge, work, and speed ahead. Times like this made me feel so proud of myself for having taken every opportunity to travel in the last two years. It wasn't easy but it was necessary and worthwhile. The same applies now, just in a different lane. 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Late Night Running

Yesterday a police van pulled up next to me while I was running on the east side of the park. I thought maybe he was going to tell me to wrap it up since it was getting late. But instead, the police driver gave me the thumb up and shouted, "you've got this!" 

I knew this day would come sooner rather than later. That's why I tried to take every advantage I could to run in the park when I could, in the middle of a beautiful day while everyone else was working. Now I'm the working one and running has to be relegated to a some-time event at night.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Long Day

I decided to walk home after a long day at work. It was a chilly evening. I had no idea Grand Central lit up like that at night. What a place! We make small steps everyday hardly seeing any progress. Yet one day when we look back, it's astonishing how far we've come.

Tonight looking back at the last two years brought a smile to my face. It has truly been an amazing time in my life even though I started my 30s thinking that everything exhilarating had already been done. It's good to prove myself wrong. And what started as a vague concept in my mind is now materializing in front of my eyes.

In the last two years I studied one of the most demanding disciplines, volunteered for a worthy cause, traveled to fascinating places with extraordinary beauty, and worked in respectable companies. Two years ago I worked at an office in the soybean capital of the world. Today I work for one of the best law firms in my field in the most amazing city in the world.

I've come a long and there's a long way ahead. It hasn't always been easy yet I've loved every step.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

From a Taxi

Running late this morning I had to take a taxi to work. Unexpectedly, the driver took us though the Park to 6th Ave. How horrifying it was to see my normal running route now only from the window of a taxi.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Book Signings

From Left Forum to BookCon, it's the city for the busy minds.

Kristen and her daughter H are visiting from Toronto and are staying with me this weekend. I came across BookCon this morning and stopped H on her track. Being an avid reader, H immediately became interested and was thrilled to see a list of well known writers attending the event. I on the other hand, never heard any of the writers. Later on while I was waiting in line for an autograph, I mentioned to the woman next to me from Connecticut that I was only tagging along with some friends and that I don't actually read much. She looked a bit astonished. It didn't occur to me until I came home that I actually do spend much of my time reading, for law school.

I remember being an avid reader when I was H's age in high school. I spent all my time outside of school either reading in my room or practicing the guitar. I wasn't popular. No one ever called to invite me to parties or outings over the weekend. I recall being depressed over summer break haviing to spend all my time home, alone. I didn't even have cats back then. Thank god I'm not a teenager anymore.

I can't remember the last time I read a fiction. Out of all the names listed for the event, I recognized none of them. The only thing that looked remotely interesting was a panel discussion called "Telling Women's Stories." And much to my surprise, Candace Bushnell, the original Carrie Bradshaw, was one of the four panelists. And the even bigger surprise was the fact that the real Carrie Bradshaw was infinitely more fabulous, real, strong, passionate, and outspoken than the one portrait on the HBO series (which I love, as evident by the quotes on the right panel of this blog).

The show was glamorous, hilarious, sometimes provocative and other times soulful. Surely the show was edgy at the time but for the most part, it was entertaining. The real Carrie/Candace is someone outspoken with ideas of her own, a true modern woman, a feminist, if you want a proper label. She had no interest to regress back to girlish talks on cosmopolitans and fought back whenever the moderator tried to steer the conversation into the realm of glitz and superficiality.

Candace wanted to showcase that writing is a creative process, the fact that writers equipped with a rich imagination need not to write from real life, and that all the glitz is only a delivery mechanism to bring people into the conversation and to alter women's perspective even just a tiny bit. Candace pointed out that women have been told what and how to think for so long that they desperately need a perspective and voice of their own. And the traditional happy ending centered around a male character need to kick the bucket. An applause broke out when she said "your happy ending is with yourself." I too applauded. There's a woman I can look up to. Underneath the dresses, the shoes, the parties, there is a mind, a voice, and a calling demanding to be heard. I hear you.