Friday, January 22, 2010

Doing More of What I Love

I've loved to write my entire life.

Growing up, I would fill notebook after notebook with stories and poems. I loved writing papers in school and would often be excited about the daily journal topics Mrs. Bailey would assign us in elementary school.

I've never had a problem expressing myself through writing. Words are my thing. I was not blessed with a beautiful voice, a scientific brain, or spectacular athletic abilities, but give me a topic and a blank sheet of paper and I can make beautiful music, so to speak.

My passion for writing was one reason I took my current job. I am responsible for writing and editing web content. Perfect, right?

Well, that part of it is anyway. Every time I get the opportunity to work on writing something for the Web, I throw myself into it. I love the thrill of seeing something I've written published for others to enjoy.

I like being given the challenge of making words fit in the limited space provided and making complicated topics understandable to the masses. This process is creative and stimulating to me.

I also love working with the Web. I love making changes and seeing them reflected immediately. It's fascinating to track our site statistics. I get oddly excited each month as I see our page views grow and I love seeing how people find our site and what they use it for. I like that I am responsible for trying to make the site the best it can be for our audience. In a way, I have readers from all over the world.

These are the parts of my job that I love and the reasons I took the position I currently hold. But the sad part is, is that this portion of my job description seems to have shrunk with time. Lately my time has been divided among various uninspiring office tasks. I spend most of my days looking at Excel sheets and answering the phones now.

I find myself feeling less and less motivation each day and I'm starting to miss that creative outlet.

So when I recently stumbled upon a job posting for a writer in a position I would absolutely love I didn't think twice about submitting my resume.

As I mentioned in a previous post 2010 is going to be full of more of what I love. And more of what I love needs to apply to my professional life as well as my personal life.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

City Life is so Transient

I first experienced this while living and working in London. Each week brought a new going away party. There was the Australian who was moving back home to return to school and the American who was moving back to be with her husband. It was the Brit who got a new job and the Canadian who was going to try her luck living in another Commonwealth country.

It was an endless stream of goodbyes. And, living on a visa in a foreign country makes you acutely aware that someday the goodbye party will be for you.

I moved back home and soon forgot the parade of goodbyes and the novelty of meeting new coworkers every few weeks. That is, until New York.

I recently said goodbye to my first friend at NYP.

We met at orientation almost a year ago. I can clearly remember the adventure we had in finding the ID office that first day. Even though we worked in different departments, we stayed in touch throughout the course of the year. We tried to meet for lunch on a fairly regular basis and would randomly run into each other in the hallways at work. It was nice to have a friend my age who was interested in exploring the neighborhood with me.

She was from the Philippines, and like most non-native New Yorkers, had no intentions of settling in the city. I knew she was planning to return home and help run the family business, but I didn't realize it would be so soon. I met her for lunch on a Friday and she told me she was moving on Sunday.

Deja vu. It was London all over again.

Work is a little more lonely these days but I've been here before. I know that it's only a matter of time before I meet someone else to have lunch with and I've now got a standing invitation to visit Manila.

No one ever stays put in a city this large...including me. I wasn't expecting to surround myself with a permanent circle of friends here, but I have to admit, all this is still a bit surreal to a girl who spent her entire life in a town that no one ever leaves and hardly ever moves to.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Little Moments

Today all it took was a simple good morning.

I've had a blah week. As I stepped out the door this morning I plugged in my headphones. I walked to the bus stop lost in my thoughts. As is the rule, no one made eye contact on the bus and I was content to zone out.

I got off the bus at 72nd this morning and stopped by the bank and the post office to complete errands all without human interaction and continued on my walk still drowning in the weight of my thoughts.

As I approached the corner of 71st and York I caught the eye of a little old man standing on the corner. He was a newspaper vendor and had no doubt been standing there in front of his crates of newspapers since before sunrise.

He smiled and me and simply said, "Good morning!"

I was caught off guard.

I had no intentions of approaching him to buy a newspaper and therefore hadn't anticipated his greeting. The light changed and, as I stepped into the crosswalk, I smiled back.

The smile still hasn't left my face. And so, even though he doesn't know it, my day is already a bit brighter than it started off.

"Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver."
-Barbara De Angelis

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A New Year and A New Beginning

I rang in 2009 standing in the middle of Times Square. This year I spent my New Year's Eve celebrating with friends on the Lower East Side. As we watched the ball drop from a nice warm living room I recalled our experience freezing for hours along with millions of people and was struck by how long ago that seemed and how little I could joyfully recall in between.

2009 was a pretty blah year for me. It could have been much worse - I was lucky enough to be able to land in NYC with friends and find a job - but it could also have been much better - a summer full of rain and little adventuring, too much time spent catching up financially, saying goodbye to too many people, etc.

I don't believe in New Year's resolutions, but this is the year I'm letting go of a lot of things. I'm expecting a lot out of 2010 and, for that to happen, a lot of small changes must first take place.

So while I'm not setting "resolutions" I am making some declarations:

I am going to fully experience 2010 by
* taking on more adventure and risks
* learning as much as I am allowed
* laughing more and crying less
* being more grateful for what I have and less focused on things I think I don't have
* filling my life with more love and wasting less time worrying about the people who don't love me for who I am

“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.”

Goodbye 2009. I'm stepping forward.