Sunday, July 31, 2011

All Moved In

Whew!  In just a few days (with help from some college friends and my Mom) my room transformed from just a space into my space.  Its not complete yet but it is so nice to have my creature comforts!  I am so glad to have friends and family so dedicated to helping me out - this would have all been much more difficult without them and it surely wouldn't have turned out so nice.  I now struggle with the excitement of exploring the city versus staying inside and enjoying the quiet - the awesome part is that either option is only ever 30mins away!

My Mom just left this morning after coming to help me move in (and carting most of my belongings across NY state). I'd say she had a great NYC experience - crazy traffic on the way in, car got towed for parking too close to a hydrant, double-decker tour bus trip for 6 hours, grocery shopping, subway rides, a traffic jam, dinner in Chinatown, a beer at an Irish pub, a seaweed salad in a Japanese sushi restaurant, and a brief stroll into the M&M World building. Its funny but I already understand the expression "a New York minute" - you can get so much done in almost no time - but so much happens in the same short timespan. 

I've filled out all my HR paperwork and start my new job tomorrow!  Soon I'll be used to the daily subway commute with its delays, construction, transfers, and locals.  I can't wait to walk around and feel like I'm a part of the city but it's difficult to believe that I may one day take for granted the beauty and magnificence of my new hometown.  My thoughts and feelings seem to just be all over the place!  There is so much stimulus and everything in my world is new, exciting, foreign, and intimidating.  This is one of those short-lived transition periods where you gain perspective from time to reflect on the past and look ahead to the future - those times when you are in-between major commitments and feel like you've come up to breathe the air, see how far you've traveled, and change your course if you choose.  I welcome these times because I feel that in the rat race of today's society (especially under the pressures of friends, family, and advisors) these are rare opportunities for you to check yourself and your path through life.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Hold me Tight - Just Not THAT Tight

I haven't spent much more than two weeks at home with Mom, Dad, and Sister and now I find myself packing bags 4 days till launch.  Its one of those bittersweet realizations when you are actually going out on your own and have broken free of the parental death-grip. I put it in such affectionate terms because I believe that my parents worked so hard at protecting me and insulating me from external pitfalls that now I may not recognize some when I see them!  I know all their recommendations and advice undoubtedly came with my best interests in mind (or their ideas of my best interests). I am so fortunate to have parents that care(d) as much as mine but sometimes I wonder if it was too much!  I liken it to a toddler's feelings upon realization of what it means to have taken its first steps.  "Holy crap!  I can go wherever I want to go now!  This is wonderful!  I don't have to be led and carried around by -   *THUD*...... WAAAAAAHHHHHHHH..... Somebody come help me!" Okay so maybe a toddler doesn't have the reasoning or the foresight to fear the upcoming falls but go with it.

My closest friends have always told me that my parents have too much control over me and that its time for me to break away from it.  Well I have done it now - not an easy step - but it does feel liberating.  It was a surprisingly simple and short-lived process.  I just adopted the mindset that I no longer had interest in them 'controlling' me and made sure to remind them that I was taking their advice into consideration but that they shouldn't expect any sort of outcome or response because those are for me to decide from now on.  This is one of those reflection points in my life where nothing noticeable changed in my day-to-day actions but everything feels changed because I have a fresh attitude.  This topic may be a tough one to turn into something worth reading (unless you are me) but I suppose it could stand to offer some perspective.  Maybe you are that controlling parent (I did say I appreciated it, right?), maybe you are a controlling friend or spouse, maybe you are the one being controlled.  My words here are, in no way, to be used as a guideline or a solution; they might open your eyes, though.

I suppose a good take-home message is this: Be cognizant of your influence on others and the influences you accept for yourself.  Don't let them rule you or define you - just let them influence you in as much or as little as you agree with them.  Don't try to rule or define others, either - respect their individualism and ability to look out for themselves - offer advice, not ultimatums. Gosh sometimes I feel like the last few weeks have been so philosophical for me but I honestly feel like I am learning these life lessons for the first time!  I had been warned about them and had them explained to me (from my parents, of course) but now I feel as though I understand them!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Breakup, a Job, an Apartment, and Other Extreme Sports

Starting a blog has been a long put-off idea of mine and now I think its time.  I've changed a lot of things in my life recently and organizing my thoughts in a way that others could understand is like a form of therapy for me.

So let's rewind the tape to a snapshot of my life in early May 2011. I'm a soon-to-be graduate from the Biomedical Engineering masters program at Cornell University. My girlfriend of three years and change and I are planning on reuniting after two years of long distance via me moving to her city. The job prospects are far and few between but I have a tendency to be able to make ends meet in almost any situation - a fact about myself that I've recently learned not to take for granted because it sucks when things don't work out. Sounds like a good position to be in except I'm continually vetting my situation and have been for 2 months. There is a plethora of confounding details, not to be divulged, that shake my confidence in making the commitment and taking the leap. The need to make the 'right' decision consumes my thoughts, my logic becomes circular and confused, and I lose touch with myself.

The reality of the situation soon caught up with me and, fortunately, I had the sense to spare myself and get away from all of it. I broke up with my girlfriend and moved back home to Mom and Dad and the comforts/discomforts of home.  Before I had abandoned the plan and committed to not moving I had stumbled upon a job opportunity that nearly made my jaw drop. I knew that I had to apply to the position just on principle of being eligible and having discovered it. This twist of fate/chance event/divine intervention (belief pending) has turned out to be my saving grace.  I landed the job and now find myself one week away from moving to the Big City into an apartment that I signed the 12 month lease for only 3 days ago! I never figured I'd live in the city but I suppose this is the perfect age, mindset, condition, and attitude to go out and experience it. I have a housemate in a similar situation - new to the city and excited to experience it - and I am certain that we are going to have a blast exploring the city!

I have felt so many emotions over the past few months on the behalf of others that I welcome the opportunity to be on my own, focus on my self, do things my way, and live my life! I am sure I will think about what things would have been like had I followed the plan but I don't believe I will regret giving myself this experience. I have tried so hard in life not to disappoint others but I lost sight of being sure not to disappoint myself. In a week I start a great new adventure into exploring myself, the world, and all the opportunities in between. I realize the sacrifices I have taken in getting here and acknowledge that others are impacted by my actions but for now that focus takes a backseat. One day - maybe tomorrow, maybe 20 years from now - that may change, but not today. I smile, laugh, and relax more now than I have in a long time and I have fallen in love with being happy!