Monthly Archives: October 2014

Accountability

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Should I write? Should I draw? Should I finally buy those few things I needed or tackle those important errands that I keep procrastinating on? Should I just do nothing and watch a TV show in the comfort of my bed to give my feet a brake? I feel terribly disconnected, should I call a bunch of people?

Does this ever happen to you? You finally find yourself some free time without any interruptions nearby and you start stressing about how to use it. I don’t know about everyone else but I am extremely susceptible to that sensation since I still don’t know “loads” of people here and I happen to be an over-thinker and analyzer, always searching for a way to improve what is. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel satisfied, this constant urge to search is the juice that drives me to continue learning, experiencing incredible things and meeting wonderful people.

I’m writing this post right now because I want to create some form of accountability that I believe will help me get to where I want to be faster AND I don’t like breaking promises. Perhaps, you can borrow from my approach. So I have been in NYC for 2 months and I’ve made progress in huge strides. It has now been 22 days in my apartment in Bushwick and it’s time I establish myself:

Starting from now until next week (10/23-11/01) I will have:

  1. Started doing some form of cardio or strength exercise for at least 30 minutes 4-5 days a week
  2. Sought out events and interest-focused groups to attend in Bushwick (probably through Meet-up)
  3. Sought out and attended some exercise or dance class in the area
  4. Bought more towels, a window curtain, trashcans and recruited my visiting mom as a decorator
  5. Reached out to at least 2 different resources each day for getting work in my field
  6. Done some awesome things with my mom because she’s visiting and I’m SUPER EXCITED

Sheesh, that’s a long and ambitious list. I can handle it though. When it comes to list-making it’s better to keep it short or it will seem too overwhelming and you might not tackle it at all. In “Train Your Brain for Success”, Roger Seip states that one shouldn’t have more than six items on their daily “to-do” list. These are called “The Daily Big Six.” This is more effective than having a list of 20 tasks that may or may not be urgent or important. I’m obsessed with lists. I think it’s the only way I can stay focused and remember what I have to do with the constant distractions.

Do you have much use for lists? How about accountability?

Thanks for reading, now I have to catch up with some people back home.

Take care.

-Nicole

 

Attitude of Gratitude

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Wow, I had a gratifying couple days off and I’m so glad I spent them the way I did. Last week, I went to the American Museum of Natural History twice and had a blast both times, despite going by myself on the second visit. There I realized that “wonder” and “awe” are very therapuetic feelings to experience for me and anyone who loves to learn. The museum was bustling with families and tour groups and there I was-wandering and patiently reading the information by the exhibits, perfectly content all by myself. I had no idea there was a species of American lizard that exists only as a female.

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Either way, this hinted that I need to steer my energies more in the direction of “education-exploration-conservation.” Somehow I’m going to devise a way to incorporate these in my everyday life and work. I saw these three key words repeated over and over in the Museum and the NY Aquarium in Brighton Beach.

Another gem that I explored was Prospect Park in Brooklyn which doesn’t match Central Park in size but certainly does so in beauty. The park and all it’s trees were stunning and a pleasure to look at. It’s lovely for a Southern Californian like me to witness such drastic changes in the landscape as a result of the seasons. There we were, my new friend and I, surrounded by glistening lakes, streams and the warm hues coloring the trees’ leaves. Visit this place, it will be a great escape from the city and it’s grayness.

Another thing that I wanted to express gratitude for was finding myself in a place where I’m encouraged to be myself. The people and my current location is receiving me warmly, and I’m not even trying to fit in! This did not happen back in Santa Barbara and Buellton. I tried to change everything, my attitude, my approach, my actions…and NOTHING. Then I pick up and move and finally everything and everyone is “responding.” Environment is everything! It’s no joke that sometimes we just don’t fit in and you find yourself swimming upstream. C’mon, the life of a salmon sucks! Don’t keep trudging along if there’s no sign that things will change. I’m so glad I did this because all that my world is asking of me is to keep being who am and it’s a beautiful feeling.

Cheers to self-acceptance!

-Nicole

Adjustment

Inhale love, energy, joy and hope

Exhale exhaustion, negativity, anger, and frustration

Lately, I would find myself stopping and slowly exhaling. It is like a whole body exhalation. I think I was unconsciously doing this to let go of stress and find relief. I’m glad I took something away from taking Karen Palmer’s Kundalini Yoga class in Buellton, California. This last week I found myself increasingly tired and frustrated from menial day-to-day happenings. It seems that I am experiencing “super delayed onset muscle soreness” from the jump in activity starting from the first day of work. I was so surprised I wasn’t being phased by being on my feet all day for the first 2 weeks at the restaurant and then, all of a sudden, those two weeks of tension and strain culminated into me barely being able to walk without feeling soreness.

Despite the charm of living in New York City, there are many daily stressors that can contribute to throwing the average person “off the bandwagon.” Many of these are found on the daily commute to work when most people have to use public transportation and share lots of personal space. There are many people asking for money by performing, begging or announcing an uncomfortable sob story (in the  subway) that one will encounter on the daily. Running errands is a complete hassle because people here work a lot and tend to use their almost nonexistent free time for these. And since NYC is crowded and people don’t have to much privacy, you will see a lot of weird stuff and people wigging out or tripping out. This is either because they are on drugs or mentally unstable. The bombardment of outside stimulation and noise will either numb people’s sensitivity or stress them out. The good thing is that I am learning to passively observe (or laugh at) all the chaos instead of internalizing it. I think Cyndi Mikelson and Karen Palmer would be proud of me 🙂

In terms of my living situation I’m doing pretty well because I finally have the essentials in my new room. Now I have a new item on my important to-do list: 4) Get A Career Related Job Or Internship (Apart from my current job)

That’s all for now, till then-take care.

-Nicole

 

 

 

Hello Bushwick

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What a rush! I moved into my new apartment with my new housemates just last week on October 1st and it’s been great. Now I have a lot more to do in terms of homemaking and getting settled in. It’s going to take a while since I have a busy schedule during the week and moving heavier furniture  without a car requires lots of planning or money. In the meantime, I have to make-do with little more than an air mattress and most of my stuff on the floor.

Fortunately I was right about my new housemates being open to becoming close friends. We hit it off completely and happen to be from out of the state like myself. Just yesterday we helped each other move a bunch of kitchenware up five flights of stairs, cooked and then went for a night out in the town. I couldn’t be more grateful at the moment. I think all I really need to feel at home is a dresser, nightstand and a mattress with a bed frame.

I’m also thrilled to be so close to a vibrant art scene where murals line the streets and bars look like greenhouses. I just might become a Brooklynite and not want to leave the borough :P.

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