I have been very silent on the blog lately. Mostly that is a mixture of life changes and my computer’s decision to die. Two of my roommates are moving out, and it has caused a lot of stress and anxiety for me. If you know anything about moving in NYC, you know how awesome it is to love where you live and who you live with. I had both those things, and it will be hard to say goodbye to one of them (the roommates.) It has also forced me to take a hard look at where I am in my life. I have found that I am actually beginning to accept who and where I am in my life.
Growing up, I always thought I would graduate high school, go to college, get a 9-5 job, meet friends, get a boyfriend/finance/husband, and live the life that so much of society (and your parents) tells you is “normal.” Then I got to college, fell in love with art history and suddenly, I wasn’t going to be a doctor or financially successful. I hit some rough spots, but when I went to grad school, I really thought that I would graduate and get a decent, high anxiety, low paid 40-60 hour a week art world job. That just isn’t what happened. People say that we’re in a recession so everyone is having a hard time finding work, but that’s a difficult thing to accept when everyone you graduate with gets full-time employment and you don’t. What’s wrong with me? For the first time in my life, I really questioned my intelligence and abilities, especially when I was passed over for a position that I truly believed I would get. I’ve never had great self-esteem or confidence, but I have always thought that I was smart, capable, and a hard worker. Wasn’t that supposed to be what mattered? Apparently not. It didn’t help that interviews terrified me to the point where I was either visibly shaking and giving one-word answers or rambling on with my foot in my mouth.
My second year in New York (after graduating grad school), I lived with people I didn’t know, was paralyzed by the job search process, and spent almost all of my time alone. My “best friends” in the city were the guys who worked at the Starbucks at 85th and Lex. Then I found an internship at a non-profit gallery with amazing artists, an apartment with people I liked, and a babysitting job that helped me to live. Slowly I built relationships with people and found a place for myself for myself in the city. I found a part-time job as admin for a kids’ arts education company, and even though money is still so tight that I’m constantly worrying about how I can get more work, I am happy with my life. I have found a modicum of peace. And now, finally, I am coming to terms with the thought that 9-5 work might not be in my immediate future and that that’s okay. It’s still hard to explain to people what I do (especially family) because they want me to be successful. Believe me, I do too, and I don’t know if freelancing and contractor work is ever going to make me comfortable. But maybe it’s enough for me to be happy right now. Maybe I need to just focus on that. And finally get that job shaking my ass while pouring beer at a bar…
So now that I feel enlightened about my state of being, I thought I should review my first post with goals for the year and see where I stand. **Spoiler alert: I’m not doing too well in that department.**
1) Cook one new recipe a week and try to make them healthy (I’ve always wanted to know how to cook – yeah…not so much. – I started out really well, but the past few weeks I’ve either been eating crap or been too stressed to eat. This should change (especially with bathing suit season coming.)
2) LOVE MYSELF (easier said than done) – As I indicated earlier in this post, I’m actually getting somewhere one this front!
3) Actually go to the gym (I’m going to aim for 2-3 times a week.) Running helps the anxiety. – Nope. Still a goal though. One of my new roommates is a personal trainer so maybe that will help.
4) Take yoga classes. I’ll aim for 1 per week (again, anxiety) – this will be difficult because I don’t like to do group things by myself. – Again, no, but I’m going to stay positive.
5) Go to a real concert (I’ve never been) – Not yet.
6) Learn to knit (I’ve always wanted to) – Nope. I want to though. I need to make some scarves.
7) Buy some fancy (and matching) underwear – Ha! Not yet.
8) Date – I have not been on a real date in over a year. Dating terrifies me. Most of the time, I’m happy with my own space and being alone, but at the same time, I’m know that I avoid the whole dating scene because I don’t like it. This needs to change. I need to get out there again. – I have been on okcupid for about 2 months and have yet to go on a date. I am making as little effort as possible while still claiming to make an effort. This needs to change. I need to put myself out there, really out there.
9) Do some fun-colored chunky highlights in my hair (even temporary) – this could be difficult because I started a new job recently – Still on my to do list although I should probably check with my boss first.
10) Take one risk a month (keep track!) – I was doing really well with this. Still am for the most part. Last night, I went with a friend to Brooklyn for an offbeat music party where we made a crazy music video. That’s about as risky as I get. If you’re interested, you can check it out on the MIMABrooklyn YouTube page.
11) Read (try for one book a week) – I’ll use Good Reads to keep track (maybe try for some classics…maybe not) – Finally something that I have been doing! I’ve actually read real books (as well as massive amounts of fanfic, articles, and blogs.) I’m at 13 for the year so far! My mom told me last weekend that she doesn’t know where I find the time.
11) Draw. It relaxes and centers me so I should put some time into it. – Have not done enough of this.
12) Actually work on my social anxiety exercises. Part of this is exercising and yoga, but I also need to do the reaffirmations and mediation. – I’ve tried to do the reaffirmations but haven’t made much of an attempt with the meditation.
13) Do some photoshop work. I always enjoy it when I do it, so I should make some banners and harrass fanfic authors with them… – Still exploring photoshop. Of course now that I have a mac, my copy of photoshop won’t work. Need to find a way to work around that.
14) Practice my french. I used to be able to speak it and even studied abroad, so I should get back to that point. – This I really need to do!
So that’s where I am. I’m slowly learning to accept myself and my life. There are still things that need to change. I have a dream of financial independence and some day not scrambling to cover my rent, but I’m trying to focus on the positives. I am a lucky person. And that’s all that I can ask for at this moment.