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I find stereotypes really interesting.  Not saying I agree with them – or even disagree with them: I just find them interesting.  For instance, people say New York is dirty and crazy and the people are rude and crazy. Sometimes that’s absolutely right.  But tens of thousands of people a day visit the city.   Quests, adventure, I ❤ NY everywhere. Seems counterintuitive for a dirty, rude city for people to want to visit.   I went to NYC’s Fleet Week this past weekend.  It’s in those moments of walking around my city, watching people connect and show appreciation for the military and whatnot that it makes me so proud to be from there.   

The city changes for events such as Fleet Week. When a NY team wins the World Series or Stanley Cup or whatever sport you’re into. You get the idea. I watched people in cabs flag down Sailors crossing the street to give them money to buy a drink.  Service members getting VIP treatment to observation decks of the Empire State Building and the Freedom Tower. Free meals and beer and people genuinely appreciative of other people.  It’s an unforgettable experience. 

I also checked off another Broadway show while I was home. It may be hard to believe, but until this weekend, I had never seen The Lion King on the big stage! I’ve been hesitant to see it. With it being my favorite movie, I had high expectations and I didn’t want to be disappointed! Well. I was not. The costumes and puppet work was phenomenal.  Nothing I imagined it would be and I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I was enthralled. I wish I had a thousand pairs of eyes to see everything. One to see again, methinks!

Hakuna Matata!

NY State of Mind

So I’m officially a New York State resident again. It’s kind of funny. I’ve always associated myself with being from NY and it will always be home. But this is the first time in my adult life that I’m actually living in NY.  I went to college in Florida when I was still 17 and haven’t been back other than visits since. Go figure! Granted,  I live in upstate NY now,  but it still feels more home than my previous digs have.  There’s just something about being close to mountains and having seasons and just the charm that is the greatest state that I can’t explain with words alone.  It’s that feeling of truly being somewhere you love.  You don’t need to DO anything to have that vibe. It’s sheer contentment sitting on your stoop or driving to nowhere and reveling in the beauty and magnificence of where you are. The feels are just there.  It’s simple and wonderful tied up in a bow and BAM! Home. 

I went home home (yes,  Brooklyn) for Easter weekend. It was nice. I didn’t tell all that many people I was returning. It was pretty sad to go home and not have the Ice puppy there.  Empty. 😦  There’s no words that can make that go away. Maybe time helps. I don’t know yet.   The other day was the anniversary of my good friend who took his life. I’ve written about him before (re: Sandman) and I guess it is a true testament to time since it was the first year that I didn’t completely lose it thinking about everything.  I still miss him. I still wish he was with us and nothing will change that he wasn’t here for long enough.   But I think I’m finally accepting things and coming to peace with it. It’s a strange feeling. Part of me thinks that’s a betrayal of him – that somehow that makes me miss him less or not care. But the other part recognizes you can’t dwell on the what ifs or should haves. What’s done is done.  There’s still an empty void that will probably never be filled.

But back from that tangent, home was otherwise nice. Had some meals at my favorite restaurants with family,  got breakfast – I would call it brunch but apparently if you meet before 10AM the absolute earliest,  you’re out of your mind and it’s definitely breakfast – with some high school friends (we’ve known each other for over a decade!!! How crazy is that?!??!!), and, of course,  an amazing dinner for Easter at my aunt and uncle’s – with more family! Om nom. So much food and goodness!  Anyway. Life is good. 

Hakuna Matata!

It’s Raining

When it rains, it pours. I had my second chance yesterday and it went well for all those of you who were sitting by in suspense from my last post. So yay! Which now just means I’m moving again! Yup. I think this is the 6th real move I’ve had since I started this blog! :O. Might’ve had more. Hmm. I move a lot. And it never fails that when I do, the weather wants to welcome me with some insane amount of awful storminess. 

When I first moved to Florida: hurricane! Texas: hurricane/tornados! Rhode Island – granted that was only supposed to be for 3 months, but ended up being closer to 9: blizzard!  California: RAIN. OK, I know rain isn’t a huge deal. But it was San Diego. It doesn’t rain there! But it did when I showed up! Hawaii: typhoon warnings. South Carolina: hurricane! So in my journey to New York, why wouldn’t it have a massive downpour the entire drive with threats of hail and other craziness! 

Rain isn’t terrible though. Not always. Thirteen years ago (pretty sure to the day today, actually), my brother and dad were upstate hiking and a dog ran into the car they had just run into (it was their car, not some random stranger’s) because it started raining.   There was only one other car in the lot and as soon as the dog got in their car, those people drove away. And from this, we had a dog. Ice puppy! He was only 3 or 4 months old at the time.  And he was a non barking dog! So naturally when my dad and brother got home, they woke me up to tell me the epic news. 

I had begged to have a dog for forever. We lived across the street from a pet store and every day on the way home from school, we’d have to stop and look at the dogs that were in the window. There was a golden retriever (I decided his name was Rex) who I HAD to have. But now we had this brindle puppy. Oh yeah. And Mom wasn’t allowed to know! :O. We lived in an apartment. In hindsight, not a whole lot of room for a dog. But I wasn’t thinking about that. 
We hid Ice in my brothers room for almost 3 days. When my mom came home from work one day, she demanded to know if there was a dog in the house. Whoops. So she goes to the room and of course Ice sees a new person and is excited and jumps up on her to greet her. She’s horrified. “He’s not even a cute dog!” She exclaimed in rage. His paws may have been a little wet and she was in her clothes from work still. And most people aren’t crazy about a 30 pound dog jumping on them.  She was irate. She wanted nothing to do with him. We simply had to get rid of him. 

About a week went by and it was clear Ice wasn’t going anywhere. My mom decided she would finally take him out for a walk. And of course on the last block before returning home, he sat down on the corner and refused to move. My mom was pulling him and trying to get him to move and of course,he was just smiling away, content as could be on the street corner. Mom was outraged. Refused to ever take him out again. But of course, Ice grew on her.  A few years later, my brother wanted to take Ice to Florida for the summer. Mom’s response: “You can’t take my dog!”  

Ice was part of the family. Sadly, he had to go to sleep the other day.  As we’ve been telling people, they’ve been amazing reminding us of all the good times we’ve had with Ice.  He had a great life – over 13 years of awesomeness! As my first dog, he was the best. Happy, protective when needed, and always ready to head outside, I hope the ultimate dog park is everything and more to keep him the smiling, best dog ever. 

Positivity

It’s been a rough month.  I’m pretty sure I can count on one hand the hours of daylight I saw in the previous two weeks. And in all of that, I ended up not succeeding on my first attempt on a task that’s rather vital for my job. I get another shot at it next week. So that really just means another week of killing it to ensure round 2 goes better. 
In all of this, naturally, I was pretty devastated. I’ve been working so hard,it’s frustrating to see those efforts seem to go to waste. They’re not. But in an instant when you learn you’ve failed at something – That’s the moment you think everything you’ve been doing is for naught. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?  I try to find the good in everything. A reason that maybe isn’t so obvious as to why certain events occurred the way they did.  It’s still pretty hard for me to accept this didn’t go my way. But I was reminded of something more important than anything else in all of this. 
I’ve mentioned this before. And I’ll say it again. I have the greatest people in my life. When I got to my phone the other night, I had a handful of texts and voice-mail messages from my people with their words of encouragement and support. It’s easy to blame other people for things that go wrong. But ultimately that gets you no where. Easier said than accepted of course. But my people all avoided any of that blame. Simply stated how I’ll get it next time and how I’m still awesome and all the feels.  The focus on the positive and what can be controlled.  That’s huge.  And makes all the difference in the world. 
I’ll end my sappiness here for the evening. But don’t forget the importance of being positive. It changes things. For the better. Hakuna Matata!

Decisions

“Forgiveness is a decision, not an emotion. Hopefully, though, our emotions follow.”

That’s pretty powerful. I think this is applicable to other nouns as well. Love is an emotion. We can’t control how we feel. But we can control our actions. If we decide to. It seems logical that hate too, is an emotion. But is it?  Or do we decide to hate because of how something or someone makes us feel?  Do we hate because we’re angry – another emotion. Or because we’re afraid? Hurt? Envious?  I’m not a psychologist by any means. I took Psych 101 my freshman year of college and an ethics class as an exchange student 2011. That’s about the level of education I really have on this topic.  I also remember my senior year of high school health class where my teacher professed there are only 3 emotions and everything else stems from them. Those were fear, anger, and love.

But aren’t these the very things that motivate us to make the decisions we make?  You don’t do something you don’t enjoy without a reason.  It makes someone you care about happy.  It pays bills.  Whatever. There’s some kind of reward to it that you can see.   At any rate. Isn’t it a good premise to abandon grudges? Use your energy on something you enjoy rather than stewing about something you hate? I’m not saying it’s easy.  But if we decide to move on and focus on the better…  isn’t that better for everyone?

My $0.02. Happy Sunday! Hakuna Matata!

Gratitude

I have to start off with a thank goodness for Google password save magic. I recently got a new phone and I installed good old WordPress this evening and as I was opening the app, I realized I have no idea what my password or user name is for this thing!  But Google saved the day! Haha. Anyway. 

Someone asked me not too long ago how many hours I work a week. I couldn’t help but laugh. Set hours is rather non-existent.  In a good week, I only spend 10-12 hours a day at work. Most weeks aren’t good. And let’s not forget those weekends and holidays that may or may not be observed. That’s not to say  I don’t enjoy some time off.  But I also spend a lot of time working.

Some days it’s difficult to remember why this is my chosen career and others I can’t picture life any other way.  It’s crazy to think it’s almost been five years since I officially started this chapter of my life.  What’s even more baffling is that it’s been three years since I was broken and couldn’t walk! But I ran two miles yesterday with no issues (ok, I’m aware that’s not all that impressive,but I’m good with it)!  

It’s easy to complain, but it’s good to remember all the awesomeness that comes with the job too. Like this awesome letter:

No, I’m not currently deployed. But letters like this are so appreciated at any time. They were awesome on deployment and was the highlight of my day yesterday.  If you’ve got kids (or even you!!!) who have sent things to the troops, know it’s not in vain! Things like this are so thoughtful and mean so much.  At any rate. I’m off to bed since I’m at work before the sun, but figured I’d drop a line! Love what you do!

Hakuna Matata (new phone needs to learn words. Oy! Just tried to autocorrect THREE times to things other than Hakuna Matata! :O )!!

Down With The Sickness

So I’m down with the sickness. 😦 It’s not fun. I took nyquil last night around 7PM and I’m pretty sure it kicked in at 6:30AM this morning. Don’t get me wrong,  I slept for 9 hours and 50 minutes last night (according to my fitbit. Ah such a great thing!!!), but yeah. I was dying at work this morning. I’m hoping the worst of it is over!

You gotta put the past behind you!  So says my favorite movie.  Which, yes, also came up at work today. You know you’re in a good place when you can have a legitimate ranking board of Disney movies at 6AM.  What more can you really want from life?  Except maybe to be still sleeping at 6AM. Details.

Anyway. Sleep is beckoning. Hopefully this cold will kick it tonight. But it was the end of the month. Go OCD! ‘Til February, fellow blog readers!

Hakuna Matata (yes, The Lion King was a unanimous #1)!