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!

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!

Thankfulness

Whelp.  It’s almost the end of November.  I’ve been writing this post in my head since the 1st.  But here we are.  Time freaking flies.  It’s amazing.  Here I am sitting on a plane on my way home for the holiday and no update to mention.  Yeah, I know.  I’m a terrible blogger.  2016 has been a pretty crazy year.  There are quite a few of my facebook friends who insist we don’t even acknowledge this year in the future.  But I have to admit, it’s been a pretty memorable one for me.  I’ve moved from Hawaii to San Diego to South Carolina.  I’ve explored Iceland and Denmark and Estonia and the outer skirts of Germany, and visited Russia and Sweden and Finland.  I’ve driven across the United States on an epic road trip and visited famous landmarks and national parks.  I’ve crossed the Pacific Ocean and I’ve gotten to visit friends and family across the country.  So can I really complain?  These are the things that matter.  I am so blessed to have the people I do in my life. Regardless of how they got there.  I’ve revisited our nation’s Capitol and returned to the greatest city in the world twice (yes, I’m referring to New York).  And I still have this weekend and Christmas to enjoy before the year is out.

I’ve been fortunate enough to join my dive family in Florida for an annual Thanksgiving celebration, not to mention surprise my family for my dad and uncle’s birthdays.  I’ve reunited with my college roommate and made new friends at my latest job.  Of course there has also been failure and total feeling of loss and despair.  But mostly joy.  At least the stuff I choose to dwell on.  And that’s what I think is the key.  Why focus on the bad?  There’s so much good.  Moving for the third time this year was a struggle. Leaving the people I grew to care for and accept was challenging.  Returning to academia was a lot harder than I imagined it would be.  But there have been a multitude of people who have helped me get where I am.  And I am more than grateful for their input.  From the 5:30AM wake up calls to wish me well on an exam or just to say hi, to the random texts and messages just that say people are thinking of me and are hoping I am well.  Those mean the world to me.  Even if I’m not the greatest at conveying that in the moment.

I’m thankful for more than I can ever write about in a blog post.  My family plays a huge part in that.  As crazy as they drive me at times, they are the best.  I don’t care who you are.  You don’t beat the genuineness and love that is experienced in my family.  I have the best friends.  We can not talk for months.  And when I pick up the phone in a moment of despair or boredom, they are there for me.  I’m a pretty crappy friend.  My job takes up a lot of my time.  And when I’m not working, I’m kind of burnt out.  And a loner.  Not in the creepy or bad way.  I just like me time.  So I screen my calls and texts and eventually, I will get back to you.  But aside from the fact that I’m usually asleep before 9PM and I talk to about 2 people on a regular basis (and yes, one of those humans is my mom), my people are still there for me in spite of that.  I don’t get invites to go to the opera 500 miles away.  But I get videos of my friends being awesome and killing it in their chosen profession.  And updates on so and so and what I’ve missed.  Like nothing has changed since I left New York.  And I’d like to think that as anti-social as I can be, my people do know that I would be there for them in a heartbeat if they truly needed me.  It’s funny how that works.  But I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Happy Thanksgiving, Blog World.  Always remember.  Even when things don’t seem to be going right, there’s always SOMETHING to be thankful for. Hakuna Matata!

Good Riddance New Year’s Resolutions

As the year closes out and my facebook news feed is plastered with reminiscings of  2015, everyone seems to also include their well wishes and hopes for 2016.  Which is all nice and wonderful, but my issue with this is that shouldn’t we be well wishing and thankful for what we have year round and not just for one or two weeks at the end/beginning of a new year?  The notion that a new year should mean we better ourselves isn’t a bad one, but why wait for the new year?  Fix the issues you have when you realize you have them!

There’s a quote I’ve always found amusing: “Don’t wait – procrastinate now!”  It’s the same concept even though it’s opposing what I’m encouraging if that makes sense.  Along the same lines, people always try to stay in touch around the holidays. As if Christmas and New Year are the only times we think of these people we care about. How absurd!  I admit, my lifestyle does pose some issues with how frequently I keep in contact with the people I love.  But I still attempt to talk to them year round. And by talk, I really mean text,  facebook stalk/message/post, or emails mostly. But just a simple text that says ‘hey’ usually gives a person those warm fuzzies that makes the extra seconds you took out of your day (and not just on a holiday) seem all worth it.

It’s been a good year. And of course I want the next year to be even better. But how much better would our lives be if we reflect on the awesomeness that is life and people and what we have on a regular basis?   Just sayin!

Hakuna Matata!

Lobsta

This weekend has proven to be an awesome one.  And it’s only Saturday night!  Yesterday after work, I met up with a group of friends for dinner and to see Frozen (again).  It was phenomenal.  They were friends I do not get to simply hang out with since we mostly are doing work, but last night was a time for celebration!  WE ARE DONE WITH CLASSES!!!  Some of them still have finals, but others, including myself, were completely done!  It was nice to hang out in a non studying session.  And of course Frozen was AWESOME!  Go see it if you haven’t.  It’s amazing!

Today I went diving in the Big Blue.  Although I didn’t get much sleep from the night before and we left at 4AM, I had an amazing time.  The sun was shining and it was 87 degrees according to my dive computer.  In December.  Wrong, but nice for the diving.  I tried out my early graduation present, a Go Pro, from my aunt and uncle and hoped to catch some lobster!  The first dive was unsuccessful on the lobster catching, but my buddy caught one and a fish, so good times.  And we saw eels!  The second dive was more productive.  My buddy and I worked together to get us two lobsters for the dive.  Om nom nom.

The lobsters were eaten for dinner this evening and I see popcorn in the near future.  I reviewed the footage from the GoPro and while it is clear and pretty awesome, I learned I need to angle the camera better to get the stuff I actually want to see.  Still awesome!  Thank you, family!!!  Tomorrow morning, I will be setting out early again, although not quite as bad as 4AM, to dive the springs – I don’t have to rinse my gear from the sea!!!!  My brother and his girlfriend are getting certified and it is their last day of check out dives!  I’m excited!  So it’s been an awesome weekend.  I don’t have  a much deeper message to this post other than I’m happy and life is good! 😀

Inseparable Insanity

Everyone has those friends who are inseparable from someone or something.  And everyone, in my experience, is guilty of being that person every now and then too.  We all have been at dinner and there’s the one person who is constantly on their phone.  I’ve been that person numerous times.  I’ve tried to cut back on it a lot, especially during meals.  But not everyone even realizes they’re being rude (at the very least, I know I’m being inconsiderate).  It’s irritating.  Yes, sometimes there’s that important message or call that you have to make, but when you’re skimming through facebook or playing a game while you’re waiting for food or whatever, it’s like…  “Uhm, hello???”  Like I said, we all can be guilty of it, but the more and more I try to resist being on my phone, the more I’ve been noticing other people are even worse than I was.  It’s crazy.

Then there are those people that can’t be seen without their significant other.  OK.  I get it when you first start dating someone and all you want to do is spend time with them.  But seriously?  Self control people!  Sometimes I don’t want to see you and your attached at the hip boyfriend, I want to just spend time with you!  Even if the boyfriend is my friend or whatever.  Because your girlfriend has to go to work doesn’t mean you can’t come.  But apparently it does.  One of my best friends has been dating someone for about two months.  In that period of time, I’ve seen him about five times.  All but one of those times was just him and myself.  Thank you!  See, that’s what I’m talking about!  His girlfriend is awesome and I enjoy hanging out with her too, but it’s so refreshing that they don’t HAVE to be with each other every second of the day.  I’ve spent time with just her too.  There was no never ending texting conversation in that time or constant chatter about the other person.  They have lives outside of each other even though they are together.  These people have it right!  Learn from this, fellow readers.

Even in my own relationships, I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be around my boyfriend 24/7.  Sometimes, yes – obviously I enjoy his company if we’re dating.  But I honestly don’t think there’s anyone I’d want to be around all the time without wanting to kill them after a while.  Absence is healthy.  I’m not saying you have to be alone, but a dose of time apart from your loved one is GOOD for your relationship!  Go hang out with those people you were always with before you met “the love of your life” who you commonly referred to as friends and people you couldn’t live without.  They miss just yoU!  I’m also not saying to never combine the groups, but balance people.  Balance!

It’s not just significant others either though.  Siblings and best friends can get like this too.  “I can’t go because my sister has a doctor’s appointment.”  That’s understandable if you already agreed to give your sister a ride to the doctor or whatever.  But when your sister is thirty and has a slight cold, I’m sorry, but how does this have any bearing on whether or not you can make an event?  In the three hours MAX to eat dinner with a group, she’s going to spontaneously combust without you there by her side?  “I don’t feel good” somehow translates to your “best” friend being unable to attend a trip that’s been planned for the past three months?  I know I’m jumping around here, but I can’t be the only who deals with these excuses!

Most of my fencing team from high school is still pretty close.  There’s about six of us that still communicate on a rather frequent basis.  And we like to do things together.  But lets face it.  Between work and family and school and you know, life, getting six people with completely different schedules together is insanity.  Especially last minute.  So if I want to do something with all of them, advance planning is a must.  But of course there’s that whole life thing that gets in the way.  Suzie’s grandfather showed up out of the blue for the week so she can’t come to the weekend we planned skiing that cost us $500 each and no refund available.  This is sad.  Unfortunate that she can’t come.  But then Maria can’t go either because she feels bad that Suzie can’t come.  I love them all and of course I want them all to come, but really?  Then there’s the ‘I’m in town for the weekend.’  Usually it’s a last minute thing and nothing was planned.  So I send out some kind of communication deal that’s all “I’m going to this place at this time and hope you can show up.”  Somehow that becomes an upheaval of but so and so can’t make it then and so and so has this after and this and that and the other thing.  I realize not everyone can make it work all the time, but not EVERYONE has to ALWAYS be there.  Yes it’s nice if they are, but again, life and all.  Will it really be that bad if you go with the rest of us?  Will you really have a better time being at home because whatever?  The names and specifics are obviously completely made up, but the principle and idea behind it is legit.

Anyhow, I think this rant has gotten the point across.  If you’re one of these people that I’m talking about here, be aware of it.  And change it.  At least make an attempt.  Your friends will appreciate it too! 🙂

Humans

I’ve been wondering a lot lately why we like the people we like.  Not just in terms of love, but platonic ones as well: the guy you met on the train one day or the person you’ve called your best friend since you were nine.  Why do we like the people we hang out with?  Are they that much more interesting than us?  Do they have something that much more to offer that we need their presence to get through life? I’m not really sure, I’ve just found that at times, I absolutely love being around people and other times, I want nothing to do with them.

I usually have to mentally prepare myself for being around people. When I wake up, I go to work and I know I’m going to have to have some type of interaction. Luckily, the humans I work with realize morning is not my cup of tea and let me do my thing. My roommates have all been pretty good about this too. My roommate from Italy loved the morning as much as I did and we developed our own routine of grunts and nods to get ready for the day. Life was good. By noon, I’m ready to deal with humans. But by the evening, I’m done, I need my Lauren time. Leave me alone. Of course there are exceptions, but not many.
But a lot of the people I know and have come to care about don’t seem to operate under these same conditions. Its difficult for me to comprehend sometimes. Do you seriously need that much company all the time? Or is it that the people you hang out with are that awesome? Granted, the beings I associate with are all pretty awesome, but I still don’t want to be around them 24/7. I love you, but why? Can someone please explain why it is we like other people? Chances are, they’ve all done something terrible- I think we all have our faults and it’s part of being human. But why do we feel that need to be there for each other? To want to be around certain people all the time (once again, I’m not just referring to romantic relationships in this)?
Just a little something to think about! Hakuna Matata!