Monday, July 14, 2014

Why would anyone want to live in New York City anyway?

Before leaving Virginia, there was a little goodbye party for me.  A few friends and acquaintances from the ward came by the house to chat one last time.  One of the girls brought up a conversation she had recently with her friends where they all agreed how awful it sounds to live in New York City.  She listed off a slew of reasons why New York City sounded like a hectic, crowded mess.  Then she paused and said, "We asked ourselves why anyone would want to live there.  So I figured I would ask you...since you're going."  haha Oh goody.

I see both sides of the story.  18 year-old me really hated New York.  I saw what this girl in my ward saw.  It was hot, humid, dirty, crowded, etc.  But there's something exciting about it to me now.  I love that it is such a melting pot, and you can overhear several languages in the duration of a day.  I love stumbling upon a musician in a subway stop or central park.  I love the delicious, hole-in-the-wall restaurants and cafes that are not a part of a chain...and only exist in that particular city.  I love riding the subway.  How bizarre is that?  I love being able to sit down next to a stranger during my travels.  I love that on the subway, I can read a book or people watch whereas, in a car it's more of sitting in traffic and worrying about a fellow driver crashing into me in inclement weather.  I love the broadways, the fashion, and the fast pace.  The history, monuments and museums.  I love that there's not a cookie cutter of who belongs there.  From the fancy gents in the Financial District to the "suffering for their art" musicians and artists.  You don't have to fit any certain mold, which I appreciate.

While I spent the majority of the summer being a stress case about living in New York, I get more and more excited every day.  But I still have my concerns.  Let me welcome you into a combo of practical and irrations fears I have of living in NYC:
  • New York is an expensive little land.  Going into mass amounts of debt stresses me a fair bit.  On this occasion and many others, I have wished that I was friends with Oprah.  Surely she'd give me an opportunity to work for some money for school right? haha Embarrassing little train of thought.
  • I'm a bit afraid that in my field work assignments, that I'll run into situations that will be way over my head.  I have always loved when people ask me for advice and stuff, but I'm sure there are some crazy circumstances that would have me stumped and probably red faced because I don't relate.  That will be fun and I will probably blog about it.  Stay tuned. haha
  • I feel like my dating opportunities are going to be a whole new world.  One of my big fears here, is my chances of being Michael Scoffielded (having a huge crush on a gentleman who actually likes men) go way up.  I haven't had to deal with that type of heart break yet but...I feel like this is where it would happen to me. haha
I'm going to be fine and I'm actually super stoked.  But I figured I would record some of these random fears of mine to look back on when I'm actually there and experiencing everything first hand.  For one of my next posts, I can update you on dating stories.  Because...if you've been reading this blog for very long, I have some doozies to add to the list.  Love from Colorado,


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Scattered thoughts and deeds of the day.

Thoughts and deeds of the day:

  • I miss Joseph Johannes.  He's a brilliant man from Ethiopic that we worked with on my mission. He was this adorable guy that felt like the Ethiopian/Italian version of a dad or grandpa. For some reason the memory of this odd snack he used to make us when we were at his house came to mind.  Saltine crackers with little slices of banana.  He would always get a big grin on his face and (re)explain that it's delicious because of the salty and sweet combination.  I love that man.  And I love that snack because it reminds me of him.
  • I painted my nails today.  I never paint my nails.  And wouldn't you know that I smeared them.  It was worth a shot and they were cute for a I'm going to go ahead and say it was worth it. haha
  • My brother-in-law gave me a jersey of France's lacrosse team.  He gave it to me because it was too small for him, and while it's too big for me, I don't mind.  It's a wonderful pajama shirt that has "France" written on it.  How silly that sporting anything with that country's name makes me happy.
  • I've been listening to "Boom Clap" by Charli a fair bit.  I don't know what it is about that song.  Perhaps because it's peppy and care free.  Or maybe because I first heard it in the trailer to a hilarious yet effective sob-fest of a film "A Fault In Our Stars".  Unknown.  But sometimes my music doesn't have to be deep or ground breaking.  
  • I sure am white.  Shouldn't I be darker than this in the middle of the summer?  
  • A trip to the grocery store had me coming home a proud owner of Biotin.  Does it really make hair grow faster and healthy?  Time will tell.  But the prospect of trying something new (even if it's a silly vitamin for my hair) is something that I'm nerdily looking forward to tracking.
  • I watched a wee bit of "So You Think You Can Dance" tonight.  At times I find it disturbing how incredibly flexible not only the women, but the men are on that show.  I remember being in Junior High and being determined to do the splits.  I gave myself like a month deadline, stretched after school and was so excited when I got close. haha Perhaps some day I'll recommit to that hilarious goal.  But maybe I should babystep my way learning how to paint my nails like an adult. haha
  • Between a great conversation with my boss at the Italian restaurant where I work and some really cool customers, I had a surge of excitement for this fall in NYC.  My life plans came up in conversation and it was fun to watch other people light up with excitement.  I'm grateful that my life has been exciting (in my opinion) and will continue to be exciting (again, in my opinion haha) with some upcoming adventures on the horizon.  I hope I always see my life as something exciting, something to smile about and be proud of.
Not a bad day.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Parable of the Life Vests

Sometimes my life makes more sense to me when I break things down and look at it from different perspectives.  Hence why you'll see random Mallory-made parables on here every now and then.  I don't know when it all started but they help me.  I figured I would share them in case they do anything for you.  Today's comes with some some nice 'n cheesy google images.  Be excited. :)

I noticed a pattern in my life that kind of bothered me.  It seemed I've gone through phases where my relationship with God isn't as consistent as I would like it to be.  And for some reason, it's not until it feels like everything comes crashing down that I realize how desperately I need to get on my knees and have a deep, meaningful, heart-to-heart with the big guy.  I've been thinking a lot about why that's been something that I've done (and I'm assuming other people do it too, perhaps on varying levels).  Here's what I've come up with.

I wonder if we view our relationship with God (at times) as similar to the one we have with a life vest on an airplane.
You know, you get on the flight and everything's fine.  You watch you movie, eat your free pretzels, and think that life is good.  No one pays their life vest any mind until lights are flashing, people are screaming and your in the middle of a panic attack because everything's going down--literally. THEN everyone frantically grasps for their life vests because it is literally the only thing that can save them.  

However, I think the way it ought to be is if we had a relationship with God, like the one we have with a life vest while river rafting.

Regardless of whether the waters are calm or rough, you keep your life vest on.  In this past time, wearing a life vest is viewed as having value all the time.  It doesn't matter if you get to a calm part, people aren't taking their life vests on and off.  You're more aware of your reliance on them.  They're strapped on every moment you're on the water.

I just want to be the type of person that has a wonderful relationship with God, because I put honest, sincere effort into our relationship whether the waters in my life are calm or rough.  I don't need to ignore the value in relying on Him until I'm in a tough spot.  But rather, I need to continually work to see the value of consistent, sincere prayer and reflection daily.  It will keep me afloat happy as those people in the cheesy picture above. :)  That's all.


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Moving, working with Italians, discovering a happy place

The Elders showed up at my house and challenged me to write in my journal.  I feel like blogging is a compromise.  I'm behind, as usual, and there is much to update. case you didn't know, I moved out of Virginia.  It was time.  I had worked for an Endocrinologist out there for a year and some change,  met some friends that are so dear to me, got to live 15 minutes away from our nation's capital, and had an incredible aunt and uncle close by.  It was a lot of great things and a very effective learning experience for me.  I'm glad that I went and am glad that I was able to recognize when it was time to go.

For the last couple of months I've been living with my sister Kim, her husband and their two children.  Of the five kids in our family, I feel like they've lived away from the rest of the family the most.  It's been so nice to spend time with my nephews, work out with my sister and enjoy some family time.  They are so nice to let me stay and have been such a breath of fresh air.  It's been great for me to regroup.

I'm working two jobs right now.  During the day I work for an Orthodontist in my sisters ward.  I am their receptionist...until they hire someone else.  haha Essentially I was a quick fix until someone more permanent could be found.  I'm okay with that though.  He pays me well, is a great boss, and it turns out employment is a pretty satisfying thing...among others.

My second job is at a mom and pop Italian restaurant/cafe.  The owner is from Sicily.  Kim and I went one day to get pastries and after speaking with him in Italian for a bit, he offered me a job.  It was awesome.  I've been able to get some waitressing experience, which has been fun.  And not only the owner, but his niece and nephew (who work in the kitchen) are also Italian.  So I've been able to practice my mission language.  It's pretty absurd how happy it makes me to speak it.

Before leaving Virginia, I had received a few acceptance letters from different grad schools.  If you don't know me, I really struggle making decisions.  It's a problem.  Simple things like:  what kind of ice cream should I get, which movie do I want to see, what should I wear today.  It's awkward.  I always manage just fine, but I'm just indecisive sometimes.  So alas, trying to decide which university I want to go into mass amounts of debt with, was nearly making me breathe into a paper bag.  After a lot of thought and...very effectively putting off the decision, I finally buckled down and wrote an acceptance letter to NYU.  It felt right and the more time passes, the more I continue to feel good about it.

Now the idea of moving to New York.  I have such a funny history with that city.  The first time I went, I was 18 years old and was on a church history tour with a bunch of kids from my high school.  I hated it.  It was June, hot, muggy and I didn't get what the big deal was about the city.  But after living in France and Italy, city life has grown on me.  Certain phases in Virginia were a struggle for me.  I made some poor dating decisions, was stressed about family stuff, and wasn't obsessed with where I was living.  When I had a rough week at work, was missing dear friends, etc I would buy a $40 round trip bus ticket to New York.  Sometimes it was just a day trip, other times I would sleep over at my friend Jana's house.  We'd go see "Once", wander through Central Park, grab a bite at Shake Shack, etc.  After one particular week, I was on the bus, trying to clear my head and I decided, "Today in New York, I'm going to take pictures of things that make me happy."  I spent the day taking pics of a man in Little Italy dressed up as a cannoli, cool street grafiti, Central Park musicians, a funny bumper sticker that I saw on a telephone pole, etc.

There was a pattern that I hadn't noticed.  My ol' friend "hindsight" is good at helping me see crap that like.  I came to realize that New York was my happy place.  When things felt like a mess, I went to my happy place.  Who knew that a city that I thought was yucky and dirty at the age of 18 would one day become my escape?  I'm certain that if it weren't for these situations that lead me to New York, there's absolutely no way I would have discovered that I love it or that I would have applied to any schools there.  It's funny how life works out huh?  The situations that were stressing me out or hurting my heart at the time, lead me to a place where I felt at home, happy, and like I could breathe.  It was wonderful. One day I thought, "Mallory, why don't you live in your happy place?".  So that's exactly what I intend to do.