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.

Soo...in 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.

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