Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Nolo for new New Yorkers

What no one told me was that moving to New York came with traffic tickets one day and parking tickets on your dashboard the next. Which also meant showing up in court a few days later, standing in front of a judge and having to answer the question: "How do you plead?"

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Dr. Shepherd

3.05 am on a Tuesday morning. 
Still struggling to fall asleep. Highly stressed.
New hives breakout.
Increased palpitations.
And then toothache. 
Really rough patch.
Great Physician, SOS.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Town Crier, City Rambler

Never shop on an empty stomach. And this has nothing to do with clothes.

I went after work today to check out some furniture stores. I'm furniture shopping for my first "bachelor" pad, my very own apartment! I hear it's (supposed to be) exciting, but I fear it would be more overwhelming for me. These are not the things that excite me. Coming up with ideas for matching sets and pieces for a bedroom, living room, kitchen, bathroom ... *GAG*
Honestly, if I could afford to, I would simply move in a heartbeat into an already furnished spot. Stress. Hives. Remember.

While still in the season of starting all over in a new place and space, I thought I'd challenge myself every (other) week. This first one will be budget related: no eating out throughout the week. I've stocked up on groceries (even that needs checking. Living round the block from WalMart & Publix back in GA has left me comfortably spoiled and whimsical in this regard). I'll be cooking my lunch and dinner throughout this week, nevertheless, I'm not one to pass up on invites to lunch/dinner as long as it's "on the house" :) And that brings me back to the first line of this post. I never knew there were so many Dunkin' Donut shops between work and home until today. I was so famished and tired from furniture shopping, I almost caved at the sight of the first Subway I spotted on Route 9. It's barely day 2 of 7.

Ah! Again, since we brought up the topic of Route 9, (unplanned enjambment), I won't conclude this post without letting off some steam about the said American highway. For the last 14 days, my daily commute has been the most infuriating part of my day. Why? Because within an otherwise short span of 6.6 miles, I encounter 29 traffic lights on this tiny stretch of road. 29! Even if I hadn't just moved from the blessed Interstates 75/85 (after rush hour of course), it's torturous for anyone below 70 years of age to have to drive at 40 mph. And I'm not even 30 yet. I say probably too many seniors and retirees in the area, which is fine, but having to share the road at 8.30am, at that "speed" is hardly productive.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Cities with Peaches and a medium Apple

First weekend as a New Yorker (not to be mistaken for first time in New York, which was about a year ago). This time, I filed a permanent change of address, ground shipped all of my American life in 5 labeled UPS boxes (dropped one off at Goodwill) and flew Delta with 112lb spread over two suitcases, a tote, and a garment bag, on a one-way ticket to Newburgh. This time, I'm neither looking nor moving back after seven months in the Hudson Valley like I did last Christmas.
This time, I am officially a New Yorker, who is not willing to change my mobile number or my driver's license just yet. I'm still loyal to the Peach.

I accepted a job that was not my dream job. It took me a while but I eventually came to terms with it, stopped sending out job applications, and turned down pending offers. I changed my perspective, quit complaining and came up with a game plan. Last year, I interned at this same company at a time when they had undergone a major overhaul. It was a divestiture that left a tad too many employees bitter. Interns of course were not affected but some of my buddies were hit. They were confused, angry, and rightfully so. The emotions would creep into our social gatherings at times and leave  a depressing and somewhat complicated atmosphere. Before my time was up, some of my coworkers who were much older in age and had spent lifetimes at the company turned into counselors and offered me their nostalgia-laced career advice. After seven interesting months, I left the chaos behind and went back to finish up with school. And then the company made me a full time offer.

I returned five days ago, and for the life of me, could not decipher what I was feeling. I decided to live it out and evaluate my emotions at the week's end. Certainly, this time the first time excitement and nervousness were largely missing. There was blankness, a bit of impatience, and I realized I was looking out for hints of validation. I found traces of negativity in peoples eyes, and some of their questions and reactions made me second guess and question myself. And then I decided:

I am here to create and grab opportunities and make the best of my time here. I know where I started and I count my blessings for where I am right now. I am not going to be side tracked by frenemies and irrelevant opinions. Save them for your kids. This is my time. I am here to take my chances, my shot at life - my life, and I do not care who validates me or what the next person thinks about my career choices. If I made such a terrible choice in your opinion, why the hell are you still here, working for the same company? My career is not about anyone else but me. Me. And so, I don't care what you think.

It's been a whirlwind of a week, with my apartment move-in date not due till another month. I've had to live out of my suitcases in my trunk and sleep on the couch in SV and EY's living room. It's a mini jungle living with those two dudes, and then both their girlfriends technically moved in. Too much going on but hey, a roof, bed and bath would do for now, even though it's not free. I'm definitely looking forward to some me time as soon as I settle in my own place, furnish the new apartment and get my second car.

Photo Credit: Rolling Out

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Short Stories and Small Talk

Looking for a word to describe how I feel now that I am finally done with my graduate program. Great does not even cut it!

So small story:

I was walking to the parking deck after work today and a ton of things danced around in my mind. Earlier this week, while anticipating the my final exam, I had a series of flashbacks and highlights of this year, and through the entire eighteen months of my program. A not-so-tasteful experience I had in February played back, as though to remind me that not all the highlights were rosy. I cringed but commended myself for showing strength even when it might have been easier to crash. But strong is normal, ask Chimamanda. I took a stand then and made up my mind that I would never look back.

Flash forward to this afternoon, when this same mental picture made its way to the front of my memory's museum (borrowed from Kanye). And again, I felt anger all over again, and got defensive. My walls were already back up, fortified. The traffic lights changed, and I crossed Peachtree Center @ Andrew Young Blvd, with my molten thoughts solidifying, "I am not going to care about anyone that does not care about me ..."

"Did you have a good day today?"
Some backpack guy in a grey shirt, a green helmet was riding his bike slowly beside me.
"I was asking if you had a good day today."
That was random, but a thoughtful gesture regardless.
"Yes, I did. Thanks for asking. How about you? LOOK OUT!"
The cyclist was talking to me and was about to ride into a building. He went on to tell me about his day and wished me a safe drive home. And with that he was on his way and out of sight in minutes.

I walked up to my car and tried to pick my thoughts up from where I left off, but that didn't work.  Instead what dropped in my mind was, "A little more faith."
And I was smiling.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Selfie. Solo. Soliloquoy.

I looked at my prayer notes from the last month of 2014 into 2015, which was an unsent message in my email. Ironic. I had definitely sent it out even though it had no recipient's email and still sat in my Drafts folder. There were only four things on that list. And by the end of the 2015's 1st quarter, they were all resolved.

While driving home in the thunderstorm late yesterday, (yesterday in itself was a mini-rollercoaster), I switched off my radio, to give silence some airtime. Somewhere in the quietness, I realized that I hadn't done enough dreaming. How could I possibly have challenged myself enough if I was already "done" praying or wanting more by April?

I'm nearing a comfort zone minefield, and I'm glad I caught it. I am going back to the drawing board, and gathering momentum for the next hurdle. I am not settling for an average life.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

... And The Pursuit of Open Happyness

We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of 

Tons of great things happening around me. Off the top of my head, my parents and siblings are well, my friends are in a happy place, and I am in an extra special place. My Jolaade landed an internship at a reputable company. My college friends the Owokade's are spanking new parents of an adorable baby girl. My very own "tribesmen," Yetunde and Yemi are getting married in a couple months. My girl Tayo O. landed a job and also found love! Deola K. landed a new job as well, and I am positive Biola J.O. is next in line. Tolu O. got his startup up and running and is well on his way to success.

And happening to me: I started a new job last week, and if I gave you half the details of the entire process, you’d agree with me that it really is a miracle. But I’ll skip the details today. Remind me in person J

Yesterday, I got honored at school for being the Outstanding Graduate Student in the department of Computer Information Systems. It was an award from William W. Cotterman, an accomplished scholar and patron saint of Information Systems at Georgia State University, who at some point was appointed by the then US president Jimmy Carter to a Committee on White House Information Systems within the Executive Office of the President. Wow!
I was and still am super thrilled, proud, and grateful. It’s such a big deal for me. I have decided to pay this act of kindness forward in the near future.

& Liberty
Would this be celebrating the fact that there is New York in my future or that I am a Lady Liberty of some sort?

An application I had turned in and waited on forever finally got approved. It was the best news I had received in a long time. I was visibly trembling when I got it. I would not let go of Yemi, after which I proceeded to hug Yetunde, who I squeezed so tightly that we nearly lost balance. Then I knelt down, jumped on the sofa and pretty much cartwheeled around the living room while screaming the whole time. Apt it happened on Good Friday too! God hears prayers.

& the pursuit of (open) happiness
And speaking of happiness, in addition to all the great events earlier mentioned, today makes it a week into my spanking new job and I have already learnt a lesson the hard way about brands. Yikes! Not really hard, but things could have got really bad, depending on who saw me. My offense? I innocently took my favorite potato crisps to work and right in the middle of the bag, I was called out for eating a major competitor (actually, archenemy)’s product on the premises. I hardly eat crisps but this one is my Kryptonite: it's kettle cooked, jalapeno flavored and to top it all, has my name on it. 
Sigh! I just want MY chips the way the “enemy” makes it. Why can’t we all just play nice? :’(

In other news, It's Tax Day, America! W00t! Still waiting on the IRS for my tax refund, however.