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So the past two nights I had two delicious dinners with two good friends.
Tuesday night, I went out with Ant (my friend since I was 11). We were doing a belated b-day celebration. So he took me to one of my fav NYC restaurants–Wallse.
I love Austrian cuisine, love quiet restaurants where you can linger over dessert and laugh over shared memories.
We both got the wiener schnitzel and he got the streudel while I opted for the Salzburg nockerl (it’s like an egg soufle pastry).
We told silly stories and laughed for 2 hours. Our waiter was so personable. It was like we were welcomed back to our favorite haunt but this was our first time there together.
Tonight I met Zach ( we’ve been friends 5 yrs) for dinner at Gyu-Kaku, a Japanese BBQ restaurant. You cook your own food at the table. We split the $80 meal which include, a yummy salad, miso soup, edamame, tuna tartare, japanese rice bowl, 4 cuts of steak, shrimp and mushrooms.
We talked and cooked for 2 hours in our booth. Then dessert was smores and green tea ice cream.
I had two lychee tini and Zach had 2 beers. Nicest of all, he offered to pay since I’m unemployed. We hadn’t seen each other since May so it was great to catch up in person.
I’ll definitely go for Japanese BBQ again too.
I got my haircut today and visited my old apartment building to say hi to my doormen. It was weird. I almost chickened out not wanting to walk down my old street when it wasn’t mine anymore. But I went and I was proud that I didn’t get all sentimental and cry.
I reminded myself I chose to leave. And it was the best decision under the circumstances.
Tomorrow I go to Verizon because my phone has been overheating again. I am on my third new phone in 6 months. Damn you Droid Incredible. You are neither incredible nor a smart phone.
You know at the park how people gather around the sea lions and cheer and clap, hoping they’ll perform?
Well I just wanted to take a moment to thank the people who were my cheering squad though my spine problems, surgery, and recovery.
To Mom–You took the bus to visit whenever I needed you, cleaned my apartment, fielded my crazy hysterically crying phone calls, helped pay for the surgery, and slept at the hospital with me. Then stayed for two weeks to take care of me. And came back to make a Thanksgiving feast for me and Brett.
To Brett–Who took every crazy email in stride and came with me to my spinal injections. Who hung out with me when all I could do was walk and found creative ways to deal with the no sitting rule. You made me feel like I had value when I was useless. You took care of my dog when I was in the hospital. You were my rock. Still are.
To Dad–You took your fair share of pain crazed calls and never stopped trying to find a solution. You supported me all the way. Thanks for being there in the recovery room.
To Dr. Bitan–You are a god to me. You rebuilt my spine and gave me my life back. Because of you I saw Austria last year and drove around the southwest U.S. on a roadtrip this summer. You gave me a second chance.
To Grandma H–You came and stayed with me for a few weeks while I recovered, walking all over the city with me at a snail’s pace. I loved our sleepovers where we watched scary movies and ate pizza. You came to the follow-up doctor visits with me and that meant so much to me.
To Stephen–You always found ways to let me work despite my spine problem. And you made me laugh on days when I never thought I could.
To Zach and Lil–you were my phone and email buddies. It helped to vent to you. Thanks for putting up with my outbursts.
To Kaylene–You were more than my physical therapist, you brought me back from surgery and became a good friend.
Thank you all for seeing me through those dark days. No matter where we go in life, I will always be grateful to you.
I’ve been doing so much thinking lately. And despite all the job turmoil and uncertainty about my future, I feel tremendously grounded. Why? I’ve got amazing pillars supporting my world.
My parents love me more than I can begin to understand. They are always there to comfort, to console, and to celebrate.
One of my oldest friends and I finally got together and smoothed things out tonight. I’ve had that connection since I was 11 years old. For many years, he was my rock. As often happens in life, we had a falling out. But tonight, we just talked and enjoyed each other’s company. We spent quality time together. And I realized all the hurt feelings, all the sadness–they were a colossal waste of time. Because the pure joy of sitting with him, seeing him right there in front of me. Laughing together. Shit that is what makes my life meaningful. I am so very happy my heart could burst. We are finally back. I don’t know if he realized how much strength I drew from him or how much it bothered me. I think the passionate fights show how much we truly care for each other. But I’m going to work to control my temper or at least not be so stubborn.
Then there’s B, who has been by my side since college. Sometimes it feels like us vs. the world. He gets my travel anxiety. I get his work stress. We can make each other laugh until we almost pee our pants. We have become hermits at times–but together. He loves my dog like his own. That takes a special person.
L is my girl. One of my few female friends. LOL. Not sure how we first clicked, might have involved lots of drinks and SOX jokes. But we clicked and lived in different countries but stayed in touch. She’s great and there to hold my hand when I need it.
Then there is Z who puts up with my crying fits, my dirty jokes, my reediculous stories. And listens and supports me.
Last, but not least–OL. He gives me such unconditional love and support. He holds my hand when I’m upset, and knows when to call me on my shit. And he’s coming to visit. Can’t wait for in person time. we spend the majority of our time on skype of the phone. But he’s there.
I don’t think I could have gotten through my life without these amazing people. And no matter what happens, I feel absolutely blessed to love them and be loved by them. I think they are the reason I’m not afraid of the future. Of trying and failing. Because I know they will be there to see me through it.
I love you all. Just in case I don’t say it enough. I wanted to say it here. And to thank you for making my life so fantastic.
I’ve spent July 4 with friends, with family, in foreign countries, in NYC, at the beach, etc. It’s funny how holidays become so significant in memory. July 4 and October 31 are two of my favorites. They are fun holidays without the pressure of gifts. Almost like holidays without expectations as opposed to Christmas and New Years, which always feel like make it or break it holidays. Like if the day doesn’t go as planned, something major is lost.
I’ve shared July 4 with lots of people I’ve cared about over the years. Josh, Carina and Anju in 1998–Beijing, Linds in high school and college, Ant at the beach. Emerson–who’s been around for the last 6 July 4ths.
This past July 4 was with family. Catching up with my grandma. Making smores with my aunt using ginormous marshmallows. Whipping up strawberry shortcakes with my mom. A great way to pass the day. Being grateful for what I have in my life.
The day is so tangible, it’s like cracking open a page in a photo album and boom you’re back in that moment again. I guess I’d like to say thanks to everyone who made July 4 special for me over the years.
What did you do for July 4th? Did you enjoy the day?
Today, I woke up with a greater appreciation of the Now. I only have two weeks left at my company. And suddenly the morning commute isn’t something I dread. I think whenever there’s an end in sight you can appreciate the now. In a weird way, I feel like a huge weight had been lifted off my chest. Suddenly, my whole world is wide open again.
This summer may be the best summer my life. I get to spend time with the people I love, to devote hours of every day to writing, to read to my hearts content, and suddenly a restructuring turned into a dream come true. Maybe, I’m just looking on the bright side.
Because the loss of income, frankly, sucks. I’m also going to miss some of my coworkers. Three years is a long time to spend with people. Finding a new job in this economy–not going to be easy. Probably going to have to give up my apartment in Manhattan this fall. So there you have it, those of the negatives.
Strolling up Wall Street, something I’ve done a million times, takes on new meaning. Everything feels more important that it did a few days ago. The funny thing is you never ever appreciate what you have until you’re in danger of losing it. But you also find out who your true friends are. And I owe a huge thanks to: Brett, my dad, my mom, Oliver, Zach, and Lily for being there, listening, and helping me see that everything could be okay.
Tell me about your experiences that gave you a new appreciation for the Now…
So I was watching Avenue Q a while back and Princeton is fresh out of undergrad and trying to find his purpose. He stops living, determined to find his purpose before he does anything else. This got me thinking. What’s my purpose? What do I live to do? Why am I here?
Deep thoughts, right. I love to write. So I write. I edit. I revise. I re-edit. An endless cycle of writing. And it fills me with a sense of purpose and gives my existence meaning. So when I have problems with my hand and I can’t write as much, I lose some of my purpose. I don’t like how that feels.
It reminds me of when I herniated a disc in my back and couldn’t sit. Back then I was a consultant. My purpose (or job) required traveling and sitting at different client sites to do my work. So when my back acted up, I couldn’t do my job and I lost my purpose. That was one of the worst times in my life. I felt useless. I felt like nobody capable of doing nothing. Just talking about it conjures up bad feelings.
Anyway, what is my point? I think we all need a purpose. Scratch that. We all need a few purposes. Reasons to exist. Things that make life meaningful and worth living. My writing is still number 1, but I need a number 2 and 3. I guess Number 2 is my dog and my family. (Yes, in that order. One lives with me the other only visits.) Number 3 would be my friends.
But having those 3 purposes makes my life better and richer.
What is your purpose? What do you live to do or be?
Today, I was working on sketching out notes on TSTTW and realized how lucky I am as a writer. It’s a very solitary pursuit as they say, but I have a group of friends and family who really support my writing. My best friend has read two drafts. One of which I look back on and think yeesh how did he get through that? But he did. And he gave me honest feedback as a reader. My mom has read two versions as well. And she’s the first one to raise alarm bells when something doesn’t make sense. My dad has helped edit query letters and synopses on the car rides to my hometown.
Then I have my web designer/research assistant/godsend who has designed the entire website and keeps it running. That is more than enough support, but he also read two versions and gave detailed feedback/critiques on both. Amazingly, he always manages to tell me the truth in a tactful manner. But it doesn’t stop there, he even helps me talk through scenes and develop my characters. He’s a huge part of how I keep going when I feel like I am facing insurmountable odds and losing. When my confidence is shaken he takes me in hand and reminds me that my writing is valuable and worth fighting for. There’s also my Emerson who always cuddles when I’m feeling down and is up for playing when I’m too tired to write and need a distraction. I also have friends who inquire about my writing, listen attentively, and say kind things. It all adds up to a great support system.
Of course there are the people who don’t get it. Who offer to read the book and never do. Who think it’s a hobby and have no concept of what I put into my writing. For those people, I just have come to the conclusion that I need to keep my writing life separate. Not everyone can get everything about you.
I wonder does everyone have someone to share their writing with? Or someones? Not necessarily other writers (though that can be a definite plus), but someone whose opinion you trust and who takes the time to read your work?
Anyways, to those who support my writing: Thank you. Everyday, you make it easier to put fingers to keys and work my magic.