How to move to NYC in three weeks and with a great deal of terror

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Three months ago, I decided I should probably move. To Chicago.

Why moving? Because I work from home and I could. And because I only ever stayed in Atlanta for scholarship money and my mother’s illness and my own grief and a relationship that then ended. And because the longer I stayed there the more I could feel my sense of self blowing away in the gentle breeze. And I kept crying in therapy when I talked about the future.

I wasn’t in a good place, let’s say.

Why Chicago? It has improv. I have friends who live there. I like the Field Museum. Seemed like a good idea at the time.

So, it comes as something of a shock to find myself writing this from a currently internet-less but otherwise lovely one bedroom in Brooklyn.

It turns out it is in fact totally possible to go from “I should live in Chicago” to “oh shit I actually live in Brooklyn now” in about three weeks.

Step 1: During an all-hands meeting in New York, the physical location of your weird internet job that you’ve given up explaining to people, mention again to your boss that you’re moving to Chicago. Realize that he didn’t hear you the first time that you told him because he was also in the middle of moving and you maybe didn’t tell him so much as mention it on twitter. Boss points out that you could move to New York, where you actually work. Realize that work includes catered lunch.

Get really drunk with coworkers. Ask them if you should come live in New York. Choose to believe them when they say yes and then ask some really nosy questions about rent and online dating.

Change plans. Continue reading

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The Last Year

Photo on 3-23-15 at 5.30 PM

It’s been a long time since I blogged here. First it was because I hated my old job, and then I had a new job, and then it was because I had a boyfriend, and then all things taken together it’s been almost exactly a year since I last posted here. I had a nearly year-long streak of weekly posts before that. Alas!

So, what happened in the interim? I continued volunteering at the theatre. Then I met a boy and dated for a bit and it went nowhere. Then I met a boy and dated for 10 months and was in love and then eventually it was awful and I broke up with him a month ago. I’m still stupendously sad about it, even if it was the right choice. I miss what could have been if both of us had been different people.

I stopped volunteering at the theatre very regularly, as it had served its purpose. I still go back every few months, just for a night, just to remind myself that I was able to do it once. I found a whole new group of friends, some of whom have stuck around and who I cherish fiercely. Several friends of mine moved back from abroad. I met new people who might one day become friends. I dyed my hair green on the bottom. I became weirdly active on Twitter.

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Chili Cookoff Memories

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Image courtesy of Jramspott. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.

I tend to think of myself as not particularly memorable–I’m quiet, average height, and brunette, and none of those things keep me fresh in folks’ minds. As such, it’s always kind of startling when someone does, in fact, remember that I attended something.

Earlier this weekend, I spent a few hours passing out shirts at the Atlanta Pride Festival, which was great fun. The Pride crowd are a friendly bunch, and everyone loves free t-shirts. Unfortunately, our popularity meant that our most-loved swag items (hats, this time) went quickly.

One of the folks who missed out on a hat knew what was up with the Atlanta festival scene, and asked us if we would be at the Chomp and Stomp. chili cookoff. We assured her we most likely would be, and she should be sure to come and see us–and our fresh batch of swag–there.

Chomp and Stomp is pretty much my favorite Atlanta festival, as it focuses on my favorite general part of festivals (food) and is in an utterly charming residential neighborhood named Cabbagetown. (I’ve always assumed the name was a slur towards an ethnic group, but the truth of that has faded to history.)

I had previously heard two versions of last year’s festival.

The first was mine. I was there with my parents, and I had just a week or two before applied to work at my current company. When we passed the swag booth I was delighted. It seemed like a good sign, and I was worried since I hadn’t heard back from them yet.

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Nocturnal Wee Beasty

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Image courtesy of Myriam M. J. Rondeau. Licensed under CC BY SA 2.0.

I managed to graduate college without ever having pulled an all-nighter. This was accomplished with lists, advanced planning, and a fundamental dislike of being up very late, because I am a Little Bit Boring.

Then, I switched shifts at work from my previous, beloved evening shift to an 8pm-6am gig. It has benefits–I work fewer days a week, and I receive extra money to compensate for being a nocturnal wee beasty–but living an entire life of all-nighters has exposed me to some unexpected situations. Continue reading

Corporate bonding, zombies, and fancy cheese

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Image courtesy of seamsoeasy. Licensed under CC BY SA 2.0.

Living in Atlanta as an adult can be strange (,” she retitled her blog). I’ve been here since I was 12–I just passed the 10 year mark–and it is so, so easy for me to feel stuck here when I run into teachers at festivals or OKCupid matches me with my middle school academic bowl teammates*. Atlanta is a large city, but my own personal inertia makes it hard for me to break out of old behaviors and hangouts. Add to that the fact that many folks I went to high school stick around town into adulthood, and it’s easy for things to feel a little more small town than they have any right to.

I’ve been trying to move away from that, and this weekend seemed like the perfect time to do so. The weather this weekend was a particular, lovely kind of early autumn–mid-70s, a little breeze, bright sunlight and everything still green (which in Atlanta is no mean feat: we’re a city an ent would feel at home in). We’re lucky to get a month of it each year–six weeks if we’ve been very good–and it seemed like a crime not to be out and about in the city. Soon enough it will be cold again–or 90 degrees, Atlanta weather is fun like that–and we won’t be able to be outside.

I started by walking (slowly) a corporate 5k on Thursday night, the first I’d ever done. My company, knowing what motivates its employees, had a keg of beer for us to tap into at the end of things (or, in the case of a few of my more adventurous coworkers, at the beginning of things). It’s always funny to see everyone at the company together in one place, as we all wind up pairing off into shifts like high schoolers. Perhaps not surprisingly, most of the runners that we fielded came from the crew that works 6am-3pm every day. My own people–the late-night crew, who have exactly the sorts of personalities and health habits that you might expect of people who are basically nocturnal–did no such thing. I was perfectly happy to amble along with the smokers in the group, so it suited me. Continue reading

Crying at the Doctor’s Office

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Image courtesy of beccafrog. Licensed under CC BY SA.

Y’all, I think I may have convinced my gynecologist that I’m having a nervous break.

It stated last week. Per her instructions, I had made an appointment six weeks before to make sure that my IUD had not, post-insertion, wandered off to parts unknown (or at least unintended). Since I was working a 2-10pm shift six weeks ago, I scheduled the appointment for 10am.

Unfortunately, in the last few weeks, I’ve started working 8pm-6am (ie the shift of champions). Ninety nine percent of the time, that’s totally fine. However, I realized–after calling to confirm that my appointment could not be moved earlier–that this was not so good for my doctor’s appointment. By the time it rolled around, I was going to have been awake for 19 hours.

I thought about moving it. Unfortunately, the thought of moving the appointment caused my armpits to break out in painful lumps that–in true Web MD fashion–screamed “cancer.”

(I’m going to cut the dramatic tension right here: not cancer. It appears to have been a bad reaction to my wearing Old Spice, because apparently my pits like gender norms.)

“Well,” I thought to myself, “I can do this! How bad can it be?” The answer, it turned out, was “godawful.”

The first few hours after work weren’t too bad. I went for a run on my workplace’s basement murder treadmill (which, I recently learned, other shifts do not call by that name). After a cold and possibly fungal post-run shower, I decided to go to a coffee shop to kill some time. Caffeine and a pastry sounded fabulous right around hour 16.

For an hour, it was in fact totally pleasant. I caught up on my reading, ate a croissant, and generally relaxed. However, with two hours left until the appointment, I felt myself flagging. I could feel my contact lenses. I resorted to pinching my thigh to stay awake, freaking out the aspiring actress sitting across from me.

Finally, it was time to go. I rallied enough to drive safely to the hospital and into their parking garage. As it was already 9:30 in the morning, the garage was already packed. It was right about the moment where this fact started causing me to tear up that I realized that maybe I wasn’t on my emotional A-game. Continue reading

I’m Feeling 22

So, this past weekend, I turned 22. Taylor Swift released a new single about just that thing. Coincidence? (Yes.)

And the thing is, I like it very much. It’s silly and fun and easy to scream along with while drunk, like Kimya Dawson without the addiction problems or depth. I mean, lyrics like:

We’re happy free confused and lonely in the best way
It’s miserable and magical, oh, yeah

Are painfully dumb, but they’re also really descriptive of the tail end of growing into an adult human being, which as a process is also pretty dumb. I mean, last week, I went out with coworkers and drank fancy bourbon in a cool bar when–not 10 minutes earlier–I had totally failed to parallel park in a non-embarrassing way, which is something that I should really Know How to Do by now. Continue reading

Exploding Subcompacts

After this past weekend, I can safely say this: when Honda civics break, they break with gusto.

I drive a hybrid Honda civic. It is a reliable car in a goofy color. I am fond of it, and it has not given me any problems in the last two years. However, when I left for work this past Sunday, I was greeted by a dead-as-a-doornail car.

This would be fine, except that all of the people I know who own cars were either a) at church (pious people got wheels, y’all), b) unlikely to own jumper cables, or c) my sleeping roommate. So, because I am an adult, I called my parents.

Because they love me, they jumped my car and–though the car seemed convinced that the parking brake was on–I got to work just fine. At work, I cleaned a bunch of tables and debated with my coworkers whether my constant exposure to Windex is responsable for the skin condition that is currently splitting my right palm open with dry skin and sadness.

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Volunteer Jobs and Beer

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I have finally started my internship. (Or, as my mother calls it, my “volunteer job.”) I’m doing work with the part of my school that handles sexual assault prevention, which basically is the same thing as I do during the school year* but now I have to wear a plastic name placard and follow a dress code. (For those interested, we are not allowed to wear skorts. I weep.)

Skortless though I am, my indentured servitude is going well so far. I felt super incompetent for the first big group meeting (everyone else had project statuses to report on, while I had vague feelings about social justice and also possibly needed a nap), but then I realized that I started work three weeks later than everyone else and those feelings went more-or-less away. I can haz emotional context!

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