Meet and Greet

Basic RGBThe other night, we had a staff meeting, which was the first time I had even met many of the people who I work with. This job is a weird combination of working in small teams and communicating through about 500 emails a day, so finally putting faces with the names and email styles of my peers was an interesting experience. To the man who draws cartoons at the bottom of every email with a weird, nonsensical pun….that is not what I thought you would look like!

But I didn’t realize how much I would miss the office culture that I left behind until I didn’t have it anymore. All the things that I found annoying about office life suddenly seem like a luxury when you don’t have those 3 partial walls of a cubicle around you. The loud phone calls, the stale cakes, the infringing hoard of paperwork and office supplies….I miss that?! What is wrong with me?

I think it’s a mix of many things that is making me semi-nostalgic for finance meetings and color-coded binder tabs. And of course, the friendly rapport with my group of former coworkers added a level of work-coping mechanisms that I haven’t figured out here yet. But without a main office space to foster forced friendships and only a monthly meeting to establish facial recognition, I think my days of sharing stale cake in the break room have passed me by! RIP, stale office cake.

What’s My Age: 48, the office mom who brings in leftover baked goods. 

Care Package

Basic RGBWhen I was in college, my freshman-year roommate used to get a care package from her mom at least once a week. Stocked with name brand snacks and baked goods, our dorm room began to resemble an artisanal cafe! That was in sharp contrast to my one care package that arrived in the middle of my fall semester, which was a carton-sized box filled to the brim with microwaveable macaroni and cheese and nothing else. I still can’t look at that stuff without thinking of my roommate, who I hated, and her fancy snacks, which I loved.

So imagine my surprise when I came home from work the other night to find a box filled with delights! Name-brand candies, a greeting card, my favorite cereal, a case of gum….it was everything I dreamed a care package could be! I’m sitting here right now snacking on a delicious bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats as I type!

Now, do I feel weird and somewhat bratty that I’m a 26-year-old woman who made enough of a stink to her parents about her lack of care packages in college to prompt this particular delivery? …Perhaps. But did it make me feel better and provide me with enough breakfasts for two weeks? It did! So let’s call it a draw.

What’s My Age: 18–slumming it at the college cafeteria while my roommate at like a king! 

Overnights, Again

Basic RGBSeveral years ago when I was first starting to work after college, I went through a very dark time, both figuratively, and literally–I was working a night shift and never saw the light of day! So when I took this new job, a lot of people were surprised, since it came with the caveat of occasionally working nights.

There’s just something about working a night shift that completely destroys any sense of normalcy you have in your life. There’s an automatic panic that settles in over getting enough sleep and how much coffee you need to ingest! There’s confusion over what to do with the several early evening hours before you work–should you be productive and potentially tire yourself out? Should you rest as much as possible and then feel bad about your inactivity? Should you find a way to insert a caffeine drip directly into your blood stream?? I’ll just go back to bed and figure it out later.

But the second time around, the hours haven’t felt as bad. I’m in the mindset now of this being something I’ve already gotten through–the mountain is already half-climbed! I already know the process of watching the hours tick by, the painfully slow countdown to bedtime! I’ve already experienced the disorienting feeling of going to bed in the dark….and then waking up in the dark! Not sure if it makes it easier to get through it, but at least I’m a little more mentally prepared for it. I have yet to cry on my way into work, so that’s progress.

What’s My Age: 22. 1 step forward, 4 years back.

Nostalgia City

Basic RGBBefore I left for my new job, I was sort of over New York. The ceiling in my apartment had burst open, dumping sewage water all over my bed. Someone stole my iPod from the back pocket of my book bag. My Central Park walking loop seemed especially riddled with obnoxious, clueless tourists. Everything was overpriced and expensive. And the list went on!

But now I’m in a new city. Without any spare time to wander around and settle in here, I keep thinking of “my” city–where I have my routine, my friends, my 24-hour bodega! New York has turned into the Emerald City–a glittering Mecca! The subway that seemed crowded before now seems like a jovial community of New Yorkers getting it done! My ramshackle apartment seems quaint and full of character! And my iPod was a gift to someone who needed it and will enjoy the extensive library of Dashboard Confessional. My marred view of New York has been white washed and Instagram-filtered and I’m homesick for a place that I was ready to write off a month ago!

Perhaps I just need to spend some time getting to know my new city so then I can get tired of this place too and then elevate it to an unattainable degree! Familiarity is the curse of adventure! Eh, I just made that up. Can someone send me a slice and an over-priced metrocard??

What’s My Age: 10, when we moved to a new house and I cried for a month.

Roomies!

68It’s been three years since I last had a roommate, and there has never been a time in between when I’ve said, “I would love a roommate right now.” Though I have said, “Boy, do I love my pristinely clean, tastefully decorated apartment where I can come and go whenever I want and not have to make forced and awkward conversation.” Yea, I’ve said that a lot.

But now I’m living in an apartment with two roommates, and it’s just as magical as I recalled! The clenched teeth when one of them finishes the toilet paper and then doesn’t replace the roll (from me). The passive-aggressive selective cleaning of “just my dishes” from the sink (from them). The half-hearted offer that “my food is your food” in an attempt to seem really “chill” (from all).

The thing about roommates is that it’s a very friendly slippery slope. No one wants to be obnoxious or high maintenance or point out others’ flaws, which really just highlight your own! Do I really want my roommates to see how obsessive I am over order and cleanliness, a person who lives and dies by routine? Uh, no. So I’ll shrug it off in public and silently stew in the privacy of my room!  But it’s only temporary, so in three months I can go back to my studio and line my shoes up in a tidy row instead of throwing them directly in front of the door, where it’s impossible not to trip over them. ….#Roomies4lyfe

What’s My Age: 18, when my freshman roommate and I swore that we would be best friends….and then she joined a sorority and I couldn’t stand her anymore.