Alex in Transit(ion)

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of all of the last weeks in Albany

As I drove to Albany this morning, it hit me that this was my last week here. Unlike all of the other “last weeks” in Albany I’ve had…well, they were never the “last week.” I came back. I don’t know if I’m coming back after my business in Florida is done. So this could very well be the “last week.”

But I’m not sad about it. I was sad about it in 2010- I had almost everything planned out and if it wasn’t planned, glorious spontaneity ensued.  Girls night. Running through the streets. Alive at 5. Bar hopping. Jumping into the Hudson River. Falling Slowly. Playing with the fake dinosaurs in the Binghamton mall. Bubble Tea. Sitting on the sidewalk, outside Macy’s. I couldn’t have asked for a better “last week” than that and ever since then, it’s been pretty hard to top it. For every time I’ve needed to go away, I’ve found that I’ve become more lax about leaving. I was trying to figure out why and then it dawned on me about why I made it such a point to go out with a bang for that “last week” in 2010…

…and that’s because I was so worried, in 2010, that once I’m gone that my friends will forget about me. So we did all of these epic things and I’m so thankful that we did them but I learned something after I came back from 2010- that if you have real friends…they won’t forget about you. They’ll be there right where you left them. It doesn’t matter how busy they got or you got. As soon as you pick up the phone, open up a GChat, or see them in person (I’ll be doing two of the former more often than the latter after I leave)…it will be like you two just saw each other yesterday. I know better now and it dulls the pain of leaving.

Until we see each other again.

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sunshine in the sunshine state

Well, it looks like I’m still making good on the whole “I haven’t lived in the same zip code for more than 6 months since May 2009” thing I have going on. I’m off to Florida for a little while and I am absolutely clueless as to what to wear. 

You see, any normal person would probably be very excited to spend every day in warm weather- and don’t get me wrong, I am- but it is certainly something I am not used to. Although I am Sicilian, my skin is so light to the point that my face doesn’t get red. I actually have friends taking bets to see whether or not I’ll come back tan! And yes, friends, I will be taking before and after pictures because I’m also very curious about how my skin is going to react to all of that sun. 

I found that I have such a Northeast wardrobe that it’s pathetic. I am that girl who lives in scarves, tights, cardigans, and moccasins. Every time I look at the weather, I’m absolutely flabbergasted- 80 degrees in February? Is that even possible? What will July be like? Iiiii’m going to be an Alex-sicle.

But with this change will be a change in this blog- I will not be sharing like I used to. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I intend to use this space for- or if I will use it at all- after some thinking, I decided that I will be. Some of you know exactly why I am going to Florida. Some of you don’t- and probably will not know the reason why I’m down there. I promise it’s not because I robbed a bank ;D 

So…what are you going to see here? I’m anticipating that I will post a lot of pictures. Probably random things like some awesome buildings or a scenes from morning bike rides. I’ll post pictures of myself so my family and friends can see that I’m doing alright. By no means will this be a fashion blog or anything like that- trust me, I will barely have time to sleep, much less dress myself during this period of my life, but I’m going to try my best. I’m still going to talk about my diet- it’s not going to be pretty since I will be on the go a lot. Even though I won’t be eating like I have these last couple of months, I’m going to try my best to eat meat sparingly and cook from scratch when I can. Eating well really has become a priority to me over these last few months. A lot of my friends have been asking me what is going to go on with this crazy, curly mop that I call my hair- I’m going to be very experimental with it. I’m going to keep it long because the humidity will not be kind if I cut it short. I’ll probably embrace the ponytails, buns, and braids. And of course, the drive down is certainly going to be an adventure. 

“and I think my spaceship knows which way to go.”- David Bowie

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a realization.

Tonight, while I was eating dinner with my family, I felt something in me that I’ve never experienced before.

Last year, I missed Albany like crazy while I was away for my job. I missed it to the point where I couldn’t look at or the Times Union and would let out a “rah rah roar” (if you know me, that will make sense, if not, you probably think I’m insane, but that’s cool. we all have our quirks.) whenever I streamed WEQX. When I would visit the city while I was unemployed I would feel so frustrated because I was a visitor and I wasn’t living there. It felt as if something was absent in my heart.

Tonight, I didn’t feel that. In fact, it was shocking. I don’t know how to explain it but I’m not feeling the “OH MY GOD I NEED TO GET BACK IN THE 518 STAT” feeling that was so prevalent in the past. I know that it’s not because I don’t miss my friends or care about the community issues I want to work on. I do miss my friends. I’m disappointed I won’t be attending the October Neighborhood Association meeting or Albany Bike Rescue meetings.

I think part of me is gearing up for what my next position will entail. There’s no doubt about it, this kind of work hardens you and I need to focus my attention at the priorities at hand. I also think part of me doesn’t miss my Albany life because I know that it will be there for me when I come back. All throughout that past gig, I was so worried about if life would be the same when I got back after four months, and to my surprise…it was. Everything was exactly how I left it. My friends still loved me and my baby brothers remembered me (they’re 6, 4, and 2). Of course, I’m sure the reason why this was the case is because even when I’m away, I still make it a point to treat the ones I care about like gold. 

So yeah. I feel good about this new direction. 

Until then, I’m going to spend time with my family and chill out with my dogs. I won’t be doing much of that soon.

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oh WONY.

Tonight, I smiled so much I thought my face was going to fall off.

After driving two and half hours from Albany to Sullivan County, I made a pit stop to see my father at our family’s restaurant. As I got out of my car, something caught my eye. The car that was parked right next to me had a ton of radio station bumper stickers…but not just any radio station bumper stickers…this car had a WONY 90.9 FM bumper sticker.

It was then and there that I determined that I must find the owner of this vehicle. You see, WONY is ridiculously tight and the reason why college was so awesome. I don’t know how to describe it but I guess WONY is like your favorite comfy couch- you always look forward to sitting on it and when you do, you feel as if everything is right in the world. Alright that’s a horrible analogy but whatever, WONY’s a beautiful thing. I didn’t mind looking like a stalker- if it meant meeting up with one of my friends, the creepiness was well worth it.

And it was. Because I got to chill with thepumpkinpatch. Happy days.

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Moving to Virginia (for only a little bit!)

I just accepted a temporary position in Virginia. I’m thrilled for the opportunity and the funny thing is that it hasn’t even hit me at all. Rest assured, I will be coming back to Albany in November, I am keeping my apartment this time around. The only thing that I switched is that I made the decision to move my GREs from Sept 26th to early December because of the logistics of it all. 

Onward to the next adventure =D 

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giggity giggity.

It’s Day Five of 30 for 30 and yeah, this is my brother Michael’s room. Classy, ain’t it? I figured that no one has taken a picture of themselves modeling their 30 for 30 outfit in their teenage brother’s room, so I might as well be the first. Apparently, I am the only one pictured in this picture with clothes on. Mike worked pretty hard on this tasteful display. It runs all the way around his room. Girls admire his effort and think that it’s very artsy…

(I’m being sarcastic. Personally, if I was a girl and I went into my brother’s room, I’d be disgusted but hey, it’s Mike and it’s to be expected. Sometimes when we’re in the mall, he’ll pick up a shirt and asks me if it will make him look like a guido. When I mournfully say yes, he’ll say “it’s t-shirt time” and will buy it in a nanosecond.)

Let’s break the outfit down, shall we?

– White Long Sleeve Tee from Kohl’s (wore that on Thursday)

– Grey Vest from New York and Company

– Jeans from American Eagle (wore those yesterday. But I won’t be wearing them for 15 months straight, without washing, like this dude.)

– Socks from Walmart*

– Scarf from The Pear Tree, a boutique in Canton, NY.

Speaking of scarves, if there is ANYTHING I regret, it is not labeling boxes properly when I was moving out of my apartment in August. I only had one day to move out, so my friend Brian and I were scrambling to pack everything up.

Brian: Alex, do you want to take your winter stuff to Potsdam?

Alex: I hear it’s cold but I don’t think I’ll need my scarves and gloves up there. I’ll be leaving in November. Just put them in the clothes box.

Unfortunately, the clothes box is buried all the way in the back of the storage unit so I won’t be getting to those hats, gloves, and scarves anytime soon. If I knew then what I know now, I would have put the winter stuff in a bag and placed it in front of the unit so that I wouldn’t be freezing my bum off all winter. If I have another political tour of duty, that will be the first thing on the to do list.

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asserting your independence.

There are many things that are racing through my brain right now. I feel like it’s the last week in July again, I was offered a job that I would be crazy to refuse, and I have to move to Potsdam in a week.

Everything about this situation is the same except we need to replace Potsdam with Albany. The campaign was sudden. This is sudden. Something that I didn’t plan for. Usually, when it comes to big life changes, I have a plan to execute. Hmm…maybe that’s the big lesson I’ve learned- there’s no such thing as a solid plan in this economy. Yet I know that in two months, I will find solace because everything will be figured out and normal but I know that the life that I want, ideally, is still a little ways away from me. I talked with one of my friends in Oneonta, he still has yet to clear it with his roommates, but he said that it would be fine for me to crash in Oneonta and commute to Albany on the days I have work. My dad offered to pay for a deposit and first month’s rent for me to move back into my old apartment building for two months until I move in with my friend in April. I am so touched by his offer but there’s no way in hell I’d ever let him do that for me. Would it be easier? Yes it would be. Would it also be a waste of money? In my eyes, yes. We’re talking $1300 here for deposit and first month’s rent because February is in 2 days. I could never allow him to do that. If he was to do that, let it be for the place I’d be living in for a year. Not for something so temporary. He also said I could stay in a hotel for the days I’d be interning and that he could help me out with that. On the days I’m not interning, I would move back home in Sullivan County.

Although my last apartment was nothing to write home about- the ceiling always leaked, a bird lived in the walls, there was always a mouse running around, my neighbors had legit bat nets (yes, the image in your head is right, they had fishing nets that they’d use for catching bats), for the most part I slept on an inflatable mattress, and the bathroom light blew out in April so I had to put an office lamp in there for light…I’d give anything to return to Apt. 5D again. It was a hole in the wall but it was my hole in the wall. It felt safe. I didn’t have to depend on ANYONE or ask favors from anyone while I was living there.

I’ve been depending on people since August. It won’t be until April that I will be independent again. I lived with my host family from August to November. I’ve been living with my parents since November. Now I find myself asking my friends for a really insane favor until I can get on my feet. 

It will only be like this for a short time. I have to remember that. I’ve been through tougher things. This will all be figured out. And come April 1st, I will be one happy Alex =D I will have my independence back. 

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chasing your childhood dreams. doing things that scare you. and in the end, it will be worth it.

I applied to my first New York City job today. 

Maybe unemployment isn’t so bad after all. If nothing else, it makes you soul search and figure out what you really want to do. 

I would like to work. I don’t want a job that sucks my soul out each day. I want to get up every morning feeling excited that I’m about to do something that I enjoy and I’m helping to make a difference. Even more so- I want to see what I’m truly capable of. I feel like working on the campaign was just a start. I want to dig a little deeper. As I volunteer in the office, I find how much I enjoy public service and helping out the constituents. It’s so rewarding and makes me realize that I really did choose the right majors. 

There is nothing I want more in this world than be able to return to Albany and live my old life again. I miss it like crazy. I miss my friends. I miss everything I used to do there. I’ve been trying hard to get back to work there, but I haven’t found anything yet. A friend and I talked about living together and I would be thrilled to have her as my roommate. I think we’d have so much fun. My youth leadership group is there. Then reality hits me in the face. The blow stings because I would love to go to UAlbany to receive my Master’s in Public Administration and work during the day and go to school at night. I couldn’t ask for anything better- to make money and attend a top ranked school at low price. 

Yet if I can’t find a job…this can’t happen.

So…that’s why I need to look at other markets. It scares me like crazy because of course I want to go back to what’s safe and familiar to me. If I do move to NYC, DC, or Boston, I’m going to have to start all over again. That fear is what has held me back. Then, over the last couple of weeks, I’ve received some great advice- without even asking for it!

1. Skip work, find a “job” that pays you to “volunteer.”

2. You have so many friends you just haven’t met yet waiting for you in NYC!!

3. You got places to go that you’ll need help driving to.

Not to mention my dad and my aunt are extremely supportive of me moving to NYC and DC. They said it would be the best thing that could happen.

I know that things are really uncertain right now but I have faith that with my friends and family behind my back- things will fall into place.

I want to get into public service.

It’s time to make the connections.

I’m willing to work.

Because I want to make a difference.