Week 01 – New Year, New York

#1 Welcome to 2017

01 January 2017 // Manhattan, New York

This young year is off to a really, really good start.

I can’t recall the last time I started a year with so much mystery surrounding my life… so much wondering what’s going to happen next. It’s refreshing since last year felt fully planned out from the very beginning. Right now, all I know is to anticipate a handful of big changes… and that’s as specific as I can get!

This year, I hope to live with openness. Open hands, doors, minds, openness for new things and holding on to old things loosely. Not knowing what comes next can be scary, but I’m finding that I really, really like it. Life feels less like a conveyor belt when you’re forced to take things just one day at a time.

#2 Drive to DC

02 January 2017 // Washington, D.C.

Spent the second day of the year driving through several East Coast states and the giant Burger King freeway exit that is New Jersey.

We did it to get to Washington, D.C. to hang out with Deanna’s cousins for a few hours and even though we weren’t able to hang out for very long, it was well worth it.

I’m not always madly in love with Washington D.C., which is kind of a shame because in my field that’s where almost all the jobs are. But it does have its sweet spots.

#3 The Daily Show

03 January 2017 // Manhattan, New York

Now this was fun… Deanna and I took a chance on standing in line for a few hours in the rain and we earned ourselves seats inside a live taping of The Daily Show.

Honestly, I’m pretty partial to Trevor Noah, and I have no doubts that a lot of that fondness is because of my broader love for South Africa. He won me over just after he came to the U.S. with his knack for accents in his half-hour Laugh Factory Special. I know his reception as Stewart’s successor has been mixed, but I appreciate his perspective as a relative outsider. Especially as one who was brought up in the collapse of apartheid.

Anyways, if you watch his episode with Michael Che from a few weeks ago and overhear somebody with a weird laugh that sounds like morse code for ‘IAIAIAIA,’ I did that for you to have an easier time recognizing me.

#4 Manhattan

04 January 2017 // Manhattan, New York

People. Adventure. Generosity. These are the three big components of the life I’ve been trying to build.

You can live well in nearly any scenario as long as you have the right people around you. There are times where I miss the closeness of sharing dilapidated houses with almost a dozen friends, right next door to a dozen other friends who were doing the same thing. I don’t think community needs to look like that exactly, but I do long for more game nights, dinner parties, and heartfelt conversations.

Pursuits are important, too, and I often struggle to put into words why ambition and adventure matter to me. Think of any life you admire, and most likely, there’s been some pursuit behind that admiration. When I shared this idea with a friend who understood what I was talking about, it felt so validating.

The best pursuits, of course, are the ones that help and create opportunity for other people, and there’s so many different ways for that to look. Being a listener. Being a fundraiser. Climbing a corporate ladder but with the goal of changing its culture and giving away your earnings. The more I hear about my older family members’ spirit of generosity, the more resolved I feel to have that be a part of my own raison d’etre.

People. A pursuit. An opportunity to help others. These are pretty much the three things I want to have in my life at all times, and the three things I’ll be taking heavily into consideration as this year likely brings about a new job, a new city, and a whole lot of change.

#5 Fly Newark

05 January 2017 // Newark, New Jersey

One of my favorite feelings is when you’re on the plane en route to whatever next adventure. I put a lot of thought into setting the mood just right. Some playlists that can flow right into my ears those moments before takeoff, a book I look forward to making a lot of progress on, and- if I’m flying out of PDX, a massive banh mi sandwich, because that’s the only airport where I can get that many calories for just a bit over five bucks.

I have only the vaguest sense of what life might look like by December, but I know there are adventures to be had. And I’m glad I’ve got a few miles saved up to make them happen.

#6 Eugene Snow

06 January 2017 // Eugene, Oregon

We kept comparing the weather on our trip to the weather in Oregon. We were going to Chicago and New York, after all, so we expected COLD.

Almost every day of the trip, Oregon was colder than wherever we were. Chicago was at 20º below the week before we left, and it rose to 40º while we were there. New York only made me put on a single leather jacket. I kept thinking that “wow, bet this is going to be the warmest day of the trip” and it just kept getting warmer.

Now, I’ve come home to snow everywhere. And apparently NYC is getting it too. Weather be weird man.

#7 Beignet Reunification

07 January 2017 // Eugene, Oregon

The surprise on her face when we got back from our trip and she realized we weren’t dead. Plus, there was snow all over, so it was a great day for Beignet.

Also, she had a stomach ache again… separation anxiety.