Saturday, May 23, 2009


So, I'm home. Back in North Carolina. I'm sure I'll have much to share about this weekend, but I just wanted to blog quickly about a tender moment I experienced tonight and it has to do with something I have missed so much about home.

While watching a movie with my mom, sister, and the dogs on my mom's bed, both dogs had fallen asleep against my legs - I guess they were both happy I was home, since they haven't left me alone since I arrived this evening. Funny, isn't it? I've always imagined that animals don't realize when you're not there - but I think that my dogs actually missed me!

It makes me feel warm inside : )

Thursday, May 21, 2009


"No matter how low you consider yourself,
there is always someone looking up at you
wishing they were that high."

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The year of silence

Have you ever had a day where you didn't speak - not even once? During my school years - going WAY back - I was a good student. There were rarely any complaints from my teachers. However, I would frequently receive a "report card comment": Too talkative. Ha, too talkative! I would later joke with my former elementary and middle school teachers about how I was destined to major in communications at college because of my loquacious demeanor.

If they could see me now...

Yesterday, I decided to take a walk around the city (not that unusual, actually. It's kind of been my Saturday routine for a while now - since the weather is nice again). I spent 6 hours of the day, just walking. Wow. Now that I think about it, that's a lot of damn walking -

I went to Bergdorf Goodman to look at exquisite clothes and shoes that I will never be able to afford, I walked down 5th Avenue and watched the foreigners marvel at their newly purchased "American-style clothes" (note: Abercrombie and Fitch). I walked through a street fair on 6th Avenue, watching people barter over paying 5 dollars vs. 7 dollars on cheap, silver jewelry. I stopped and sat at the NY Public Library and watched tourists take pictures with the giant lions and heard girls giggling about being on the same steps that Carrie Bradshaw had emotionally trod after being jilted by the notorious "Mr. Big".

I did some shopping, continued walking and ended up in Madison Square Park. I sat on a bench around the "wishing pond" and watched people pass by. I smiled at strangers, said "Hello" to a few, but that was the extent of my human to human communication for the day. As I sat, a bird in a tree behind me chirped incessantly - I think I was close to her nest, she was warning me to stay away, I guess.

It's humorous, in a way - I so long for conversation that I pick up the sounds of a bird - thinking that she was trying to communicate with me.

I saw two women walk over to the "pond"... they were speaking softly to the water - and as they cried, they threw their pennies into the water. While they embraced each other, I saw emotion so real, it didn't matter that I didn't know their struggle - I felt their pain. I guess we all have similar pains in us. For a moment, their pain was my pain - and after our eyes met, I wondered if they felt my pain too.

As it began to get dark, I decided to head back home. I walked through Gramercy park, marveling over the beautiful architecture of the buildings. I watched the doorman light the lanterns outside of the apartments - jealous of the tenants who have someone that cares about their safety on the sidewalks. Each of them nodded a silent greeting as I passed.

I often complain about my life here in New York City - and I know that I should be appreciative of everything I have. Yet, New York is a city that constantly reminds you of what you could have, if you work hard enough. New York is a city of ambition. Something to work for to strive for. I know that those that live around Gramercy Park got their because of their ambition. Could that be me one day? And I wonder, do I even have what it takes to make it in this city?

On the north side of Gramercy, I stopped to cross the street. As I waited for cars to pass, I looked down at the sidewalk and saw a message written in the cement..
I know the picture is very low resolution, so you might not be able to see the words - but I remember it vividly.

"Narisa, I will love you for a million eternities."

I am sad to report that my first reaction to this message was "ha, what a load of shit." When the realization of my first thought really sunk in, I became very upset. Have I become so cynical that I no longer believe in everlasting love? And I, the eternal optimist, the one who always believed true love exists - could I have been changed? It's not like I have never been exposed to people who truly love each other - I mean, my grandparents have been married 57 years. Can it be possible for anyone to hurt so badly that their faith in love and people is compromised? Because if so, I don't want it to happen to me. But, I am afraid that it has.

I walked the remainder of the way home trying to think positively; to remember that I am here for a reason. And to try to look for kindness and compassion in other people instead of hate and disdain. And, to look for the same in myself.

Back in the fall, I had a lot of people trying to help me cope with the difficulties I was facing. At that time, I wanted nothing more than to be alone and quiet - to think and to reflect on my life and the position I was in. Now, I'm wishing that I had taken the opportunity to talk to people. I guess, in reality, I got exactly what I wanted - to be left alone. Be careful what you wish for.

I believe that, in the future, I will look back on this year ("year" currently meaning September - September) as my "year of silence". Because, yes, I do go entire days without saying a single word. I have even spoken, audibly, to inanimate things in my apartment, seemingly just to make sure my voice was still there. The photo above says "enjoy the silence". It's almost laughable to me. I understand that some people relish in having a period during the day where they can be in silence - to be only with their own thoughts. I would rather share my "period of silence" and take wonderful conversation any time.

I guess everyone has their own way of healing - and if you told me that my mechanism for regaining strength was through silence, I would have disagreed wholeheartedly. But, I think that having these moments of introspect will ultimately help me to discover who I am and what I am capable of. Maybe.. I don't know.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A letter to me.

Last week, a website that I frequent (TheFrisky) posted a blurb about a submission to The Guardian by a man named Stephen Fry. He wrote a letter to his 16-year-old self. He penned:

"Tears splash on to my keyboard now. I am perhaps happier now than I have ever been and yet I cannot but recognize that I would trade all that I am to be you, the eternally unhappy, nervous, wild, wondering and despairing 16-year-old Stephen: angry, angst-ridden and awkward but alive. Because you know how to feel, and knowing how to feel is more important than how you feel. Deadness of soul is the only unpardonable crime, and if there is one thing happiness can do it is mask deadness of soul."

The writers of The Frisky then prompted readers to write their own letters to their 16-year-old selves. The responses were astounding - so many people penned their own letters, revealing heartache, pain, triumphs, success, but one thing was common among all... the idea that things will get better. So, I thought that this experiment could be fun to do blog-style. I wrote a letter to 16 year old me and I'd like to share.

Dear 16-year-old Virginia,

You live in New York City! Don’t laugh at me… you do!

Know that it’s cool to be smart. Soak up all of the knowledge you can - read the books for English, some of them are actually good! And, it will help keep your stress levels down about those "pop quizzes"! Understand that even though you’re not in the “popular” crowd now, your crowd will be the one a lot of people envy after college. Those friends you’ve had since elementary school will still be the best friends you will ever have. Understand that no matter what is done or said, they will always be there for you. Use them, rely on them - they are your strength. And, be there for them in return.. always.

I know you feel like you have to please everybody all of the time - but, realize that it's okay to upset people sometimes. There's no way to make everybody happy - just make yourself happy - the ones that matter will be content with just that.

The family is the greatest thing you will have in life - the relationships (and friendships) you build with them are priceless - you’ll find they’re actually really cool.

You’ll like your sister, eventually. Yes, really.

When it comes to relationships, I wouldn’t want to stray you away from what actually happens because valuable character building occurs during those times - but trust your heart. Stay attuned to the red flags and most importantly, don’t punish yourself for something you couldn’t control.

In college, go crazy - Go out and have fun, stay up all night, drink too much, and make friends with everyone you meet. That way, you won’t feel like you wasted 4 years of precious time waiting for your life to start. Start now.

Though I can’t say that “everything is perfect now!”—Do know this: you are coming into a time in your life where things will be confusing and nightmarish, but you are stronger than you think. Laugh often and surround yourself with people you love. If you do that.. nothing can go wrong.

You’re cool, but don’t dye your hair so much - you’ll ruin it.


The cooler, 23-year-old, you.

So, now I challenge you, few readers - what would you say to your 16-year-old self? Feel free to leave your letters in the comments, or email them to me - I'll post them anonymously if you so choose.

Monday, May 11, 2009 will make your skin crawl

If you know me, you know that there aren't many things that really freak me out. Yes, ticks are disgusting, bloodsucking monsters that I would rather not interact with. But, for the most part, there's nothing that I'm really "afraid" of. Not snakes, not bugs, not spiders... until now. Yesterday, I had the most frightening bug experience ever - I mean, I reacted so strongly, I'm surprised I still have a working computer (because I flinged it off the bed).

I woke up leisurely on Sunday morning, pulled my laptop over to my bed and started surfing the internet... I heard some movement in my closet. Figuring it was the rest of my clothing getting ready to come crashing down, I ignored it - let it fall, I figured, I'll clean it up later. The sound went away, but I heard some other noises which I figured were the pigeons outside - until I saw something the size of Rhode Island crawling on my bed. I flipped out, trying to get away from it and at the same time, get it off my bed - I ended up flicking it to the floor (where it went inside my rainboot) and ran out of my room.

I took a second to compose myself before tackling the beast (which was now lost somewhere in the floor of my room) I grabbed a bowl from the kitchen and went back in to trap it under the bowl. After hearing it near a plastic bag on the floor, I ended up getting it under the bowl. I had to wait until Carrie got home to help me get rid of the thing because I just couldn't stomach it. I've never had anything that made my skin crawl like that.

So you want to know what it was? I have a photo:
This exact same creature was in our apartment on November 10th, 2008 (when these photos were taken) in the bathroom. I saw it crawling on the wall - and Carrie and I tried to kill the monster. Apparently, we did not kill it as we thought (by crushing it behind the bathroom cabinet) and it has been living in my closet (::shudder::) Look at it! It's HUGE!! And it was crawling on me! AND IN MY BED!!! Oh, man... it gives me chills.

(Pardon all the hair on our bathroom floor - Carrie and I shed a lot)

Gross. Yet another reason why I'll be getting a new apartment in September. Note: The roach was flushed after being removed from the bowl.

To give you an idea of just how big this thing is/was, here's a photo of it next to our bathroom trashcan -

When it was in our bathroom before, Carrie tried to kill it while I took pictures - it made for some hilarious pictures, and it shows Carrie's bravery. I was the coward.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Apartment Mess

Every day, I'm worried I'll get back to my apartment and the building will have collapsed. The kitchen floor slopes downward at, at least, a 20 degree angle, the door frames are strained and I'm pretty sure one day the oven is going to fall through the floor. Yes, I live in a "Pre-War" apartment that probably should have been bulldozed years ago.

While I had considered staying in the apartment for another year, mainly as a reaction to not wanting to move my stuff AGAIN, my decision was definitely made yesterday. I will not live in this apartment after September. I still don't know if I'll be leaving New York City, but I'll definitely be moving out of this place!

Yesterday morning, I was awakened by a "drip-drip-drip" sound. Since it has been raining for over a week (some days with some pretty strong storms), the sound of water isn't that unusual. Once I came closer to consciousness, I realized that the dripping sound was coming from INSIDE the apartment. I quickly got out of bed to determine what the problem was and it didn't take me long to find it - there was over an inch of yellow water on the bathroom floor. The water was coming through the ceiling in 4 different places. After calling the emergency maintenance line (who, by the way, aren't very nice!) someone finally came out to determine what the problem was. Apparently, the man living upstairs decided to do some laundry in his bathtub, overflowing the tub and bursting a pipe between the floors. Perfect.

After they stopped the water, I went to work after I was promised that someone would be coming by to clean up the standing water in our apartment. When I got back that night, no one had come to the apartment and I had a HUGE mess to clean up - I used basically every towel I owned to get the water up out of the floor, and then had to take all of the towels (plus 50 pounds of water) all to the laundromat to wash them.

To make matters worse, I got back to my apartment only to find my closet racks had collapsed - leaving all of my clothes in the floor. (sorry for the crappy camera phone picture, my camera was buried under the mess) I had to move all of my clothes into Carrie's room in order to get the hardware pieces out. Now, I have to figure out how to get my closet rack back up (or something back up) so that I can store my clothing! It's definitely going to be interesting, with no man in my life to play "handy man", I'll be doing it all by myself. I don't want to spend a lot of money fixing it, because I don't plan on living in this apartment in 4 months --- uggghhhhhhh I guess I'll be spending time at Home Depot this weekend...