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Lauren

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August 14th, 2008

Well, when I am not hiding out in my room pretending I don't really live in NYC I have had some awesome moments this week compared to last. Monday night the wonderful Miss Stage invited me to go see Amanda Palmer. My first night out in NYC- and got home at like 2am shaking with fright. But before that part there was the performance and it was AMAZING! She is so vulnerable and unafraid to share dark human emotions. It was very special. The venue (which is temporary which is a shame) was at South Street Seaport on the water by the Brooklyn Bridge- it was gorgeous. But standing for a couple hours already my back started killing me and so during the encore I went to the back and sat on the step. Well that's when Amanda decided to get her little ukulele and sang Creep by Radiohead acapella. Then she started moving around the whole venue and before I knew it she was standing right next to me with a giant spotlight on us, shoulders touching, with the girls from the opening band (Vermillion Lies- amazing check them out!). It was pretty freaking amazing although the spotlight was a bit much for me :p

Then Tuesday I got to meet up with Elgie and his girlfriend Natalie who is adorable. It was nice because it was the first real time I got to explore NYC. Its so much more amazing when you are not walking by yourself. That gets old after an hour I realized. We strolled around the Upper West Side and Central Park and then went down to Soho and had the best rice pudding at this place called "Rice to Riches". Its like an ice cream shop just with tons of different kind of rice pudding- only in NY. Then we got poured on.

Yesterday I kind of chilled out as usual. I have DirectTV which was a HUUUUGE surprise I didn't expect and couldn't have made any girl happier than me. HBO and other movie channels. Oh you know the danger. Then I went and explored Williamsburg a little bit with Kristin. Found this little French Bistro that has COQ AU VIN (my obsessive dish from Paris). It was delicious. So yea, it's been a fun week. Still trying to get used to things. Always lacking food since there's no grocery store near me. And here's a funny thing in my adjustment process- for the life of me until today I could not figure out how in the world to mail something in NY. You can put outgoing mail in the mailboxes. And then every time I found one of the metal street corner bins they were all sealed up. I have had a birthday card in my purse for several days trying to figure this out. I mean its such an easy task and I couldn't figure it out. Finally I tracked down one of my roommates and got directions to a bin to drop mail off (Sorry Jamie!).

I'm also starting to get a little nervous about starting school. I have been unemployed for a month and a week now and I like it. I don't want to work hard ;) But once it does start I know I won't feel so out-of-a-routine and useless. Toodle-loo for now.

August 10th, 2008

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On a very random note I must say that the Olympic Swim team is HOT (seriously) and reminding me that I have been single too long haha. I'm remembering why me and Jenn spent hours in my room watching them last time around. This is sad, but I have basically spent my first weekend in New York watching the Olympics. Oh well, next weekend should be more interesting :)

August 6th, 2008

Well, I have made it to New York. So far its going okay. I love my room, my roommates seem cool. It's just hard because inevitably i find myself getting really depressed without my Gainesville life. I didn't leave because it was bad...so its hard to have it be gone. Homesickness blows, and im tired of crying. Transportation right now for me sucks because I don't have any clue how to get anywhere. There is no grocery store anywhere near me. I don't know how to get the other things I need. I don't have the money to do a lot. I don't know- it sounds silly its just that everything is the opposite of Florida so when it all adds up its pretty damn overwhelming.

I had my interview for my internship and got the position at an HIV/AIDS clinic in a hospital in Queens. It went really well and felt like I really connected with the social workers there. Its going to be incredibly hard. The director point blank told me that this is one of the hardest hospitals to work at in the US (because it is a public hospital) and is the single most diverse zip code in the US. Every single sign in the hospital is in 6 languages. There will be times I need translators (who are volunteers) and sometimes when there are none, I have to use a machine to translate my voice into their language. The clinic is old and dark and horrible (proof that its a public hospital with no funding). It looks like something out of those dark 1980s heroin/crime-ridden new york movies. The majority of my clients will be immigrants or illegal residents who are broke and have no way to get medicine to survive. The case load will be between 50-100 this year for me. Wow. It's going to be so hard but I'm up for the challenge. The director told me that if I could work here for a year, I can literally work at any clinic in the country. On top of my regular case load I will have clinical group supervision on Monday afternoons, case meetings and social work staff meetings. Most internships NEVER have group supervision sessions so thats pretty cool. It was just a very overwhelming experience. However, the commute SUCKS there. One hour each way and my bus stop is under a highway overpass where only trucks go and they all stare and honk and feels very unsafe but its the only way to get there without spending a bagillion dollars. After meeting with the director, my interview with my supervisor was only supposed to be 15 minutes and I ended up staying there for about 40 minutes. At the end she gave me her office, cell and home number. She also said something which I thought was very nice: She said not to take anything new yorkers do personally because its just who they are- the rushing, not looking in eyes, manners or smiling. But despite that don't ever lose my southern charm- "you are very sweet and its whats getting you places."

So with that in mind I will try my best to just stay true to myself which I feel, for the time, confident in despite some people's claims that eventually the city will get me.

I'm just excited to start school and then internship. I need to start getting occupied because I have way too much time alone and I'm too social for that. Its just weird, there are times when it is really cool but more often I feel like this isn't reality and I don't belong here. Like the picture is all wrong. Its a weird feeling but hopefully I will get out of it with school. Until then, I will take it one day at a time until I get used to it.

August 2nd, 2008

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So im staying the night in northern virginia and wil be in nyc by noon tomorrow. This has been the most emotional, gut-wrenching few days. ive cried more than a river and i am exhausted, not sleeping and not eating. i just cry whenever im not occupied by driving. I miss friends already and its weird because right now it feels like im only going on vacation and then i remember im not. I just want to get the million things out of my van and settle into my new life. Hope all my new yorkers out there give me a call tomorrow :) I can use all the help I can get. <3

August 1st, 2008

It's my last night in my room in Gainesville. I've said most of my "see you later"s. Im of course having trouble going to sleep and its just weird to see my place empty. The time spent in this apartment has been the very best of my life and its hard to believe I am leaving these happy times for the unknown. But I KNOW I have to try it out...just to see :P I just can't express in words how much I am looking forward to just get this move OVER with. Next time I write...I'll be a new yorker! Goodbye my beloved town.

July 20th, 2008

Two more weeks...

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It's really starting to hit me that I am moving to New York in exactly two weeks. It all is happening so fast- and I'm overwhelmingly ecstatic and petrified at the same time. This limbo phase is killing me of not being there and not being a part of the plans here in Gainesville- esp. since not everyone is being very supportive here of my leaving (which is out of love so I'm not mad...just feeling a bit isolated). There's just so much I have and want to do before I go but there isn't enough time. I will say this- I LOVE being unemployed right now, it was everything I dreamed of and I think I would be damn happy staying at home for life :) BUUUUUUT I guess I should move forward with my plans to help others :p It was just nice to have a true break for the first time in I don't know how many years...10?

There is so much going in my head right now packing and cleaning everything out in Miami and Gainesville. I was in Miami for a week and spent the WHOLE time cleaning. I found stuff from first grade, no kidding. I think pack rat doesn't go far enough to describe my borderline hording disorder. Haha, but 12 outdoor garbage bags later and about an equal amount of donations...my room is cleaner than ever in my life in Miami so it can become a guest room :/ It was hard to throw things away knowing that once I did so the likelihood that I would ever remember it would be close to none. I found a card my dad had written to me on valentine's day and every note passed in the hall ways. It was amazing, sad, and more than anything I realized I was a CRAZY kid haha. When I got back I got a massive sinus infection that im now getting over and tomorrow will begin my Gainesville packing...my final move.

How I am moving my stuff to NYC is anxiety-provoking to my mind and wallet. I rented a minivan and hope I will get up there in once piece. It is soooo expensive when you are going one way...but it seems like the best way. I just need it set in concrete.

I am going to miss my friends and family I have made here. 7 years and it has been an unbelievable journey. I have met the best people of my life and its hard to believe you will meet another group of such amazing people. Its also hard to tell the difference of if you are staying in a place because its where you are meant to be versus whether you are scared and comfortable. I have to start believe more that the people in my life will stay there who are meant to be in it and take some comfort in that instead of dread. I feel pretty certain that this is an amazing place but i know there is something else out there for me. So here it goes. I'm taking my big leap of faith and am ecstatic.

June 23rd, 2008

I have three days left until my last day at work at UF...wow. I'm really moving to New York.

May 22nd, 2008

Oh D.C. you rock my world.

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I really like this quote:
"If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner." Tallulah Bankhead

There's some validity in that...Anyhow, my life lately...where to start. The word "whirlwind" comes to mind. The last month and a half has been, as usual, an emotional journey both good and bad. My mid-year resolution I made to myself this week is to try and shift my outlook and stop feeling so negative. I'm trying- its been hard. Had some very difficult goodbyes this week with people who have had such a gigantic impact on my life in the last couple of years that I will miss greatly. I think the fear that plagues me is whether I will ever see/talk to them again. When such unique, wonderful people come into your life you don't ever want to let it go. There's a lot of residual childhood issues there personally because there was so much loss growing up. But I feel that I am letting time drag me around (i.e. working 2 jobs and volunteering 20 hrs a week) instead of taking more control of my own life so that I have memories, am having fun, and feel happy. So I am trying to at least be more focused on the positives even if it feels like my heart is breaking about the goodbyes. I know grad school won't be easy but hopefully I can make more time to keep in touch and visit people. I also realize that I lot of it is just life and we all get busy/move on.
Anywho, thats what has been going through my head. Now on to the things thrilling me in my life:

1. I am going to visit NYC next week for a Field Placement Orientation/Find a place to live. If all goes well with the Orientation then I will DEFINITELY be moving to NYC in August :)

2. Anyone who has talked to me in the last three months know that I have been an insane, avid David Cook fan on American Idol, I dare say even the first major fan. I only started watching this crazy show because of him...and he is amazing in every way possible and won. What's AMAZING is that he will be performing on the Today Show in NYC WHILE IM VISITING!!!!!!!! <3 <3 Oh my stars I am so excited. I mean, the vocals on this man are ridiculous AND he is a huge cancer advocate AND he considers himself an "expert TV watcher". Just my kind of guy...I'm ridiculous I know :p

3. I saw the most amazing show of my life a couple weeks ago...anyone who has the chance to see The Swell Season (aka the two amazing actors from the movie Once- go watch it) will never regret it. I have been to my fair share of shows and this was far and beyond the best. I've never seen so much talent and pure raw emotion on stage. It was amazing.

4. My last day of work at the university is at the end of June. I will have accounting job on the weekends still but for a month I will be free for the first time since I was 14 years old. I have never had a summer off since then. So the month of July is all about spending time with folks before I go move so let me know if you want to hang out :)

That's all I can think of for now. I leave everyone with the greatest treasure one could have: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HnfYNLhkqM

March 20th, 2008

Start spreading the news...

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I GOT INTO NYU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Grad school here I come...

February 27th, 2008

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* I have FINALLY completed an entire application package to a Masters of Social Work program (@ NYU)!!! HOWEVER, one professor is not getting me my letter of recommendation and its holding my entire package back. The deadline is Monday and I am freaking out. I'm SOOO close.

ITS DONE! I mailed my application! Woo hoo!
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