Hello World: New York City

Hello, World. Thoughts about New York City stuff. Routines and calmness. Stuff.

I had never seen myself working, or being anything related to New York, SF, or any big North American city. Vancouver was an odd case because I was put here by my parents (though I did do everything else to get myself here). To me, these big American cities seemed way too idealized, romanticized, and I am not one who occasionally daydreams about the urban jungle. I believe cities are real places where real people occupy, and toxic romanticisation can often do more harm than good (hence the word 'toxic'). Nevertheless, this year has been full of uncertainty and strange events. The pandemic which put us all at a loss for words made it possible for me to work remotely as an intern for the Mayor's Office of New York City, a place I never imagined to have any kind of association with. Remote work must suck for a lot of people, but for me, it opened up doors to places I never thought I could go. It allowed me to see people that are so beyond my circle, people that have taught me so many things already, even though I am only at the end of day 2.

A few months ago, I wasn't too keen on the direction my life was moving, or not moving, towards. My life was at a standstill, and I was nervous about everything. I don't have any positive encouragement to share, because I'm sure everyone has already made that into a delightful quote on a pastel-toned solid background. My kindest friends comforted me, telling me that the world was slow everywhere, and that I had done the best I could. Sometimes things are not up to your own ability to change. Hearing those words always soothed me, but the next day I woke up with a bad bout of anxiety, nervousness, and everything chaotic. What I want out of a job isn't just the financial value, but also a stable routine that would help ground my anxiety. Simply having a routine that one can resort to, fall back upon, and do with the utmost meditative mindset, helps the other chaotic bits of life gather around a bit more neatly.

My schedule now is strange, but so very calming. I wake up at 6AM, pull myself out of bed and make a coffee with grounds my past self from the night before has so nicely prepared ahead. I take a bowl of oatmeal, soup, congee... that I've also made ahead. I try to join the meeting 5 minutes earlier to turn off all types of webcam and microphone, and collect myself quickly before lunging into a whirlwind of standup--my biggest blocker is always my own nervousness. 15' of standup goes by quickly, and then as everyone else moves onto other tasks, I, too, now move on to my own tasks of the day. These days I've been having a lot of meetings, and meeting (lol) lots of people. I like the rush of it all, and I find my brain the most relaxed when it is trying to absorb information.

My own mother doesn't think an internship is a real job. Some days, her words get me down. Some days, I feel determined to prove her wrong (which is, sadly, my motivation for a lot of things). The weather is so gloomy and dreadful right now, but I am going to take 2 vitamin D tablets, and I will eat lunch, do some sketching, and things will be okay.

Photo credit: Rockefeller Plaza, New York, United States by Jonathan Riley

Independent Contractor / The Show 2020 / Teaching & Learning Centre