We are already halfway through 2017! I have finished the first batch of summer classes, and although final projects and exams were quite overwhelming, I have been trying to remind myself that tests and school are not the only things in life. The weather has been pretty nice these days, but I can’t decide which is better: a super sunny day that makes me sweat like a waterfall or rainy weather that literally feels like a waterfall.
I spent the first several weeks of class living with my younger sister Lisa. Not only was she a tremendous help when I was in the process of moving out of my apartment that I had lived in for over two years, she really supported me emotionally through all the changes and the tough times I was having recently. Being just two years apart, I feel like she has been kind of like my best friend. Yes, we fight nonstop, especially when we are physically together. But we spend way more time laughing at stupid things and having each other’s back. That’s just how siblings work, right?
Since my last move consisted of a couple suitcases and an Uber ride, having to pack up twice the amount of stuff was quite a challenge. When you live in the same place for two years, you sure can hoard a lot of stuff. A LOT. Anyway, I managed to cut my possessions down to 15 paper boxes and a tall lamp, and the movers came soon after to haul them over to the room on First Avenue I was to sublet for the summer.
The new place is pretty nice, and I just love that the noise level has gone down significantly compared to what I had to deal with in midtown. No more drunken shouts and (fewer) loud ambulances driving through the night. I’ve already spent some of the nicer, long summer days settling down with a book on a bench in the apartment compound.
During the two weeks that my sister stayed with me, we had quite a few opportunities to just sit down and chill at cafés, chatting, sipping coffee, and nibbling away on snacks.
Most of the time it would be tidbits about our respective lives studying abroad, and about life in general. I realized that throughout the past few years, my life in New York has really changed and shaped me as a person. My sister was talking about how at a relatively secluded campus at her school in Indiana, it was hard not to always act as a part of a group, whether it be a church fellowship, cultural club, or a dorm community. Interestingly, I found it so much easier to lead a pretty individualistic lifestyle here in New York City, where grocery shopping with your earphones is the norm. I think this kind of environment really helped me to mature as a person and not be as insecure about having a “clique” to belong to.
On the flip side, living in an individualistic environment like New York City rather trained me to actively search out groups and communities that I could participate in. It definitely takes work to stay in touch with people. If you don’t take the time and effort to reach out to people, you might be missing out on what might be a deeper, meaningful friendship.
Overall, I think Lisa and I had a pretty good time hanging together in New York. We had many a night when we would just stay in to watch a movie with some wine and cheese (or whatever we were craving), and we also explored some cool food spots around East Village.
After graduation, I’ve been trying to get myself more into reading. Over the past four years, I’ve gotten so used to being forced to read cases and academic texts that I had almost forgotten how to read for pleasure. Even though I still have to do some readings for summer classes, I have successfully squeezed in several books already! I felt newfound joy in being able to pick and choose what kind of books I wanted to read, devouring the pages, immersing myself in whatever wisdom or entertainment the book had to offer. I’ll admit, it had been so long since I’ve used my Kindle that I had to manually download the updates on my computer and transfer them to my Kindle… but I’ll be better. Side note, I still prefer paper books over an e-reader or a pdf; there’s something very satisfying about physically flipping through the book one page at a time.
I was incredibly blessed to receive two scholarships for my summer program this year. I have scheduled my third CPA exam, and now it’s time to get crackin’ on assignments and test prep again. Hopefully, I can still find the peace of mind to get some me-time in there.