postcards from Wall Street

wall street map

Good evenin’ friends!

It’s 2:41 AM.

My newly twenty-three year old self is not content about seeing this hour right now because late evenings no longer take just one day of recovery, but TWO! Long gone are the years that I could stay up for three days straight and not miss a beat. Although, I also think that was a symptom of a far greater issue I had in high school called insomnia but ah, I digress.

Why am I up at this hour, you ask!?

Good question – I am asking the same thing.

Truthfully, I’ve been packing and cleaning as I am headed to a three-day retreat with my organization! It’s our biennial (I totally Googled this word just now… Must note – biannual happens twice a year, biennial happens every two years) retreat uniting all twelve of our sites across the nation for a few days of camaraderie, strategy, and a good measure of tomfoolery. One of our values as an organization is “Work hard and have fun” and I am quickly discovering that we take both of these imperatives very seriously.

The former has kept me away (anyone still out here? *cricket cue*) but once I settle into my new role, I intend to focus on getting some balance back into place. For now, I’m working my tail off to incorporate the processes and culture of my new organization. It’s a whole new world! Going from a Nanny/Content Strategist/Blogger hybrid of a day job to coordinating Corporate Engagement & Internships on Wall Street is a leeetle different, ya know. And the differences go way beyond my not being able to wear leggings to work every day anymore (sigh). But honestly speaking, for the first time in a LONG time, I feel that I’m getting my limits stretched.

And ultimately, that is a very good thing – all thanks to the phenomenal leadership teams in place above me.

Have you guys ever experienced this in a new role? Was it discouraging or did you find the challenge inspiring you to seize an new opportunity at success? Any recent updates in your life!? I’ve missed this community! Also, did you guys know that the word “biennial” is a real thing? It’s in Google, you guys. It’s real.

hip hip hooray

Hello dear friends!

How’re you? Happy Monday. Er, I know we all lost an hour but there are BIRDS WHISTLING OUTSIDE MY WINDOW RIGHT NOW and I am seriously rejoicing in this 50 degree weather. It might as well be summer over here, I am as happy as a clam. All I’m missing is a piña colada and some sunglasses.

I have a few other reasons for rejoicing, too.

First, I turned twenty-three yesterday! And although I was as sick as a dog, I still got to enjoy it.

Honestly, I can hardly believe I have the friends that I do. Where did they find me? What did I do find them? I’m not sure, but I’m so glad we are one another’s because life would be without laughter and adventures at Brooklyn’s new Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club and the pretty pink things they bring… on one’s birthday.

23-1

23-2

23-6

(this bathroom wallpaper was neat man, but the woman behind me had an afro so amazing, I was not worthy to be in the presence of it.)

23-6

I went shuffle boarding on Saturday but canceled yesterday’s plans because I felt so ill. I went to church, grabbed a green juice with a few friends and went grocery shopping for the necessities. I came home with a bag of vitamins and green things I’d never heard of before because I was so sad and so sick and buying a bunch of health foods I couldn’t pronounce was the only thing I could think to do. Upon walking in the door, my roommates surprised me with candle-lit cupcakes and flowers, and proceeded to take care of the rest of my day’s errands once I got home, including picking up more meds and my prescription. They’re amazing and teaching me more about extravagant love every single day.

Finallyyyyy, I began a new job today! First day on the job as a Corporate Relations Coordinator for one of the top non-profits in the country! I haven’t written about this opportunity at all because I was holding my breath until I signed the offer letter and knew it’d be official! Between training and staff meetings and plenty of cold medicine, today was a great first day – most of it a blur but a really wonderful blur. I want to share more on it but I’ll wait ’til I can do the story justice as it is a good one, one that has very little to do with me and more with the God who orchestrates lovely, funny things like this.

welcome banner YUNY

hope in hand

Hello my friends,

Long time no chat. I could say something about how busy it’s been but I will forego that whole process and trust that we are such good friends by this point that our meetings seamlessly pick up where we left off, unmarred by trivial things like time or season’s changing. These kinds of friendships are particularly special, aren’t they? They never make you apologize for not calling ’cause you both totally meant to – “You’re busy, I’m busy, but we still love each other like crazy and would pause our lives at the drop of a hat if the other one really needed us to.” They know all your favorite things and the names (and stories) of your biggest life romances so, the fact that you haven’t talked to them in a month is a non-issue. I’m writing to you all from the living room of one of those kinds of friends right now!

I’m hanging out and eating her food while my friend’s little one sleeps and she and her husband share a date. I actually love these evenings because 1. I would never go to Queens otherwise and I feel accomplished for getting out of Brooklyn each time. Even though I only ever see her block…… 2. I can see the Empire State Building along with the rest of the New York City skyline from her couch and no matter how many times I’ve come over, it’s still cool. I’m gonna go ahead and guess that getting out of Brooklyn was the inspiration I needed to get writing again. That, and the lyrical prose of Barbara Kingsolver. I visited my grandma in LA earlier this week and she, being the avid reader she is, threw a few book suggestions my way. She also suggested I stop drinking soda and eating sugar. And that I visit my gynecologist regularly.

She’s so sensible.

While we were in Los Angeles, my dear friend Lindsey and I also attended the Justice Conference – a conference exploring the many intersections between Christian faith and social justice. It was inspiring to hear the men and women leading creative reformative policies around social injustices, both near and abroad. I had to come face to face with the realization that I’m a part of a generation so jaded towards politics that I default towards not engaging with policy reform at all.

It was really easy as a teenager to engage with these issues and (in hopeful naivety, perhaps) believe that my dollar, my voting power, or vocal platform made a difference in the matter. I still have a proclivity towards equal-trade businesses and human rights causes but if I’m entirely honest, I often experience this numbing sense of defeat towards the nuances and complications of social justice issues. Ultimately, I’m tempted to conclude (along with many others, I suspect) that my energy investment won’t make a difference at all so “what’s the point?” (I feel a pang of shame as I write that, I suppose it’s been a subconscious thought until it materialized before me on this screen). At the end of the day however, there are still 27 million men, women, and children caught in slave labor with no rights available to them. There are still 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the US, without rights, healthcare, or pathway to a viable existence in this country. Sex trafficking, child soldiers – I mean, this conference covered the gamut of injustices occurring in our modern day world. Whether I feel any which way about these issues, people – human beings – will continue living their horrific realities. And that’s just not acceptable.

What was remarkable still is that during this conference, I was surrounded by men and women that knew these issues inside and out, experts on the nuances of their work field… Yet still imaginative, hopeful individuals that believed in a different kind of future than the one presented to them. People giving their income, their energy, their family’s very safety to usher in a world in which social injustices are few. I’m not romanticizing how difficult that must be – I’m certain that they pay a price for their work that I am nowhere near being willing to pay myself. But I want to be someday.

In which case, both action in hand with outrageous hope must begin today.

Continuing Part 2 of this post this week.