Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Glass Half....

Full.

I like to see the glass half full.  Optimism vs Pessimism.

This is really hard.  Especially in New York.

Do you love NY?
Source: Wikipedia
A few nights ago I had dinner with two dear friends (at Tortaria on University Place. Great spot!) and as we were saying goodbye I realized we spent most of the night complaining.  Work, our cities, career aspirations, housing, love lives etc.  Nothing seemed to be going "the right way".  I was slightly bothered by the negative tone that the night took on (although we had a great time) and realized that although we had been a bit pessimistic, it was really nice and comforting to have two good people to talk to about these trials and tribulations.

Tacos from our "negative", but really fun, dinner!

I have some friends who pass off every complaint or frustration as "something that happens to everyone".  Maybe that is so, but sometimes I just want to complain about it and bask in the negativity for a little bit.  Don't just pass off my feelings as something that is universal.

Living in NYC, it can feel like everything is working against you.  The subway breaks down, a homeless person spits on you*, paper towels cost $5...the list goes on.  I constantly feel like there is a moment, a turning point, where I can decide to be pessimistic or decide to be optimistic.  Often, choosing the path of optimism is harder and requires more effort to "see the bright side".  I think of it as Cross-Fit for the brain and emotions.  You hate it in the moment, but afterwards you feel much better.

Today, I read a piece about how Love and Ambition cannot coexist in Manhattan.  Upon reading the title, I agreed.  However, when I dove into the piece I was appalled at the overarching negativity.  I don't think that finding love and ambitiously pursuing a career in New York is easy, but it is certainly not impossible.

I wrote a response.

The article.
Why Ambition and Love Can't Live Together in New York

My response.
"As a NY-er (I've lived here independently for 2 years and spent all but my 4 years in college in NYC or the surrounding area), I think it's a bit harsh to say "There’s no time to go to the gym or partake in single’s activities at Central Park. There’s no time for blind dates and yoga classes. There’s no room for kickboxing or pilates during the day. There’s no way to keep my butt tight and my schedule open." 

If you want to do it, you will make time. I go to the gym, I take yoga classes, I have drinks with friends, I work 9-6 (at least) and I also have a few side projects that I am working on/helping out with. I am not "actively" searching for dates and if something comes along, I take it. I sometimes feel like I'm doing too much, but in NY when you're not doing so much it feels like you're doing nothing. I get bored.

Life, whether you're in NYC or in Omaha, is about choices. Ambitiously pursuing a career does not need to be at the expense of dating or finding love and vice versa. Time management. Prioritization.

I'm not saying that juggling all of this is easy and I do think that the dating scene in New York is like no other place on this planet, but there are plenty of people that are ambitious and in great relationships or happily dating (multiple?) people.

Maybe it's time to stop relying on OK Cupid or Tinder or Hinge as the sole way to meet a potential S.O. and take our ambitions and use those to meet people. I once met someone who married a woman he met on the subway. He ambitiously pursued her while climbing the corporate ladder. Now that's love and ambition in NYC."


What does this all mean?  For the most part, we have control over our actions and our disposition.  If more people choose optimism and choose to make things work, will it?  I have to believe that it will, at least to an extent.

Trust me, I know this is easier said than done, but I figure it's worth a try.

*A homeless man did spit on my sister. Truth. On 14th Street between 6th and 7th circa 2009.  We stopped into Red Mango to get napkins to wipe the loogie off her sleeve.