Thursday, July 21, 2011

Looking forward to Cupertino

I still have a little over two weeks left in New York City, and I'm not ready to leave. Nuh-uh. I have people to see. Concerts to go to. Restaurants to eat at. I need to clear out an afternoon to go to the botanical gardens. Problem is, I won't have time. My work schedule, as it stands, leaves me free from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. Monday to Wednesday, from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, and free Sunday. I can't plan exquisite, intricate outings, especially when I need to practice all week next week for the guitar-on-the-street concert James and Christy and I are performing in. At the beginning of my summer, I told myself I was going to use Time Out New York to attend at least one cultural event, poetry reading, or grand opening I otherwise wouldn't have discovered. That's...probably not going to happen.

Unless I get fired from my fundraising job. Which, today, having signed a grand total of 0 people (I had two great, great chances), could very well happen by Saturday. It would be embarrassing, but it would also be liberating -- in fact, so liberating (I would have Thursday - Sunday weekends) that I think I'm unconsciously screwing myself over so that I can get fired. I did show up to work today an hour late. And I did take more unnecessary breaks than I needed to. And I did think to myself, "This white girl is never going to stop for me." (She didn't.) So who knows. I might have more time than I know what to do with.

The other option, of course, is to extend my time in the city and stay past August 6th. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that I want to be back in Cupertino. For those of you who know the place, I realize this is a perplexing thought. The city has 50,000 people. The "it" spot is a movie theater in a dead-end shopping mall. All the stores close at 9 p.m. I'm positive that any city block in Manhattan is more lively and entertaining than all of where I live.

But it's home. There's good weather (balmy, not humid), clean outdoor basketball courts, capacious farmers' markets, and easy access to San Francisco. I can't wait to see my family; walk around my backyard; and visit Google and SF to catch up with old friends. Most importantly, I can't wait to have free time. Dead time. Time I can use to catch up on writing, to reflect on four years of college, to ease myself out of the do-do-do mentality and concentrate inward.

I love New York, but it's exhausting. I'm going to expound in a later post, but, here, I'm constantly tired, and experiencing peak after valley after peak after valley. As a natural introvert, it's quite a sea change from my true being, and it's fun in the moment, but I don't know -- sometimes I need time to get away from it all. And in New York, unless you go to New Haven (which is happening next week!), I can't really get away from it all. To sum it up: there's opportunity cost discomfort here. Like the paradox of choice, where having too much makes you less happy. (Although, I don't know, I'm pretty happy now.)

As I'm writing this, I realize how ridiculous I sound, choosing Cupertino over New York specifically for its lack of action. And honestly, when I get back to Cupertino, I'll probably spend too much time online, and feel bored much, much more than I want to be. I'll miss New York -- the faces on the subway, the variegated events, the meshing of old buddies and new friends. Taking the subway back from Brooklyn at 1 a.m. tonight, I looked at the subway map and realized that for the first time ever, I understood all of it. Heck, let's start here: I finally know the locations of all the boroughs.

This realization brought me thinking about my original point: how much I have left to do. I'm going to have so, so much unfinished business when I board my plane to the West Coast. I haven't even played basketball in Harlem yet, for crying out loud! And yet, as much as a big part of me won't be fine with that, a small part of me will be fine with leaving this behind. (Yale, anyone?) In August, I'll be back in Cupertino, relaxing and preparing for the Philippines, and, if I really think about it, that's a happiness of its own.

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