Wednesday, September 11, 2013


The scariest part is over.  My last day at my company was 8/27/13 and I haven't looked back since.

Before my official last day, I had plenty of preconceived notions as to how I'd feel and what I'd be doing with the seemingly endless amount of time.  I thought I'd immediately confirm my passion and catapult into an new arena, ready to battle further to reach my purest authenticity.  

Since my first day as a free woman, reality struck hard when I met my challenges and fears in person.  They were no longer ideas or a distant understanding of what I thought they were and felt like. They are here now, and being immersed in these realities is more difficult than imagined.  

The tools that have brought me confidence that still exists through these difficult moments are minimalism, meditation, financial success (I'm debt free, saved enough money to keep the lights on and eat well for an extended period of time).  I know my money will no longer go to superfluous items or activities any longer and I now have to be accountable for the goal of this journey. I cannot fail.

I've told all of my closest friends, family members and acquaintances about my recent endeavors and they are watching. The worst thing someone can do is quit something that is important because it seems difficult.  Besides hurting yourself, you never know who your inspiring with your journey, so push forward! 

While my schedule is still filling, I've so far participated in the family time I've missed so much, along with various outings with long lost friends. While this all sounds fair and well, I will still need to locate activities to confirm my passions. Time with friends, family and random days when I'm just taking a walk in the park all serve as a great foundation to new realizations. The journey is not about brainstorming your days away!

Throughout these next few months, I will do the due diligence to discover my passions by volunteering, taking classes, asking questions, and researching my various curiousities which until now have alluded me. When I'm not doing these activities, I will be enjoying life.

Onward. March!

Sunday, July 28, 2013


A lot has happened since the last time I posted. 
After suffering at work with my boss’ bullying for almost a year, Human Resources was able to place me onto a new Global team within the company (same building and job, different floor and team), in which I’ve now been with for almost 6 months. While this comes as great news and a sigh of relief, one of my adjacent goals was to confirm whether I liked my career or not.

While sitting in status calls each morning, trying to recall the details of each project, I remember feeling a sense of unhappiness, because, although these campaigns were large, they did not speak to my values and left my soul aching as I went through the motions of every urgent task. Why am I working so hard for something that doesn’t matter to me? I constantly asked myself why I need to worry and hustle over work that doesn’t add value to my life or others in a significant way.  After removing my belittling boss, over time I was able to clearly see that, despite now having a wonderful team to work with, I still don’t enjoy most aspects of my career. Although initially heartbreaking, this discovery relieves my current anxieties, because, with the proper steps, I’ll be able to get closer to my truest life.

Last Monday, I spoke to HR again, and although they're attempting to help move me onto a new department (something without killer hours, at least), I plan to take the ultimate leap and announce my two weeks notice sometime this month. For someone with my background (formerly homeless teen with little/no support or resources to make a better life for myself), the odds were against me, so finding a  'good' career with a wonderful atmosphere, awesome co-workers, health benefits, and steady pay has been a beacon. Letting go is very, very scary.  
In other news, I’ve moved out of my aunt and uncle’s attic and into an apartment with an acquaintance about a month ago. I’ve been with my family for 4 years while they supported me through college and the job search process, and although it hurts to separate from them, moving is the next natural step. I now have bills, and soon, a budget which I will share with you.

As John Burroughs said, "Leap and the net will appear."

Monday, December 10, 2012


I've purged a significant amount of my belongings to clear the floor and find happiness. Clearing space has actually done something even more interesting. It's made my soul-crushing job stand out more than it did before. Despite efforts to hold off on looking at my career (what about budgeting??), it's all I can think of. The truth is, I don't have major bills to pay, so it wouldn't make sense to show you my spending. This will come when I move back out on my own.

After spending time improving my performance/efficiency, I realized that my boss' bullying and manipulation has taken a priority and I can't tell whether this career is right or wrong, for me.

There has been a lot of work that went down between the previous post and this one.  I’ve been trying to get along with my boss. I thought the job wasn’t for me, because of him, but that’s not the correct way to think of things. 

Before deciding that a job isn't the right fit, I've learned to think about the work I've already done to solidify my position and relationships built with superiors and colleagues. I know much more than when I first started. 

Since this working relationship has become a cloud on my judgment, I will clear it to see whether my job and I are a good match.  Here’s a rundown of some things I attempted before deciding to request reassignment to a new team:
Went with the flow. I did things his way to see if he'd ease off and our relationship would improve, so I can focus on the work at hand.

Voiced my concerns politely and pleasantly. The micromanaging and passive aggressive jabs at my confidence started to take a toll, so I simply pulled him into a conference room and told him the way he speaks to me can be done differently. I tried to help him see it from my perspective and help him understand that I will not let his actions go unnoticed.
Kept it Short. An office bully has been the worst for sapping precious productivity. Even more so when it's my own boss. Whether he hovered around my desk, jabbering about how my emails should've been written, or found opportunities to tell me how terrible I was at certain tasks during casual conversation - I cut him off. While I didn't do anything overtly rude, I cut the opportunities by only engaging in work-related conversations. I kept it short and got back to work. My hope was that he would soon get the hint that I'm uninterested and focused on what's important.

Stayed focused. Being blindsided at work is distracting, worrisome, irritating and looms large like a giant black cloud. I often tried to get a moment to take a deep breath and remember that my focus must remain on the tasks at hand. My bullying boss hoped to derail my energies, waiting on the sidelines for me to screw up. I tried to remember to work to my fullest potential, so my achievements spoke on my behalf.

Killed 'em, with kindness. Whether he ridiculed my suggestion during a team meeting, or played Account Director when his boss wasn't around, it caused major distraction. I sought to put an end to his reign of terror by killing him with kindness. I responded to every jab with pure sweetness. Realizing his words may have been dripping with venom, I made mine sweet as honey. When he failed to get a rise out of me, he occasionally got bored and went back to his business.
Took the matter to the authorities.  The above efforts haven't exactly done the trick, so I spoke to his boss, who didn't think he could be so terrible.  Only after reaching out our Human Rescources department did my concerns become validated. 
My goal is to transfer onto a different team, so I can continue paying off school loans, saving money and studying to understand whether this is actually a soul crushing job or a diamond in the rough.

 Doing all the correct actions methodically, without pushing aggressively or giving up will give me the best outcome when the time is right. Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Before ever deciding to abruptly leave a job, do everything you can to make it work.  Plan your week, measure your performance, declutter your desk, improve relationships with co-workers.  Ask yourself if making some adjustments could make a difference in how you feel the Sunday night before a long week ahead.   

Due to all the anxiety I face when I think about the work at hand, I decided to explore better ways to get through the week.  I need to understand whether this job is right for me and I whether it's possible to condition myself further, hone skills, and develop the capability to get through the tough situations (you're only as strong as your weakest point). 

Tonight, I decluttered my cubicle.  After collecting all the highlighters from drawers, under piles of paper and scattered around my desk, I realized I had a collection that would last me a couple of years if they didn't dry up first.  I saved almost every piece of paper and had several forgotten stacks of papers I promised I'd sort through and one day do something interesting with, like hole punch them a put them into a few neat binders.  It will never happen, so out they went.  Extra supplies went back to the supply room, and decor that didn't speak to my heart were thrown away.

I still don't know if my job and I are the right fit, but I have to try and make it work before exploring new options.  So here's to effort, and thicker skin!

Monday, November 5, 2012


I never take vacations, but went on a sudden trip to the Dominican Republic this past October.

Before getting on the plane, I was having trouble managing tasks and priorities at work.  I found it difficult to break it down, divide and conquer each issue. The problem was that every day was different from the next and it seemed impossible to “trim the fat”  of confusion to see really required an adjustment. Leaving my element and taking a step back was exactly what I needed and I didn’t even know it. 

Fear of this task caused procrastination on this posting, but writing here is helping me get further!

On the island, I was able to see the whole picture and notice the bottom line: I wasn't taking care of myself. No matter how burned out and overwhelmed I felt, I smiled through it and said "yes" to every request thrown at me. I also gave myself an endless to-do list with unattainable goal of getting  it all done today. Without consideration of how exhausted I felt, I'd get through my list, even if it was after hours and even if this could have been taken care of in the morning, or next week. Giving myself these hopeless plans, left me looking and feeling like hell. People were beginning to notice.

General Learning:
During the vacation, I paid visits to family I hadn't seen in years, visited tourist attractions and local spots. In between these excursions, I slept well, went to the hair salon, nail salon, and a spa for massages. Since prices were so affordable compared to American prices, I re-cooped in a manner I've never encountered. I reflected on how the women of the Dominican Republic take care of their appearance and prioritize family over working overly long hours. On a weekly basis, you'd find the salons filled with women, beautifying themselves with well rested eyes. I can incorporate a bit of this habit into my life.

As much as people like New York, the state of mind can burn people out. It’s interesting to take a beating and then learn a thing or two from another culture.Time yourself. 

Practical Tip:
Although each workday is different than the last, some tasks repeat each day or week.

      1.)    Get a notebook or piece of paper and keep it in a top drawer or next to your computer.

2.)    Every time you do the specified task, write down how long it took in a notebook or sheet of paper. 

3.)    The next time, try to beat the last clocked time and keep it up until you’ve reached a satisfactory timing.

General Tips

Organize your day the night before. As I’ve said in my previous posting, your workday starts the night before.  Clear off your desk at the end of every day. Jot down a list of items you want to accomplish the next day and number your top three priorities. Tackle those three priorities before doing other items. 

It's ok to say ‘not right now’. Although very similar to the above, this can help keep you away from distraction and focused on priority tasks.  Write requests down on a separate sheet and sort into your ‘to-do’ list.

Be realistic about the ‘to-do’ list. Get the urgencies taken care of first. Staying after-hours to prep meeting materials for a meeting can wait until the morning. instead of focusing on the finishline and becoming frustrated, mindfully pay attention and enjoy the task to completion

Tell colleagues you’re going home.  This was the biggest help for me. One of my bosses seemed to appreciate when I admitted I was tired or said I had to leave at 6PM.  She understood I can finish tasks quickly, with a clear mind, in the morning.

Get at least 8 hours of sleep. While we’ve heard this many times, I haven’t been able to go to bed earlier than 12:30 my whole life.  I now go to bed at 10PM Sunday night-Thursday nights. My body, and boss will thank me. More energy=efficient workflow.

Here's an articale that might be helpful:

My boss is taking me more seriously and I've discovered even more "me time".

Do you have time management tips to share? Post them below!

Sunday, September 30, 2012


I’m afraid of moving out on my own again.
I’m afraid of accumulating material things.
I’m afraid that I won’t pay attention.
I’m afraid that I’ll spend beyond my means.
I’m afraid of getting stuck in a career that makes me sick from stress.
I’m afraid of being tied down to things I discover aren’t for me.
I’m afraid of missing the things that count.
I’m dead serious about letting go of my fears.

I want you to stop wasting time with things that don’t matter.  I’m dead serious about this for you as well.  That’s the bridge between knowing and doing what you need to do. Minimalism is easy in the beginning, becomes difficult after the first buzz of confidence and excitement wears off, and is much easier over time, so you stick to it. Be patient with yourself and have confidence.

Most people that become minimalists were climbing the corporate ladder to accumulate things, only to realize that they’re no happier than they were before buying that stupid vase, or those skinny jeans.  Do it for the right reasons. What’s the money is for?  What is this paycheck REALLY for? For me, I need to find this out before moving out again.  I don't want to feel stuck, paying for a lifestyle that's not for me.
Small signs of progress.  I’m starting to see areas of simplicity and joy:

I’ve been sleeping a little better since revealing my evening and morning routines.  My daysconsisted of exhaustion, ruminating thoughts, procrastination and stress.  It felt like I was freaking out ALL day and that wasn’t healthy.  Cutting out the TV at night and instead, doing the things I enjoy- such as reading and sitting in silence, stops the desire to stay up till 2AM. Eliminate one major TV watching session has made all the difference. 

The morning routine starts the night before.  What you’re evening look like?
Streamlining of my work day will come next....

Sunday, September 23, 2012


I've been ruthless about the things I've had to discard. 

My Big Baby Taylor guitar has been with me for 8 years and while I learned a few chords, I never got much further in the learning process.  Despite knowing that I didn't want to learn how to play anymore, I kept it hung proudly.  Everytime I paid enough attention, it felt as though the Big Baby was calling me a failure, when that wasn't the case.  It's called acceptance.  So, I began asking myself whether now was the time to scale back my hobbies (none of which have been mastered).  I posted the Big Baby on and sold it to a great musician, but it's not entirely the right time.

 The next round was suppose to be about narrowing down hobbies to the one that counts, but besides cutting physical items, streamlining my cluttered schedule, which also has blocks of unmoveable/regular mandatories, must come first.

How can I streamline my weekday routines, so I can include things I enjoy?  A few days go, I took a snapshot of my workweek by tracking everything I did starting from my arrival home after work (this is where bad habits begin, which adversely affect the next day).  I also listed the REASON for the activity so I can later decide whether it stays or goes.  I'm not naturally organized or disciplined. I'm on autopilot all day, don't plan ahead and take it all as it comes. This is bad for even the most organized person, so something has to change. Before reading about my day, here's an interesting video on how to break a bad habit:
 Here's 24 hours:
  • Get home from work at 9pm (might need to streamline work day)
  • Go straight to the livingroom (want to relax asap)
  • Sit with coat on (too tired to remove)
  • Watch tv (desire to unwind/do something light-hearted)
  • Talk with family (otherwise, I'd only see them on weekends)
  • Continue watching tv after family goes to bed (I want to relax alone)
  • Remove coat (desire to be more comfortable)
  • Turn tv off at 12:35AM (trying to have a life and not go straight to bed)
  • Procrastinate bedtime (worry about to-do list for work tomorrow)
  • Go to my room/remove coat (coats in room so it feels like my own apartment)
  • Turn on computer/read blogs (trying to have a life and not go straight to bed)
  • Strip clothes/no pjs (too sleepy to put on pjs)
  • Go to bed at 2am (trying to have a life and not go straight to bed)
  • 7:10am shower (to feel less shitty)
  • Pick skin (desire for clear skin)
  • Lotion body (so my skin won't get tight)
  • Put on underthings/jeans (it's getting cool outside/nothing else to wear)
  • Try on a couple of shirts - (desire to be taken seriously by the intern, especially because my boss talks down to me in front of her)
  • Settle on a shirt (stripes make me look smart)
  • Braid my ponytail (to hide my dry hair texture and split ends)
  • Apply makeup - (to hide scarring from picking skin)
  • 5 minute meditation - (stop mind from racing/calm myself)
  • Put coat on in my room (so it feels like I'm leaving an apartment)
  • Purse (same reason previously stated)
  • Go downstairs (I need the money from work)
  • Complain about work to uncle- (this is a cry for help)
  • Drink a glass of milk quickly- (I guess it's better than drinking water/don't feel like eating b'fast and chatting)
  • Complain about work again- (another cry for help)
  • Hug my uncle goodbye (to apologize for complaining. It's not his fault)
  • Walk to the bus - (take the longer, scenic route to be around more people and boost mood)
  • Sit in the bus and write this  (me time/sanity)
  • Sit in train and write this (me time/sanity)
  • Write to-do list for work - (for ease of morning)
  • Buy breakfast- (I didn't sleep much, so I better eat so I don't passout or something)
  • Get into the office...

AFTER WORK. The cycle continues...
  • Abruptly leave the office at 8pm (again, I might need to streamline my work day)
  • Take the train/nap (desire to relax immediately/accidental)
  • Take the bus/nap (desire to relax immediately/accidental)
  • Get home
  • Sit in the living room with coat on...
Going through the above, I immediately noticed that I must do the following:
  • Write to-do list at my desk before leaving the office
  • When I get home, I need to get real and hang my coat by the door
  • I stay downstairs until everyone goes to bed because, in the end, I want alone time.  I need to go straight upstairs for a shower and pjs.  Reading, writing, and meditation are the real ways for relaxation.
  • I must get up early enough to have breakfast with my family. 
  • I must remember to be thankful
Let's see how these small routine adjustments affect the next few days...