“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”  – Dalai Lama

Impulses vary. There are the variety that fall into the shoot-that-was-so-stupid impulse category, like the drunk text or the obnoxiously unnecessary comment to a co-worker or random idiot riding their bike in the running path. And then there are impulses that fall into the I’ve-been-reflecting-on-this-often-and-need-to-do-something-about-it category. Those in the later group are decisions that may seem impulsive to an onlooker, but you’ve been internalizing them much longer, perhaps even subconsciously. These simply feel right. By nature, I’m impulsive; it takes a lot for me to calm down and think rationally. When I have an idea or desire, I crave getting started immediately. But then I look to the little John Wooden on my shoulder to whisper in my ear: “Be quick, but don’t hurry.” And to Rudyard Kipling to relax my urges with my favorite, most inspiring poem, If. “If you can wait and not be tired by waiting…”

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If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;   
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
-Rudyard Kipling
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In November 2011, I moved to San Francisco with grandiose plans to find a job doing something I love (that something I was still seeking), while working part-time for an independent documentary filmmaker. When I wasn’t forced to juggle all the opportunities thrown my way, I was in shock. Reality, baby…one of the many things you don’t learn in school. After the driest of dry spells, I was offered a job working in customer service at the men’s e-commerce clothing company, Bonobos. To say I photo (5)lucked out is an understatement. Although I abhorred my commute more than I cursed those idiots riding bikes in the running lane, I had the pleasure of working with amazing, fun, driven, and empathetic friends for a company centered around cultivating good people. It was oftentimes surreal. So when Bonobos decided to close our west coast office, which was bizarrely situated in the middle of residential Palo Alto, offering for us to move to NYC and work at headquarters, I felt badly saying, “Ummm…definitely NO WAY,” so outright. But I did. From infancy, I swore to myself I would never live in NYC. Why? Because I hate it. My family is from Long Island, or Strong Island as I like to put it, and whenever we were “forced” to go into the city for some sort of cultural venture, I felt the need to escape. To me, NYC was a hugeeee Alcatraz.
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parting is sad.
parting is sad.

With my mind set on avoiding lockup on the rock that is NYC, I was befuddled when the prospects of finding another job were just as daunting as when I moved to SF over a year ago…what in the world did I want to do?! And so, on an impulse…one that felt unsettling…I rescinded my “not moving to NYC” contract, and decided to travel to the land of Lady Liberty and subway rats. Even before I moved (this April), I wanted to move back. My room in NYC resembled an SF/Cali shrine; in hindsight this was probably a terrible idea. Don’t get me wrong, NYC is an amazing city – there are a million things to do all the time and it’s the definition of real. Not to mention, amazinggg shopping. In my roommates, I made two new best friends and I would never take that back. In fact, I don’t regret moving…I wouldn’t be sure if my deep-rooted hatred was real or just a visage. And in the four short months I lived surrounded by monster buildings and concrete, I learned more than in all four years of college. Mainly that I can never live in NYC. And so, what may look impulsive to some, but to me was a long time coming, I moved back to Cali. How I feel right now is inexplicable. Sometimes your gut tells you to loose weight, other times it tells you to get up and move.

When you know NYC isn’t right for you:
  1. You leave a weekend bag packed to the brim with all of your favorite/best clothes in a cab next to you on the seat. Not even in the trunk. And you pay with cash so there’s zero way to track it down.photo (8)
  2. You sprint, like a quarterback running down an open field, out of the subway to escape the damp tunnel as your wallet, tucked under your arm like a football, flies in slow motion behind you and onto the subway tracks. And then you wait for an hour in the tunnel you tried so hard to escape for an angelic man in a construction hat holding a clawed stick.
  3. After feeding your wallet to the rats, it takes the man working in the subway booth to help you realize that taking your frustration out on others is counterproductive.
  4. You feel claustrophobic in Central Park.
  5. You spend every waking minute dreaming about the west coast.
  6. Your idea of fun is making granola and waking up early to hike and paddle board.
  7. On a clear, beautiful day, you expect to see stars at night.
  8. You assume everyone will act like this (but slightly less annoying):

Internal anxiety and feeling unsettled can’t be conquered by a change of scenery – it’s all internal. In the end, you can make yourself content anywhere as long as you’re happy with yourself. But sometimes, you need to act on that little impulse to spark momentum. And so, I packed my bags and headed home…of course flying standby because I missed my flight.

“In California, they don’t throw their garbage away – they make it into TV shows.” –Woody Allen

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Freaky Fresh Best Coast Frieda

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