I'm in New York, New York now. :) I've traveled ~679 miles this week, and ~2841 miles overall. Here's the trusty visual again:
This week, I'm working with a nonprofit organization called the Jed Foundation. Their mission statement:
"The Jed Foundation is the leading nonprofit organization working to reduce the rate of suicide and the prevalence of emotional distress of college students."
This job is my first traditional one, for I'm working 10am to 6pm all five days. I have my own desk and computer too! The work that the Jed Foundation does is personal for me. Having experienced mental illness for most of my life, one of my focuses in life is to do all that I can to remove the unnecessary stigma that follows it. I made sure that one of my one-week jobs would give me knowledge to keep me on that path.
As far as my tasks, I'm doing my part to help move some of the Foundation's projects along. I expect that each day will be similar, and I'm okay with that. As long as I'm helping a cause I care deeply about in any way, I feel happy. I do have a hunch that the staying-in-an-office-all-day bit will not be my favorite thing, though. However, in addition to the Foundation's mission, I chose this job because I wanted to experience what is customary in careerism. It's good to question the normal by doing unique things, but it is also important to still experience the normal. That way, you can say you've "done it all", that you've made an informed move in regards to your future.
So about the actual CITY I'm working in.
I got into New York around 11am on Sunday, and was amazed at the size of the bus terminal. I later found out that the Port Authority Bus Terminal is the largest bus station so my awe wasn't exaggerated. Outside, I found a taxi quickly. The driver turned out to be Ghanaian! Having a cultural connection is always nice...but so is having good communication. He told me he knew the location of my lodging, but his driving conveyed otherwise.
So in the first minutes of my first visit to New York City, I was giving SOMEONE ELSE directions.
Had I not taken action, my fare would have been outrageous. Whether or not he was in denial or trying to steal my money, I'm glad I spoke up. I cannot lie; it was a confidence booster. :)
I arrived at my location a few minutes later, where I finally got to meet the owner of the Bed and Coffee (B&C), Anne. Anne is a charismatic, kind-hearted businesswoman and painter who is letting me stay on one of her couches for free. She helped Sean in the same way during the Project, so I am grateful to him for the connection. Harrison, Anne's assistant, gave me a tour of the place and gave me some helpful tips for staying in NYC. He's already made me aware of events going on so I can make the best of my stay. Very hospitable guy.
After I got settled in, a couple of us went to watch the World Cup final. You know how that ended:
I decided to take the Subway to work, to make the next morning smoother. I'm slow with directions, needing to physically walk/drive the path, so I'm hoping to confidently navigate the MTA by Friday. I successfully made it to work and back, sat at a lovely park for awhile, ate dinner, showered, and passed out in couch. I seem to be doing that a lot, passing out from the day. I think that's good. The good-tired, not the bad-tired. It means my life is going well. :)
Yesterday, I made it to my first day of work with time to spare, and Stephanie, the Foundation's Program Manager, put me right to work. I spent most of the day looking over website content, which kept my attention for the entire eight hours. If you haven't gathered already, I'm a real nerd when it comes to information search. After work, I had dinner...which was a huge mistake.
I ate McDonald's.
I ate McDonald's in New York City.
I don't know how, it just happened! Never again, I apologize (to whom I'm not sure)!
When I got back to the B&C, Harrison told me about this great live music show going on that evening. He wasn't forceful, but after the McDonald's error, I could see that he was trying to gently push me to get the heck out of the B&C and actually do something New York.
Though I meant to go out like a young person should, I accidentally fell asleep until this morning.
Sigh. Two strikes.
Currently, I'm back at the B&C from my second day of work, during which I did some research for a new project and a new website concept. I'm determined to do something this evening. It's not every day that you're in "The City"! I can sleep when I'm not awake! Which should be next week. Send me peer pressure vibes please.
So What About You?
Why Do You think I'm so terrible at being in New York for the first time?
I'm joking with the question, but You can answer it if you want. I'm embarrassed and disappointed in myself. Feel free to laugh at my ways...