Episode 12

Monday

“Hey Siri, what’s the weather?”

“..It’s 60 degrees in NY right now.”

🤦‍♀️

Well time for the turtle neck to come out.

7:00 SIM22

I never had to walk to the back of the bus before, but a lady moved to another row and left two empty chairs for me. Gracias!

Halfway down the turnpike I realized why she had left. The couple in the row before me didn’t shut the hell up the whole ride! My Netflix show couldn’t even drown them out.

I took the train because my feet were still crying from last week. I did 10,000+ steps on Friday alone.

Song of the Day: Swizz Beatz’ “Money in the Bank”

His album drops November 2nd. But this song is still fire! 🔥

Work update: I completed my 1st draft of my second write-up 😝 and feel pretty excited about it.

Sometime after 6:00 🕕

I was about to get off the bus once I saw there were no seats but we started moving. I finally found a window seat in the back and got so mad that the guy didn’t follow the rules. He didn’t move in, but he did get up so I could sit by the window. Thankfully I got there first – some lady couldn’t find a seat either. What a struggle!

I spent the ride home watching season 1, episode 9 of House of Cards.

Other people were playing some old games on their phones: Candy Crush – is that still a thing? – and one girl was catching a Pokémon on the bus!

I wanted to cheer her on so bad, but that game was so last year. I’m not making fun of her at all – I used to be one of those Pokémon trainers in the streets trying to catch em all!

Tuesday

We got the front row on the bus! My mom came to the city again today.

At the last stop, some guy got on to check the occupancy. I wanted to scream out: “Get us more SIM22’s!” But it was too early to yell and besides, they need more for the trip home.

Sometime around noon 🕛

The elevators were zooming by. I ran to slap the button and heard it come to a rushed pause. I couldn’t stop laughing, picturing the people inside all flying to the ceiling with the abrupt stop at my floor. Luckily no one was in the elevator.

Juggling update: I am learning to juggle 2 balls and 1 pin at the same time.

Sometime after 5:30 🕠

Before we got on the bus, we stopped at that bakery again. I didn’t know it was The Cake Boss’ bakery. My mom wanted to try the carrot cake I raved about.

Then the bus finally arrived and there were no seats. We found out too late and had to stand. I saw a seat in the back, but the lady didn’t move over, so I maneuvered in the aisle to get my mom past me so she could sit. I stood, others stood, and 15 minutes into the ride, I gave up. I sat on the floor in the aisle.

What.

A.

Day.

Wednesday

I decided to walk to the transit center since I’ve been taking the train to work and skipping out on those much needed steps.

It’s a nice walk, but I need thicker socks!

I was the first on line for the bus and sat down in the glass shack (you know – the glass box that they usually have at most bus stops; It’s like a tiny house with a bench inside.)

The others showed up minutes before the bus came.

It’s funny how I grill people for not going to the end of the line, even if the bus stop has multiple routes. I think about how they’re dressed and assume they’re going to the city, then wonder why they aren’t getting on the line. But if they’re dressed down or if it’s a kid, I know they’re going on the regular city bus. I know, I know, it’s not nice to judge, but I can’t stand line cutters and I’m getting pretty good at figuring it all out.

Well, some guy showed up a minute before the SIM22 rolled by and I immediately scanned his wardrobe, looking for clues as to what bus he was waiting for.

The SIM22 peeked around the curb and I jumped up so the others – including him – could acknowledge my status on the line.

He also moved toward the curb. 🤔

I thought to myself – he has to let us go up the stairs first. But he didn’t and I couldn’t believe what was happening. I felt like I had to tap his shoulder and point to the ten people behind me, like they were all expecting a hero, and I had let them down. I just mumbled – there’s a whole line – And got on the bus.

Somehow, my phone didn’t charge overnight so I was forced to plug the charger in, instead of my headphones. Apple problems – I don’t like using my wireless Beats in Manhattan so I use the pluggable ones that came with my iPhone X.

Without my podcast app, I was forced to get lost in my surroundings: the guy to my right was looking at a map of America, the guy to my left was playing Wii U, and the bus started making awful sounds like a bunch of metal poles vibrating in a sink in the midst of a cicada outbreak.

I put my headphones on and gave up on charging my phone.

Welcome to Times Square!

Work update: I finished my final draft of my first write-up, still waiting on a review of my second package and started a new project.

I juggled at lunch after nearly getting lost in Macy’s. I had no idea Macy’s took up the entire block! I wanted comfortable work boots and kept getting stuck in the boujee shoe sections. They had high end designers within the shoe department and all I wanted was the normal shoe section – for real people – with real bank accounts.

I ended up at Rainbow down the block and got comfy black boots for $20!

Since I walked to the bus depot this morning, I decided to take the SIM6 home. I walked what felt like 100 blocks to get to Lexington & E34th. There were like two seats left. Some privileged chick had her shopping bags on the seat next to her, so instead of starting a problem, I sat next to a woman who didn’t seem to want a neighbor. The seat rocked back and forth with every abrupt stop the driver made and the six rows dedicated to wheelchairs, all shook and ejected passengers the entire ride.

The girl in front of me screamed out and broke the somewhat quiet bus. Everyone else got scared and the girl apologized over and over. We all started laughing. She tried to bring her chair upright but the bus stopped at the same time, causing her chair to quickly recline further back than she was used to.

I absolutely hate this bus! Never again! All because I wanted to be dropped off closer to home. I’ll just walk up to Times Square tomorrow.

I don’t understand how the metro card machine doesn’t calculate seat count. If I went to a movie theater and tried to buy tickets, the cashier would say, “Sold Out!”

So when I swipe my metro, why doesn’t it “buy my seat” and mark it sold? That way when someone asks the driver if there are there anymore seats, the driver can give an educated answer other than a shoulder shrug!

Two women are standing and I feel their pain. One thing I can appreciate is the guy who ended up making the chick move her shopping bags. He even asked if one of the standing women wanted to sit. Kudos, man.

The privileged chick shut their air vents, but he said he was hot. I wanted to laugh so bad. You can’t touch someone else’s air vent.

This bus is so different. Now she’s talking on the phone. You’re supposed to be quiet. This is wind-down time.

As people got off at their stops, I moved to the front row. I just about had enough of the rocking chair I was sitting in. I complained to the driver about the metro card reader not counting the seats and he laughed and said there’s more changes coming in January. He doubted they would do anything about seat counts, but the routes will be altered yet again. 😮 Just when I got used to my commute!

#ByeSIM6

Oh and somehow, my nail fell off somewhere in Midtown.

Thursday

👀 I think it’s time for a coat. I had asked my dad if he wanted to contribute to my winter coat fund. He said “Sure, I’ll get the hood!” 🤦‍♀️ He thinks he’s hilarious.

The driver from Friday is back – you know – the whistling, “good morning” driver who waited for late people at the last stop.

The bus checker wasn’t there today, he must be handling official bus duty at the Capitol.

A man hesitantly put his metro through while stretching his neck over the others but the good morning driver reassured him, “there’s seats.”

I was so tempted to ask how he knew that but there’s a sign not to talk to the driver.

I sat back and listened to 2 Dope Chicks while the sun came up.

I finally asked the driver about seat count once we left the tunnel and he said he keeps his own count. I congratulated him for being a team player.

So the wind nearly took me back to Staten Island – I had just loosened my scarf and came close to getting side-swiped by a pigeon! It was a close call.

I made new friends at lunch. Some guy in a suit was walking down the stairs on his hands. He was with my usual juggle group and I asked if I could tape him for my blog. He was super chill about it. I had no clue how big juggling really is – they invited me to join their juggle group on Facebook and share my blog with their community. 🤹‍♀️

Friday

Someone almost tried to cut the line and I was the first person at the stop, so I wasn’t having that! The lady after me said she thinks we’ve been cut, and she gave me the squinted-shifty eyes. Naturally, I looked at the new girl in the glass hut and turned my body toward the direction of the bus. But my line-mate didn’t pay attention and the cutter got on the bus after me. 🤦‍♀️

My window seat allowed me to shrink inside my hood and pass out. 42nd St popped up out of no where! All I wanted was breakfast. The self service kiosks were out of order so I was forced to speak to a cashier:

Me – “Can I get a sausage biscuit?

Guy – “Do you want the meal?”

Me – “No, and an order of pancakes.”

Guy – “….”

He had confusion all over his face. I didn’t know how I could’ve offended or confused him.

Him – “you mean hot cakes?”

Me – “Yeah, pancakes.”

Really? You can’t call hot cakes, pancakes? What planet is this?

Work update: I submitted my first complete deal!!!!! I told you it was a lengthy process – a lot of back and forth.

For lunch I got a happy meal and it came with Hello Kitty glasses!

My squad still doesn’t understand how they sold me one.

After work we celebrated another week and the squad had a few happy hour mystery beers.

Outside on 8th Ave, they had giveaways!

I made it to my bus on time, got my own row and basically got prepped for the nap of my life!

Check back for more SamWriteNow & the City!

Episode 11

Tuesday

The commute got better now that I understand the timing of these buses. If I miss one, I get on the next one about 10 minutes later and still get to work almost 30 minutes early.

I was making my laps around midtown when I caught a selfie queen and had to capture the “selfie of a selfie.”

Read more Samwritenow!

Episode 10

Happy Friday! I made two weeks in the city and I’m so excited!

It was an eventful day, so here’s a solid recap:

My mom came to work with me today. She decided to work out of the beautiful Manhattan office and see how “the squad” was adjusting to our new roles.

We caught the SIM22 and walked down to the building. I wanted her to get the full city experience like I had.

We stopped for breakfast and did the tour of the area. She loved it. (Obvi!)

Lunchtime

I took her down to Moe’s in the underground. And if anyone knows what that is like during the afternoon, you’ll understand just how this next scene unfolded:

Read more SamWriteNow!

Episode 5

Friday marked my first official work week in the city. I knew which bus route to get me in early (SIM22) and which to get me home in decent time (SIM10 or 30)

I learned never to travel up to 42nd to catch a bus to Staten Island.

And yes, I still love commuting to Manhattan everyday. The scenery is exciting, here’s a recap:

Read more SamWriteNow!

Wisdom & Wardrobe

Life is like shopping for the perfect outfit.

We demand knowledge every second from the moment we make our debut into the world—begging to learn about life and what it all means. Think about it, we are constantly learning—sometimes forcefully—sometimes by accident. It never stops.

But what if life only stops once we have made it to our personal learning limit?

Maybe once we feel we did our best, we can return home so another cycle can begin. Maybe we get second, third, and fourth chances to gain all the knowledge in the world. Maybe we are all just looking for what we missed in the past lives we’ve held like running through the clearance rack for that one shirt that would complete our outfit. And like our best outfit, that one missing piece is hard to find!

Life is a lot like shopping. If life is the shopping experience, the lessons learned are the accessories.

We are constantly trying to show off what we have, what we know, and all we want is for someone to notice us.

We are born naked, completely void of knowledge or life lessons. We squirm around in a panic begging for something, anything. And what do we get? Swaddled with a nursing blanket and placed on our momma’s chest. We lay listening to her soothing heartbeat, the one we grew beside for nine months, and it puts us back at ease.

First life lesson: Mommy will always keep you safe.

Accessory: Blanket

Our childhood is about exploring the world around our crib. We hear things like “No!” or “Don’t touch!” We run and jump and do things we never thought possible, like ride a bike, climb a tree, or even jump from the top step of the staircase. We don’t understand why we are told “no,” so we continue, until it is way too late and we get a booboo.

Life lesson: Take baby steps.

Accessory: Shoes.

Something happens around puberty where we lose our shit! Our hormonal imbalance transforms us into anxious pre-teens with deep insecurities. Suddenly, joking around with the boys isn’t funny anymore and feelings get brutalized after a joke goes too far. Being a “friend” is hurtful when you want the person to “like you” like you. Underwear is upgraded from pampers to actual panties or briefs and bras. The expression is formed during these years: “Put your big girl/boy draws on and grow up!”

Life lesson: Don’t be so sensitive.

Accessory: Underwear.

We did it, we made it to our twenties. By now, we should’ve had at least ONE heartbreak. Our idiot selves are so clueless. We wear our hearts on our sleeves and wonder why we get them stolen and returned with bruises. We throw our money around like nothing and basically don’t give a shit about anything other than having fun. The concept of a bad investment and losing it all comes to mind. We lose our income to unnecessary wants and it feels like we are losing our shirts too.

Life lesson: Money can’t buy happiness.

Accessory: Shirt.

And just like that, our thirties have arrived. We still think we can chug that beer and bounce back the next day. We have real deal responsibilities now. Bills, perhaps a family, a steady job and did I mention BILLS? Everything is different, more serious and quite frankly, scary! We are more responsible now. Our silly spending habits have turned to strict savings plans. We’re adults now. Those bills that haunted our twenties will be paid. Our reckless ways have come to an end–it’s time to put on some pants and grow up.

Life lesson: Nothing is ever as bad as it seems.

Accessory: Pants.

Your forties are meant to celebrate successes. By this time, that uncomfortable feeling of being unsure should’ve evaporated and left a pretty self-aware individual. Relax, the worst is over. Now it’s time to enjoy all we have worked for. Take a vacation and soak up the sun. We’ve earned it!

Life lesson: Hard work and dedication pays off in the long run.

Accessory: Sunglasses.

By our fifties, we might start to feel like a change is needed. Maybe home life is stagnant, or work is redundant, either way we are about to go crazy! Forget the hormonal changes with women and the midlife crisis men go through, it’s more than that—it’s the simple fact that we have lived through enough decades to know that there must be more to life than the mundane work, home, eat, sleep routine. We’re starting to think about our childhood and our twenties. Understand that there is no “rule book” for life and we don’t have to feel stuck. The first change that usually takes place is with our hair: dye it, cut it, whichever, it will be a HUGE difference from the simple look we’ve had for years. SNIP-SNIP!

Life lesson: Change is often a good thing.

Accessory: Hairstyle.

Retirement is approaching my sixty-year-olds! Our children are grown, the house might be paid off, and our debt should be close to zero. It’s the first time we can actually exhale and not worry about anything. Sounds scary enough, but never you mind. This is a start to a beautiful chapter of self-awareness. Can we handle what life has to offer in its purest form? When we aren’t working, what will we do? Take up a fun hobby or explore the world! Ditch the doubt and buy a backpack.

Life lesson: Don’t be afraid to explore and discover new things.

Accessory: Backpack.

When we get to our seventies, things take a wicked turn. We’ve spent our lives helping others, taking care of our families, even helping some friends, and now it’s time for us to accept the help of others. The things we used to do with ease have been quite burdensome and we have to be willing to ask for assistance. And just like the outfit we have put together thus far, it may also need some help. The quickest way to doll up an outfit is to add some sparkle.

Life lesson: Don’t be ashamed to ask for help.

Accessory: Jewelry.

The big eight-zero is a time for reflection. Yes, we spend a lot of time looking at ourselves in the mirror. Don’t you always check to see if your outfit is on point? Finishing touches are what the outfit needs right now. We’ve learned many lessons but perhaps a few sweeps of some blush may brighten up the ensemble. Or perhaps get those nails manicured–it’s not just for women!

Life lesson: It’s never too late to learn a thing or two.

Accessory: Makeup.

Once again, our nineties are spent looking back at our past. What we did, what we didn’t get to do, and what we still want to do. By now, we shouldn’t have any regrets. If it didn’t happen, do it! If we made mistakes along the way, fix them! It is our responsibility to protect ourselves from disappointment. We must be ready for any consequences.

Life lesson: Hold yourself accountable for the choices you make.

Accessory: Jacket.

One hundred years of growth and wisdom. Our outfit is just about ready to show off. I left a very important life lesson to complete the ensemble. Time goes by whether or not we’re doing something. An hour feels like a minute and a decade feels like a day. Make sure to live in the moment. Don’t think about the time, that’s what clocks are for.

Life lesson: Live in the moment.

Accessory: Watch.

It’s okay if your outfit isn’t what you thought it would be. It’s okay if your pants don’t match your shirt.

Own the lessons you’ve learned thus far.

Flaunt the outfit you put together!

The First High-Five

Back in the day, way before the invention of the vehicle or the idea of a telephone, inhabitants of the earth spent their time walking in search of food. With the many people living in the village, the food sources were scarce. The cavemen walked, and walked, and walked in search of something to bring home for their families.

In 10,000 BC, tents and animal-skins lined the grounds; fires burned between the huddled cave-families; cave-babies cried out for food; and the cavewomen sat on boulders, rocking their screaming “bundles” for hours all while waiting on the cavemen to return from their endless search.

Disappointment covered their faces as the tribe grew hungrier and hungrier. The men were smart enough to split up during their journeys, hoping to cover more ground. Days would pass before the men would see a buffalo or any living thing for that matter. Imagine the depression rates back then. There were no pills to take or yoga classes to regain your chi, just ground to cover and a time limit before you died of starvation.

Six days into his trek across the plains, between the mountains, and alongside the waters, he caught a glimpse of rustling bushes just past the river. He rubbed his eyes thoroughly and although completely exhausted, his speed picked up. He got closer and studied the bushes, noticing the leaves quieting along with him. A tear fell to his weakened face and he wiped it furiously. Six whole days without food, he remained determined. He thought back to his family, the noise around the fires, the babies crying out, the drumming during ceremonies, and he fainted. In a panic, he continued searching around for the rustling leaves. Trees stood before him that stretched up to the sky, tangled between shrubs and deep thrushes of bushes. To his right, miles of open space. To his left, the river which let out soothing vibrations against the otherwise silent space. Behind him, complete emptiness, vast and wide.

The vibrations within the trees snapped him back to his main goal: food.

He tiptoed past the river, enjoying as the water spilt over onto his burley feet. He hunched himself closer to the dirt and continued slowly. His steps were stopped by a massive grunt. He recognized the deep throaty growl and mimicked the sound. The groan replayed louder. He jumped and raised his hand at the vision of his friend who stood a couple of feet from him. The other caveman grew excited and kept grunting hello, slamming his fist into his chest before raising his hand. The two ran toward one another grunting their hello’s harder and harder, nearly drowning out the soft sounds of the river.

With their hands high over their heads, they moved closer and closer until their hands collided in the air creating a loud SMACK!

The two stood still and pulled their hands back. Staring down at their shaky fingers, one grunted. The other grunted back. Carefully, they held their hands back over their heads and pushed them together. They laughed and jumped at their new discovery. They continued to hit their palms together over and over.

The Countdown

Ten people stood in front of the store waiting for the door to open again. The guard let in groups every few minutes. Women in leggings waited in clusters by the red rope. I tapped my foot, checked my watch, and whipped out my phone. I needed a distraction from the anticipation. Everyone had been talking about this moment for the past week and I just wanted it to be my turn already.

Nine minutes to go, and my skin could have vibrated completely off of my bones. Standing there, swaying back and forth on the line, I practiced what I would say over and over in my head. I had never thought I would do anything like that before and I definitely didn’t want to ruin my moment.

Eight text messages came through on my phone and the beeping radiated throughout the crowd. I swiped my screen and smiled. Yes, I am here I wrote back. Text you when I’m done, I love you. My hands shook with each tap of the keys.

Seven minutes!” The guard announced. He folded his arms and remained quiet again. The women sipped their coffees and continued on with conversations. I stood alone. My husband’s job had mandated him to work, but he sent me smiley emoji’s all day. He knew how much it meant to me and made sure I didn’t miss the opportunity of a lifetime.

Six times I had tried to meet this woman. Each time I couldn’t save the money to fly out to the “meet & greets,” so when we saw that she would be right in my hometown, I made sure to find my way to the coffee shop. I adjusted the hem of my dress, applied another layer of lipstick and exhaled.

Five girls exited the shop. They giggled and held their books in the air. I was jealous. What will she be like?

Four more women walked out with books tucked in their armpits. I closed my eyes and memories flooded my mind. As a 34 year old, I could barely remember what I wore on my wedding day, but somehow I envisioned moments when I was a little girl. I thought back to a fuzzy memory when I was about four. I saw someone standing outside my window with bags in her hand and a blotchy face dripping wet from the rain. My erratic life had started in foster care. I didn’t understand how to connect with others. When I turned sixteen, I got myself emancipated. I found my soul mate unexpectedly and married him at twenty years old.

Three years ago I read a book after my coworkers were raving about the twisted plot. We were part of a book club in my office. It was the first time I had felt at ease, reading stories with others and really diving between the lines. It was one of those hot new romance novels but with a style never before portrayed. There was talk of MGM wanting to turn it into a movie. I loved the story and I remembered how excited I was to see it on the big screen.

Two years later while getting ready for work, I saw the author of that book-turned-to-movie for the first time on a talk show. I did a double-take. She had looked just like me! I got goose bumps and showed my husband. He thought the same thing. I figured if he said so, it might be true. I honestly thought I was going crazy. I had to know for sure so I studied this woman. I googled her, followed her Instagram, Facebook, and even wrote to her a few times. It still doesn’t make much sense how life happens but I thought she looked too familiar and I had to know more about her. She never wrote back, but most of those sites are monitored by a group of people, so odds are she didn’t even see my messages. It was a long shot but when she posted her arrival to my hometown, I made it my ultimate goal to get my butt on that line. I had vivid dreams for weeks. Flashes of moments that may or may not have been real memories, but I know in my visions I saw someone being brought into a car in the rain.

One by one we were led inside. The tables were emptied but the barista at the counter handed out books. As I looked closely, it was the sequel to the book I had read years ago. I hugged it tightly. Once around the corner, I saw her smile, the same smile I studied for years. I made my way over to her, kept my head down, and placed the book before her. I glanced up slowly to meet her smile and whispered, “Mom?”