all aboard the 20 day challenge.

Mmk. So now that all my emotions have been disclosed--

Here's what's been happening.

I think for the sake of any new visitors here, I'll start by offering a little bit of a timeline/recap. From the top:

December 2011: Quit my full-time restaurant managing job in Laguna Beach, CA because I decided I wanted to finally pursue my life-long dream of living in NYC.

January 2012: Moved back in with my parents in Ventura to save money for the move. Got a part-time job with plans of getting a second part-time job to better finance my savings, but instead made a blog. This one. Cause there was a rough break-up that happened in December too. And I needed a fresh power source+something to keep me busy.

February 2012: Decided blogging was one of coolest things I had ever taken an interest in and wanted to marry it. Or at least learn more about it. So. Spontaneously bought a ticket to the Blogher conference in NYC. 

April: Purchased my one-way ticket to NY for July 26th. (NJ actually. But whatever. The East Coast.)

June: Starting freaking out over the fact that I never got that second part-time job, and was nowhere near my savings goal of five grand. 

July: Made the realization that practically speaking I was nuts, and totally unprepared financially to make this move happen. Posted about the strong likelihood of coming home post Blogher conference and giving myself more time and dedication to save money more intensely and more appropriately. Still, approached my journey as if I was indeed still moving to NY (cause it was still a one-way ticket, and who knows! Maybe things could miraculously work out.). And so I cancelled my gym membership, deferred my school loans, gave my car away to my little brother and sold 3/4 of my entire closet.

July 26th: Boarded my flight and landed in Newark, NJ with two bags, no savings, and about $1000 in my pocket, give or take. I should also mention that I had no job or city housing lined up. Just landed and said "here we go, come what may."

The last two weeks: Been staying with my cousin in West Orange, New Jersey where I've been hanging out with her darling twins and the rest of the time getting stranded (literally stranded) all over the state of New Jersey as I make my commutes back from NYC. It's an ugly commute. Ugly. I'll break it down for you, k.

To begin with, it's about a mile to the nearest bus station. Not so terrible except for the fact that it's stinkin' hot and humid out, and not fun to walk more than 200 ft. in fancy dress shoes. Or business attire that is quickly collecting sweat. Then once you get to the bus station, there's only one bus to Newark Penn Station every hour. So unless you've looked up the schedule for the day, you could very well be screwed waiting an hour for the next bus to come. (Lesson learned there.) Then, once you're on the bus, it's about a 25 min ride to Newark Penn. From Newark Penn you take a train to NY Penn, which is about another 25 min ride. All around it takes about an hour to an hour and a half to get to the city, but, let me tell you, there have been times where it has taken THREE HOURS. And getting home, well. THAT is a completely different nightmare. The reason being, that there are fewer buses that run late in Jersey.. and especially on the weekends. (God, if I had only known or even considered this! Seriously guys, I have found myself in some of the most sticky situations trying to find my way back to my cousin's.)

There's also a direct train into NY Penn going out of a neighboring town called Millburn, which I obviously prefer, but the trouble is getting to that station which is a good four miles away with no sidewalks to get you there. (It's a winding highway that connects West Orange to Millburn, and tho the walk to and from said station IS possible, it's scary as F. I know because I tried it one night coming home past midnight. And basically, I'll never do that again.

Of course, my cousin has given me rides when she has been able to, but she's been out of town quite a bit, and also had surgery several days ago. So, I've pretty much been on my own as far as commuting goes. Which is fine. I've had quite the adventure going in and out of the city, and tho I now know my NJ to NYC commute like a boss, I have no desire to continue it any further. It's simply just not practical, not safe, and rather expensive (roughly $16/day roundtrip).

Which has now brought me to Astoria, Queens. Where I am currently crashing the couch of a friend of a friend of a friend's. Ha. Sometimes all you need to know is that one person who knows everyone else, huh. Anywho-- cutest apartment ever, and the gals who live here are rad. Actually, I haven't even met the one who is letting me crash, she's out of town, but dang. How chill is she to just let me roll in as a total stranger? Of course, I am paying her a couple hundred bucks to crash for the next ten days, but still. 

From here, I'll be crashing another pad in the same hood, from another chick via the same friend that hooked me up with this place (Thank you Sarah Jaye!!!). So that's ten more days for another $200. And after that, I'm pretty much goin' to be on empty financially. 

SO- what all this means is, HOORAY (!!!), cause miracles do happen. I landed some cheap and chill housing in the city, but.. now.... A JOB. I need one. Stat. Cause in twenty days or less, my money is going to be completely gone, and then I'll have no choice, but to return to my cousin's and then California.

If you've been keeping up with my latest posts, then you're probably confused right now. Cause yes, at one very recent point, I announced that I did in fact land a job. Well, I did. Sort of. And then it fell thru.

To rewind a bit: I've applied to a small handful of restaurants/companies since I've arrived, been on a total of two interviews. Both for management positions. The first interview was hands down, one of the best interviews I have ever been on. It was fun and easy, and I felt like they really liked me! Though perhaps the joke was on me, cause I didn't get the job (ha), and yeah-I'm still pretty bummed out about it. Especially since I've become incredibly obsessed with the company and it's products having now had the chance to check out a couple of their stores here in the city. Not to mention, I was totally blown away by their company's corporate office and the kind of culture and vibe I got while I was in there waiting to be interviewed. And not just cause there were twenty shiny MAC screens smiling at me when I first walked in (apple lovers, you knowwww) , but because there was a professional energy in there that I felt really fit me. I'm still sad that I never heard back.

Then the second interview was meh. Didn't quite compare to the first, and I was pretty indifferent to hearing back from them, until I did an hour later. "Can you come in on Monday and train?" Yes!!" I shouted. Was I totally stoked on this place? No. But then again, A job? Monies? Means of financial support? Job offer after only two interviews in the city? YES. I'll take it.

And so for a little bit there, I had a job. Faith was restored, happiness returned. I could take a stroll in Central Park and enjoy it for a few minutes, cause I got a job!

 And then I went to my first day of training.

Went in and worked nearly six hours managing a restaurant floor on my own. Why they even called it "training" I'm not sure, because I was pretty much running the show-- seating guests, busing tables, comping and voiding things for the servers, interacting with the tables, organizing, cleaning, just straight up WORKING/doing labor, all the while the general manager was downstairs in the office. Granted he did come up and check on me to see how I was doing, but, let's just say that in most training situations, especially on the first day, trainers don't hand you the reigns while they go disappear. This is not to say I was struggling on my own or even complaining about it, I was fine, but as the lunch rush was ending, I just really wanted to sit down and talk about scheduling and my pay, and you know, sign official paperwork saying I was for sure hired and stuff. (Please don't ask me why I didn't inquire about all of these things the second I walked in to work... I've already gotten that lecture from my parents+five others. I'm an idiot, I know.) 

So after ordering some lunch and eating it, the GM finally sat down with me and explained that I wasn't in fact hired yet. And that in fact, there were about three other people being trained simultaneously for the same position, that he would like me to come in for a second day of "training", and from there they would decide who to offer the position to. My favorite part? The part where my lunch was "on them", to make the six hours of labor I just did "worth my while." 

Um. Yeah. That happened. 

For the sake of keeping it professional here, I'm not going to add on to all of that. So I'll just say that that was that and now I'm here. Back to square one and hungry for some work. Any work. (that pays, plz and thx.)

Between me and you, now that I'm IN the city with a smoother commute, conference is over (still much to share on that!!!) I think my chances of finding something are pretty good. I have an awesome resume and killer references. And I'm hungry. Both mentally and physically. I want this. I want it more than anything.

But I do still worry. Emotions and anxiety are still high, and as any other passenger on this train, I have  a long-standing fear of failure. 

I know I'm crazy for taking this leap of faith. For coming out here on as little as I have. For being fearless in my wandering and maybe not as street-smart as any given broad should be. I promise I'll try to be more street smart. (Mom & Dad, I'm talking to you) But I'm glad that I'm out here, that I haven't thrown the towel in just yet, that I'm riding this one out, straight on down to the last penny and borrowed quarter. 

Twenty days to find a job. In the words of the handsome Barney Stinson, Challenge Accepted.

Excuse me now, friends, as I go suit up.


punky IN the city. a preface. if you will.

This evening marks two weeks for me here on the East Coast.

I've been eating a lot of pastries. And snacks lately. Yeah, snacks. My cousin has seven year old twins and so there's a snack cabinet here. And it's filled with snacks. For days. So I've been eating all of them, along with the rest of my feelings. Otherwise you can find me sitting. In the shower. A movement that is often inspired by troubling times, if you feel me.

Cause a lot has happened in the past fourteen days. A lot has BEEN happening in my head the last sixty days. And while I've had every intention of sitting down and blogging about it, I've felt very overwhelmed. Sometimes you have so much to say, you don't know where to begin. So instead you grab yourself a go-gurt, a capri sun, and some cheese-cracker sandwiches and you turn on the Olympics. The blogging can wait.

Except it can't. And I don't want it to. Cause everything that is happening right now is huge. This first actual chapter of Punky and the City is crucial, right? It's been hard. I want to write this down. I want to tell you exactly how I'm feeling right now, the stories I've gathered thus far, the ever-evolving facts as they scatter every which way, so that somewhere down the line I can look back at this struggle and marvel at it. So I can tell the next crazy young woman who decides to up and move across the country with no savings to back her up that it's NO piece of cherry pie. That it is in fact really stinking foolish, dreadfully confusing and remarkably lonely. You'll probably cry a lot. And eat a lot. And shower a lot. And maybe even eat while crying in the shower, (but hopefully not, cause I just pictured that in my head and it was really, really sad looking. Ha! [I haven't gone that far myself]) Basically just be all kinds of dramatics. But rightfully so, cause it is hard. This up-and-moving and chasing-your-dreams-shit is incredibly intense. And you'll start to ask yourself how much you really want it after all.

You'll ask yourself a hundred times with no clear view of a precise answer, until you realize you're still here. You're still going.

And there's your answer. You're still here. You're still going.

So you do want this.

You want this even though it's rough to live in a climate where your entire world is circling high above your head and you can't describe a day beyond it. "up in the air" is no easy feeling. Neither is a pair of empty pockets to go along with it. Or this god forsaken humidity. (Seriously, NY?)

But then the tiny holes fill, where you often miss them. They fill in ways that only now you notice because the situation is pressing. And as you're forced to look up, there you see your world. And it's a good one, rich and filled with love. And heavy. Heavy so that it may bring your feet to eventually touch the ground. To bring you back down to the earth where you are reminded that choices such as these in life are worth it.

Worth it to be reminded of how much you really freaking love your Dad, cause he checks up on you three times a day and it's just the kind of steady support a young girl of the world needs. Worth it to realize how much you love your friends, the true ones, who go out of their way to make several phone calls to old friends, inquiring about couches they may have. Worth it to realize the value of your Twitter friends, cause in the middle of the night when you are feeling the most alone, you know you can send out a tweet and someone, somewhere, who you've possibly never even met, will hug your cry and tell you to stay strong. Worth it to be reminded of how much you miss the accessibility of a mother or a sister in the next room, the comfort of a familiar voice and how nice it is to hear it on the other end of a telephone. Worth it to be reminded that mostly, the only person you can count on is yourself--that you are, in fact, your own greatest fan. So when you have had a few glasses of champagne at a blogging conference, of course you should drunk text yourself saying, "I love u. U got this." Worth it to be reminded the next morning what laughing at yourself feels like when you read said text, and why laughing at yourself is necessary in every faucet of "moving forward". Worth it to be reminded that I'm young, and what's the worse that I can happen? I end up back in California? God, what a tragedy that would be.

I'm 25, broke, and totally wandering on the East Coast right now. I think once I'm done freaking the f out about it, I'll be able to say, "hey, I'm doin' alright. In fact, I'm doing pretty good."

My many apologies for the blogging hiatus. Many specifics to come in terms of the job and scheduled couches the next month and OH yes, BlogHER! Stay tuned :)


k. so i'm alive. and also LIVE at #blogher12

in the breath-taking and amazing New York City! And guess what. I'm staying! Yup. I found a job and housing and errthing.

And my choice of grammer slash lack of abilities to keep up with the blog posts lately, is probably why I have come to this monster of a conference without business cards to hand out. In fact, even having a little conference pass with my name + 'Punky and the City' clearly situated below it, makes me feel a little embarrassed/a lot of silly for some reason. What can I say? These big money-making blogs all around me are intimidating. And I'm secretly (now not so secretly) scared for these big kids to click onto my blog and think "hmm. cute blog, Punky." key word: cute.

I am an amateaur blogger. It's true.

....thus why I am here. To learn. To grow. To make some new friends. To define what it is exactly "I blog about."

And really, to score some free swag.

Mostly when I say that, I mean food. And alcohol. 

However, there is one particular thing I especially have my heart on...a contest--to get a make over/billboard in times square of my face and blog link. Cause you know. That would just be the ultimate cocktail of a little bit embarrassing/a lot of silly. So let's do it, huh. Go big or go home. Heh, who needs business cards, when you've got a billboard in times square---- you know what I'm saying.

But i need your help to make this epic-ness happen. 

so if you love me, which obviously you do (cause you're reading my blog right now), just simply take another moment in time following this one and tweet the following:

' I vote @punkyandthecity for #WalgreensBrand Times Square Billboard Contest. #Blogher12 '

and tell all yo friends!! The contest ends TONIGHT AUGUST 3rd (so vote asap plz), and the winner will be announced tomorrow.

Ha! Could you imagine if I won. I would laugh for days. AND BUY YOU ALL CANDY.

I promise there's going to be a post(s) to get the interested caught up on things, it's been one hell of a week so far. Lots of stories to tell, and I really can't wait to share all of it with you! +get the new design up finally+ get myself into a real groove with this blog and serve it's title. 

Cause it looks like I'm officially starting my life as a city girl.

And I don't think I've ever felt quite this happy before.