#107: The Mall

crown group modern motion

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Alex and I love going to the mall. It’s one of our favorite places to hit up in Stamford, knowing fully well that we’ll be spending a lot of money there when we visit. It’s a nice reminder of how to budget money, when we’re especially down and out.

A few stores we love to go to:

Sephora, of course. Alex’s favorite, which I’ve grown to appreciate myself. It’s a very expensive store, usually leading to an unnecessarily high amount of spending, but that’s not my prerogative!

Uniqlo. Thanks Bella for introducing us here! Without you, we would still be fruitlessly trying to fit into clothes at H&M, which is by no means a bad store, but they no longer really carry sizes that fit me. It’s a bit disappointing, to be honest, but Uniqlo fills the gap beautifully. We almost always explore this store when we get the chance and enter the mall. The fleeces, sweaters, pants, and shirts are awesome and fit well.

Halo, a smoothie place that we only just recently discovered. I’ve tried their strawberry-mango and mango-pineapple mixture smoothies, and Alex has tried their matcha chai bubble tea twice now. I love both options quite a lot, and I love the taste of the bubbles from the bubble tea slurping up into my throat. Alex loves watching me drink them through the straw, because I always end up making a funny face when it happens. Definitely a good recommendation.

And last but not least, Barnes & Noble, which has slightly restored my interest in reading. I have a goal to read at least one book a month, and so far I’ve reached that with “The Last Wish” in January, which I bought from B&N last month. Thanks to them!


#22: Stage

crowd in front of people playing musical instrument during nighttime

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All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.

While looking for a new career to sink my teeth into, I’ve spent time researching whether or not the career will involve a primarily public face as part of the role. I cannot imagine myself returning to a career where I was as exposed as I was teaching. Exposed on the stage, looking off into the audience for approval, affirmation, or validation. Seeking a way forward through the crowd, the mob, without stepping too closely on their toes or leaving them dry. Putting my own self-care first for once in a while. Placing myself in front of the rest in my own life. There is endless potential, and yet it can look so narrow and limited.

Realistically, there is employment out there for me, but I have not found it yet. It is difficult to change careers with a resume that beckons for a previous career with previous career experience all over it. No amount of changing careers will make it feel any worse while rejecting job offers for paid work doing what I did before. Knowing that getting paid is the exclusive need right now, and yet being picky, seems so challenging, and yet it is necessary for me to evolve what I’m looking for.

Sharing a stage with the rest of the career-changers out there, I wonder what it must look like. All of us bustling around, deciding whether to pursue school again, what type of school, what type of work in the meantime, what to limit myself to and what to embrace while I can. How much money can I spend without going over my absolute limit? How much money can I use to push through this apocalyptic death march and into a time of light and optimism? Why is it always about money in the end?



Ready the cameras, the lights, the production

Let the crowd rush to their seats

It’s showtime

They’ll stand, scream, yell

At the top of their lungs in anarchy

With brutality and fervor

It’s showtime

They’re cheering, they’re singing along

They’ve paid all their money to witness


And I’m the showstopper.

I Got Successful


I don’t look for no silver dollas or gold coins,

I want that success, I think.

I wanna be important, fer sure, with a name or a pict’ure on a buildin somewhere in

The center of big ‘ol New Yawrk Cit’y

So’s that the street peoples walkin’ so innocenly look up ‘n see my mug

Plaster’d on a buildin for them people to see,

And the good lord is lookin’ at it too,

And says to me, he says,

“Frank, you finly made the big time,

You a real great guy I reckon now.”

And I stand lookin’ up too and get real happy thinkin

I finly got successful.