Scary Situation While at Work...The Suspicious Packages
Working on my corporate gig started out as a normal day. Came into the office a little late, thanks to a heater situation, however still getting a good start on the day. So as the hours passed, I received an alert on my phone. Of course this alert came in while I was daydreaming, needing to get back to work. The alert notified that there was “Police Activity” on W58th St. I work near Grand Central Station (Around 42nd St. on the East Side of Manhattan). Although alarmed, I wasn’t worried.
Taking a break, I ventured outside and saw normal New York activity. People rushing to from work. Food stands full of customers, police sirens (very normal), and horns blowing because someone stayed in place two seconds after the light turned green. Normal New York afternoon.
Coming back into the office, I got an alert that there was a suspicious package in the building I worked in. WAIT WHAT!?!? HERE??! NOW!?!? Grabbing my stuff to get the hell out, I pondered about why this was happening. My mind immediately went to the 9/11 documentaries I tend to obsess over. Knowing what really happened in those offices, their thoughts, their last words, and things that could have possibly saved them. Like the notion of getting the hell out. See, within the docs I watched, planes hit one of the towers and the employees within were told that things were “under control”. Next thing you know, CHAOS!
Leaving the building, there was a bit of madness. Men in suits walking fast-style to elevators and once I reached outside, there was a line of NYPD officers holding rifles in front of the building. Another slew of officers lined up sitting on motorcycles, sniffing dogs and more officers putting up barricades.
What the hell?!?!
Who could function during this madness? I couldn’t. Watching the news earlier due to my phone alert showed a pipe bomb being mailed to the CNN center, causing everyone to be evacuated. Now I have to be evacuated. Scary sh*t! And newer alerts advising that “packages” were sent to Obama and Hilary Clinton. Not understanding any of this, I took on my first instinct to ensure the trains were still operating along with praying that nothing was going on there as well.
Gathering outside and comparing notes with a few co-workers, “I’m going to head on home.” Was my final decision. Although the situation was said to be “defused”. NYPD was still surrounding the place. I didn’t feel comfortable going back in until the last officer left. Why are you still here? I’m glad you’re here but why? I watch too many documentaries and drama TV shows (art imitates real life) to know that there are always something else to the situation.
Feeling a little better as I was on the train back to Harlem, scenarios ran through my mind. Is this real life now? Leaving your work space because people want to be crazy?!?! And it’s all for some evil agenda set out to hurt innocent people to grab the attention of the powers that be. Sad right?
Safe to say that when I got home, I called my mom. I her baby I HAVE to let her know I was okay. For hours, I sat in my living room chair staring at the ceiling. Nerves rattled and mind not knowing what to do with myself. I was glad to learn that the package was a fraud. But at the moment how could you know? And you can’t take things like that lightly because once you do, something horrible happens.
Glad everyone involved is now safe and can return to work. However, THIS cannot be a new normal. I’ll take the crazy subway rides, random noises, even the angry New Yorkers, but a bomb threat….NOPE. I’ll never be able to get used to that one.
Oh Yea its just me…I’m cool with that.
Eating alone is always deemed as a bad thing. “She doesn’t have friends?” “No man to take her out?” Not even. You just need that time alone. And why wait on someone to schedule you in just to get a meal or a nice drink. Many people stay inside day and night just because they don’t have anyone to accompany them. What’s up with that?!?!
I LOVE hanging out alone. Yes it’s safer with a friend in the big city but there are ways to have a good day/night without the fear. Stay on guard, trust your instincts, go home at a decent hour...ALONE! And don’t make eye contact with the creeps.
Outside of that, you can have a perfectly good time with yourself. I know I do!
It’s the weekend baby! Time off from work and sleeping in. But I tend to go stir crazy being confined within the four walls of my apartment. Even during my freelancing days I took a weekday afternoon for an adventure or just some quiet time in public. It’s fun having time to relax at home but I need sun, I need to feel a cool breeze, I need to stretch my legs and most importantly, I need food!
I like to take the train and pick a stop. I know I’ll find a good place to eat where I can sit outside or inside of a unique decorative restaurant with perfect strangers ready to strike up an insightful convo. Or just sitting with my own thoughts to jot down in my “notebook”. Or to study my lines. Either way, I’m enjoying time out of the house, just exploring. In New York, no place is the same and as a “newbie” its hard for me to visit the same place multiple times. There’s just too much to choose from.
Although I have my favs, my random adventures help me find new place and new faces. Whether a light lunch or a big meal, I know I’ll have a great dining experience without the awkward silence or the long yammering about nothing. I sit. I watch. I eat. I enjoy!
Day time dates with myself entails beautiful scenery, people watching, cute pups searching for that perfect spot to lift its leg, and getting some exercise in for the day.
Into the Night.
Why wait for someone to make plans? I love taking myself out on the town. It beats sitting around waiting for some magic to happen. I like to go out and create the magic. Plus it’s a good way to find another cool spot to add on the weekend list when friends visit. In New York you HAVE to experience a night on the town. Watching the beautiful buildings illuminate the sky with their lights on the way to a bar/lounge with more chic décor. (It also gives me ideas to spruce up this apartment.)
Having a solo dinner date can also introduce you to some interesting people. Interesting in a good way. I’ve met many people for networking or “new friends” purposes. And there’s no pressure like there is on dates. Random stuff with a good story behind. I love to listen to people’s point of views that are unbiased and non-judgmental. Very easy to reveal your dreams to a perfect stranger. They don’t know me, and if I don’t agree with their opinion, out the other ear it goes!
Yes NYC is expensive and a good lunch is costly. But that’s what Happy Hour, EventBrite, and the Appetizer menu is for! It doesn’t take a bunch of money to hang. Need ideas to hang? Go to Eventbrite and look up free events in the area. There’s so much going on in this big city: Art Galleries, Speed dating, Dinner Specials, and even a great party or three. Look it up and enjoy your time alone.
It’s not a big deal to treat yourself out of the house. No one is judging you. Those are only thoughts running through your head that only deters you from experiencing a great time.
So hold your head up when you tell the hostess “Just One”. You’re about to be in for a treat!
Where's Your Fav Solo Date Spot?
Boat Watching and Beautiful Sunsets.
Upon my many ventures I stumbled upon a new hobby. Now I’ve always LOVED bodies of water. But growing up in the heart of GA, my options were limited. I thought I’d only have a chance to gain the peace and serenity the waves could bring by only taking a vacation. Of course there are lakes and rivers but I couldn’t stay long because bugs usually saw me as their latest meal. Also, the good lakes were always so far away from me.
As always, NYC never disappoints. Whether I’m uptown or downtown, I get a chance to view the beautiful Hudson River. And across from it, the state of New Jersey. What first started as a walk on the pier with a friend, turned into a constant activity that gave me peace, serenity, and inspiration.
I’m always looking for ways for this city to just calm down in my mind. New York is ALWAYS busy. Sidewalks filled with fast walkers getting to where they need to go. Subway riders are constantly on the move with an “every man for himself” mentality. Not giving much time to take in a new experience because “MOVE! GET ON THE TRAIN!” The Hudson River is very different.
Whether hanging out, having a picnic at Riverbank State Park or taking a walk along Pier 46, the Hudson gives off good vibes and a place of refuge from the city that never sleeps.
One activity that I love while being a voyeur on the river is boat watching. For some reason watching these machines sail along the river places me in a mood that allows me to meditate, think, and get inspired. I love to develop stories for these mini ships as they make their way to Jersey or along the lines of the Hudson River Ride!
Just try it out! You can’t go wrong with spending an afternoon to evening witnessing the sun set and the clouds paint a beautiful picture of colors that you’ll only get to see with your naked eye once. A new visit, means a new canvas. Take in the moment and just BREATHE!
Desk Note from the Heartbreak Diaries Series.
You're not his woman, nor does he have the desire for you to be. You're just filling space until the original owner comes back OR until he finds a better fit. You know, the one he’d be willing to put in the work for. Not you though. I call this position, the seat filler. There's nothing wrong with you, he just doesn’t see you as "the one".
Now think of the responsibilities of a REAL seat filler. They attend the award show, get called to a particular seat if they have a certain look or just next in line. They can’t get too comfortable no matter how good the show is. The star returns, and the seat filler is escorted back to the holding area. THAT’S what you are in his life.
If you are fully aware of when you’re in this position and decide to move forward anyway, understand that it’ll never be a win/win situation. You won’t get “camera time” (No social media sightings), no red carpet appearances (date nights), and you’ll never be welcomed to the stage during the highlights of his life. And at the end of the night, when your duties are complete, you’ll be sent to the back before the show is over.
Don’t invest too much in this position. It’s just temporary fun. And know that you do have the option to get up and sit in a section that is meant for you.
I've often found myself in this position. So much to the point where I started recognizing that I was a seat filler and became "ok" with it. I understood that any day the phone calls and texts would stop, no more "quality time", no more intimate hugs in pubic. Whether I'd be warned beforehand or not, there would come a time when I would be forced to let go. Then I had the nerve to be shocked about it. But the ending would appear out of nowhere. When I wasn’t ready to let go. Like a roller coaster stopping the ride after the first big loop.
Oh that’s it?!
Over time I realized that, in a way, I inflicted this pain on myself. I knew the risks and I knew the results but I kept it going anyway.
On an episode of The Golden Girls I remember Blanche telling Rose: "Sometimes life doesn’t work out the way we want it to, so we have to grab our happiness however we can get it". I used to live by this. Telling myself that if I couldn’t have him the way I wanted, I'd settle for whatever I could get.
But when does a person come to the point where the constant disappointment and heart ache is enough? If I’m just going to end up alone, why not stay that way. Why was I giving so much to someone who gave so little? Was I not worth more? Did he not understand that I’m worth more?
Doesn’t matter. I wasn’t it for him. For whatever reason, I didn’t do it for him. My only job was to “fill the space”.
So tell me. What section are you sitting in?
Welcome the HEARTBREAK!
Tap into the heartbreak and engage in the conversations many are too afraid to start with lovers...
Learn more about the Heartbreak Diaries Series!
Just give me a minute outside of this “New York Minute”!
The city moves way too fast. People are speed walking, cars going, trains moving (unless you’re late for work, then there’s a delay ugh). But all in all, you need a minute. Everything that should be a simple process causes hours/days/weeks/months of complication if you let it. Learning to adjust to it can be overwhelming but the beauty of the city makes it all worth it. While working out the kinks of getting used to NYC, it treats you to places and spaces to catch a breather. You must look for it or in my case, randomly run into it when life is keeping me on the go.
Why It’s Important to Take That Time?
You can’t allow the makings of a place defeat you. One would think that figuring out the train system is the key to the city. That’s only a portion. Simple gatherings of getting an apartment, getting a job, learning the areas, and even the makings of the people. All the while pursuing your dreams and keeping yourself above water so you’re not on the first flight home. For me, it seems as if every time I was stable in my adulting and I was on my way to get entrepreneurship endeavors together, something out of nowhere went wrong! Now I must take my focus off my dreams to fix something that should have stayed in an established state. That can be VERY overwhelming. So what can I do? Take a break. Through this city, I’ve not only found “Museums” but place of refuge to BREATHE. During these moments, I’m reminded of why I came here in the first place and the thoughts of running back to GA for good simple fade away.
Places like Central Park, walking down 125th seeing the booming businesses murals and the makings of Harlem. And even the building structures downtown can bring you right back to the spirit of the city! When I walk through the city without thinking of the pushy people, horns of impatient drivers, or the complicated measures for the most simplistic things, I say to myself "Now I remember why I came! THIS is what I live for!"
What to Focus on?
During these meditation moments, I think about what's going right instead of what's going wrong. Focusing on the blessings is a way to get back centered and not allowing a bad day or few minutes control me. Remember it's not a bad life, just a bad day. This also helps in regaining focus on the work I need to do. While my mind is in overdrive, I can't seem to remember everything on my "to do" list.
Take that time. You deserve it. Taking care of your mental health is essential in conquering the concrete jungle. You’re a survivor and you can make it. Just take a minute!
Where do you go to "check out" when you're overwhelmed?
"I just like to write and create stuff. These are the diaries of how I'm living in NYC with sprinkles of life lessons I've learned along the way!"
- The Blakk Dahlia