media

A Wallet in Manhattan

I recently had my wallet stolen. 

Getting your wallet stolen is probably one of the worst feelings in the world. It’s the sudden panic knowing you have to cancel your cards, the fear of not remembering how much cash or what cards you had in your wallet, and the wondering if you’ll ever get it back. Unfortunately for me, I was not so lucky to get it back — which is a true disappointment because the wallet itself was sentimental (an old friend had brought it back from Spain, and it had a cat on the front of it). 

I was in New York City (when I say that, everyone goes “ohhh”) in a cute little coffee shop on 7th avenue. I sat down in the corner and pulled out my laptop, hoping to get some work done before an interview I had west of midtown. 

As I was drinking my chai latte, I saw a woman from across the shop, and she had a huge price tag sticking out of her dress. Her dress was brand new, and she was walking around Manhattan with the price showing, definitely an embarrassing start to the day. 

I had to get up to get a packet of sugar anyway, so I pulled her aside and let her know it wasn’t cut, and if she needed scissors. Obviously, she didn’t even thank me and her reply was curt (insert comment like *that’s New York for you*). 

Disappointed that I wasn’t greeted with a thank you, I sat down back at my seat and went to grab my headphones out of my purse. As I dug around (it’s often extremely messy and packed with things like nose spray and bobby pins) I noticed the headphones weren’t there. And then I noticed my wallet wasn’t there. After I did the quick maybe-it’s-in-here-somewhere, I knew it had been stolen. 

…..

After an hour of panicking while I called my credit card company and my bank, and waited for the NYPD to show up (which they did four hours later and then it couldn’t even be reported because I wasn’t there…not like it matters because the man was probably halfway to 242nd street) I sat and thought about how stupid I had been for leaving my bag alone for a second. I blame my Pennsylvania-ness, after all, you could probably leave your baby somewhere and no one would steal it (not that I would recommend doing that at all, it’s still against the law even if you are in the burbs). 

The worst part about getting my wallet stolen was that I wondered about the “what-ifs.” If I had caught an earlier subway, maybe he wouldn’t have stolen my wallet. If I didn’t choose that cafe, maybe it would have been more crowded and I wouldn’t have stuck out. What if he had taken more than just my wallet and instead, took my whole purse and laptop and phone?

It’s obvious that I learned my lesson that day, but I also learned that I really do believe in everything happens for a reason. Of course there are things that happen that we can’t control and that we wish we could control.  Everyone needs something to keep them moving onward. For some, it’s fate or destiny, for others it’s a higher being. I just believe somehow my life will fall on the course that I want it to go on, and eventually, I will reach what I’ve been trying to reach. Along the way, there’s been a lot of what-ifs. 

***

Three days after I got my wallet stolen, I got a phone call. 

It was a job offer for a small media company on Long Island. They were offering me a position to become their online and social media editor. I had two weeks to pack up my Pennsylvania things and head to New York, the state I had so desperately been trying to move to, permanently (and the same state that I unfortunately had to lose my wallet in).

I’ve been seeing that sometimes you just need to wait for that moment. There is a moment where things fall into place, the stars align, you see a rainbow — all the magical stuff that comes with following your dreams and not giving up. That’s the short WordPress version, minus all the picture-perfect memes that talk about struggling before succeeding, shooting for the stars — the mumbo jumbo you share on Instagram. 

So I’ve been learning not to dwell on the what-ifs. What-ifs cause anxiety, what-ifs make you feel lost. Focus on the now and wait for the future.

And never, ever leave your bag alone in New York City.

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In Loving Memory…

It was a cloudy, rainy day, and I was at my college’s library wasting time on Facebook.  As I scrolled down my news feed, looking at the pictures posted and comments being made, I found a strange post.  It was from a newspaper I am subscribed to, called The Souderton Independent.  Some of you may be familiar with it.  

The post was about some “Celebration of Life” service that was being held in honor of the web editor.  As I read on, it discussed the web editor’s contribution to the newspaper, and how she was loved by all.  I was extremely confused at this point.  Was the web editor giving a speech on life?  Was she leaving the newspaper and going to another company?  

As it shockingly turns out, this service was a memorial service for her.  She died “after a freak accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike when a flying road sign crashed through her windshield” (abclocal).

I reread this over and over again on Facebook, and then the news.  It just could not be.  Certainly somebody that I knew could not have died.  

How did I know Morris, you may be thinking. 

For my senior project at my high school, we had to do a huge project that would determine if we could graduate.  It had to be related to our future career.  I chose to shadow a reporter and to see what it is like working for a newspaper.  

During my project, I had contacted many newspapers, asking if I could please shadow somebody.  The only editor that responded to my email was Morris.  She had worked with me from day one to try and figure out what I wanted, and what she could offer.  She gave me more than I expected.  

I had the oppurtunity to shadow a reporter on a story, which was a great experience.  I got to sit on a casual meeting, where they discussed what stories they should write.  I also had the chance to interview a reporter from the newspaper and talk about her experience working with a newspaper.  These experiences that I had allowed me to make a monumental decision in my life.  This decision was to pursue media and communications in college, shooting towards my dream career of a reporter.

If I was not given this opportunity, who knows where I would be today?  Maybe I would have followed a different path, and opted out of chasing my dreams.  I have Morris, and all of those who helped me at The Souderton Independent, to thank for sending me in the right direction.

This year, I had reconnected with Morris, to see if there were internships available at The Souderton Independent.  While they could not offer me an internship, Morris was glad to hear that I was pursuing media and communications, and offered to help me look for places I could intern at for the summer. 

I never got to email her back, and thank her for everything she had done for me.  

It makes me sad that somebody so young, healthy, and a good head on their shoulders had to pass so soon.  My thoughts are with her family.  

This makes me realize, that while our lives are destined to be long, they can end shorter than expected.  Our lives are precious.  We should live them to their fullest.  More importantly, we should let our loved ones know how important they are to us. Even if you receive the smallest act of kindness, let the person know how thankful you are.  

Rest in peace Emily Morris, thank you for everything you did for me.  I hope I can serve the community as you once did ❤

http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/local&id=8624245

http://www.montgomerynews.com/souderton_independent/