Something Good #11

mostly New York and photos from there

Hi, I'm Nina Iordanova and this is the 11th edition of Something Good, a newsletter filtered through my 🧠, 🖐, and ❤️. Coming your way every two weeks, I hope you find something good here.


HI!

I’m writing to you from New York (is this now just a Nina meets New York newsletter? maybe) where I’ve started a new job as Chief of Staff at Pearmill.

(I said that at US customs and that was a big mistake. After getting grilled by the first guy about my visa status, how long I’d be there, and who was paying for my trip, I got taken into a small room and grilled for another 20 minutes before they realized I was just an idiot and let me go. Turns out it’s very important to clarify that legally speaking you’re not there as a full time employee, but have just taken on a new client and are there to do a meet and greet. Whoops.)

Is it too much to say I’m so happy right now?

It’s been cool to move away from identifying as a founder. It’s something I’ve been for the past 5 years — and I say “something I’ve been” and not “something I’ve done” on purpose.

It was the entirety of my identity.

I loved being able to tell people that I had my own company, because it felt like that said everything about me that I needed it to.

That I’m smart, hard working, resourceful, fearless, and ambitious.

At some point, I stopped paying attention to whether I liked the work or found it rewarding. I think I was just doing it because it was immensely challenging, and I thought that was what smart, hard working, resourceful, fearless, ambitious people did. Work on the hard things.

Starting this job has been so refreshing.

It feels like it’s let me dig into the things I’m actually good at, flex muscles I haven’t been able to in such a long time. I feel a sense of pent up energy that I can use to actually focus on a problem, turn it this way and that, then crack it. Then move onto the next.

I can’t tell you how good that feels.

I know that identifying with your work generally isn’t good for your mental health.

But there’s something so deeply satisfying here. It’s same feeling I got when I wrote about the pleasure of our bodies in motion. It’s what I imagine wild animals feel when they run as fast as they can, when they rear up on their hind legs to challenge an enemy, when they lie in wait while hunting, every sense alive.

It’s not about what my work says about me, it’s about what it lets me learn and how it lets me apply myself.

New York is cool in that sense too. There’s so much going on in this city that I have to constantly pay attention. To everything.

I can’t put my AirPods in and tune out.

The buses have no announcements about where you are or where you’re going, the subway is confusing as shit, and the roads are lawless. People literally get out of their cars to drag road barriers out of the way so that they can get back in their cars and drive through them.

Whole Foods has a machine that makes you fresh almond or oat milk on the spot.

An artist in the park asked if I wanted to come to his studio so he could paint me and we could do mushrooms and eat strawberries together.

I helped rescue a baby bird on the sidewalk.

I got REALLY into Sweetgreen.

I tried vegan mint chip ice cream from Van Leeuwen that tastes exactly like the real thing.

I hosted a hangout in the park where I brought together a bunch of friends I knew from Twitter + other parts of the internet in real life! (Vai was the other half of the organizing committee).

I ate dinner at a restaurant by myself for the first time.

I found a sidewalk between two major roads that I really like walking on.

I still don’t know where I stand on moving to New York permanently, but it’s been really cool to be here.

This caught my eye

Not gonna lie, the only thing I’ve been reading these past two weeks are Lever’s onboarding docs and Canada’s COVID-19 regulations. I’ll spare you both.

Things my mother taught me

I haven’t been in the headspace to think about this at all, but I miss seeing my family! I’ve been finding little New York things to bring everyone when I come back. That’s always one of my favourite parts of the trip.

I remember when my dad used to travel for work, he’d bring us T-shirts and board games and stuffed animals, and it was always so exciting when he came back to see what he’d brought.

To me it feels like a way to stay connected even when you’re not with them, because they know you were thinking of them.

Closing thoughts

Love Sonnet XI
By Pablo Neruda

I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.

I hunger for your sleek laugh,
your hands the color of a savage harvest,
hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.

I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,

and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.

Warmly yours, 

Nina


If you’re wondering who’s behind this newsletter:

My name is Nina Iordanova. I’m a writer, community builder, and founder of Good People. My mission is to create more ways to make us feel like we belong - to ourselves, to each other, and to the world around us.

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