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In the pause: Mike Bloomberg and Carl Pope give cities, business, and citizens hope

“Call me a cynic, but I’m not basing Verizon’s strategy on anything happening in Washington.” ~ Lowell McAdam, Verizon CEO, and the Bloomberg Live event Sooner Than You Think

Between reading the book Climate of Hope by Mike Bloomberg and Carl Pope and attending Cornell Tech’s opening on Roosevelt Island, it’s becoming clear to me that even though Washington seems unable to get out of its own way, individuals, cities, and businesses can and will make all the difference in this world. Washington will continue to spin for the foreseeable future, and while that’s incredibly unfortunate, it’s largely unimportant. With the exception of military action and international relations, cities, businesses, and each of us are the ones who will really make a difference for each other, not the federal government.

We’re already seeing so much evidence of this here in New York in our education system, infrastructure, and local economy. Cornell Tech, our tuition-free college program, and the reconstruction of LaGuardia airport and Penn Station are all examples of a city, a state, and individuals implementing solutions that improve quality of life. I feel very fortunate and proud to live here, and I’m excited to be a part of it. Rather than continuing to wring my hands about the fiasco in our federal government, I’m going to double down on doing the best I can with what I’ve got right where I am—through my city, my company, and my writing.

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About Christa Avampato

I make a living in business and I make a life as a writer, artist, and yogi. I use my business and storytelling skills to build a better world. My first novel, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, will be published in the Fall of 2017 by Thumbkin Prints, a children's and YA imprint of Possibilities Publishing Co. My creative career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, and financial services. In every experience, I have used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, program, and events to help people live happier, healthier lives. A recovering multi-tasker, I am a proud alum of UPenn (BA) and the Darden School at UVA (MBA). When not in front of my Mac, I’m on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I am proud to New York City my home, and I've been called the happiest New Yorker by friends and strangers alike. They're right. Follow my adventures on Twitter at https://twitter.com/christanyc and Instagram at https://instagram.com/christarosenyc.

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This week, the many different threads at my job started to connect. It’s immensely gratifying to learn a large and complex technology platform, all for the sake of bringing more art, theater, music, and dance to more people. The vertical learning curve is becoming a little less vertical. Or maybe I am just becoming a more adept climber.

This idea of scaling walls reminded me of this sign I saw a few months ago when I was shoulder-deep in my job search, including interviewing for my current job. I wasn’t sure what would happen in my search, or what I would do about what would happen when it did happen. (This is how my mind works. It’s in a constant state of whirring.) What I needed was a sign, so I asked for one as I made my way up Fifth Avenue from the New York Public Library to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. That’s when I saw this sign in the North Face storefront: Walls are meant for climbing. And about 30 minutes later, I heard from my now current job that I was moving on to the next and final round. Less than a week later, they offered me the job.

It’s this sense of optimism, asking the Universe for guidance, and then opening our eyes and ears to take in the wisdom around us that we have to take with us everywhere we go, into every situation that we face. We may not always be successful though our odds dramatically increase when we can look at a wall not as a roadblock, but as a reason to smile. I got this. You got this. We all got this.

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