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One Year in New York!

escape
Today is my one year anniversary of working and living in New York/Hoboken. I was thinking about it this morning (because we all know I’m a fan of everything nostalgic) and I realized that this is the first time after college that I’ve been in one place for a full year (!!!). And what a year it was. Truthfully, it’s hard to find the words to describe it as I type this. I wanted to tell you everything I learned this year. I wanted to tell you how much has changed. But I realized maybe the story is better left unsaid, as some things are.

Exception: never deprive yourself of wine. *lesson learned*

Maybe all that matters is that I’m finally feeling a bit of acceptance–of where I am, of where I’ve been, of who I’m becoming. And when I’m not (because there are always those days), it’s enough to know that I can eat some nachos and take a nap and try again tomorrow. And maybe all that I really want to say is that I made it. So here’s to another year (most likely, ha!) of living in Hoboken (I did recently buy a six-month gym pass so if that’s not commitment I don’t know what is), working my dream job, trying to keep this little blog afloat, loving my dear San Francisco from afar, and feeling oh so lucky to be surrounded by the best people in the world. Thank you for that. XXOOXXOO

 

 


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Girl + Wine: A Love Story

Saatchi Online Artist: Jessica Rae Sommer; Mixed Media, 2012, Painting "Wednesday"

Remember when we talked about how I’m kind of a fitness freak now? Yeap, that happened. And now things are getting even weirder around these parts… I joined a health challenge at work. As in I had to pay $30 to join (the pool is approximately $300, so totally understandable, right?). Whoever loses the most body fat in two months is the winner.

So obviously since I’m “flat-ass broke” as my mom likes to call it (not sure if that’s really a thing but. hi mom!), this is kinda a big deal. Which brings me to the wine. I love the wine. All the wine. But the wine does not mix with this health challenge. And so it’s really putting a damper on my social life. Whether it was just a few glasses of vino at dinner, after-work happy hour, or full-on party mode, drinking was always a big part of socializing. Truthfully, I’m actually loving the whole not-drinking thing. I love, love, looove waking up feeling fantastic and going to a (somewhat) early spin or yoga class on the weekends. But what to do when friends want to spend the night at the bar or go out for dinner and drinks? Have you guys experienced this before? I’d love your advice. : ) xo

PS: BEST.

"Bold" might as well be her middle name.
{illustration via saatchiart.com}


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tumblr_nj9knqInDF1rarw77o1_500I came across this article yesterday and I wanted to share it with you—not only because it’s so amazingly WONDERFUL, but one part of it really stood out to me. In answering a woman’s question about feeling bitter about men, Polly writes:

“If it helps to map out a life alone—what could make that look better, look ok?—then do it. For me, I needed to think that, if I didn’t find the right man, I’d definitely be pouring my time into crazy interesting things. I would learn to sew my own clothes and paint. I would adopt 15 dogs. I would write poetry on the walls of my dining room. Instead of being afraid of getting ‘weird’ and ‘lonely,’ I needed to believe that I would engage with the world, create things, reveal myself to others as a serious freak without shame, and just generally throw myself into the world with abandon.”

What an interesting change in perspective, right?

+ Another one of my favorite Ask Polly columns here.
+ And if you like her, you must read Tiny Beautiful Things.
+ One of my other favorite writers on being mapless.
+ Can’t get this song out of my head.


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Let’s Talk About Fitness

tumblr_nasydzyQ2B1rbn5qpo1_500So today we’re going to get a little personal on the blog (inspired by this little baby right here) . . .

About eight months ago, I went through a breakup. It was right around the time I moved back to New York and started a new job, so I jumped right into having fun with old friends, meeting new ones, and going on lotsa dates. Eventually everything caught up with me, and I began to realize that partying and dating weren’t going to fix any part of me. It was around that time that I made a promise to myself–I wanted to focus on taking care of myself, no matter how lonely or boring it would be compared to the summer.

Part of this promise was that I would start going to the gym regularly. I had been going on and off since August, but often times my social life took first priority and I cancelled classes to go out with friends or on dates or because I was hungover. So sometime in December, I started forcing myself to go.

And . . .

I feel like a new person. Like a hard-ass motherfucking Amazonian queen, to quote my favoritest and the real queen of all, Cheryl Strayed.

((Not to be dramatic or anything. <diva emoji>))

I’ve never been a gym person. I was athletic in high school, but sort of fell off the bandwagon once college hit. But something about this gym was different. I fell in love with the instructors and their music, the gym itself, and the classes. Every day at work I find myself looking forward to the minute I’ll be on the bike or about to begin a round of circuits. Weird, right? I know. Because once I’m there, it’s a totally different story. I start to climb the first hill or get through a round of lunges and the thoughts are like a stampede: icantdoitimnotgoingtomakeitisthisalmostovermakeitstop. And then just when I think I can’t take it anymore, the tide shifts. I change directions, muscles, speeds, and get ready to do it all over again. Because I can. And because I am strong. Stronger than I know. And I surprise myself with that every time. And maybe that is the reason I crave a class at the end of the day–to show myself that I am stronger than every one of my excuses. Maybe it’s the soreness in my muscles that lets me know I worked hard. Or maybe it’s the fact that I don’t feel as bad about that afternoon cookie. But mostly I think it’s because I don’t think of anything other than the challenge in front of me when I’m in that room for 50 minutes–everything falls away for a blissful, sweat-filled hour until I walk back out the door.

And it is healing me. One of my favorite instructors said something a while ago during class that I haven’t been able to get out of my mind. During the middle of the hardest hill of class, she said, “Where does your mind go right now? Instead of I can’t do it, you should be thinking, I’m fucking killing it right now.” I think this is true for life, too. I’ve talked about self-love and seeing love before, and putting it into practice is the real thang, man. It’s making a choice to look at something differently and think about it differently and believe it with your whole heart. It’s realizing that your life is full of love, with or without a boyfriend. It’s realizing that time is an odd and precious thing, and the greatest gift of all is choosing how to spend it. And I’m so thankful for this crazy fitness thing for teaching me so many things that I never knew I needed.

So here’s to sweat, thoughts of summer, and girl power. Love you guys!


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Three Little Words

A wildly beautiful thing happened to me the other night. A while ago I became very interested in the art of self-care (read this, this, and this). Every night before bed, I started saying “I love you” to myself. It felt so weird at first. I didn’t say it out loud, but just thinking it in my head still felt uncomfortable. Like, why was I doing this? Did it even mean anything? Would it ever affect anything at all? Eventually it became somewhat of a habit, a tiny nighttime ritual. I also started saying “thank you” to my body after every workout.

On Wednesday night, I had just finished a particularly hard workout–I pushed myself extra hard and felt very grateful to be there. As we began the cool down, a little voice popped out of nowhere. “I’m so proud of you,” she said. It was so surprising, yet completely empowering. Do you guys think I’m crazy now? Haha! Just a little reminder to always be kind to yourself. xo


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. . .

Dear blog,

Hello. I miss you. I wanted to write to you today about the small things. Like how I saw this pin the other day, and thought about how perfect and so damn true it is (thanks, Paige). And that the leaves are changing, and it’s not too cold or too hot, but just right. And how much I missed the fall and didn’t even realize it until now. And how the entire Gilmore Girls series is now on Netflix, and I’m currently addicted. And long, rambling, nonsensical gchat conversations with my friends. And the mountain of pillows and blankets that make me feel safe in my bed, with sparkly lights and candles. And the book I’m reading right now, the one that’s taking me weeks to get through even though it’s only 96 pages. And finding the good Chinese place in my little perfect town. And putting the best song ever on repeat, turning it up a touch too loud. And this blog that has the shortest but loveliest posts. And texting people hilarious pictures too embarrassing for an actual #TBT post. And sitting on the couch for three whole hours on Thursdays for Shonda time. And the fact that I already bought my tickets home for the holidays. And being 24 and fun. And Jack Falahee. And new boots. And these beautiful planners. And burritos, always.

Thank you, universe.