The bagel shop I frequent a little too often has all these unique signs on the walls, mostly of clever quips or sayings. I ate there for lunch three times this week (don’t judge me) and noticed they had a new one hanging over the stove.
“If it weren’t for stress, I’d have no energy at all.”
Hmm, well that seems like my current personal slogan.
I’m a busy person, sometimes too busy. Periodically, I have these lovely I CAN’T TAKE THIS ANYMORE IT IS JUST TOO MUCH mini meltdowns at the end of a 14 hour day, when I’m too tired to nuke mac and cheese and can’t even begin to fathom how the hell I’m going accomplish everything I need to get done by Saturday. Sometimes I cry or scream or cry and scream, but eventually though, every single time, I put on my big girl panties, pour myself a
bottle glass of wine and keep on trucking. And maybe I’m sort of a masochist, but I’m pretty sure I like it this way.
This weekend I have an 8 hour school day, a paper to
write finish, about seven loads of laundry to do, more than one plan to meet up for drinks, knitting I want to get done, liqueur I need to infuse, homemade thank you cards to lovingly create, a yoga mat that’s calling my name and a boyfriend I can’t wait to cuddle* with. It’s a lot, but the thing is, this is how I thrive. I genuinely function better when busy, when there are time limits and agendas and next-ups to look forward to. I do well under pressure, I’m happy when I look around at my life and see that I am in fact actually living it.
This probably isn’t the healthiest life style. I’ve read more Yoga Journal articles than I can count on my fingers and toes telling me stress is a no-no and I’m no stranger to the very real physical and emotional side effects that accompany the little bastard. And I know I should be focusing more on B words like balance and bank account and beauty sleep, but if I’m trying my damndest to live my best, most beautiful life on my own terms, and this is the way that feels right for me, shouldn’t I just throw balance in the backseat with the rest of the crap I’m too lazy to bring inside? Forget feeling like I should be striving for more down time and instead take a double dose of multi-vitamins and buckle up for the ride.
Because who I am, right now, is shouting a big, fat AMEN to Amanda: Balance is Bullshit.
Happy Friday my lovelies, and here’s to hoping you spend your weekend however you damn well please.
*He probably will vomit a little in his mouth reading me use the word cuddle
Isn’t it just SO pretty!? Big thanks to the brilliance that is Shatterboxx!
A few months ago, I wrote a love story for a series on my friend Katie’s blog. I just intended to leave it over there for internet eternity, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I wanted to put it up here, too. After all, it is my love story, dammit.
Garnet and Michael: A Backwards Love Story
Florist girl meets front end manager boy. They spend the next few months coyly chatting over cigarettes, perched near the outdoor Christmas wreath displays, while she desperately hopes her flirting isn’t too obvious. Both of them knows this road will lead no where, that no matter how caught up they get in each other, they are just too different and it will never work. Girl winds up praying boy will be the one to end it because she already knows that love is starting to creep in and she will never have the guts to walk away. Eventually the boy does.
Life goes on, years fly by, new relationships blossom and die; they grow up. And 3 a.m. one morning, after a risky combination of Sam Adams, curiosity and Facebook searching, suddenly there he is again.
Man meets woman. They start from scratch, stay up until all hours of the night re-exploring every inch of each others bodies, minds and eventually hearts. They save each other from themselves. Woman carefully helps take down walls that man has built taller year after year. Man lets woman in, helps make her feel alive, reminds her she can be anything in the world. She tells him that at this very moment, the only thing in the world she wants to be is his.
And her only wish is that she could go back to five years ago and console that girl. Tell her that one day this will all make sense and all the overused lines in the book about everything happening for a reason someday ring true. Tell her that fate or luck or the Universe will bring you two crashing back together at a time when you are both ready. Tell her that one day the boy who is causing your tears will be the man who wipes them away. Tell her that you two will still be as opposite as they come, but it will be the differences will make things interesting and keep things real. Tell her that you two will have nicknames and traditions and he will make you laugh until you can’t breathe. Tell her that they will be good morning kisses, back rubs, homemade dinners and surprises.
Tell her that for some odd fucked up reason they will have to do this backwards, but breaking up at the beginning will be Worth. It.
Lately, I’m scaring myself. Lately, the corners of me that saw only the good in people, my optimistic lens is fading fast. My positivity, the inner tidbits that used to make people roll their eyes at what they called naïve now feel foreign to me, as if I can identify with my criticizers quicker than I can identify with myself. A thousand tiny little hurts that I’ve for some reason decided are worthy of space in my heart are starting to take their toll. As much as I love my internship, working with this population is harder than I imagined. People I trusted keep letting me down. I’m impossibly hard on myself. I want to believe in love and commitment, in kindness and humanity, but it’s hard. I’m afraid, lonely, tired and I miss my best friend. I’m jealous, insecure and vulnerable. And I’m admitting all of these things out loud on the internet.
A lot of the people in my real life don’t understand blogging (well let’s say they don’t understand PERSONAL blogging) and a few have even called it quite narcissistic. They don’t understand why I feel the need to post my inner feelings for strangers to read. But for me, blogging isn’t just about me sharing my thoughts, it’s about reading the thoughts from others that make me feel a lot less alone. I’m in a sad place today- shit, I cried before I had my morning coffee. And all these thoughts keep running through my head- “Happiness is a choice!” “Snap out of it!” “Think about Japan right now, you selfish bitch” “I think it’s time to go back to therapy”. And these thoughts and this sadness could have (normally WOULD have) easily taken over my day had it not been for blogging. Had it not been for turning on my computer and finding inspiration from the likes of amazing, strong, awe-worthy women. Words that make it easier to smile and motivate me to genuinely be better.
I have all sorts of pretty pictures of drunken times in Chicago I could post here today. I could gush about macaroni and cheese pizza, my new obsession with Goose Island 312 or how wonderful it was to spend time with MC’s brother and his fiancé. And all of those things truly are gush-worthy, but they aren’t who I am today. So I’ll save that for tomorrow and today just focus on taking each hour at a time, finally bucking up and emailing Molly already, and being thankful for little things, like you know, THE INTERNET.
Big, scary things, vulnerability and why I’ve wanted to bear hug pretty much everyone I’ve encountered since TuesdayPosted: March 10, 2011
Warning: I probably won’t even reread this post after I write it, I just need to express the clusterfuck of emotions that is my brain right now. I apologize that this will not be my best writing, I will probably swear a lot and misspell words. Bear with me. Something happened to MC this week. Let’s call it a health scare. I know my readers are a mix of people who know me in real life and those I’ve met through blogging, and although I’m sure MC wouldn’t mind, I just feel like his news isn’t mine to shout out around the internet. Anyways, this health scare, it scared the fucking shit out of me. You know how you are supposed to be the strong one when your partner needs you? Buck up and swallow shit and not cry, be the shoulder for them to lean on? Well, this week I sucked at that. I did my best to take care of him, but I also cried in the kitchen, in the car, on the couch. I cried in front of him. I was vulnerable and messy and scared and I couldn’t hide it. What it comes down to is that I love this person HUGE, BAT SHIT CRAZY amounts and I am my best self with and because of him. And it fucks with your head when something shitty happens to the person who is your rock when you come home from a 14 hour day, the person who pours you four beers and puts up (and not once stops fucking listening) with you when you gush and/or yell about the obnoxiousness that is your current existence. When you are so dramatic it’s laughable. The person that always ALWAYS encourages you and challenges you and calls you out on your shit so you can be better. When I am with him, I am home. The thought of something happening to him doesn’t register with me, doesn’t make sense to me because it just Cannot. Fucking. Happen. Except, in this silly life, it can. And I am just in the midst of the most humbling, heartbreaking gratitude that this time it didn’t. He is ok. He will be ok. Chicago trip might be cancelled, we will find out today but none of it fucking matters. Not vacations or parties or shitty jobs or the green clothes (so cute!) I’ve packed to wear this weekend. Nothing matters except the people. And MC is my person. I think one of the reasons I am crying at every drop of a fucking hat is that I have never had the beauty of my life slap me in the face quite as hard as it did this week. So many terrible, unexplainable things happen to people every day and I am one of the lucky ones who has this unbelievable support system and all these wonderful people who inspire and love me each day. I have never in my life felt more grateful than I do this week. I am blessed, I am blessed, I am blessed.
1. What type of cell phone do you have and how would you rate it?I have a Blackberry. Does it speak to my lack-of-anything-technology-related-knowledge that I don’t know the make or model or whatever the fuck you call it? It’s old. I got it two years ago. I never learned how to set up email and my only dabble with apps was a brief, shameful obsession with Texts From Last Night. Wow, I’m making myself sound really cool here.
2. What has been your most serious injury?I broke my nose like four times all in one year when I was ten. I had surgery to correct it, and then broke it again. From stupid shit too, like falling down and just being a clutz in general. Anyways, now my nose bone is completely crooked and I can only fully breathe out of one nostril. Ujjayi breathing can be extremely difficult.
3. What is one movie you hate and why?I haven’t seen a lot of movies, I’m a much bigger fan of TV shows probably because I lack the attention span to watch a movie without pausing it 56 times. I honestly can’t think of a single one I hate, but I do hate scary movies in general. And by scary, I mean anything remotely scary. I Am Legend made me stand on the couch and hide behind pillows.
4. How many email addresses do you have?Three: work, school, Gmail. I actively use all three, but for different purposes.
5. What website do you waste the most time on?Hands down, Facebook. I just joined Twitter last week and I’m sure that is bound to become an addiction as well. Oh, and we can’t forget people.com!
6. Which mexican restaurant makes the best salsa?El Sombrero has really good salsa, but I’m an even bigger fan of the restaurants that make you guacamole right at your table. Nom.
7. What is your dream car?Honestly? I don’t really have one.
8. If you could spend up to $100 with no strings or restrictions or guilt, what would you buy?Unfortunately, I already have the bad habit of spending $100 dollars without feelings of restriction or guilt. My bank account hates me. The best money I spend though always goes toward experiences, food or gifts for other people. The joy I get out of possessions is often fleeting (PLANTS EXCLUDED!), so I don’t mind putting my money towards going out/away. If I was given 100 bucks tomorrow to indiscriminately spend, I would likely take Mike out for dinner someplace yummy. Or get dolled up with my girls and take them out for cocktails.
9. What is your favorite board game?I. LOVE. BOARD GAMES! Apples to Apples and Cranium are probably my favorite. Some of the best nights of my life have only needed three key ingredients: my best friends, booze and board games.
10. How often do you change your hairstyle?Every year or so, I get extremely frustrated with my hair and want to switch it up, but it never works out well. My hair is very long, very blonde and very straight. Personally, I don’t find blonde people that attractive and therefore have Brunette Envy. When I was in high school, I used to dye my hair brown every once in a while which would have been cool except I CAN’T PULL OFF BROWN HAIR. At all. I also can’t pull off bangs of any variety and my hair doesn’t hold curl. I would love to cut it short just to see how it would look, but MC is pretty adamantly against that.
Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12→ Something you never get compliments on.
Ability to say no, mostly because it’s nonexistent.
Punctuality. Again, I seem to be missing that gene…
Day 13→ A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Dear Ray Lamontagne,
I am head over heals for you. Positively smitten.
“Just remember, the same as a spectacular Vogue magazine, remember that no matter how close you follow the jumps: Continued on page whatever. No matter how careful you are, there’s going to be the sense you missed something, the collapsed feeling under your skin that you didn’t experience it all. There’s that fallen heart feeling that you rushed right through the moments where you should’ve been paying attention. Well, get used to that feeling. That’s how your whole life will feel some day. This is all practice. None of this matters. We’re just warming up.” –Chuck Palahniuk
Let me just start by saying how much I love Chuck Palahniuk. If you haven’t read any of his books, do so NOW doing so because they are incredible.
I love this quote because the sentiments he’s expressing are so true, but he’s saying them in such a realistic, relatable way. Comparing life to a magazine, to our insatiable appetite to soak up and see everything. To live a life worth living. I’m guilty of all of it. I’m greedy in my wants for my life. I guess that’s not a terrible way to be, to value your life and want to make the most of it. But my problem with that is, what if I become so focused on the quantity of my experiences that the quality of them starts to suffer? So focused on what more I want to do that I lose sight of what I am doing NOW.
I try to live by the mantra “Be Here Now”. Wherever I am, be there. Take it all in and make the most of it. How often can I honestly say I abide by that? Fifty percent of the time, perhaps. Whether it’s worry over work, school, a personal matter or excitement for an upcoming event, my mind if often somewhere else than the rest of me.
I can’t wait for the weekend.
I can’t wait for Thanksgiving.
And New York.
And for this semester to be over.
And for Christmas with all its parties and cookies, generosity, familiarity, MY FIRST EVER TREE WITH MC.
Whoa, slow down there mama…just because today you aren’t celebrating, traveling, or partaking in extreme gluttony doesn’t mean you still aren’t living. A rather beautiful life, as a matter a fact.
I read my beautiful friend Jackie’s post the other day about slowing down, cherishing the process for what it is and shifting focus from just the outcome, being grateful for where you are today because it’s where you need/are meant to be. Then, later that night, coincidentally (or is anything really coincidental?) my yoga instructor Jeff began the class talking about the importance of treasuring each day you practice, not concerning yourself with the “destination”, with mastering poses. Rather, be present and grateful for each pose, movement, breath. Journey over end result.
There is nothing wrong with feeling excitement for the future, eagerness to finally be able to say you’ve achieved the accomplishments you’ve worked so hard for, conquered, traveled, soaked up life. One just cannot forget to bask in the wonderful simplicity of day to day living, comforts, routine. Because after all, little ole today matters just as much.
Then yet again, while checking my email, I am touched with a gentle reminder from the Universe to appreciate the here, the now, recognize the significance of the small activities, simply being.
“What if it was your downtime, your lounging-in-bed-too-long time, your walkabout time, and your blow-Friday-off time that made possible your greatest achievements?
Would they still make you feel guilty, Garnet? Or would you allow yourself to enjoy them?”
I get in Universe, you are on to me.
So here are a few things I am abundantly grateful on this run-of-the-mill autumn week
1. I’m not sick. It is illness season and I have (knock on wood) been allergy, cold and stomachebug free.
2. MC hardly has to work any nights this week.
3. I briefly chatted with a nice stranger at Starbucks who advised me as to where I can get my dried peaches (FYI Whole Foods)
4. It’s payweek
5. Ray Lamontagne (meeellllllttttt)
6. My new green peacoat
7. Tomato rice soup…actually soup in general.
8. Harpoon Winter Warmer back on the shelves and a kickass boyfriend to toast with.
9. Best friend Pilates date nights
So what extraordinarily ordinary blessings have you experienced this week?
I would rather…
have someone be angry with me than disappointed in me
go to bed sad than mad
say how I feel than hold it in
hike than almost anything else
eat raw fish than cooked
be hurt than hurt someone else
take a Pilates or Yoga class than go for a run
have plants than fresh flowers
wear chapstick than lipstick
wear flip flops than high heels
drink McDonald’s coffee than Dunkin Donuts
skip dessert than skip the cheese plate
be outside than inside
watch TV shows than movies
eat a turkey burger than a hamburger
go thrift store shopping than buy a designer label
chug a beer than sip a martini
get a tattoo than a piercing
text than talk on the phone
listen to Kate Nash than Katy Perry
Risk than regret
Inspired by this
Topic: People who matter
Prompt: Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
I met her in middle school. She had, still has, this unbelievably contagious laugh. It infects you and makes you giggle that way where you have tears forming in your eyes and your stomach feels like you just did a boot camp ab class the day before. She had this wild red hair and freckles (maybe I liked her so much because she was Irish) and we were both smack dab in the midst of our awkward stages. We followed each other through middle school, drifted, then became picked up right where we left off during high school. I corrupted her a tad. During my parents divorce, it was her bed that I slept in more than my own, her counter I ate most of my meals at. She was the girl I called in a holy-fucking-shit panic during my first anxiety attack when it literally felt like I was dying. She was the girl who dropped everything was doing and showed up impossibly fast when I needed her.
Life happened. We grew up, grew apart, made silly choices and mistakes and now only see each other a handful of times a year, if we are lucky. I know it’s inevitable that people move on and that those you love the most aren’t the ones aren’t the ones you get to see most often. But proximity doesn’t define friendship and the more things change, the more things stay the same. She is still the same girl with the big heart and the til death loyalty that made me fall in love with her all those years ago. She’s going to be a mommy soon and the idea that I won’t watch her baby grow seems preposterous to me-I need her in my life, point blank.
I am forever tied to that girl through a tattoo on my hip and a huge chunk of my heart. I love you, Ang.