Category Archives: Life

34 before 34… in summation…

Yesterday, I celebrated my 34th year of life… in Paris, France. Thinking about this list I made last year (34 before 34), I never would have guessed that I would be in Europe at this time. I also feel that this trip has been a major accomplishment and it kind of overpowers most of the 34 before 34 list. However, I did cross a few items off before I left so here are my thoughts on those. I didn’t get to everything… but if we want to get all technical, I did start my list a while after my 33rd birthday. SO YEAH. And you know… Europe.

24) Go to 10 different museums
OK… I didn’t get to 10. But I did quite a few: Guggenheim, MoMA, American Museum of Natural History, the Met, New York Historical Society, Ellis Island, and the New York Public Library (yes, this counts because I visited a curated exhibition). 7 out of 10 isn’t so bad. I had wanted to go to the Transit Museum and the Museum of Sex, but never got around to it. And yes, I can still go and I plan on doing so in the near future. I’m not much of a museum person, but when I made the list, I worked for the Guggenheim and had free admission to every museum… so that made it somewhat easy to do. And I’m an idiot for not going to EVERY SINGLE ONE while I could. But that’s a lesson I’ve learned… take advantage when you can.

2) Go on a sailboat
OK… again, I’m checking this one off on a technicality. It wasn’t a SAILboat, but it was a boat that cruised the Hudson River. So I’ll take it. The Pac-12 Alumni group does an annual boat cruise around the start of summer. Free booze, gorgeous weather, great friends, and ridiculous views of Manhattan… yes, please.

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Part of doing this list is to do things somewhat out of the ordinary. I didn’t know this cruise existed when I made the list… but just the nature of being open to new things has encouraged me to do things that just come up.

17) Go speed dating
Somehow this came up with a friend of mine and I was more than happy to oblige her and go along. Though I didn’t care so much about actually meeting someone, I was excited to cross something off my list and have a unique experience in the process. It was pretty funny… a true practice in small talk and quick conversation. Most of the guys start with the same types of questions: “What do you do?” “Where are you from?” “Have you done this before?” But occasionally a guy would just totally be himself and we’d just have a bit of banter. Nobody really struck me as dateable and perhaps my approach to the whole thing was a bit too casual. It was a fun time though.

A few weeks back, comedian Tig Notaro was on the Nerdist podcast. She has a saying that she’s used for a long time, but after all she’s been through (look her up if you don’t know) it means a lot more… and it totally resonated with me: “How about now; how about right now?” Part of creating this list is about forcing myself to do things I normally wouldn’t do. But I as I said before, the creation of the list has pushed me to do other things as well.

It has been a hell of a year… a lot of ups and downs, but I feel accomplished in so many ways. Obviously it’s my intention to continue these adventures. I want to do things now; do them right now.

Stay tuned for 35 before 35!


Now I’m looking to the sky to save me… looking for a sign of life…

I had this grand plan to write about each city I visit before I moved on to the next one.  It was adorable as a plan in my mind… but as I’ve learned on this trip, plans are useless.

I have been keeping a travel log – writing observations as they come. But I really don’t think I can adequately reflect on this experience until it has ended. For those who care about this sort of thing… I started in Berlin and had an unexpectedly amazing time. While there, I planned out the rest of my trip – Amsterdam to Paris to Edinburgh to Manchester to Birmingham to London to home. Amsterdam and Paris have been somewhat underwhelming… but after the raucous time in Berlin, I guess that is to be expected.

I’m looking forward to Edinburgh and England (though I don’t think I’m going to stop off in Manchester and Birmingham anymore). I’m going to spend some quality time in both places in hopes of standing still long enough to do more reflecting. The rest of the trip is about me just existing for a while. I’m still glad to be getting some space from my life in NY. I only realized when I was here how much I needed a break.

I’ve been discussing my travel plans and motivations with others (as is fairly typical when you’re staying in a hostel, surrounded by travelers from around the world) and my story is ever changing. I started this journey in January with the plan to go see Europe, finally. I had different motivations back then. Once I booked my trip my motivations changed. And as my departure date grew closer, my motivations changed yet again. And now that I’m in the middle of it all… my inspiration and what I’m gaining is changing every day.

Which is why I can’t sufficiently write about my experience… not just yet. But stay tuned. This is something I’m going to need some time to do.

Blog song title: “Learn to Fly” by the Foo Fighters


I longed for this to take me, I longed for my release…

As I previously mentioned, the timing of this trip is pretty much perfect.

I don’t want to get into too much detail… yet. But I’ve been in this incredible habit of getting involved with the wrong guys… unavailable, too slow to act, liars, live in Brooklyn… and right before I left, I feel like things got so overwhelming. Too many balls in the air. (Zing.)

As I boarded my plane in NYC, I was a tad emotional. I mean, the gravity of the situation was hitting me what with the whole traveling for the first time thing. But I also felt on the verge of some catharsis.

Though this trip was planned long before my personal life got so… hectic, I can’t help but feel that I’m escaping… or running away from things. But there’s a tremendous amount of relief in that. I need time… I need space… I need to feel disconnected a bit.

I’m on my second day in Berlin and while phone connectivity would be nice for finding my way around, I am rather enjoying being completely on my own and detached from the world. While my goal of this trip was never to get out and see all the sites, I’m feeling super ok with just hanging out at my hostel for now. For now.

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Hallo Berlin

Blog song title: “Leave” by R.E.M.
Photo credit: me


Freedom comes when you learn to let go…

That’s right… something I’ve wanted forever is finally happening: I’m going to Europe. I’m leaving in just a couple of days for Berlin… I’ll be gone 25 days and the full itinerary has yet to be determined.

I’m not sure I even have the words to express how happy I am. Not only have I wanted this for EVER, but the timing is pretty perfect. This year has been interesting… to say the least.  Lots of dating battle wounds that need time and space to heal… and lots of life and career questions that need time and space for reflection.

I can’t promise that I will write about all my adventures (already got a little lecture from my mom about oversharing)… but I will do my best to reflect and share what I’m going through.

I feel that there are some fantastic changes abound… and I can’t wait.

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Blog song title: “Power of Goodbye” by Madonna (yeah, I know what you’re thinking… but that’s a good damn line)


I’d like to think I’m the mess you’d wear with pride…

I mentioned previously that I think I know what I want when it comes to dating. I say that I think I know because it changes a bit day to day. Overall, I know I want a connection… I want to be close to someone and I want someone to be close to me. Being ready for this, however, is a whole different story.

A few weeks back I met a guy on the street… literally. His name was Mike and he was drunk and adorable and aggressively (in a cute way) hitting on me. I gave him my number and headed home. He texted me immediately and wanted to see me. He was in town for the weekend (from California- ha) so I said what the hell. He came over and we started fooling around. Mid-makeout he stopped and asked me if I believed in love. It was asked out of pure curiosity… but I couldn’t help but be thrown. Suddenly I found myself choking back tears. I really didn’t know what to say. Love has evaded me for quite some time and I felt my pessimism creeping in at this moment. He saw this and declared that believing in love is the most important thing. We ended up laying there and having a really fantastic and honest talk about love.

As I walked him to the train, I told him how glad I was that I met him. He returned the sentiment and asked if we could stay in touch. And we have- just sending encouraging text messages to each other from time to time. It’s nice to have someone out there in the universe who is rooting for me to root for love.

Also, throughout this process (the process being me moving on from a broken heart and figuring out what I want) I met someone through a friend who has been a surprising and positive force in my life. We’ve only hung out a couple of times, but he’s had quite the impact on me. He’s always building me up and reminding me that I’m an interesting person. He encourages me… not just to find love, but also to make something of this writing thing. The last time I saw him, I made sure to tell him how grateful I was for his friendship.

For some reason, when I think about these people and their kindnesses… I get a bit misty. I’d like to think that the love coming my way is so wonderful that I’m overwhelmed with emotion… but it’s more that I feel uncomfortable and somehow undeserving of this positivity. It’s strange- I’m a pretty confident gal. I know what I have to offer… and yet, I’ve gotten into a habit of finding men who are only interested in one thing (what am I? 16?)… so when I’m around these guys who genuinely care about what I have to say, I’m a bit out of my element. Like, oh yeah… remember how awesome I am? Well, other people are seeing it too…

Look, I know I’m a damn mess… and having these guys in my life is not just a reminder to me that there are actually good guys in the world… but that I’m worth all the love they are willing to give.

 

Blog song title: “I Go to the Barn Because I Like The” by Band of Horses


Did you miss me?

Yes, I know… it’s been a long time.

It’s not for lack of experiences or ideas or thoughts or whatever… it’s because I’m scared. I decided not to get another full time job when my temp position ran out in order to dedicate myself to writing – not just here, but also trying my hand at fiction – and it’s fucking scary. I’m intimidated. I don’t know where to start. And I tend to just give up when overwhelmed. Not the best quality to have, but it’s there and I have to work on it.

A lot has happened since I last wrote… lots of dates, one failed relationship/friendship, new experiences, birthday bucket list accomplishments, major life plans, loads of fun. And I’ve failed to write about any of it. I’m still in a state of transition, like I was when I started this blog. I think I always will be. And I need to write about it. Not for you, dear Reader, but for me.

I’m not going to make any promises here… I’m not going to make the claim that you will see lots more from me… because I don’t want to let myself down if I don’t fulfill it. But this is the first step (jesus, I know what this sounds like but bear with me)… and I’m hoping to keep on walking.


Red letter weekend…

Spring has sprung in NYC and it is truly awesome. There was quite the buzz in the air all weekend as the lingering winter weather is finally gone and moods have lifted.

Every Saturday I play softball in Central Park with my alumni group. The weather this past Saturday was absolutely gorgeous… lots of familiar faces came to play and because it was so nice out we drew in some new ones. And post game beers led to my newest friendship (and greatest dart game ever played).

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LOOK AT THAT SCORE (Q and J were victorious)

When my friend Lauren and I decided to get some afternoon drinks on Sunday, we reached out to our new softball buddy and he invited us to a picnic in Central Park with his friends. Of course, it wasn’t until we got to the park and started talking with these new people that I realized I was accomplishing something from my 34 before 34 list! Well, mostly:
27) Organize a picnic in Central Park

(Though I wasn’t the organizer, I feel that this can get crossed off… I attended a picnic in Central Park… close enough).

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Wine, snacks, blankets, catch, boom.

Sheep’s Meadow was packed with blankets and people and frisbees… the atmosphere was so cheerful. Our new little group of friends was getting along so well and wanted to keep the party going… so when the weather began to turn on us (also, we were out of wine) we retreated to a Midtown bar. We were halfway through our beverages there when we got the sudden inspiration to go sing karaoke. It was spontaneous and random and an absolute BLAST.

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Dart Champions, Q and J… and Lauren (of the losing dart team)

I am hurting a bit today (wine+beer-dinner=OUCH), but it was totally worth it. As I have said so often, I love meeting new people and making new friends. And I love how frequently this happens here in NYC.

And though the weather isn’t as great today, I’m so energized by the spring and can’t wait to see what else is in store. If you can’t tell, I’m a happy lady these days. Smiley face.

 

(Remember my last post where I said I was changing the rules a bit? Yeah, blog titles are going to be originals from now on…)


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