Losing concentration, losing motivation, losing ground…

So, I haven’t written in a long time. I have sat down to write about a hundred times in the last couple of months… but this strange anxiety has kept me from clicking on the link to WordPress. I’ve definitely had this problem before… and too much time passes and I lose momentum. And then I lose inspiration. And then the doubt sets in.

I don’t know what it will take for me to work my ass off at this. I do know that my head is full. And I KNOW that getting so many of these thoughts out is useful to me… (and hopefully useful to others). But fear is a motherfucker. And though it may not always seem like it, I’m gripped with fear quite often.

But I talked to a wonderful friend of mine last night. She also has a blog and has been writing more lately. She mentioned that she checks my blog often and has noticed a lack of new work. I felt embarrassed. I felt frustrated. I felt like a fraud. Not like I’m calling myself a writer by any stretch… but this is something I want and something I love and I’m letting it fall to the wayside.

Chrissy said that she’s setting aside time every day to write… a piece of advice I had received from another dear friend (also a writer) a while back. It’s not always going to be great work, but it creates the habit. Which is what I need. Hearing this feedback and advice to my face last night definitely sparked something. And that’s why I’m here today. And will hopefully be here more often.

As I’ve said before, I am not going to make any promises. I will be making more of an effort for now… and I plan to expand my writing into fiction (yeah, you won’t be seeing any of that any time soon). Some stuff will be published here while some may be tucked away for other projects. But over the next couple of weeks, I’m hoping to nail down a writing schedule that works for me… and actually stick to it.

Blog song title: “Let’s Talk Turkey” by Ima Robot


Stand in the mirror… you look the same…

Many people have been asking me about my travels… which now seem more distant than ever. I’ve been back for two months and haven’t quite gotten around to really discussing or writing about what I gained from my trip. But I’ve realized something recently.

I met some amazing people from all over the world… seriously… everywhere. Every continent except for Antarctica was represented. And I spent time in some amazing cities. But when my plane touched down in New York City, I was so happy to be home.

When I first came to New York, I was desperate for some new experiences. I needed them. I needed change… so much change. I needed things to be different from what they were before. And they were… almost instantly.

But then I seemed to fall into a rut. Same people, same places, same drama. I had always wanted to travel and for most of my young adult life, I put it off. The timing of my trip this year was perfect without me even realizing it. I needed to step away from my life here. And I did. And it was, as I mentioned earlier, amazing.

So now that I’m back and have had adequate time to think about what the trip meant to me, I just keep thinking how grateful I am to be here in New York. However, things are different. Some of my friendships have fallen to the wayside and some have become stronger. Some of the things I used to do are not as interesting to me anymore. And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

OK… so this is my main takeaway: I need to stay dynamic. I used to find comfort (complacency?) in routine, but now it makes me anxious and frustrated. For example, lately I’ve been “cheating” on my alumni group with another school. Is it because my new (and very dearest) friend is involved? Sure. Is it because I have a little crush on a boy in the group? A bit. But mainly it’s because it’s different. New people, new environment. It’s refreshing.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love and appreciate all of the people and experiences I’ve had over the past 2 years here in New York. But my trip reminded me why I’m here. I need to continue to branch out… to meet new people and to seek out new experiences… to keep things shaken up.

Do I have more to say about my travels? Sure. But some of my stories/lessons are going to come out in other ways… stay tuned.

Blog title song: “Home” by Foo Fighters


35 before 35

OK… here it is… the 35 before 35 list. For those of you who don’t know… every year I will create a sort of a birthday bucket list. The idea is that these items are accomplishable. I typically aim for things that are a bit more NYC-centric so that I am sure to take advantage of living in the greatest city in the world. Anything that doesn’t get done will go onto next year’s list. The only rule is that there are no rules. Items with an asterisk are carried over from last year’s list.

1) Go to Australia
Starting big. And this one is kind of a cheater… I am still abroad, but already planning a trip to Sydney in September 2014. My favorite Aussies (and Berlin buddies) are getting married then and I’m more than honored to attend the festivities. So the savings start… NOW.

2) Get a new tattoo
This might get accomplished next week… while I’m in England. Yes.

3) Visit a new city in the US
Traveling to Europe isn’t so easy… but traveling within the US isn’t so bad… especially on the east coast. Philadelphia maybe?

4) Go to drag bingo
This has come up many times… but has never actually happened. If you know me, you know of my obsession with drag queens. This must happen.

5) Take a class
Could be anything from a literature class to a history class to science class. I just want to keep the noggin running.

6) Go to the famous sites in Central Park
I’ve spent plenty of time in Central Park… playing softball. But somehow I’ve never been to any of the iconic sites… the mall, the fountains, the boathouse… nothing.

7) Take a boat ride in Central Park
Touristy, yes… but I think it would still be fun.

8) Go to Atlantic City
I really have no motivation for this. Just seems like something I’m supposed to do while living in NYC.

9) Go to a Giants game
No, not much of an NFL fan, but I know many people who are so I’m sure I won’t have trouble getting to see a game… and tailgate

10) Learn how to knit
I’ve wanted to do this for some time. I think if I start towards the end of winter 2013, I’ll have a great scarf for winter 2014.

11) Take an unusual fitness class
Could be some weird yoga… or strip tease aerobics… but I want to do something different.

12) Go to a live taping
Ideally it would be the Daily Show or SNL… but anything will do (and yes, I’ve done this before in California… but time to give NYC a go).

13) Go to Coney Island
No idea how I haven’t done this yet…

14) Go on a spontaneous outing
Yes, this is vague. But my thought is to get one of my friends to play hooky and then go do something… go to the zoo, go bowling, get a train to Ossining, stay in the city and take a bus tour… just do something!

15) Go skiing*
16) Try Ethiopian food*
17) Go see a cabaret show*
18) Take an improv class*
19) Go to the ballet*
20) Go to the symphony in Central Park*
21) Get a bike*
22) Get paid to write something*
23) Take a cooking class*
24) Go to a magic show*
25) Participate in a Hash*
26) Volunteer*
27) Take a dance class*
28) Go ice skating in Central Park*
29) Go to a midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show*
30) Go camping*
31) Take an art class*
32) Write every day for 7 days*
33) Go on a day trip outside of the city*
34) Run a 5K*
35) Go to roller derby*


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.

Lets-Go2

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


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