Weddings and Stuff!

September 3, 2013

I’m getting married on Saturday.

No big deal, you guys.

Back when we were first planning our wedding, the hardest part was deciding where to do it. We obviously wanted to try to get married in NYC or around it, since that’s where we live and that’s what we love but oh, YOU GUYS, I don’t know if you’ve heard but New York is a little expensive?

Sample conversation from wedding planning:

ME: Oh okay, so that’s $15,000 and that includes…

HORRIBLE PERSON: The venue.

ME: Alright. So food, booze…

HORRIBLE PERSON: Nope. Just the venue.

ME: Oh. So. That includes…

HORRIBLE PERSON: The space.

ME: Ooookay. So if I wanted to feed people…

HORRIBLE PERSON: Dinner starts at $150/person.

ME: Including alcohol?

HORRIBLE PERSON: No, just dinner.

ME: Can you hang on a second while I throw up?

etc. etc.

It became clear after many similar conversations that we couldn’t afford a New York wedding if we wanted to invite all the people we wanted to invite. I don’t know if you’ve heard but I have a few relatives. (4 kids in my family, parents each one of 7, 45 first cousins! High five!) J also has a large family and an admirably huge circle of friends and we sadly had to say goodbye to New York as an option.

So we opened our search elsewhere. After throwing some ideas up against our extensive list of Do’s and Don’ts (e.g./Do not make people fly into an airport and then drive 10 hours and then get on a donkey to take them the rest of the way), we settled on a place near and dear to our hearts: the beach! Specifically, Amelia Island, Florida where J’s parents own a beach house and where we travel a few times a year to swim in the ocean and go for bike rides under Spanish moss.

It was affordable, easy to get to, personal to us (both J and I grew up loving the ocean) and lovely.

It’s been tricky to plan a wedding far away from home but we’ve had a ton of help and it’s been really fun to attempt to create a memorable weekend experience for everyone. All I wanted was a raw venue so I could make it feel like us and I could get as far away from the types of places where all the weddings look the same. I’m pretty thrilled with how it’s coming together which feels like a huge relief considering the wedding planning process in general has been more stressful for me than it has been enjoyable.

Since we took the wedding out of town, we’ve had a lot of people decline which was to be expected. I prepped myself for the disappointment, realizing that to take it personally would only upset me. Kids are back in school and summer is technically over and it’s hard to get on a plane if you’re elderly or sick or have little babies or just a busy adult.

What I’ve realized though is that the disappointments have made me ten times more grateful for the people who are showing up. I’m overwhelmed, quite honestly by all the people I love so much coming from all over to celebrate with me. Tom is flying in from Los Angeles and Alayna and her husband will be there though they are grieving and my friends Dan and JK and 6/7ths of my improv team, compromised of actors and artists who will light up the dance floor and be generally ridiculous.

It’s the sweetest and the loveliest and I’ve cried many times thinking of it.

I’ve been in Florida since Sunday, taking this upcoming week to finalize last minute details and spend some time with J before people start arriving and things get crazy. The wedding is Saturday at the sweetest little chapel followed by a reception at sunset at a lovely space on the marsh side of the island with huge windows and Chinese lanterns over the dance floor. My dad is giving a toast in his ridiculous Brooklyn accent which is sure to delight everyone, as long as the Southerners can understand him. (J is from Nashville, Tennessee.)

I’m thrilled to have a party.

I’m even more thrilled to marry J.

There was a time in my life when I did not believe a person so wonderful existed. There was also a time in my life when I did not believe a person so wonderful would ever find me.

I’m so lucky to have been proven wrong on both counts.

I love you, J.

Let’s get married and lay on the beach for the rest of our lives.

Miss Cay

August 22, 2013

I’m getting married in two weeks, if you can believe that. (I cannot.)

I was going to write about that. About how we’re getting married in Florida and I hope there’s not a hurricane and I’m sad because some people won’t be able to make it but excited for the people that are and I like my dress a lot and there will be a candy buffet but.

My best friend Alayna’s mom got sick a few weeks ago. She went to the doctor thinking she had pneumonia and was given a diagnosis of cancer which was…unexpected. And we thought she’d be alright until we realized she wouldn’t be and about a month after she went into the hospital, she passed away.

She was in her early 50’s.

And my sweet best friend no longer has a living mom.

That’s a crazy thing for my mind and heart to process, particularly as I’m immersed in planning a wedding and all that goes with it. It’s been such a haunting reminder as I dwell on little things like what to wear and what kind of flowers I want, the presence of my mother and the history of our relationship. That mother-daughter dynamic, still there like I’m a teenager, wanting her to go away and leave me alone, I’m all grown up and yet reaching for her hand and wishing she was there and needing her advice.

I have been concentrating on being a sounding board for Alayna, the strongest lady you could ever know who was brave about all of it and who took care of everyone around her and who has a little notebook of all the things she talked about with her mom in those last few final days.

I didn’t spend a lot of time with Miss Cay in person but because I knew Alayna so well, I felt like I saw her every day. (And she read my blog sometimes which always tickled me.) I knew the way she lived her life, joyful with a strong faith in God, surrounded by a strong tight knit community who adored her. When she faced death, she was at peace and full of love and she planned out her services and declared no crying and wanted no funeral but a potluck picnic in the park instead with happy singing of songs and balloons being released into the air for her.

So that’s what everyone did.

She died last Saturday afternoon and when I found out, I grabbed my phone and some headphones and I went out for a walk. It was a gorgeous New York City summer evening and I walked and walked until I was tired of walking and thinking and feeling and I sat on a bench by the water in my neighborhood looking at the sky.

The sun was getting ready to set hiding behind the clouds that hovered all over the skyline. I imagined Alayna’s mom up there, floating, singing a church hymn, snapping her fingers. And just as I was trying to decide which exact cloud Miss Cay was hanging out on, the sun burst through and shone so brightly I knew the answer.

She was everywhere.

A Walk

June 3, 2013

It was a black tie wedding and I kept my heels on until the end. You ask the shuttle bus driver to let us out near your parents’ house where we are staying instead of downtown at the hotel with the rest of the guests.

“We’ll have to walk a few minutes,” you say apologetically as we get off the bus.

I walk a few feet and realize I’m not going to make it in these heels so I hold onto your arm for balance while I slip off my shoes one at a time. The road is suburban, sleepy at this late hour and dark. So different from New York. Tiny lights shimmer from the front porches of houses, guiding our way. We walk on the pavement, listening to the crickets. I pretend the white line of the shoulder is a balance beam.

Eventually the gravel hurts too much on my bare feet so you tell me to move to the grass. It rained all day today and the blades are cool and wet squishing between my toes, heavenly relief. Your tuxedo jacket is limp over your arm like a puppet waiting to come to life.

I carry my heels in my hand and we walk on the grass, through the yards of your childhood friends. We talk about the food we ate and the people we saw and how weddings are a great but weird way to catch up with old friends who disappear out of your life for years at a time and resurface again. You want to talk and catch up in a meaningful way but the music is too loud so you drink too much and dance too long and say how great it was to see them again and wave as you get off the bus.

I like when you talk like this. How evident your frustration is at a lack of meaningful connection with people you love. I love how much you care. I like the way you pause between sentences, the way you say ‘um’ and tilt your chin while you gather your thoughts. I think back to the first time we grabbed a drink and you showed up wearing a sweatshirt that looked really soft and you tilted your chin a lot and chose your words carefully and listened intently to everything I had to say.

When we tiptoe into your parents’ house, I realize I’m missing the wrap your mother loaned me. I panic instantly at how careless I can be, scanning my brain for when it might have slipped off my arm in the grass somewhere.

“I’ll find it,” you say, calm as can be. You kiss me on the forehead and tell me to get ready for bed and you walk out again through the front door, into the darkness to retrace our steps.

My feet are wet from the grass and my body aches from dancing. I’m just a few steps away from collapsing into bed but you’re out there in the middle of the night, fixing my mistake.

My sister-in-law once asked me if you were always so mellow. I admitted that you weren’t, not all the time, but most of the time, yes. A feeling I’m drawn to because it makes me feel grounded, my feet firmly planted instead of flying through the air as they usually are. I live in the clouds and I talk fast and I lose things and where are my keys? I don’t know where they are, I don’t know where I am.

You remind me when I forget and you find the things I lose and when I’m anxious, you tell me to breathe and you let me borrow your confidence and try it on for size. I don’t remember a flash of fireworks when I met you or the surging of a Hollywood movie score, blinding white light and the Hallelujah Chorus. Instead, I experienced a warm feeling that slowly and steadily crawled over me over time, as if you were an old blanket, a friend I once knew a lifetime ago, a person who made me feel safe and strong at the same time.

My cell phone rings.

“I found it,” you say. “See you soon.”

I stand in the silent kitchen, eyes closed and wait for you to reappear.

Updates A-Go-Go!

May 22, 2013

Hey guys! How we doin’?

I’m on Week #2 of Watching What I Eat A Little Bit More Than Usual and it’s working out pretty well. I set some goals for myself last week and then evaluated and re-wrote them for this week. As I mentioned in the previous post, it’s more about making my life healthier (adding things) rather than reducing which is just easier for me to stick with. However, as I expected, adding healthier things leaves less room for the unhealthier things. So I didn’t set out to eat less gluten or sugar but I barely had any of either just because I was busy stuffing my face with more vegetables.

BOOM.

Basically, added more green juice to my life, tried to eat more fruit and made an effort to cook more at home, whipping up some easy dinners: veggie stir-fry, veggie omelets, etc. (I did realize that I eat like 75 million eggs per day and I’m not sure that’s okay or not!?) I also did one day without any grains at all and had a splitting headache by 11 AM that never went away. No fun, but I stuck with it.

I haven’t stepped on a scale as I’m not too concerned with the numbers so I may have dropped a pound or two or none at all but I feel much happier about the quality of things going into my body.

I meant to keep a food journal all week but only did it a few days, so here’s a sampling on how I’m going about a typical day:

Last Friday

8:30 AM – Went to the cafeteria for an egg sandwich, my usual Friday AM treat. Instead, treated myself to a green juice (spinach, parsley, cucumber, ginger, apple) for $3.50! THANK YOU WORK CAFETERIA! Then since I was still craving some eggs, I got 1 egg and 1 slice of cheese on a whole wheat English muffin.

1 PM – Salad for lunch – romaine/spinach combo, tomatoes, cucumbers, artichoke hearts, chick peas, avocado. Really wanted my usual white balsamic vinaigrette but assumed it’s loaded with hidden secret sugar so got fresh lemon juice and olive oil instead. Verdict: STILL DELICIOUS.

Snack at 4 PM: almond butter packet with a banana (These are my fave and automatic portion control.)

J and I ordered Thai food for dinner and it was delicious and I enjoyed it and didn’t care because I AM NOT MADE OF STEEL OVER HERE!

No exercise today as I was dealing with some sleep deprivation but made myself go out for a 30 minute walk after work because something is better than nothing.

And that’s the latest and greatest. Every week I’m tweaking my goals and readjusting which seems to work pretty well. This week my goal is 3 green juices, 3 salads for lunch, 3 servings of berries, one day without grains and some exercise goals that sadly do not involve vinyasa yoga because you guys, I done hurt myself real good.

I started physical therapy for my shoulder and it turns out the injury is actually a sprained/strained bicep ligament. (EW???) And to compensate for the injury, my arm, shoulder socket, etc. are all swollen and inflamed and the muscles surrounding it are overworked so my upper back is tight and filled with muscle spasms.

Physical Therapist, feeling around my back: Okay so if I just see what’s going on right…OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!????????

Then I screamed in agony.

Hm.

So, that’s happening as well.

The physical therapist did promise to fix me in time for my wedding while also maybe giving me some muscle definition in the process as yoga has encouraged my natural flexibility but has reduced what little stability I had. Basically, I need to improve my strength as I’m flexible and weak and I should be flexible and strong.

Plus I need to strengthen my back to take pressure off my shoulder and arm.

Sigh.

So, wahoo! Week #1 down. A million to go???

That’s the news! Who wants to give me a massage!?!!?

This Blog Is About To Get Real Boring

May 10, 2013

Yesterday, I went to a new general practitioner for an annual physical (and by annual I mean my first time in about six years) because now I have health insurance, la dee da for me so this spring I’ve been hitting up every single doctor I can find.

Doctor: What brings you in today?

Me: Well. I have two problems that I need you to fix but then if you could do all the regular stuff as well to make sure I’m not dying, that’d be great too.

Doctor: …

My two issues are: acid reflux which is ruining my entire life and severe tendonitis in my right shoulder joint (super fun).

The reflux thing has been out of control as in: waking up every morning nauseated, throwing up occasionally after meals, hating all my favorite foods because they bring me pain, (TOMATO SAUCE I LOVE YOU!) etc. The shoulder injury was a result of overuse towards the end of teacher training and then I tweaked it again pretty hard a week or so ago in a crazy psycho barre class and it has never been the same.

So, I got a prescription for an acid reducer (though the doctor told me to continue eating a bland diet if possible while I’m on it and continue to avoid trigger foods which for me are coffee WAHHHHHHHH and grapefruit juice AHHHHHHH, two of my most favorite things! Ain’t looking forward to the no coffee thing…at all.) I also got an Rx for an x-ray for the shoulder and lots of physical therapy so, let’s fix this sucker pronto!

However, what I really wanted to discuss was that while at the doctor’s office, I stepped on the scale and came to the startling realization (but not really because I kind of already knew) that, um, how do I say this…

MAMA HAS PUT ON A FEW POUNDS.

The Russian nurse announced my weight out loud to me, as if I wasn’t staring at it with my jaw dropped open. Then she said in a thick accent:

“GOOD FOR YOU??”

And I was all, Svetlana, no. No, this is not good for me.

I mean, it’s good for me in the fact that I’m still healthy and my BMI is fine and all that. But it’s not good for me in the sense that it’s a little heavier than I feel comfortable being and also, there’s the little fact that I AM GETTING MARRIED IN FOUR MONTHS and though I’m not obsessed with losing weight just for the day and being a crazy miserable skinny bride, I’d also kind of prefer not to be the heaviest weight of my entire adult life the day I walk down the aisle.

That’s just my preference though. If I was indeed heavier than usual on my wedding day, we’d all be fine and J would be happy and so would I and no one would probably notice or care and we would have the best day.

Anyhow.

I decided the weight gain is a result of a few things, after examining the past few months of my life. Due to long work days, J and I rely on takeout probably a little too much. Honestly it is just so easy in New York City. In about 15 minutes, magical things appear at our door for not that much money. We don’t eat terrible things per se but it’s just probably a little too frequent and the portion size for sure too large.

Additionally, the weight gain might be tied to the reflux as well a little bit because bland foods make my stomach feel better and since I’m vegetarian, I can’t eat broiled chicken as the reflux doctors suggest so I’ve been eating…rice. And noodles. And oh, it feels so nice. (Until my pants feel strangely tight hmmm how did that happen…)

Lastly, in terms of exercise, my day job burns a lot less energy than previous day jobs and I’ve severely reduced my activity level since yoga training ended.

Previous jobs/activities: babysitting (running around all day all the time), auditioning (running around all day all the time), yoga teacher training (yoga all day all the time).

Current job: sit at a desk for 12 hours, do not move a muscle, go home, feel too tired to hit the gym, eat, sleep. Repeat.

It’s…pretty much the worst. And yes, I try all those fun tricks the magazines tell you! Take the stairs! Get up and TALK to your co-worker instead of e-mail! Go for a walk at lunch! But let me tell you: those tiny movements ain’t gonna cancel out twelve bowls of elbow macaroni that soothes my acidic tummy, you feel me?

I don’t do well with restrictive diets and I eat pretty healthy as it is so I didn’t want to do some crazy sort of NO THIS NO THAT crap. I work better when it’s more proactive, when I think of things I could ADD to my lifestyle to improve it rather than take away.

Last night J (who has also gained weight, probably because of me and my Thai food addiction: I AM SORRY J), helped me brainstorm a list of physical activity I wanted to include in my week AND nutrients/meals/foods I wanted to include in my week.

The goal is to see how many I can accomplish which means I get to check things off a list which always gets me excited.

I thought blogging about it would help and if anyone wants in, feel free to get on my healthy diet/move your ass train! Choo choo! It’ll be awesome.

Thinking of posting how I’m doing on here, maybe keep track of my food choices and exercise. YEAH? WHO IS WITH ME?

Great. Let’s do this.

Also my week is starting today, which is Friday, the day I like to eat the most. SIGH. But putting it off ’til Monday ain’t gonna help no one.

Hit it Rockapella.

WOO!

Yoga Time

May 8, 2013

Back in the day, I was big into my life list. The idea of it really spoke to me and one afternoon I brainstormed close to 100 things I wanted to do in this lifetime. That list slowly became less than relevant over time as my life changed in some big ways and I realized I didn’t really want to carry many of those things out anymore which is why the list has since disappeared. (Though I’m grateful for some of the things that happened because of it.)

However, one of those things never really changed and sat in the back of my brain for a long while, occasionally rising to the surface like ‘yeah, I still maybe want to do that…’  and that was to become a certified yoga teacher. It stemmed from really loving yoga and thinking I might have mad teaching skillz. (At the time, ‘mad teaching skillz’ = 1) I like to talk a lot! B) I’m good at noticing when people do things incorrectly! PERFECT!) I also wanted a chance to immerse myself in practicing for awhile and figured teacher training would be a good place to figure out how to get upside down without having a panic attack. (Inversions = not my favorite.)

My yoga journey began at 19 when Tom and I, home from college one summer, stumbled into a Bikram studio, got our asses kicked, and went back over and over until school started again. I’ve practiced Bikram in a mostly on sometimes off kind of way ever since. This led me to the most magical little studio in my neighborhood, which led me to their hot yoga classes and then to their vinyasa flow classes and then and then…

Over the summer, I noticed the studio was beginning a 200 hour teacher certification in October. It would run for almost six months, every other weekend, pretty much all weekend long. I called J from my bedroom in Astoria after going to an informational session about it and I was like, geez I don’t know I’m not sure what to do, it’s expensive and I’m already too busy and blah! and J listened and then outlined all the reasons I should go for it in this very gentle loving thoughtful way which is why we’re getting married. Because I have never met anyone who talks to me quite that way.

So I forked over one trillion dollars and signed up.

And on a Friday evening in October, yoga training began.

Soon after that, J proposed (BEST), Hurricane Sandy hit (WORST), we moved in together into a terrible apartment, I started a new full time job which stressed me out more than I anticipated, we realized we hated our apartment too much to stay, we broke our lease, we moved out, we moved into a new apartment, we realized OH GOD WE NEED TO PLAN A WEDDING, we started doing that and throughout it all, every other weekend I spent 16 hours in a yoga studio plus took class three or four times during the week, which was mandatory.

It was…not the most fun sometimes???

One Saturday morning in particular, I remember standing in our kitchen in tears and J asking me what was wrong and I whispered, “I don’t want to go” because I was so tired and I wanted to have a lazy Saturday with him or sleep in or just not talk about the chakras anymore because WHO CARES!? MINE ARE PROBABLY ALL BACKED UP ANYWAY.

J gave me a hug and told me I didn’t have to do anything I didn’t want to do.

But then he reminded me of all the other days of yoga training.

And the fact that pretty much all those days felt like the best days of my life.

Friday nights I would burst through the door at 10:30 positively beaming, wanting to share everything I learned. Which I’m sure was SUPER FUN for J, a very patient saint.

“J!!!!!!!! DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU STORE TRAUMA IN YOUR HIPS? I MEAN THAT IS SOME CRAZY SHIT. THE TRAUMA IN YOUR HIPS. WHAT KIND OF TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCES DO YOU THINK YOU HOLD ONTO? WAIT. DO YOU WANT TO SEE MY HEADSTAND? HOLD ON. OKAY. SEE? NOW I’M UPSIDE DOWN. ANYWAY, BACK TO YOUR HIPS…”

And on and on it went.

To say I learned a ton is an understatement.

Posture clinics (taught by an Iyengar teacher so pretty much I learned everything I’ve been doing is wrong), prenatal (I wore a sandbag around my stomach and tried to practice yoga – THAT AIN’T FUN, LADIES!), restorative, yin, Bhagavad Gita, chanting, inversions, rope wall, anatomy, sequencing, practice teaching, modifications, adjustments, props, ON AND ON AND ON. Om shanti, you guys. So great.

But the thing about 200 hours (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) is that it really isn’t a significant amout of time to learn anything at all. It was one of those situations where the more I learned, the more I realized I DIDN’T know and as a perfectionist, that stressed me out like crazytown. My teachers were so full of knowledge, so wise and so amazing, spewing out the names of bones and muscles, modifying poses for injuries and pregnancy, speaking to high levels of spirituality and sacred texts and I was like Oh cool, how on earth will I feel ever feel qualified to teach other people any of this!? AHHHHHHH!

But to be completely fair to myself, I was more prepared than most. And when teacher training ended, I could teach a fully vinyasa class, I could modify most poses for a pregnant student, I could sequence a class in an intelligent way, and oh yeah, I COULD STAND ON MY HEAD ALL OF A SUDDEN. (Upside down = no longer terrifying, mostly awesome.)

When the certification ended, the studio asked if anyone was interested in taking a few more weeks to learn how to teach in the hot room. They were interested in training people to potentially sub a class here and there as the studio has very popular hot yoga classes. I said yes because the hot room is where it all began for me but deep down I was a little like NO MORE! I CAN’T TAKE ANYMORE YOGA FOR AWHILE!!!

But something in me knew it could be a great opportunity so I dug down deep and signed up and continued to study yoga for a few more weeks. I learned all about the heat, the effects on the body, the modifications you need to make, the dangers, the health benefits. Then we got up to take turns teaching poses and what do you know, an almost 10 year Bikram practice makes you quite a natural at teaching hot yoga. I surprised myself with how much I knew.

I was asked to teach a full class for any friends who wanted to come so the director of the studio could observe me.

Tom was in town randomly so he showed up and a few other friends that completely surprised me. It was so wonderful and so fun.

A few days later, I got an e-mail asking if I would like to sub a few classes at the studio, which will probably turn into a permanent thing for me.

My first one is Saturday.

My name is on the schedule.

I not only became certified to teach yoga…

I am officially a yoga teacher.

It. Is. Awesome.

Picked My Wedding Dress

April 23, 2013

I know it’s not really acceptable to show you all my dress before the actual wedding but I couldn’t resist. I just love it so much. I was going for modesty. I think it really works.

Wedding Planning

April 19, 2013

Has been going a little like this:

My Mom: Are you getting married in the Catholic church?

Me: Probably not.

My Mom: Well. We should discuss this.

Me: Probably not.

My Mom: Are you going to have dad walk you down the aisle?

Me: Why wouldn’t he?!

My Mom: Well some people walk themselves down the aisle or choose another relative.

Me: EVERY OTHER RELATIVE WE HAVE IS OUT OF THEIR MINDS.

My Mom: This is true.

Me: PLUS HE’S MY DAD!?!?!?

My Mom: Okay, well you should ask him.

Me: OH MY GOD! I didn’t think I had to ask him.

Me: (to my dad, who has been standing next to us the entire time) Dad, can you walk me down the aisle for my wedding?

My Dad: (immediately dissolves into tears)

Me: OH NO. DAD.

My Mom: He’s gonna cry the entire time. He is. He’s crying now! Now let’s talk about getting married in the Catholic church.

Me: Mom, that’s not happening.

My Mom: YOU MIGHT WANT IT TO HAPPEN.

Me: Dad, can you walk me down the aisle?

My Dad: Yes! But only if you want me to. If you want someone else, dat’s okay.

Me: WHO ELSE IS THERE!?!?!?

My Dad: I DON’T KNOW. You won’t hurt my feelins if you pick someone else.

Me: Once again, WHO ELSE IS THERE!?!?!

My Dad: OKAY FINE I’LL WALK YOU DOWN DA AISLE.

My Mom: I know many priests who would love to marry you in the Catholic church.

Me: Mom.

My Sister: What should I wear to your wedding? How hot is it going to be? Like really hot? Or kind of hot? Or not really hot?

My Little Brother: What kind of food are we eating at your wedding? There better be some good shit.

My Dad: (crying in a corner)

My Mom: Father Tom? Father Charlie? The new Latino Pope?

Me: *jumps out window*

Fin.

Hard Work

April 4, 2013

Me: Thank you for my present.

Him: You’re welcome!

Me: And for listening to me talk.

Him: You’re welcome!

Me: And for cuddling with me.

Him: You’re welcome!

Me: You’ve been so nice to me today!

Him: I’m trying to speak to you in your love language.

Me: You said you thought my primary love language was ALL of them?

Him: Yeah, I think that’s true.

Me: Well, that’s five love languages.

Silence.

Him: Actually, I’m pretty exhausted today.

Scene.

Winter

March 28, 2013

Winter has nearly killed me, you guys.

It has felt so long and so cold. I feel like I don’t really do much except bundle up in the morning and take the train to work. Then I bundle back up and head into the darkness and come home. I’ve been going a little stir-crazy and anxiety that I used to deal with once or twice every so often rears its head almost every day.

It’s funny how things can start to seem normal after awhile. Waking up with a pit in my stomach: normal. Acid reflux all the time: normal. Crying before I fall asleep: normal.

But it isn’t.

It’s dangerous for me in particular because I can fake it really, really well sometimes. I’m fine! I’m fine! I’m fine! Until I’m not. I’m not at all. And I haven’t been for a really long time but I didn’t want to bother you so…

I don’t know if it’s situational or if genetics have finally got the best of me, anxiety running for generations through both sides of my family. I have a feeling it’s both. But wherever it comes from, it has been crippling.

I have a support system in place and it helps but I feel like an anchor. Like I can only lean on them so many times before they just give up like enough already, pull it together.

But I haven’t been able to.

And it’s so frustrating and so sad.

I turn 30 tomorrow and thank heavens, I am going away to Florida with J and his family. I’m not naive enough to think that a short vacation will fix me. But I’m always hopeful in a reset. Just take some space and some time to exist without the pressure that comes at me every day from all angles.

I hope to come back here regularly sometime soon and I’m sorry that even writing a blog post has felt like too much lately. I miss writing a lot and I just I cannot wait for spring. For my body and for my heart.

I found this on my friend Laurie’s blog. She wrote these affirmations as New Year’s ‘resolutions’ but I’m adopting them for my 30th year.

They all seem so fitting.

Thanks for listening you guys.

xoxo

be vulnerable.

don’t pretend to be aloof. don’t pretend not to care. chin up, heart open.

be present.

stop compulsively checking my phone. stop living in the future and the past. stop distracting myself. when I’m reading a book, when I’m eating dinner, when I’m spending time with friends – be just where I am, and no place else.

be quiet.

I’ve learned how to tell people what I think; now I need to learn how to listen.

be compassionate.

stop being such a harsh judge of the people I love. stop being such a harsh judge of myself. we’re all on a journey and what we need most is acceptance and love. plus: sometimes I’m wrong.

be brave.

talk to strangers. ask for what I want. remember that the best things in my life were the reward of the scariest things I’ve done.