When you’re stuck outside an unlocked door.

Right now it’s just before 9pm on Monday night and I’m sitting outside my unlocked apartment door unable to get in. I’m sweating from having walked up five flights of stairs twice in under 10 minutes and my poor kitty is crying on the other side of the door because she can hear her mama and it’s breaking my heart. I’m exhausted. I spent most of my workday in meetings, and then had to work late to finish everything that had come up while in those meetings, and then I left the office ten minutes before I could get them to pay for a cab home, and honestly most of those things didn’t bother me too badly but this freaking door!! This is nearly three years where it finds a perfect moment to jam into its hinges and refuse to give me the sweet release of a slow yoga flow on my mat and a cuddle with little miss on the couch. I sighed, leaned against the wall and slid down next to the door frame, waiting for my super to deign to come upstairs and help me out. It’s been a long day, and after such a perfect weekend, and as I was writing this post to complain and be mopey and all that, I’m realizing that this actually is not the end of the world, and hey – at least the door was fine all weekend.

This weekend. I have to admit that while I was excited on the one hand for this weekend, the annual reunion for my college girlfriends, I really, really needed a break. It was the first weekend since mid-August where I would be able to spend any significant amount of time in my own apartment, and I had to share it. Yes I was sharing with my two favorite people, but prior to this weekend, I was wishing for just one weekend to myself, where I could actually relax and enjoy and do nothing. Fortunately, it took all of five seconds between seeing my soul sister E walk up to my office door before we went out for dinner before I realized how happy I was for this weekend; and as my anchor G finally came up the stairs just before 2 in the morning after a long day of travel, I realized this weekend was exactly what I’d needed.

Time moves slowly when you’re with those kinds of people. The people that know you better than you know yourself, the ones that know your highest highs and your deepest lows. We took Saturday as it came, walked the Brooklyn Bridge which I’d never done, went to the 9/11 memorial which they’d never done. It was a slow day of walking and chatting and selfies, celebrating E’s recent engagement, G’s new job and my big news with champagne toasts at the W in the afternoon; I don’t know that there was even a minute that wasn’t filled with someone talking, laughing. Saturday night was not nearly as messy as years of these trips in the past – though okay, there may have been an interesting conversation on Sunday morning where *someone* got a text from a number she didn’t recognize and thus sparked a debate between us three of “Which Guy Is Texting You?” – but it was just enough messy for us to film a ridiculous Snapchat in the cab ride home, slurring about how much we love each other and how this was definitely the best weekend ever.

Back on the floor of my apartment building after a long Monday, my super finally made his way up the stairs, gave me his usual look of pity and annoyance, and then asked for the key. He inserted the key, turned with the knob, and then pushed the door open with ease. Oops. I gave him a sheepish grin as I scurried inside to grab the cat, and relaxed on my chair while the super fixed the doorknob once again. I went back to thinking about happy thoughts from the weekend, something I’m glad I did while slumped against the wall earlier, since it appears this was all a non-issue anyway. I’m so stoked for the next year, where my travel for everyone’s wedding will be done and I can focus all my attention and energy on E’s. I mean, I’ve known these girls for going on ten years, ten YEARS and for everything that’s happened in the past few weeks, and months, and really, years, they are the constant in my life that can make me smile. This was a crazy Monday, but it comes after a perfect weekend – the kind you don’t know you need until you live it, and the kind that can make you remember that there are people out there that will love you and support you, no matter what.

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A Rambling Reminiscence

Yesterday I had this idea for a post, and it was a really good idea. I started pulling it together slowly on my phone on my long commute, where most of my ideas emerge, putting a few words in a draft, and eventually we made it to my stop in Washington Heights, and I closed the app, with every intention of revisiting today. Later that night, I posted a photo on Instagram for this yoga challenge I’m doing (#nerdalert), and after posting, decided to look through old photos to see if I could notice any progress in that pose in the past few months. As I started stalking my own Instagram feed, I reached a point from early summer that made me pause, catch my breath a little and choke back a few tears. I kept scrolling, trying not to get overwhelmed by some of the photos, which feel like a lifetime away in just a few short months, and eventually found the photo I was looking for. The timestamp said it was 32 weeks ago, just 32 short weeks, and I let a tear roll down my left cheek and onto the cat as I realized how far I’ve come in those eight months.

It’s funny how quickly I felt overwhelmed by all the changes in 2015. In living through this year so far, it’s felt like a lot of the same, same-same but different, growing but stale, little changes that don’t add up. There’s something so stark about the pseudo-reality of an Instagram feed that can bring you back to earth real quick. Yoga does that; it brings out the absolute best and the absolute worst in you, it makes you feel like you’re doing everything wrong when really you’re learning baby steps to do it right. Looking at a few photos I could see physical changes in me – look how much more aligned my splits are! I can do that move without blocks now! – but it’s the mental differences that caused the tear to run down my cheek, because the more I scrolled, the less I recognized the person posting photos all these months back.

I can’t explain it, but I felt sad when I got back far enough in the feed. Maybe it’s the mental shift that I’ve had for the past few months in looking forward to the big change next year, but there was something so raw about that girl, that maybe wouldn’t come through in the photos but it certainly came through as I recalled posting each one. There are the photos from the NP trip to Atlantic City in February, just before I started this job, months before I cut my hair, and one of the last times all six of us were together, save for the big wedding last month, of course. There were the photos from my parent’s house in April, relaxing weekends cut short by hospital visits and family emergencies. Even the photos from early summer, where no one is married and we have months of warm weather and rooftops ahead of us, it’s like looking at all the possibilities and reconciling them with what reality turned into in the end.

The great post I wanted to write started with the opener “I’m starting to feel that I’m losing my best friend, or maybe I’m just realizing now that we’re already lost.” Maybe I’ll get around to posting (or well, finishing) that whole post one day, but it seems silly to try and do so now. It seems… wrong? or maybe just more sad, to try and reminisce the way I wanted to after reliving 2015 through an Instagram feed, because I’d be reminiscing for something that can’t exist any longer. Not because we don’t want it to, or I suppose I can only speak for myself there. Of course I’d want it to exist, and I’d love to go back to the way things were. But then again, I wouldn’t want that at all. If I can take anything away from reminiscing the way I did last night, with a slow scroll of an Instagram feed, it’s that things change all the time, through our own progress or through the slow passage of time. Things may be different now, things may never be the same. At the very least, we’ll have the memories immortalized with a slow finger scroll down a page, for times that were, the times that are, and perhaps, in a small way, to the times that may be.

Quick Thoughts: Ouch.

It’s funny how little we think about ambient noise around us. Different conversations, sounds from the street, the rustle of leaves in the wind. It’s so infrequently we think about these little sounds that surround us all the time, and we think even less on how loud these sounds add up to be.

Except me. This week. All I can think about and notice are the sounds around me, because I’m currently in the middle of one of the worst migraines of my life and frankly I’m not sure how I didn’t notice before today that the white noise machine in my office sounds like a helicopter and don’t even get me started on the pounding of my keyboard. I’ve suffered from migraines for years, but usually they’re extreme and horrible for 4-5 hours tops and then I’m okay. I’ve had this one for going on 36 hours. Yes I’m semi-functional – which was not the case yesterday – so I suppose it could be worse. I mean, things can always be worse. But they can also always be better somehow and oh god I’m sorry I completely lost my train of thought a siren just went by outside and I think I’m going to throw up.

I do not anticipate writing much this week so I can ensure both that I’m in tip-top shape for best weekend ever coming up and also so I can find out who is moving a MARCHING BAND PAST MY DESK. That may have just been one person in heels or the aforementioned pounding of the keyboard. Either way please excuse me while I go hide in a dark room until everything stops hurting.

The Mean Reds

Currently: sitting at my desk at work. Sucking down coffee like it’s keeping me alive (which it may be) and taking deep breaths in a concerted effort not to throw my fucking phone across the office. Wearing jeans that are just a little bit too tight and pondering the implications of changing into yoga pants even though there are clients in the office today. Working as hard as possible not to start crying at my desk because truly I don’t even know what I’m upset about, just that I’m really fucking angry or sad or upset or maybe some combination of all three, and all I want to do is go home and sleep. Or the aforementioned throwing phone against wall.

I am having a WEEK, and yet if you asked me why I wouldn’t have an answer for you. Starting the week by leaving the Upper East Side has completely thrown off my normal routine and I’m still reeling slightly from that. It’s also the first week since mid-August where I’ve worked five full days, having had things broken up by weddings and spontaneous trips and birthdays. I keep making these plans to see people I love but all I really want to do is sleep. Or scream. Maybe both.

If you’ve ever seen or read Breakfast at Tiffany’s, you know the Mean Reds are… well let’s let Holly G explain: The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling? That’s a good overview of my current mood, except I think I know why I’m afraid. I’m afraid I can’t handle the next few months if they’re all going to be like this. Because it’s barely been a week and I’m ready to throw in the towel. And for all the professing I’ve done about all the wonderful things this fall (*and they are still wonderful and I’m quite looking forward to all of them), I’ve been avoiding or delaying dealing with what’s required in between those events: my undivided attention and time and energy. Something I’m finding this week is in very short supply.

Anyway. I’m not sure how to end this post, but I have to now. There are meetings and documents and plans later and then tomorrow I’m traveling where I have more plans and things to do before coming back to the city to prepare for more plans and meetings and documents and things to do. There are always meetings, documents, plans, and things to do, it seems. I suppose that’s being an adult.

advice from the girl in the mirror.

So, confession time. Because I live alone, I find myself talking in the mirror a lot. Like, probably too much. I can’t tell if it’s because I’m bored, and need to hear myself think aloud, or if it’s because it’s easier to talk stuff out when it looks like someone else is telling me about it. Also sometimes when I’m really worked up I get crazy eyes? and actually it’s kind of funny, so all of a sudden whatever worked me up seems funny, and then I feel normal again. Anyway, I digress.

So, last night I was talking to myself in the mirror about the weekend after next, when my E&G will be in NYC for the rescheduled annual girls trip, affectionately referred to as Peace, Love, 403 (it’s a college thing). I’m starting to get a plan in mind for what we’ll do in our precious few days in this city I love, so I was talking pros/cons of various bars we could go to on Saturday night. One that came out as I was brushing my teeth was Village Tavern, and as the words came out I nearly swallowed toothpaste for laughing so hard. “I can’t go back there,” I said into my toothbrush to the girl in the mirror, “I’m too old! Plus, there’s little to no chance I wouldn’t leave there basically blacked out and then feel terrible the next morning slash for the next two days.” Spit, rinse, mouthwash. The girl in the mirror looked back at me still laughing and said “Seriously. You’re enough of a trainwreck, anyway.”

I laughed and continued brushing my teeth, and for a minute the words started to breeze away, until all of a sudden I really heard what had come out of my mouth. I paused briefly and tried to figure out how I felt about those words. Part of me was definitely laughing because they’re true, but the rest of me is confused, slightly. Am I laughing because I’ve just accepted that I’m a mess? Or am I laughing because I’m sick of being a fucking trainwreck, and that’s why I’m so eager for change? It was one of those weird sentences that came out of my mouth before I realized what it meant, and for a few seconds I felt sad. I stared at the girl in the mirror, who had applied a clay mask and sort of looked like a half-formed zombie. “Screw it,” I told her. “ I can handle trainwreck status. Plus it’s not like I didn’t have enough fun to last me a few years in the first six months of 2014 alone.” I went back to the living room to finish up a rerun of The Office while the mask dried, and let all of the odd thoughts that had come to the forefront wash over me in the final stretch to sleep.

The definition of trainwreck in terms of a social life has changed a lot over the years for me, but I think to some extent that’s been my role in my social circle for a long time. It was something I resisted for a long time, and then something I embraced, and now I’m in this weird middle ground where I could be ready to move past it, but one tequila shot at the bar and I’m regressing back to messy LB glory days, slurring and high-pitched yelling-talking and demands that everyone chugs a beer. And when I write it out like that, I know it doesn’t seem like those are glory days, but they felt like it at the time. It’s glory days of spending 10 hours at the same bar with your college girlfriends, drinking wine with your best friend until the restaurant closes and going out until the city shuts down. I suppose I’m a little nostalgic for the days where it seemed like a good idea to get that crazy. Or maybe I’m justifying that I’m still acting like that despite everyone else around me growing up.

Back in my bathroom, I rinsed off the clay mask and took a long, close look at the girl staring back at me, my eyes drifting up to the tiny lines on her forehead that speak to lots of lessons learned in a short period of time. Sighing, I said aloud “I mean, whatever, my skin looks good for 25.” “WAIT what the fuck, 27 you weirdo!” Both sentences shot out of my mouth from me in rapid-fire, and I stared at myself in this moment of amused disbelief before laughing again. It wasn’t a pang of nostalgia for being 25 that brought that thought to the forefront, I think, but the cost of reliving memories from the glory days at Village Tavern and the last official 403 trip in Austin. I thought about that for a final second, or maybe it was an hour, and then shrugged at the girl in the mirror. “Whatever,” she said, before I turned the lights off and finally, finally crawled into my own bed. “You’ll figure it all out. And if you feel sad again, just think: you’re two years older now, but that means our skin looks that much better.”

The Unbirthday

“Here’s to your 27th birthday!”
“No, T’s turning 27. I’m celebrating the second anniversary of my 25th birthday.”

Twenty-seven. When you’ve officially entered your late twenties, no ifs, ands or buts about it. 27 is the age I always thought I’d be an adult, or I’d have my shit together. I didn’t expect 27 to hit me as hard as it did when I woke up on Monday morning, just before 7am, right around the time my sister was born, the older twin by 14 minutes. After a fun-filled weekend of shopping, baseball, fireworks, hiking and lots and lots of beer, on my last morning in Massachusetts, I quietly grabbed my sister’s keys before she and her fiancé woke up. Pulling my hair into an almost-ponytail and cautiously closing the door behind me, I took my yoga mat out to the same riverside park behind their apartment where T and I did our first yoga class together two mornings before. I sat for a minute, watching the sun rise over the low river, enjoying the silence of the early morning, before everyone was awake and about, and just before starting my Sun Salutations, I took a look at the clock. 7:13, it read. Exactly the time I was born 27 years prior.

27 sounds like an adult age, right? And my life is starting to feel super adult as well, between all the weddings and whatnot. People I know are even starting to have babies, or have babies that are starting to look like humans instead of squishy adorably screaming things, and the fact that this all feels normal is the oddest feeling in the world.  I can’t reconcile reality with being 27 quite yet, I never gave much thought to life after 26, I don’t think, so now I’m in this weird age where it feels like I’m not at all where I thought I’d be and that’s kind of amazing. It’s also scary, though – which is probably why I’ve been telling everyone that I’m not celebrating my 27th birthday. I’m celebrating the second anniversary of my 25th birthday.

At first it seems a ridiculous notion on a number of levels, avoiding my birthday and therefore reality, but then again, turning 25 was when everything started changing for me. 25 is when I started getting tattoos again and when I dyed my hair red. It’s when I tried yoga for the first time and it’s when I started this blog. The years since 25 have been heartbreak and bad dates, broken promises and lots of starting over. I wouldn’t go back to 25 again, and hell, I wouldn’t even go back to 26 again. I’ve loved growing up in the past two years, and I wouldn’t change any of the lessons learned for anything. So if I’m going to be in denial that I have, in fact, crossed that late-twenties line, why not celebrate what it’s taken to get there in the past few years?

After a long weekend of traveling and drinking, I was grateful to have yesterday off from work, a day to decompress on my couch, snuggling with little miss and ignoring the suitcase that needed to be unpacked, the carpet that needed to be vacuumed. It was like a birthday present to myself, disconnecting from everything for the afternoon and just finding stillness in this adult life of mine. “27,” I said aloud to no one in particular at one point, letting the number roll off of my tongue and roll around in my brain. It’s starting to feel a little more real, this whole adulthood-thing, and that’s quite a scary thought. It helps in the meantime to pretend that I’m not celebrating another year, but an anniversary of when things started moving forward to the life I’m living now. Because this life might still be a little crazy, but to me it’s perfect. And it’s only taken 27 years to get here.

Hurry Up and Wait

“I’M PACKING!! Well sort of, I have a pile of things that may or may not fit in my suitcase on my floor. What should I bring?? Like non-negotiables.”
“Clothes.”

As a twin, my first 17 birthdays were not about me. I mean they weren’t about T either – when you’re a twin, your birthdays are about “the twins.” You share parties, even if you don’t share friends. You share a cake, even if one of you is desperate for all chocolate while the other swears she’ll cry if it isn’t yellow cake. And you basically share presents, because when you’re a twin, people assume you’re the same person, which for T and I meant 17 birthdays of people buying us the exact same thing (*occasionally in different colors). I don’t mean to be ungrateful that we were so lucky growing up to have people buy us gifts at all, or bake us whatever cake we could agree on, but let’s just say when T and I separated for college three weeks before our 18th birthday, the only thing I could think about was that for first time in my life, what had always been our birthday would suddenly become mine.

Birthdays are such a funny thing. When you’re little, the only thing on your mind is how much you can’t wait to be older. I remember feeling despondent around my birthday for years, like it was so exciting to grow a year older but I still couldn’t do any of the cool things, like drive or… well okay mostly drive. Once I had my license it was a desperate race to turn 21 so I could buy my own alcohol instead of asking someone else to do it for me not drinking at all because that would have been illegal (right Mama B?). Then it was a desperate race to be in my mid-twenties, wanting the credibility that comes from being over 25, instead of the constant eye rolls when I’d say I was 22, 23, 24, “you’re still a baby, you have all the time in the world.” And yet, the second you’re past 25, it’s a desperate want for more time in every year, the horrid slope till you’re 30, 40, 50, beyond.

For so many years all we want is for time to move faster. School days are eternity, waiting for the weekend is miserable until you’re heading home on a Friday, the thought of four whole years of high school, college; I don’t even know what we’re racing towards in those years spent wanting time to move faster but all I know is I spent so many years wanting exactly that. And now, as I’m staring down the barrel of 27, all I want is for time to slow down. I want it to stop feeling like every time I blink it’s another month, another season, another year. I want more time with the Nickname Posse on rooftops and more walks in Central Park that last for hours. I want to savor every moment in this city, the way the sky looks over the George Washington Bridge just before the sun sets, how it smells like hot asphalt after a summer rainstorm, the quiet buzz of the Heights in the early mornings before the kids are up for school. I spent so many years wanting time to go faster and now that my wish is coming true, I’m practically on my knees begging for it to slow down.

A few weeks back I was looking at this upcoming weekend, my birthday weekend, and started feeling super depressed. I wanted to try and plan something but everyone is out of town at weddings or honeymoons, or not drinking in September. Frankly, I didn’t even have the time to attempt and plan myself a party, which in itself sounds depressing, and I had this moment on the subway as all of that hit me where I had to suppress a few tears, because the feeling that I’m actually, really alone here hit me like a dodgeball to the gut. I started breathing deeply to hold back the tears till I was off the train like a good New Yorker, when all of a sudden I remembered I’m not alone. I’ve never been alone – there are two of me. Or maybe there are two Ts. Either way, just before I started to cry about my birthday, I realized the best solution was to stop celebrating my birthday, and start celebrating ours.

Instead of bursting into tears when I walked off the train, I immediately called my sister and within 48 hours I had a ticket up to Boston for the long weekend. Oddly enough, switching back from calling it my birthday to our birthday brought me back to childhood. I couldn’t wait for time to move faster. All I wanted was for it to be my 27th birthday so I could celebrate with my twinster for the first time in 10 years. And once I had that mindset, it started applying to everything: I can’t wait to be 27. I can’t wait for my anchor G and my soul sister E to get here at the end of the month for our annual girls trip. I can’t wait for M’s bridal shower and bachelorette and wedding, I can’t wait to get my next tattoo, I can’t wait for Christmas and New Year’s and most importantly of all, I can’t wait for T’s wedding in the middle of all of that. Who’s to say if time will start dragging the way it did in grade school when six weeks, six days, even six hours seemed like an eternity, or if it’ll keep racing through my 20s like I’d wanted it to for years. It’s fine with me either way, really. Because all I’m focused on right now is this weekend. As for everything else? At least with all these years behind me, I know one thing for sure: everything else will come with time.

Three Questions

My morning commute lately has changed slightly lately. Not in the actual commute itself, but in how I’ve been passing the time. Normally I throw on one of my many well-curated Spotify playlists and space out while playing Solitaire, or staring out the window making awkward eye contact with strangers on the platform, but lately I’ve been into podcasts, and specifically, the TED Radio Hour from NPR. It’s been a nice burst of inspiration in the mornings and after work, hearing from these powerful visionaries on everything from how humans and technology will merge in the near future, to how there’s no such thing as original anymore.

There was one episode I played recently that was about listening, and how something so powerful is taken for granted in so many ways. The point of the show wasn’t to make us appreciative for the general ability to hear, but to point out how inactive listening really has become. The man behind StoryCorps (click the link, I’ll wait) was interviewed at one point, and he mentioned the three questions that he suggests people use to start their StoryCorps interviews with each other. The questions are so simple, and yet as he continued talking about them, I found myself really listening to some of the answers, and starting to listen internally to my own answers to these questions.

I ended up grabbing a pen and scribbling down my thoughts to these simple questions as my train rolled into my station, still writing as I climbed the stairs to the outside world. It’s not quite a StoryCorps, but I felt like sharing my own answers, my own piece of mini-history immortalized in this blog. I don’t even know if anyone is listening to this space anymore, but in the event that there’s anyone there paying attention, I’d encourage you to write down or speak aloud your own answers to these questions, and really, really listen:

Who are you?

I’m LB. I’m almost 27 and I live in New York City (for now). I like tattoos and red wine and my cat more than most people. I live alone and my neighbors have definitely seen me naked like, many times.

I’ve been so many people since moving here in 2010 – the one in a relationship and the crazy single friend, the one who lives on the east side and the one on the far upper west, the blonde chick who doesn’t work out and starves herself to feel something, and the strong redhead who’s entire life has been shaped by a steady yoga practice. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out which one is the real one. Maybe when I grow up that will start to make more sense.

What have you learned in life?

Don’t drink vodka or you will absolutely cry and lose something.
Sidewalk puddles are almost always pee.
It takes way too much energy to be negative, even just for a minute.
The kindness of strangers will surprise you when you least expect it and most need it.
Life has a funny way of working itself out.

How do you want to be remembered?

As someone who lived and loved really well.

Just once more.

Last night I was sitting on my couch, mentally preparing to re-enter the real world after the wedding weekend extravaganza and scrolling through the shared photo album one more time to relive the event. I wish I could go into detail here about the entire weekend, how I’ve never seen any of my friends look so happy, and there aren’t even words for the looks on R and H’s faces from the moment they saw each other across the church. But truly it’s their story to tell – not mine – and it took me two days to recover from the emotional high of every minute of their day. But with such wonderful memories comes a few embarrassing ones for me from the rehearsal dinner, to no one’s surprise, and it’s had me thinking a lot about the changes I’ve made since my birthday last year. Because let’s just say, when you’re less than a week from turning 27 and your friends are still starting stories from the night before with “No it’s okay, you only threw up in the Uber a little bit” and “how do you not remember trying to kiss the best man?!”, that’s just a *bit* of an issue.

It’s getting harder to make these PLDs. Not in actually making the decision – I’m quite good at doing dumb things– but in the aftermath. It’s starting to feel like a chore, cleaning up after the things I do when I’m making them. It’s losing important things like a wallet or a phone, or accidentally making out with different strangers because I’m trying to distract myself from who even knows what. There’s a part of me that appreciates I’ve had the chance to be such a crazy person in this city because I have the most incredible support system, but the rest of me is ready to no longer require a friend to reassure me that I didn’t ruin everything while I’m in tears in a cab, frustrated and ashamed at actions that could have been avoided if I’d just listened to myself and slowed down.

When I moved to New York City back in 2010, I was this person who knew one thing really well: that I had no idea what the fuck I was doing. I got a job in an industry I didn’t study in college, I took an apartment from Craigslist because it was close to my brother and frankly, there wasn’t even much of a thought process to NYC, only because I’d always told myself if I could live there, I would. And now five years later, I’m looking back on these unbelievable memories and half-memories, people I used to see all the time, places I haven’t been in years. I’ve watched my life evolve in ways I’d never have expected, and yet the one thing that’s stayed constant is making dumb fucking decisions that cause shame flashbacks for days, or sometimes weeks, on end.

Last night as I sat on my couch, I had a silly decision to make. Since the Whole30 in April, I almost never keep wine in the apartment anymore, after years of always having a bottle around “just in case.” Since essentially eliminating occasional glasses of booze on weeknights, I’ve felt like a teenager learning my limits as I’m out drinking with friends, trying to reconcile the reduced tolerance that comes with age and nights dedicated to yoga hours instead of happy hours. I’ve enjoyed not drinking the way that I used to, because I think it’s helped me push through some emotional baggage and physical milestones, and since not drinking on weeknights I’ve found a lot of clarity in things that used to cause anxiety. But last night, I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to crack into a bottle my parents gave me ages ago, just to enjoy a glass while relaxing like old times. It’s funny to look at something as simple as having a glass of wine at home on a weeknight as something powerful and nostalgic, but it feels like I haven’t been that person who did that in a long time.

I stared at the bottle for a minute, and had a very distinct thought: I want to be that girl, just once more. Just for something as simple as tonight, at home in pajamas after watching two of my closest friends get married, I wanted to be the girl that danced on bars and remembered every minute with pride, the girl who had an extra glass of wine with a friend on a weeknight because we were young and hangovers seemed worth it. I wanted to be the early twenties LB in the smallest possible way for just a few minutes. Because I’ve realized very quickly in the past month that I’m not the same person I was anymore, I’m just not. And that means a lot of things are about to change. But for a brief moment, alone in my apartment on a Monday night, I wanted to be that same person – just once more.