ten.27

I have a confession to make. Six months ago, when I agreed on this past Tuesday as the date to be my next forever, I remember the entire process except for one crucial thing: I can’t remember how I came up with the idea in the first place. I remember every step of the process after making the first decision, the consultation, setting the date, imagining left and right what my forearm would look like in just a few months’ time, but I can’t remember for the life of me where I had the idea in the first place. All I know is six months ago I made this decision that this past week would be one of permanent and major changes – little did I know exactly how right I’d be.

Anyway, once I had it in my head that this past Tuesday was happening, three days after the wedding in the midst of a much-needed staycation, I started doing something to make sure I was making the right decision, which has probably become apparent in some of the crazier things I’ve said on the blog lately: I’ve finally turned full yoga hippie because every month now I’m tracking the moon cycles. I know, I know. It’s almost too clichéd to be a cliche. But in tracking these cycles I’ve learned a few things that have become invaluable knowledge, in this week of permanent alterations to the status quo: first, there’s a beauty in the chaos of the cycle of life, knowing that things must always balance out but never knowing how it’s going to happen; and second, I know now that deep down, even in the darkest of times, the tides will always shift and everything is going to be okay.

I found it interesting that Tuesday was a full moon, and allegedly a powerful one, on the year that I had the exact activity for that Tuesday planned. I already knew it was going to be a weekend of major changes that I hadn’t even begun to comprehend, the permanent altering of life in so many ways, T changes her last name and I change my right forearm. But oddly enough, while I was in the car driving up to Massachusetts for the big wedding weekend for Twinster, I had this feeling that something was about to happen and it was not going to be good. I can’t explain it; I was thinking about all the upcoming changes around this powerful energy, and I just had this horrible feeling that something was going to happen, and truly the word that wouldn’t get out of my head was “death.” It was an terrible yet interesting sort of premonition, because despite this ominous, scary feeling, I also knew one thing for sure: whatever I was feeling was not going to interfere with the wedding.

The wedding. T’s wedding. Where I watched my other half become someone else’s other half (as mentioned in my maid-of-honor speech, which KILLED by the way). The weekend couldn’t have been more perfect, the freezing weather as a perfect backdrop to peak fall colors as we rode the chairlift up the mountain and back during cocktail hour; the way they smiled and laughed every time they looked at each other, and how much fun it was to meet people who, for the first time, had a hard time telling T&me apart. The food was delicious, the band was phenomenal, and the end of the night was the bridal party plus guests in a hotel suite in sweatpants, drinking the final few beers leftover from the limos and eating the Chex mix from the hotel gift bags. It was, in the only word that comes close to describing the weekend, perfect.

I left the weekend with this amazing new-found happiness, appreciation, and understanding of family. It was such a brilliant crowd of people, and it made me so excited for everything next year. I had Tuesday to look forward to, now that it was a real thing, and I had three days of vacation ahead in that as well. It sucks when your family, after this perfect and wonderful weekend, gets a call that something happened that is absolutely no one’s fault and was completely unavoidable. But it sucks when the family that has just spent 48 hours smiling until our faces hurt and then a little more finds out the fourth sibling, the one that kept our parents sane after we all moved out, the crazy sibling who barked at anything that moved and loved to hoard stuffed animals and sticks of butter, left us forever, just as one of us said forever and I looked forward to a Tuesday of my own forever as well.

Tattoo by the ENORMOUSLY talented Mikhail Andersson (www.tattookarma.com; Instagram: @mikhailandersson)

I felt a bit numb when Tuesday finally came around, which even translated into a physical symptom as my arm lay in an uncomfortable position for just around 90 minutes, hanging out in a private studio with someone who is practically an old friend at this point. But I never let that sink in, the numb energy, and I reminded myself why it meant so much to have this image permanently etched to my skin. And so as all these new beginnings were happening, life without the fourth sibling, life as the only B daughter, l watched as my big new beginning, the one I can’t remember how it came to be, marked so much more than I could have imagined in a beautiful line down my forearm. It marked this new life I’m following and finding myself in ways I’ve chased for years. As I stare down at my arm now I’m reminded of so much more than I could have imagined, some wonderful and some very challenging, but all wrapped into why I wanted to immortalize something on myself in the first place: to remember that life moves in cycles, and there will always be balance if you have patience. And most importantly, that even as things feel impossible now, everything is going to be okay.

[Draft Series] Lost and…

Original draft: September 23, 2015

Note from LB: This draft was one of the hardest to post, and I almost didn’t – hence thinking it would be a good way to round out the draft series this month. I’ve actually been working on this since writing this entry, where it’s first referenced, but I don’t think I can finish it any more than this – it’s not an entry I’ve enjoyed writing, which is why I won’t finish it, but it’s something I’m glad I started drafting, at least.

I’m starting to feel that I’m losing my best friend, or maybe I’m just realizing now that we’re already lost.

That’s dramatic, right? Nothing has happened to make me think this; there wasn’t a catalyst to this small epiphany. But after pushing the thought out of my head for weeks, it just won’t go away. It may even be months by now, trying to pretend everything is the same and normal and good, but at some point recently there was a shift. Pretending everything is normal and good doesn’t work when normal has shifted so dramatically in the past year. Maybe that’s where the shift has happened: I’ve been hoping that our normal stayed the same.

Trying to be angry at this situation is useless. So is trying to be sad, I suppose. (keep this? Delete?)

Rereading, this could be about anyone. Because we’re all going through these huge, earth-shaking, life-changing events, because none of us are the same anymore. I’ve watched friendships with everyone evolve to adjust to new partners and new apartments and new cities and new jobs. Everything has evolved, and if I’m trying to reminisce about the best friends I had this time last year, I’d be talking about different people. Not in reality, but just in who we are, and how we’ve all evolved. So maybe this thought, that I’m losing or I’ve lost my best friend, is just a cold sweat of nostalgia, worming its way into my brain because November is almost here and somehow I have a feeling this one will be harder than the first one.

[build out – vodka/lost keys joke?] Then again, perhaps I’m not supposed to know what this all means yet. But I do know, at least, that I’m starting to feel like I’m losing my best friend. Or maybe, especially after talking it out here, I’m just accepting that the We I’m missing like crazy, or the We I thought we would be even with all these changes, is already lost.

[Draft Series] Brick by Brick by Brick

Original draft: July 18, 2014

I’ve never considered myself a “guarded” person necessarily. I’m quick to like new people and eager to trust others, preferring to give them the benefit of the doubt rather than assume the worst. I’m an open book in person and clearly here, and I really dislike keeping secrets about myself – better to save that energy for keeping any secrets entrusted to me.

(incl.)

So I’m just stacking bricks now, one by one, with every piece of pain, using the strength I’ve gained from opening up to someone as a way to shut back down.

[Draft Series] So much.

Original draft: May 14, 2015

the other night, horribly bored by the prime time offerings of Time Warner Cable, I decided to play around in HBO on demand and was pleasantly surprised to find The Fault in Our Stars. I love the book, I cry every time I read it, and frankly I cried throughout most of the movie, the kind of ugly tears that happen when you’re on your couch alone after a long day. There’s a point in the movie where lots of things are happening, and Augustus Waters tells Hazel Grace “I love you so much.” [needs more context]

I’ve heard those words before, from all manner of different people. “Love ya much” to end a conversation with my anchor G and my soul sister E, and I’ve heard it from family, and even in a way from little miss, as she waits for me by the door every day when I come home and how she has to sleep on my pillow with me every night. But there’s that awful moment sometimes where you see something happen and it just breaks you a little bit. Because I’ve never heard those words from the one kind of person that you want to hear them from, so much.

[Draft Series] Untitled.

Original draft: February 6, 2015

There’s this elation, in the last 20 minutes of a car ride. Everyone who was getting sleep starts perking up, the slow music of a long stretch of highway turns into synth beats turned all the way up. Everyone starts singing along, laughing and goading and getting ready for the next 36 hours together.

Quick Thoughts: October

Hello beautiful readers! Have you enjoyed the Draft Series so far? I’ve had such fun rereading these old drafts and putting them up. It’s so funny how some details stay with you for a long time, and other times I can’t imagine for the life of me how I was planning to finish a sentence or a thought.

I’ve missed blogging, but to be honest, this break has been really welcome. I took a break from a lot earlier this month: wasn’t really on Instagram, didn’t do as much yoga, didn’t try to overexert myself. It’s been nice so far, stepping back from everything to regain perspective on why they made me happy in the first place. That’s not to say the month hasn’t been a whirlwind – M’s bachelorette party and N and M’s wedding shower, H’s birthday, work events and the general lead-up to this weekend, where Twinster says “I do.” I’ve had all these ideas for entries and stories to tell, cryptic hints about ten.27 and what happens when I drink whiskey after promising myself I’d make it home early (and alone), how to react when you tell someone important “I’m changing my whole life!” and their response is “Okay.” I’ve got lots of content planned for November that touches on all of those things and then a few more, and I’m so excited to get back to putting up new, complete entries to catch everyone up on where I’ve been.

Last year, just before the time where we all kiss at midnight and wish each other happiness for the twelve months to come, I made the decision that this year would be about everyone else. This was the year of R’s wedding and T’s wedding, and the year I knew M and N would be engaged. This was not going to be a year about me, no dating, no big changes; I wanted all of my time and energy to focus on the people I love and watch their happiness become everyone’s. Things are starting to come to fruition now, the weddings have happened or are about to, and I haven’t made any big changes for myself, save for chopping off all my hair in the spring. In focusing on everyone else, though, somehow I’ve set in place a plan for next year that’s all about me. Next year is so rapidly approaching that I feel claustrophobic at times at how quickly time is closing around us, and yet I still want time to move faster, so excited for the events left this year, so excited for all the big events planned for next year.

But all things in time! No more hints for now. For now, this is just a quick post to say hello, is it me you’re looking for? Because I’m still here, and I’m working on making November a fantastic month here at this Chronicle. Look for Draft Series posts the rest of this month, while I’m busy fulfilling Maid of Honor duties and taking care of something I’ve been looking forward to since May.

And in the meantime, let me just say: thank you to everyone reading. I love you. You’re perfect. And I hope you stick around.

xo,
LB

[Draft Series] Gorgeous

Original draft: August 8, 2014

Before I left for Argentina back in 2008, my grandmother, the adorable woman she is, gave me a red notebook, a simple thing with white dots and flowers. She told me she’d noticed how much I loved writing, and thought it would be a good way to capture my experience living in a foreign country for that time, something to look back on in however many years to relive the feeling of the first day, the first month, the little memories that fade with time. I was really diligent about writing in it for the first few weeks, eventually stopping in favor of nights at the bar instead of nights with a notebook, but ever since that day, that notebook has never left my possession. It’s something I’ve been writing in for over six years now, intermittent bursts of inspiration coming like slow waves of emotion. I have sporadic entries in clusters, writing near daily for a month in 2011, then not again till 2012, then not again till early 2014. In my many moves around the city, I’ve debated whether I should get rid of it, but there are so many intimate pieces of me in those pages, pieces of so many different LBs in the past seven years, it’s like a part of me at this point, that little red notebook I never thought I’d fill.

I rarely go back and read old entries, even from the Buenos Aires days, in a large part because they can be very difficult to read. I’ll read sentences or words and just cringe. It’s like watching a bad movie about yourself: the girl fighting to find her way in a foreign country, turns into the girl fighting for a relationship alone, turns into the girl fighting being alone in a big city. All of my mistakes are laid bare in those pages, sometimes before I even knew they were mistakes, and I’ve had physical, visceral reactions to reading certain words, because I can remember how excited that LB was in writing the words down, and I know I’m going to relive her crushing pain when I turn the page. It’s like turning the pages on your own misery sometimes, and for that reason, it’s only in moments where I need to gain perspective that I’ll ever go back to things written in there previously.

Despite knowing it could turn ugly in a line or a page, the other night I found myself compelled not just to casually flip back and find an entry, but to go back to the beginning and read them all. I watched the dates to skip certain pages, the ones I’ll never forget writing, like that night almost a year ago now, where I felt my insides rip apart slowly and completely, barely able to put pen to paper as I sobbed from a guttural and feral place of emotion I’ve


[Draft Series] Daring

Original draft: July 11, 2015

There’s really nothing that compares to walking through the Upper East Side on a Friday night during peak pregame/happy hour hours while braless in a loose shirt and sweatpants, with a pitbull on one arm and a pug on the other. I mean, there’s a lot of words in that sentence that could contribute to my sticking out like a sore thumb in that neighborhood, and I actually debated with myself for a long time before leaving the apartment dressed as such, but in the end, I realized I didn’t care. I certainly wasn’t trying to impress anyone that night, I wasn’t planning on going out that night so why would I put on real pants, and at the time I was in the midst of the worst of the poison ivy, which made wearing a bra even more unbearable than it normally is.

[Draft Series] I need an assistant.

Original draft: August 21, 2014

One of my favorite jokes is to compare uncomfortable milestones and/or brief moments of responsibility to adulthood. Examples: “I just turned down a happy hour with coworkers because I didn’t do yoga this morning. IS THIS BEING AN ADULT!?” or “Can we plan our twin weekend around the free Spartan workout in Boston? Yes instead of drinking. I KNOW, IS THIS BEING AN ADULT?!” I’ve even joked about it here before, after the infamous two-glasses-of-wine hangover (ref.). I think growing up, there are these adult stereotypes you create, like you have nothing but free time once you’re out of school, and you can do whatever you want on the weekends. I’m starting to realize, however, that is not even close to the case. In fact,  I feel like my new philosophical life question boils down to a simple thought: how does time seriously fill up so quickly?

Back in May, I knew it was going to be a busy summer. I had two major things happening for work in June, traveling throughout July, another two major things for work towards the end of August and then September was a final work announcement, my birthday and my friend’s wedding. In my naive state, I really thought the first few weekends in August would be blissfully uneventful, then a busy two weeks, and then cruising into fall, finally past the major milestones at work and all of the insanity that was the rest of my summer.

Last night, my lovely friend M and I were bumming around her apartment in sweatpants, drinking wine and awaiting Thai takeout, when we started discussing what we want to do this fall. There’s a group trip planned in mid-October for the full Nickname Posse, but we wanted to look into the other weekends for fun activities: Jets/Giants games, Oktoberfest at Bear Mountain, apple/pumpkin picking, an early or late Friendsgiving. We cycled through a few weekends, trading “oh I think R is out of town then” and “No, I have to be back in CT,” and eventually we realized we’re all already booked for the next few months.

[Draft Series] Middleperson

Original draft: December 11, 2014

email story (include unsubscribe?).

It’s not the first time in recent days that I’ve found myself straddling the line of an almost-argument between friends, trying to play devil’s advocate while not offending anyone with my own opinion. Maybe it’s because I have two X chromosomes, maybe it’s because I’m the youngest child (ok only by 14 minutes but STILL COUNTS), or maybe it’s just my personality type, but I have a really hard time thinking someone feels left out or confused by a situation, and consistently feel obligated to explain it, fix it or both.