“Unsubscribe”

The Nickname Posse loves sending group emails that are something like 37% helpful and 63% useless jokes and conversation that probably doesn’t need to happen. Despite the fact that there are two couples who live together in the core group of 6, everyone responds to every email, meaning our chains frequently top 20 responses or more. This also applies to the group text, which is actually worse. Once I came back from a 45 minute work meeting to 30 texts. That is not an exaggeration and may actually be an underestimate. Personally I love reading the conversations, the silly jokes and irrelevant banter when trying to plan a night out or the upcoming Atlantic City trip, but not all of us appreciate these ridiculous conversations. In fact, almost every single Posse chat, regardless of medium, ends the same way: N finally gets sick of us and sends “Unsubscribe.”

This response has become a huge joke in the group, used in live conversations all the time, like when someone doesn’t want to take a shot of Patron or can’t keep listening to a conversation about America’s Next Top Model. Lately though, I keep thinking how convenient it would be to have an unsubscribe button for moments in life outside of Posse chats. The guy you met on New Year’s Eve is texting and wants to take you out? Unsubscribe. The office kitchen has leftover cheese and cookies during the week you stopped eating dairy and sugar again? Unsubscribe. Subway preachers? UNSUBSCRIBE. It’d be like an easy button for cynical people, giving you the option to remove the general frustration of dealing with people and tailoring your day in a way that makes you content. Sure, you can choose not to respond to the guy, not to eat the food, or to turn up your headphones to drown out “JESUS KNOWS YOUR SINS,” but simply removing the choice and distraction instead is such a delicious idea.

Maybe it’s the winter weather, but I am feeling particularly uninspired lately. Selective writer’s block means I’ve started at least 10 new drafts for posts in the past two weeks but haven’t figured out how to finish any of them. This morning I stared at the same food I’ve been eating all week in my fridge and could not get myself to make eggs for breakfast again. I tried to mix up my breakfast routine with a pumpkin muffin from Grey Dog but it made me feel sick, plus I threw half of it out because I found myself bored chewing it. Even in yoga this morning, I was holding a pose that I usually love, and before I’d reached five breaths I just sat on the ground and sighed. I’m not suffering from a lack of drama or interesting conversation topics in my life, and certainly given this is the Month of No, I should have all this free time to force inspiration by trying new things instead of finding myself glued to the couch ingesting hours of Netflix like a medicine, but I’m just in a funk and I can’t muster the enthusiasm to get out.

I have a three day weekend this weekend, as many of us do, and did manage to make a few plans – dance class on Saturday, my brother’s birthday/Sunday Funday/Football Funday celebration and yoga with my favorite instructor in between. Earlier this week I had this grand plan that in between those activities I would do nothing, take the time off to clean a little around the apartment and enjoy said Netflix. But as I started to convince myself today that I could “use a few days off,” it hit me that I just had two weeks off going into the New Year, and if I’m already telling myself I “deserve a break,” that’s a problem. I immediately went to the Interwebs and signed up for an inversion workshop on Valentine’s Day, hosted by my favorite Instagram yogi who’s traveling to NYC next month, something I’ve been putting off doing for nearly a week. It’s a small victory to motivation that I want to impress her, something to make sure I’m practicing regularly, and a potential first step in climbing back to my usual state of unfettered and idealistic optimism. Maybe it won’t keep me from continuing my Parks and Rec binge on Monday afternoon, and maybe it’s not the easy fix I’m telling myself it will be for this funk that I’m in. But if nothing else, it’s the first of hopefully many times this year that I look boredom straight in its uninspired eyes and simply say “Unsubscribe.”

Waves

Things have been going really well lately. Like, surprisingly well. I’m busy at work which is keeping me engaged and occupied, I’ve been excelling more quickly than I’d anticipated in yoga practice, I’ve had some great time with my family and my friends, and I have some exciting events coming up in the next few weeks, like the shared birthday for my lovely friend M and my work buddy S, and Friendsgiving with the Nickname Posse. The holidays are my favorite time of year, between the food, the family, the time off of work, and of course, the food (I really like eating). I know life isn’t a straight trajectory, marred with surprises and the natural ebbs and flows that come with being emotional creatures, but I was feeling really good about the past few weeks. Up until about 10 last night, when the third straw in an already emotional day nearly put me over the edge.

My partner-in-crime R and my fashionista C probably know better than anyone that things tend to happen in waves, something they reminded me last night as I sat quietly in my apartment, trying to sort through the tangled mess that comes when confronted with life’s inevitabilities. And M made the point that these things tend to happen in threes, two very upsetting pieces of news, and an unwanted email; the first news was bad enough, the second was enough to be a bad wave, and the email was the final straw in unwanted information. I’ve been able to compose myself today, and with everything else on such an upswing for the first time in a very long time, I’m feeling like I know how to handle this particular situation. But it’s hard to have things finally going well, and then to have a wrench thrown in the middle, like a heckler in the punch line of your best performance.

Good things and bad things are a yin and yang that we can’t predict or control. Sometimes you’re on an upswing as simple as the person at Starbucks spelling your name correctly in the morning and finding free snacks in the work kitchen in the afternoon. Sometimes the bad things are as trivial as someone else getting to that subway seat before you do, followed by more dirt in your shower when you get home from work in the evening. Sometimes a text from an old friend will make you smile, and then in that same thought you’re wishing the text came from someone else. Life isn’t perfect any of the time: there’s good moments in the bad weeks, and bad hours in the good days. It’s so easy to seek out the bad in the good, the self-doubt and the second-guessing, but so infrequently do we try and find the good in the bad. I’m working on the latter today, reminding myself that I’ve seen miracles and those miracles gave us four years of borrowed time, and finding relief in an email that finally cuts all ties, removing all traces of his presence in my life so I never have to see him again.

I have a journal that I write in from time to time, a full-secret space where I can use names and talk about work and chronicle my life through my eyes, for my eyes. There was something I wrote just under a year ago, which was a pretty significant time, and the words came back to me last night while texting the girls. Out of context, it reads:

(Autumn, 2013): It moves, undulating like a wave. Up and down, back and forth. Gone and back again. It moves within me, rocking me back and forth on my heels, my toes. Throwing off my balance like a rag doll, all fluid and no bones. I feel like I’m wobbling on a precipice of happiness, depression, healthy and sick. One comes, the other follows. Happiness lurks as depression looms, then dominates loudly and large, bringing healthy with it until I can be healthy no more, when everything rises up again… Happiness is fleeting; it comes and goes as quickly as it came and went the last time. I suppose I’m on the bottom of the curve these days, but if I swing hard enough tomorrow perhaps I’ll land at the top.

I think about two weeks ago in the middle of the months-long funk, I pulled on what was holding me back and swung away from it with a fiery fervor, a Hail Mary, last-ditch, all-or-nothing effort to get myself back on top before this weekend, because this Saturday is going to be an emotional day. I’ve been mentally prepared for the feelings I know are going to surface on Saturday for a few weeks now, knowing it wouldn’t be a sad day, but more a day for deep reflection on how things change as quickly as the second hand of a clock. The waves this week are a blow to the upswing, calling me back to the chaotic ocean without promise of a raft, but the view from the top of the wave is too good to give up. I’m going to keep seeking that good in the bad, finding the small pockets of sunshine where I can and sharing them with the friends and family who need all the positive vibes I can send them right now. And I would ask, for anyone who has a few good vibrations of their own to spare, to send them out to people in your life that need them as much as my people need mine. Because now and then, we can all use a little push from the bottom of the wave.

PLD Montage: Vol. 5 (Birthday Edition)

So, I’m going to let you all in on a little secret. On days where I know I won’t have the time or wherewithal to post an entry here, I’ll auto-schedule something a few days early so the content goes up in time. Such was the case with the birthday post, where I said I’d be sleeping off another Japas bender and probably doing nothing all day. In reality, that wasn’t the case. I felt amazing on Sunday and had a fabulous actual birthday. But never fear that I’m implying stupid decisions weren’t made at the party on Saturday – it’s still me, after all.

So without further delay, please enjoy a recap of my poor life decisions: birthday style.

  • On Labor Day, a week before my birthday, my lovely friend M and I started our day very productively, grocery shopping at Whole Foods early in the morning and heading to yoga class around noon. Despite trying to hydrate properly into Monday after being slightly hungover on Sunday, I still went into class pretty dehydrated, and sweating through 75 minutes of an intense flow was perhaps not the best idea going into unlimited champagne brunch with the rest of the group immediately after. I made it home around 5 that afternoon, following said brunch and a post-brunch drink with M, before deciding it would be a great idea to do MORE yoga, and got into a headstand for about 2 seconds before my champagne-addled equilibrium caught up with me and I fell pretty spectacularly back to the mat. Guess who still had massive, dark, noticeable bruises on both knees for her party? Because that’s not suggestive at all.
    Lesson learned: No yoga after drinking. Also no drinking after yoga. Pretty much don’t mix those, ever.
  • My big birthday plans began with a trip to a place that is both magical and deadly: Japas 27, where $40 a person gets you a private karaoke room and two hours of unlimited alcohol and food. The original reservation was from 9 till 11, enough time to enjoy said unlimited booze, and still enjoy a night out somewhere in the city. On Saturday, my work buddy S and I buffered our stomachs with a very necessary Shake Shack dinner, before showing up to Japas exactly on time, wanting to make sure we were there to keep the reservation and greet everyone as they arrived. We were so excited to get started, since the two hour window officially starts once they bring in the drinks, and we didn’t want to start the clock without the majority of the group there. And then everyone showed up an hour late.
    Lesson learned: If you know your friends are always late, maybe buffer the arrival time you tell them so you don’t sit awkwardly in a quiet room for an hour at your own birthday party.
  • Anyone who knows me, knows I have a slight affinity for rompers and jumpsuits. They’re comfortable, they’re easy, but they are on the inconvenient side when you have to pee, because you basically have to strip down. Naturally, I wore a new romper for birthday festivities, a backless, purple lace one from Free People, that I had to tie in TIGHT, so my friends weren’t forced to play “if you see something, say something” with my nipples (again). After indulging in a few rounds of the unlimited beer and sake, I went up to pee and didn’t come back for 20 minutes. Why? May or may not have been stuck trying to untie the romper and then almost flashed a stranger my boobs when I forgot to lock the stall door.
    Lesson learned: This is why girls pee in packs.
  • I took a bunch of videos of everyone, myself included, singing our hearts out to everything from Queen, to Kanye, to Aly and AJ. And without watching any of them, I posted a bunch to Instagram and sent one to a friend across the pond.
    Lesson learned: GIRL. Watch. The. Videos. First.
  • All I wanted for my actual birthday was to wake up and have a day where I felt fine, enough to enjoy the weather, the football and the day. Up until this past weekend, I was 0-5 on not blacking out at Japas, because two hours of unlimited alcohol catches up to you quick. Miraculously, despite exceeding my self-imposed limit of 3 sake bombs and staying out till 3:30, I woke up on Sunday around 10 and felt great – I think it was my birthday present from the party gods. I heard from old friends and new friends throughout the day, people who made it to the party and those who couldn’t. In a shocking turn of events, most of us from the party were doing fine! It almost got me thinking that we should give Japas another chance, like maybe now that we’re older, we’d be more responsible with our limits. And then I got this:
  • JapasLesson learned: Well, there had to be one.

That S&!t cray.

Tuesday was officially the weirdest day of my life.

Okay maybe that’s a generalization. I mean, it probably doesn’t beat the traditional weird factor, like that time a dude in the Flatiron wearing a feather headdress followed me for 5 blocks while quacking. Or that time in college I woke up in my roommate’s bed alone without pants and minus a phone. Or any of the times I accidentally got on an empty subway train (non-NYers: unless you’re at the very first stop for a train, NEVER. TRUST. EMPTY. SUBWAYS.). And back to Tuesday, aside from a quick stop at my lovely friend M’s place to play dogwalker, I didn’t stray from my normal routine of wake up, yoga, work, go home, yoga, sleep. But looking at the events pragmatically, between the hours of 8am and 8pm that day, a lot of freaking weird things happened to me.

Truth be told, I’ve been in a strange mood for the last few weeks. It’s like a combination of nostalgia and trepidation, a heady mix of the past, present and future. Maybe it’s that my birthday is in two weeks, which means summer is over; maybe it’s remembering the tumultuous nature of my life last fall. Maybe it’s that I’m only a few months away from celebrating my one-year anniversary as single LB, spotlighting how much someone and some things can change in a year and then again, how much can stay the same. Maybe it’s something strange in how the stars are aligned or maybe it’s something else entirely. It’s been an odd few weeks though, all of which culminated on Tuesday into one of the weirdest days I’ve had in 2014. Unfortunately, I can only go into so many details, bound by a self-imposed code that some things here stay cryptic, but just to be clear: that shit was cray.

In just twelve hours on Tuesday, I was confronted in a variety of ways with a few very distinct aspects of my life: high school, college, early New York, this past spring and the past three weeks. Pieces of my story that I’ve long stopped thinking about suddenly surfaced with a gasping breath, parts of my life I thought I wanted to keep private had a request to go public, and the realization that the wall I’ve tried to build around myself in the past four months isn’t as strong as I want it to be; this was all wrapped into those 12 hours, leaving me simultaneously very amused and very overwhelmed. Combined with a setback at the office which put my confidence into a tailspin, and here I am, two days later, still feeling weird.

A few weeks ago someone told me that weird doesn’t have to mean bad. “It’s like caviar,” he said. “Caviar is freaking weird, but it’s also pretty good.” Normally I would have considered all of this weirdness to be the epitome of the Bad, putting me into the kind of tailspin I can’t pull out of without more time, something I have in short supply only these days. But Caviar has a point above: all things considered, the weird things were also kind of good. It’s nice to think or hear you might be on someone’s mind, even if (or especially) you haven’t thought about that person in a long time. It was funny that everything happened in such a short (yet infinitely long) period of time. But honestly, it was really weird to have so many ridiculous scenarios present themselves within twelve hours, rather than spread out over a few days to save time for a glass of wine or two with M in between, allowing us the chance to obsess and overanalyze.

I keep setting these “deadlines” in my life, an idea of when things will finally stop moving at lightspeed and finally start making sense. First it was after Austin in July (nope), then it was early August (nope) and recently it’s been September, which is turning into another big Nope. I feel like my life has been weird since May, filled with things I wasn’t expecting, then things I can’t explain, then situations I can’t crawl out of, and finally back to things I’m not expecting. I don’t see anything calming down in the near future, as I have defined plans every single weekend through mid-October. Maybe these past few months are a lesson in the mixed caviar of life, taking it for the weirdness and the goodness it brings to myself and my character, and maybe I’ll stop waiting for things to make sense. After all, it wouldn’t be a very interesting blog if, at the end of the day, I didn’t sometimes have to shake my head at my circumstances, and sigh a big “That shit cray.”