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.

19 Again

How do you explain what it’s like to have one of the best weekends ever when the worst possible plan change happened during that weekend? That’s a question I’ve been working to answer while putting this post together, because the weekend really was a balancing act of “THIS IS THE BEST” along with “This isn’t the same.” This past weekend was 90 percent perfect, between the weather and the activities, but that 10 percent missing is huge. More than anything this weekend, more than seeing my college campus again, more than seeing people I hadn’t in five years, more than trying to figure out who changed and how much since graduating, this past weekend was about my anchor G, my soul sister E and I reuniting for our annual trip, this year back at our old stomping grounds, where we met and where we became the group that we are today. E and I had planned to road trip down together on Friday while G would be flying in later that night. The worst part about living so far is that you can’t control what happens when your only option is flying, and due to crappy Texas weather and crappy fucking luck for all of us, G’s flight was cancelled on Friday, effectively ending her reunion weekend before it began. Nothing could fix the hole in the weekend that arose once we knew she wouldn’t be there with all of us; nothing was going to make it better that she was stuck in Texas by no choice of her own.

Though G’s absence colored the weekend with the hazy blue of a missing piece, this weekend was, in a word, wonderful. Even before E and I drove past the main entrance, we were bouncing in our seats at all the familiar sites, the CVS where we always bought beer, the grocery store with the best food. When we drove onto campus after however many hours in the car in as many hours of traffic, there was this funny mix of feelings; first, thinking “of course I’m here, this is home,” almost immediately followed by “No, this isn’t home anymore. God it’s good to be back.” Memories came rushing in like a flash flood when you least expected, driving pass the old fraternity lodges and walking up the path to the business school where I spent all my days. We had flashbacks of people watching on the green, wandering through the freshman boy’s dorm where the class of 2010 was housed this weekend, joking about how gross and uncomfortable it was to be showering there without shoes, even though it was likely as clean as it would ever be. The first night we drank cheap beer for free in the Greek Theater with all of the reunion classes, and I had this flash to life in five year increments, coming back here every time to see how campus has changed, asking the new reunion people what life was like during their time at the school. It really felt like coming home again.

There were friendly reminders that we’ve all grown up a little, like the engagement rings dancing on fingers, new hair or a new attitude, but I think we all wanted a night, even just one night, where we could go back in time together and pretend nothing had changed. Friday night after the Greek Theater event the class of 2010 went back to our home for the weekend and decided to party like it was 2006, beer pong and flip cup lined the hallways, music blasted from every room. We took shots to college and real life, cheered when our team sunk the last cup, hugged even the people we didn’t know or like that much and asked everyone for an update on life. We blasted special playlists for the weekend until the wee hours, and when I finally crawled back to my room and into my single bed to sleep off the inevitable long morning, I fell asleep with a smile like a secret, as old memories kept flooding back and new ones made their way in. The next day time moved slowly, breakfast in the dining hall turned into a leisurely walk around campus in the blazing heat, turned into a nap on the dorm floor turned into another walk just because it was campus and it was there. E and I found a cockroach in our room at one point and though we had to call a man friend to come and kill it because cockroaches are gross, we spent the rest of the night laughing that of course that would happen. Our class dressed up for a reception later that night and listened to the band play all our old favorite tunes before fireworks signaled the end of a long day. It wasn’t the same because G wasn’t there, but it was as perfect as things could be, given the circumstances.

The last morning I woke up earlier than everyone else and decided to take a final walk, hoping to find a good spot to meditate for a while. Instead I found myself walking in circles around the lake with tears streaming down my face. Not sobbing tears, not happy bubbling tears, but a slow stream of emotion falling silently down my face as I looked left and right to old memories and ghosts of some of the best and worst years of my life. I passed the field where my first college boyfriend and me got into a screaming match the first night back from summer senior year, me sobbing for another chance and him pushing me away; I walked by the apartment where a drunken public makeout session at a birthday party started the next four years of my life. I saw the dorm where I met G and E, and the place I worked on campus looked just the same. I did end up sitting for a bit and meditating while I looked over the lake, taking a few minutes to let old and new memories settle and still, enjoying the last moments of being back in the place where I lived and worked and loved for four years. It wasn’t as sad leaving the campus this time compared to five years ago, though. I have a life I’ve built in NYC that I wouldn’t change for college or anything else. But it was wonderful for a few days, despite the whopping G-sized hole in everything, to head back and reminisce. This weekend kicked off a summer of adventures and unknowns by sending me back to the place where I was the most adventurous and wild I had ever been. Here’s to keeping that spirit as the next season unfolds.

Conversations with Myself: Packing

Since I live alone, I have a tendency to speak my thoughts aloud so I’m not in my head all the time. Packing to go anywhere is a particularly chatty time, mostly because I hate packing and I’m terrible at it, seeing as it requires having an attention span that lasts longer than 45 seconds. This weekend I’m heading down to Virginia to pretend that I’m 19 again with some of my favorite people in the world – so while I’m basking in the glory of re-making the same mistakes I did for four years down south, please enjoy a brief preview of how difficult it was for me to get there:

  • Alright, time to pack. Step one: do I have my passport and debit card?
  • Check. Wait do I have a place to store those?
  • Note to self: get new wallet.
  • ADDITIONAL NOTE TO SELF: DO NOT LOSE WALLET.
  • Maybe I should get a new purse too..
  • Oooo there’s a sale on Free People right now!
  • That dress is cute.
  • What was I doing?
  • Oh right, packing. Okay: leaving for four days. So I’ll need at least three pairs of yoga leggings.
  • I wonder how many mats I should bring…
  • I can’t wait to do yoga on the green!
  • I’m going to do some yoga right now.

  • What was I doing before this?
  • CRAP okay now I really need to pack.
  • So the class dinner is “Dressy Casual.” What the F does that mean.
  • Is that like jeans and a shirt or a sundress?
  • Good lord it’s going to be 90 degrees there. I should just wear a bathing suit.
  • UGH okay Dressy Casual. Maybe a romper?
  • I love rompers.
  • I wonder if that Free People sale has any rompers.
  • Oh they have new yoga gear!
  • Ugh I’m never going to finish packing.

  • ALRIGHT. two options for dressy casual, two sundresses for during the day, yoga clothes and sleeping gear are packed.
  • Now I need to think about shoes.
  • Sandals definitely. Maybe heels? I’ll only need one pair.
  • Oh wait I love these shoes they have to come.
  • AH and sneakers too just in case I go for a run.
  • Eh who am I kidding that’s not going to happen.
  • I should probably bring the sneakers anyway.
  • And loafers.
  • OH and my new boots!
  • How do I have six pairs of shoes for four days.
  • Being a girl is terrible.

….

  • OKAY. Clothes, accessories, shoes, and toiletries are packed.
  • What am I forgetting.
  • I’m definitely forgetting something.
  • DO I HAVE MY DEBIT CARD AND PASSPORT.
  • Phewf yes.
  • Don’t lose those.
  • Seriously LB don’t lose those.
  • Holy shit I’m about to go back to college.
  • This. Is. Awesome.

See you next week kids!

Friendly Conversations: Tres

On the future
M: I can’t even imagine where we’ll be in 5 years, let alone 10. I mean, when I was 17 there’s no WAY I thought I’d be a nanny in New York City and living with a long-term boyfriend at 27. Not in a million years! What about you?
Me: Hmm. Did I picture myself 26, single, and living alone with a cat… Yup that’s pretty much the dream.

On technicalities
Friend: So I read that blog post about change where you say you’re not dating… dare I mention the trend of you at birthday parties this year?
Me: That is TOTALLY different. I’ve sworn off actual dates, not making out with strangers in public. Totally different.

On healthy living
Aunt: So I hear you’re on some kind of special diet. What’s that about?
Me: Yeah, it’s called Whole30. I’m not trying to lose weight of course, just make myself healthier!
Aunt: OK good, you don’t need to be any skinnier!
Me: (exits the room)
Aunt (loudly, to cousin): Why is she trying to lose weight!??

On breaking news
IMG_1408

On high school reunions
Papa B: So that guy I introduced you to was my old football buddy from high school!
Me: Wow! Why haven’t I heard of him until now?
Papa B: Ya know, he was in jail for a while.
Me: Wait what?!
Papa B: yeah selling cocaine of something.
Me: WHAT.
Papa B: Eh it was the 80s, who didn’t.

On college reunions
IMG_1476

Nineteen

“It’s the last chance I have to act like 19 year-old LB again!”

The scene: joking around with my lovely friend M in her apartment after work on a Monday. Since she and her N live on top of our subway stop, I’ll usually stop by a few times a week for a quick visit on my way home from work, a chance to catch up on our days as though we’re not in constant contact via text and Instagram anyway. M and I were joking about our fast-approaching college reunion, and how we both ambitiously signed up for the 9am yoga class on Saturday; I made the point that the class is free to attend, so while it will be nice to make it, I’m certainly not going to hold back on Friday night, being around old friends for the first time together in half a decade, just so I can wake up early and stretch. I don’t know why I keep saying I’m going to regress to 19-year old LB, instead of 18, 20 or 21. I was 19 during my sophomore year at school, and that was EASILY the worst year of my college life – the year I was most entrenched in my eating disorder, the year my grades fell like they hadn’t my entire life, and the year I had my first panic attack, I don’t look back with fondness on sophomore year for a minute, and yet I keep saying I’m going to regress to that person come May 29.

I wonder sometimes why certain memories stay with us longer than others. Years of my life are condensed to two or three vivid memories; sometimes it’s a snippet of a family vacation in Disney World, watching a show with my father on one side and my sister on the other, fireworks and the humid Florida air, dank and sweet with sounds of childhood, and other times it’s sledding one night down the ice path my parents carved into our driveway. College memories are at extremes, either vivid and still cringe-worthy, or faded but sweet, or missing altogether save for a few minutes at a pregame that start up again the next morning. My sophomore year of college has an interesting hue to the memories that remain, a shiny bronze of new friends from sorority rush, the elated high of being part of a We and the promise of a semester abroad; all tinged with a murky green from a year of firsts, first panic attack, first almost-failed class, first re-emergence of the eating disorder I pretended to grow past a year before. I was looking at old photos recently to get in the college spirit, and I can’t help but think that I look like such a child, and I feel like such a child in memories, yet I thought I was making adult choices at the time.

Looking at my life as a 26 year old compared to life at 19 is really interesting, both in the similarities and the differences. The last time I cut my hair significantly was at 19; at the time I let myself be pushed into it by Mama B, who has always thought my hair looked better shorter (her words). I wasn’t ready for the change, the perfectionist in me resisting change like an awkward brush by a subway stranger, and I hated the haircut almost instantly after my hairdresser dangled the severed ponytail in front of me like a prize bull tail from a fight. I got my first tattoo at 19; I brought a half-formed idea into the shop in Buenos Aires recommended to me by my favorite bartender from the only bar that streamed NFL games. The artist listened to my idea and drew something completely different and I took a look at it and really disliked it but was too nervous to say anything other than “okay.” And at 19 I didn’t care that I had someone who loved me, because even though he really did, I didn’t love myself, and I let that guide me through a confusing mess of a year where I relied on someone to make me feel better, and when he didn’t, or couldn’t, I would find someone else who did. At 19 I thought by 26 I would be engaged or married, maybe even to the boy who loved me, and I thought I would have long learned to live with my disordered eating, something I was convinced would never let me go.

Now at 26, I just cut the same 10 inches off of my hair after a similarly impulsive decision that was egged on by Mama B, only this time I wanted it, and I laughed as the scissors cut deep into the pink curls. I can’t stop staring at myself in the mirror, so in love with the almost-bob, debating going shorter next time, already used to the look yet still pleasantly surprised every time I pass a mirror. Now at 26, I have five tattoos, and I’m working with my artist on the sixth; he and I worked for four months on my last one to nail the design, and we have another five months for this one, though I trust him so much I would gladly give him a portion of blank skin and say “Go.” Now at 26, I don’t really care that there isn’t someone in my life to love me like the boy from 19, because I love myself, really love who I’ve become and who I’m becoming all at once. Now at 26, I don’t really care that my life went in a different direction than I thought it would by now, because at 19 I didn’t realize how fluid life is, how quickly things change, the ebbs and flows of adulthood, moving you forward and backward like a game.

Maybe it won’t be the worst thing, to revert to 19 year old LB for a few nights. Though memories from that time feel more unpleasant than pleasant, I know so many of my decisions were driven by a reckless abandon that I still have and that I still enjoy. Maybe at the time it was driven to find something that I thought I needed, constantly tapping into an emerging free spirit by searching for happiness, for validation, for everything in all the wrong places. It’s a different story now though, less manic pixie dream girl, more actions and expected or anticipated consequences, holding back at the last minute sometimes or thinking about things a split second too long for the jump into the unknown to be fun. I can’t revert back to 19 again for a number of reasons, and for even more reasons I wouldn’t want to. But maybe for a few days it’ll be fun to revert back to the good parts of 19, that Say Yes spirit and the voice that screams GO, a chance to show 19 year old LB there’s a way to do things like short hair, tattoos and a slow-burning love for change and the unknown, without losing yourself somewhere along the way.

“I just need a minute.”

Early this morning, after I’d rolled myself out of bed, just late enough to miss the yoga class I’d ambitiously told myself to attend, I was taking stock of everything in my kitchen and realized there are a few staple items I’m going to need before starting the Whole30 on Tuesday. Despite the fact that it was 6:25 and the sun wasn’t even up yet, I texted my lovely friend M for advice on the best time to go to Trader Joe’s (answer: pretty much never), and then we just went back and forth for a bit, catching up on our Thursday nights, until it was just past 7 and I needed to finish getting ready for work. M and I frequently text this early in the morning about anything and nothing – I think since I live alone and her N doesn’t wake up until after she’s left for work, it’s a chance for both of us to have a conversation before starting our days. M is the only person (aside from Mama B on occasion) who I text with that early in the morning, so when I heard my phone chirp early yesterday, I assumed it was her. Imagine my surprise when it was a message from my anchor G, who not only is NOT a morning person, but is an hour behind NYC in Texas. Immediately nervous something was wrong, I frantically opened the text to read “I just need a minute,” and as I read on I smiled: first, because everything was fine, and second, because there are some conversations you can really only have with your best friend at 7 in the morning from across the country.

In this day and age, there are some really weird ways that we show each other affection. People write “Happy Birthday!” on Facebook instead of calling or even texting, and sharing your Netflix password, or better yet, your HBOGo account, is the highest honor a friend can bestow. The really good friends always check with the photo subjects before posting a group selfie to Instagram, a quickly-becoming unwritten rule for a good friendship, and you can maintain entire relationships through a small tablet between long text conversations and maybe a late-night Facetime now and again. Sure, there’s a personal aspect that’s missing with these types of interactions, but when you have friends scattered all over the country, plus a busy job, it’s hard to find that half-hour or hour to sit and catch up on life. I mean, it’s not like I’ll text just anyone at 6 in the morning – let’s be real, 9 times out of 10 the only thing I want to hear before 7am is the buzz of the coffee maker and Weather on the 1s (NYC gets it). But for a quick conversation to confirm if I should stock up on coconut butter from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, or maybe a conversation to help a friend through a frustrating moment, I’ll respond any time of the day.

G and I are in a similarly interesting place in our lives, as we’ve had a lot of personal experiences that mirror each other in the past two years. She also dealt with a life-changing break-up, she also dealt with someone who wasn’t mature enough for the promises he made, and she’s also navigating single life with a cautious yet reckless abandon, something I picked up from her because I admire it so much. We’re really good at keeping up with each other on the phone, long Sunday afternoon phone dates where I pace my apartment as little miss follows, laughing at everything and sharing all the details, but every once in a while we need an early-morning bitch fest to get out the frustrations of being 20-somethings with someone who understands exactly how the other is feeling. It’s in these moments I’m so grateful we can text quickly instead of waiting for the long Sunday calls; it’s a chance to bitch and moan to someone across the country so you don’t take frustration out on anyone around you. It’s also a great chance to stay attuned to the little details of our lives, the way we did in college, when an early morning bitch-fest meant someone breaking into the other’s dorm room and climbing into her bed, demanding a hug and stealing as much of the comforter as possible. It’s comforting, almost, being able to share a few minutes in the morning, because it makes me feel like she’s two doors down again, waiting for me to walk to class.

I don’t think our morning text sessions will ever reach the level that M and I text. After all, M and I live two blocks away instead of 2,000 miles, and are basically in constant contact all day, between grocery lists, videos from work and coordinating weekend plans. It’s nice to know that the option is there, though, when I really need G for just a minute. Sometimes that just means one of us has a date later that night and we’re nervous, or sometimes it’s the morning after the date and you need to share details. Sometimes it’s just an excuse to send angry words in ALL CAPS because it’s frustrating to be the only single person in your group of friends, and sometimes it’s half-joking complaints that those friends will never understand what we’ve been through, though god knows they keep trying. I’m sure the next time I see her name on my phone it’ll be a long conversation over the actual phone, since we’re way, way overdue. But in the meantime, it’s nice to have “just a minute” here and there to stay in touch, regardless of whether I’ve had my coffee yet or not.

The Definitive List of my 20s so far.

Over the years, while basking in a post-birthday glow, I’ve always liked to reminisce about where I was the year before and how much has changed. Usually there are little things, like “I can finally afford Uber on nights out!” and “most of my clothes don’t come from Forever21 anymore!” However, now that I’m officially in my mid-to-late (gulp) 20s, I’ve been reminiscing about my formative years as a 20-whatever, from college to city. Each year has special milestones and memories, so I thought I’d put together a list ranking these years so far. So, my wonderful readers, enjoy my little stroll down memory lane.

A 20-Whatever’s Guide to My Early 20s

6. 20

Ugh. 20 sucked. To be fair, for the first few months I was still in living in Argentina and it was glorious. But once I was back in the States, I was: still in college, no job prospects, couldn’t drink with my friends, broke up with my college boyfriend, worked a terrible summer job for a few months, fought with my parents constantly…. the list goes on. Bai 20 see u never.

5. 22

22 was such a weird year. The day after my 22nd birthday is the day I moved to New York City, so I will forever love that year for nostalgic purposes, but when you drop a recent college graduate into this city, a lot of weird things happen. I was new to the workforce and trying to learn a job, while new to the city and trying to learn my way around. I still hadn’t figured out how to drink in public responsibly so at some point in this year I puked in a cab after a pregame and then ran out of the cab without paying before the driver noticed. I was consistently broke and lived in an apartment with a stripper, who would get home from work at 5 a.m. and proceed to sing loudly in the bathroom while she got ready for bed – the bathroom that was only accessible through my bedroom. I’ll give T. Swift the benefit in that I had some sweet dance moves at 22, but I could leave the rest of the learning experiences behind in my early 20s, thankyouverymuch.

4. 24

Oh, 24. The year you’re old enough to look disdainfully on the youths running rampant in the Upper East Side but not too old to black out during unlimited sake/sushi in Koreatown, screeching a heartbreaking (if I say so myself) rendition of My Heart Will Go On with your best friend, while his boyfriend looks at you like you’re insane. 24 was great for a while, but things started to fall apart somewhere in this year, so it just wasn’t my favorite. Sorry 24. You tried.

3. 21

How do you not love 21. My 21st birthday is only edged out by my 25th for most fun: it was a Monday about 2 weeks into senior year of college. My soul sister E planned a party at our on-campus townhouse apartment, complete with handmade banners and Skippy, the delectable college brew of cheap beer, cheaper vodka, and Country Time Lemonade mix. We invited people haphazardly, thinking a Monday crowd would be a small one, people trickling in on occasion; we ended up with probably 40-50 people cycling in and out of the apartment throughout the night. There was a fistfight over leftover pizza and I woke up in my party dress on the couch, a half-eaten cookie next to my face. 21 is when I started dating the one-time love of my life, it’s when I graduated college and when I made the decision to come to New York. 21 rocked.

2. 23

This was a tough call as the runner-up, but 23 was a fantastic year, kicked off with what is still the craziest birthday party I’ve ever had: on my brother’s rooftop on a perfect late summer night, loud music and everyone I loved. That was a full year of happiness in the delicious, wonderful, perfect, still-new-but-maybe-serious stage of a relationship, half learning and growing, half enraptured in each other like we might make it to forever. That was a year where I partied in the Hamptons on my boss’s lawn, the year I fell in love with Washington Heights after countless trips to visit my lovely friend M, and had the craziest Oscars party to date; the year where I was just old enough to enjoy the city while learning limits, the year I discovered my favorite little tapas bar in Manhattan, and just a year of happy moments. I don’t remember all of them anymore, marred with time and a changed life, but I look back on that year with all fondness.

1. 25

Let’s be real for a minute: the past year for me has been an absolute disaster. In no particular order, I: dealt with a broken shower for 2 weeks; changed jobs; resigned a lease on an apartment I wasn’t supposed to stay in; spent six months trying to convince my landlords to fix my door (STILL BROKEN); fought more than once with more than one friend; budgeted and rebudgeted and still subsided on coffee and peanut butter for three full days before pay day on more than one occasion; broke my own heart when I ended what I thought was The Relationship; met the person I thought would change my life on the A train and had my heart broken all over again. It’s a lot for anyone to live through in such a relatively short period of time, and I’ve never felt more confused and alone trying to pull through it all. This year has beat me bloody and picked me up for another round. I’ve handled blow, after blow, after blow, just waiting for a reprieve, hoping maybe this is the day things will turn around.

But it’s also the year I learned more about myself than ever. I found out I can run a Spartan Race and subsequently brag about it for months, paint an entire living room in under 48 hours and plan a trip to Texas in under two weeks that was quite literally the time of my life. It’s when I discovered yoga, my favorite part of my day, and added to my tattoo collection, my favorite parts of my body. This is the year I watched someone I used to play Barbies with walk down the aisle and say yes to the love of her life; this is the year I watched my sister say yes to a lifetime with the person she was always supposed to meet. I had countless Sunday Fundays with the Nickname Posse, from fall football to cozy winter brunches to spring picnics in Fort Tryon and summer wine on my fashionista C’s roof. This is the year I let myself open up to love, the year I learned where my walls are and what someone will need to do to break them down. And most importantly, it’s the year I finally learned that I really, really can’t go out two nights in a row anymore unless I want to sacrifice two full days to third circle of hangover hell.

Looking at the list, it seems I don’t have great luck with even years, but all things considered, I didn’t have luck at all times with the odd ones either. So here’s to 26, all of the memories to be made, and all the fabulous PLDs to chronicle along the way.

Jessie Spano-levels

Something odd that’s plagued my group of college girlfriends is that we’ve never been single at the same time. Back in college, it’d be one out of three single, maybe the occasional month of two out of three, but inevitably at least one of us was in a relationship at any given point in time, both in college and beyond. In particular, my anchor G and I had absolutely never been single at the same time and never expected it to happen, as we both found ourselves in serious relationships starting at 22. When those crashed and burned within a few months of each other, we planned a night in the city, just before New Year’s, where we could finally experience something we’d been looking forward to for years: single G and LB, dressed the hell up and ready for strong drinks and cute boys.

We reminisced the next morning when we both got back to my apartment woke up in my bed because where else would we be, about our hilarious antics the night before. Between vodka shots (never again) and a little adventure to Village Tavern, we’d somehow managed to act like we were 19 again in all the right ways, consequences be damned in lieu of a good time. And then just as quickly as she left, it looked like that was the one and only time we’d ever be single together. One perfect weekend memory(ish) of finally getting a drink as single G&LB.

Every year, my college girlfriends and I plan a trip in the summer. Since we’re all scattered around the country, it’s a simple tradition we’ve enacted that ensures no matter where we are or what’s happening, we take a few days to be together, as though no time has passed from that beautiful May day in 2010 when we had to say goodbye to college and each other. After forcing G to come north since the first trip in 2011, my soul sister E and I are finally gettin’ ourselves down to Texas, meeting G in Austin for a weekend where we only have a few definite plans. E found her Person years ago, and for a while, the rest of the trip dynamic was uncertain, as G and I both fluctuated from un-single to very-single at different times. And in the end, it’s perfect: single G and LB, ready to take on the Texas sun and those Southern boys, the second time ever in 8 years of friendship.

There aren’t words to describe how I’m feeling about this weekend, a chance to get away, a chance to see my college lovies, a chance to make some permanent changes and a guarantee of some college-level PLDs. So, as E and I look forward to a 6 a.m. flight out of JFK this weekend, here’s a gif to do justice to the feeling I can’t describe:

SESC

 

See you next week kids!