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

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.

She Cray.

Yesterday one of my coworkers came into the office a few minutes late looking miserable. She has a pretty intense commute in every morning from New Jersey, so I assumed it was one of those mornings where traffic was crazy through the Lincoln Tunnel, or a stranger was rude to her on the subway on the way in. She sat at her desk across from me, and within a few minutes I heard a ping as she sent me a chat through our in-office AIM of sorts. “I’m dying,” it said. “Do you have any oils for nausea?”

My coworkers think I’m crazy. That’s neither a bad thing on either their part or mine, nor is it an exaggeration – but in the four months that I’ve been working here, they’ve come to know me as a yoga fanatic who does things like Whole30 and carries around a bag of essential oils that I claim can help with just about anything. At my last job, the dynamic between myself and my team members didn’t lend well to this part of my personality, and in an effort to fit in during my short stint there, I tried to hide the things that I was most proud of, like the yoga Instagram account and even the blog, and downplayed how I feel about healthy eating and natural living. It feels really raw sometimes, sharing those pieces of me with the people I work with, like it could be too personal or too much. I mean, the blog is frequently filled with mishaps related to excessive drinking. The Instagram account mostly features me in sports bras and healthy eating is important to me because I eat more food when I’m eating healthy, which is always something on my mind. I hesitated for a few days in adjusting to this job before slowly starting to tell more people about these pieces of me.

My life has undergone a radical shift in the past 18 months. The way I dress, the way I speak and act, the way I think and the way I treat myself and my body are so completely different now from who I was before 2014, and though there have been some major learning experiences and growing pains along the way, I can absolutely say with confidence I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. Part of me wants to attribute this happiness to yoga-brain, to the foods I eat/don’t eat, maybe to the new job or to any other lifestyle changes I’ve made; but the more I think about it, I think it’s because I’m not trying so hard to hide the things in my life that make me happy. I spent a lot of my early 20s trying to make other people happy, between my job, my friends, my relationship at the time, but I never really had something for myself that made me happy. I didn’t really work out, I didn’t have any specific hobbies or ways to occupy my time. I was learning to navigate New York, and learning to navigate real life and relationships and money and oh god my head is spinning just remembering how hard it was to adjust to everything. I didn’t have time for a hobby or a passion until my entire life blew up in November 2013 and I was forced to focus on myself for the first time, maybe ever.

Having a passion in life is a scary and wonderful thing. I don’t mean having passion for things in life, like how I feel about Taylor Swift (QUEEN) or the serious importance of red wine after a long week at work. I mean A Passion, something that pushes you and makes you work harder, constantly working to excel, always understanding there is room for growth. It’s the thing that hones your ability to focus, that fuels your drive in all areas of life to do more and to do better; it doesn’t matter if it’s fashion or volunteer work or running or food, it could be all of those or none of those, but it’s just something that gives you that push. Yoga and healthy living has been that for me. Yoga gave my life a new direction and made it easy to set a plan for my life for the next few years; healthy living has given me focus and an appreciation for a body that I abused for too long. For a while I thought I had to hide these parts of me, keeping them sacred and close to home. Getting messages like the one above from my nauseated coworker reinforce just how much happier I’ve been since removing the wall around those parts of me so everyone around me can enjoy the new me too.

I gave my coworker some peppermint to dab behind her ears and ginger to rub on her stomach; she laughed and said she felt weird rubbing oils all over herself. I laughed with her and went back to my desk, and within a few minutes she sent me another chat that just said “holy shit that stuff works.” Another coworker has been one of the most supportive and wonderful followers on my Instagram page, asking me constantly to do some yoga with her in the office when we’re stressed, and wanting to take classes with me so she can grow her practice as well. I know they all think I’m this crazy, curly-haired hippie chick stereotype with her natural remedies and yoga exercises for stress, and frankly I think I’m pretty crazy as well. But I’m also crazy happy on a deeper level than I’ve ever been in my entire life. Turns out in the end, embracing the crazy Passionate side of me that I suppressed for years is the sanest thing I’ve ever done.