Friendly Conversations: Ett

It took me until APRIL to post one of these! That’s insane. Decided to give the countdown Norwegian numbers this year, for reasons that will become more apparent later this summer. And for the first time ever, T isn’t featured at all. She and I are going to have to step it up. Don’t worry though, per usual there’s a fantastic showing from Mama B, and a slow realization through texting A that I may have a problem with sugar.

Now for tales from my texting history!

On chocolate (pt. one)
A Chocolate

On life after food poisoning (pt one)
Mama chili

On chocolate (pt two)
A cookies

On freezer surprises
A hot pockets

On life after food poisoning (pt two)
A MBS

And just in case anyone thought I was lying when I said my flight to Austin earlier this month was delayed for five hours:
United

 

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24, 48, 72 Hours

Last week was a really, really long week. Food poisoning completely wiped my appetite and joy in eating, as I would take three bites of things and feel nauseated; that exhausted and sick feeling did a great job masking how poorly I was really handling my two best friends moving across the world which spoiler alert: wasn’t very well. Work is getting busier and my yoga practice has been suffering as a result of all of the above, with barely more than 10 minutes available every day for me to meditate or stretch just a bit. It’s funny how all these things can come together in a perfect storm of awful confusion, the kind where not even your favorite chocolates and flowers from a very supportive boyfriend can help. I’ve been on my own for a few years now and I didn’t realize how poorly I would handle having someone try to be there for me when I really needed support.

I’ve thought a lot about this entry, talking about what it’s like to say goodbye to your best friends, even though it’s not really goodbye considering M and I literally haven’t stopped texting aside from the 21 hours they were on planes. And I can’t compare my experience of transitioning to a life in the city without them to their experience transitioning to an entirely new culture even a little bit. I started to expand on the actual goodbye itself, clinging to M outside Central Park as my whole body shook with sobs and we couldn’t say anything more than “Thank you for the past six years” and “I love you,” N and A looking on at us pointedly judging because girls are crazy. Even writing that one sentence I’m overwhelmed with tears, where I’m so happy for them and I’m so excited for them but I’m reminded of the empty feeling that my nights have sometimes, void of the option to stop by their apartment for a quick visit on the way home from work. This paragraph is as much as I can talk about them leaving, really, because it’s the most I’ve opened up about it since it happened.

Thursday and half of Friday last week are a complete blur. I mean that literally. I remember waking up and going to work, going through the motions of being in the office, going home and watching Netflix in near-silence with A while he tried to ask me gently how I was doing and I shut it down by snapping at him or turning up the television. A small family emergency popped up in the afternoon that required me to leave work the next day to head to Connecticut for an overnight with my baby nephews, Aunt Lo to the rescue because their poor mama can barely stand, let alone hold two growing baby twins. That was where I kept my energy focused from mid-Thursday on at that point, the promise of an afternoon with those sweet boys. I couldn’t process the myriad emotions running through my mind, stress and sadness and loss and support but I could look forward to an afternoon with two little munchkins that needed me to take care of them. I went through the motions of “nice girlfriend” on Friday morning, A cautiously tip-toed around me as I made coffee and avoided eye contact lest his unending support cause me to start to feel real emotions. I stayed in that funk all day at my desk, not talking that much to anyone, just focusing on the clock until mid-afternoon came and with it, the sweet release of the weekend.

It’s really interesting, the waves of emotions that come after a week of sickness and goodbyes and emergencies and loss. But sitting on the train headed to Connecticut, after waves of awful emotions for the past 24, 48, 72 hours, out of nowhere in a really profound moment, I felt this tangible calm wash over me. I started texting jokes with A and a friend from work, and I smiled when I heard from the recent Vietnamese residents, content knowing M and N were safe in their new home. The weekend ahead promised beautiful weather, time with my family, time with A and a Sunday dedicated to yoga with my best friend from yoga training, someone I haven’t seen nearly enough in the weeks since the sanctity of that studio. Life had changed, somehow, in the short amount of time that I left New York for five days in Austin, and now life was settling too, the new life, the one I’m staying in New York to live. Mourning the loss of my friends around the corner or in the same time zone just happened to coincide with all of that and overshadowed everything. There’s a peace when everything settles though. Life returns to its new normal, waiting for the next change to come along.

HOLIDAYS!

Harlow Christmas

From little miss and I, happiest of holidays, whether you’ve wrapped up your Hanukkah celebrations, or you’re with the family celebrating Christmas now, or you’re doing whatever December ritual makes you feel all warm and fuzzy at the end of the year. I hope everyone enjoys their holiday plans and the full moon today, and remember to lean into the crazy energy for the last time this year.

I’ll be back next week with posts, but in the meantime, I’m sending heartfelt love and appreciation for every single person that reads these words, or has read any words on this blog in the past almost-two years. May you enjoy this time with friends, family, or alone, and the happiest of weekends to you all.

Whispers

On Saturday this past weekend, I was sitting surrounded by family and family-by-choice as we celebrated the imminent arrival of my identical twin nephews. My sister sat to my left, Mama B to my right, D across and family on either side of all of them; we had so many laughs and traded so many stories since the last time we’d all been together at such a sad event, just over a year ago. The topic of next year came up, and I fielded some very shocked faces when I announced my big plans. As I started to explain the rationale behind my decision, the timing of everything and what exactly will be happening once the plan is in motion, my mother interrupted me swiftly but gently, put her hand on my shoulder and said to the rest of the table “Well, LB thinks she’s doing that next year.”

At the time, I laughed off her comment with “No, I am doing that next year,” and the conversation moved on, no harm, no foul. I spent the rest of the weekend laughing about it with T and my soul sister E, as we enjoyed wine and Christmas music before dinner with M&N, laughed about it with M&N again as the five of us blatantly spiked our post-dinner Starbucks with one of the multiple flasks in my purse before walking down Fifth Ave to see the windows and the tree. But when I mentioned it to my brother the next morning, as we walked to find a bar for the full B clan to watch the Jets game together for the first time since T’s wedding, he didn’t laugh the way the rest of us did. “Look, you know Mom means well,” he started, “and it’s not that she doesn’t support you. She’s just concerned you’re not thinking this through all the way, and that you aren’t going to be prepared for the reality of what this decision means for you in the months ahead.”

There’s something about the words from my brother that have stuck so much more than the original statement from my mother. It’s like a weird combination of feeling supported but not, feeling like I’m alone in how excited I am to make this big change because my family doesn’t think I can do it, but then appreciating the reality check because sometimes I don’t think I can do it either. There’s this harsh reality that 2016 and January and July and September are no longer these abstract concepts, but very rapidly-approaching milestones that I’m scared are too ambitious for me to achieve. Part of it is the fact that I can’t plan ahead the way I’m used to planning ahead, because there are so many variables for next year, but the other part is this nagging fear that I just won’t be able to achieve the goals I’ve set. Like I’m going to sabotage myself, or I was too ambitious, or maybe just that I’m making a crazy decision and can’t fathom how it’s all going to come together, aside from the fact that I want it so badly I’ll practically do anything to make it happen.

Lately I keep hearing these nagging little whispers in my ears like the angel and devil on my shoulders, one day they’ll say “It’s all going to work out” and the next I’m resigning myself to keep living a life that hasn’t made me happy in years. I know people support the decision I’ve made, but then again, sometimes I feel like I’m navigating these scary waters alone. I’m terrified the plan I’ve put in place won’t come to fruition. I’m terrified that the life I’m chasing isn’t sustainable, and that I’m deluding myself thinking I can make it work. I’m terrified about so many things for next year but I can’t talk about them with anyone, because half the people I could talk to would just say “You’ll figure it out!” and the other half would jump at the chance to talk me out of it. I don’t even know what I want to hear at this point from anyone: that it’s going to be okay? that I’m making a mistake? I’m set in my decision but I’m so scared that I want it as badly as I do, because usually in my life when I want something this badly, it never works out.

This week there’s a new moon on Friday, the last one of 2015, before the full moon on Christmas day. As I have with so many months past, it’s like I can feel the energy of the new beginnings coming this Friday, like the universe is itching to start a new cycle and begin a story for the last time this year. I can appreciate that I’m feeling the strife of the next year now, because the next six months are going to be crucial in moving my life forward the way I’m dreaming it will. So maybe it’s time to listen to the whispers instead of brushing them off, and changing my mindset to what it was when I first decided to uproot everything and finally live. Or maybe it’s time to reevaluate everything. Whispers are calling to me in every direction right now regardless – but soon enough I’ll be shouting back.

MIC CHECK!?!

I think we’re all really ambitious after a mini-vacation or holiday that the few days of rejuvenation and rest will recharge us enough to accomplish the mile-long to-do list that never goes away. I’m going to clean out my closet! I’m going to start painting my apartment again! I’m going to write a million blog posts while riding a unicorn across Manhattan to get to work early every morning and finish everything my client asked for in the last six months in under an hour! Sadly, that is rarely the case (especially the unicorn part, apparently you need a special permit and really, who has time to get all the way to City Hall these days?). I was truly hoping that after Thanksgiving and wedding weekend extraordinaire for M&N, I would feel rested and inspired enough to buckle down, start my yoga readings and write some entertaining and insightful blog posts to return after a long, long week away.

Instead, Monday I didn’t leave my couch after getting home from the airport, which included ordering Seamless and wine delivery instead of grocery shopping, woke up late on Tuesday and made it all the way to Chelsea from Washington Heights before realizing I’d left my laptop under my couch. Yesterday I ate Chinese food for the first time in two years and almost threw up under my desk, and then I lost my responsibly-organized grocery list and somehow wound up with $75 of vegetables and beer at Whole Foods. This weekend my T and soul sister E are coming in to visit and we’ll be staying in the Upper East with the dogs, which all leads into next week where I have my first of two company holiday parties the night before my LAST wedding of 2015 and oh yeah, teacher training starts seven weeks from tomorrow. All that to say, this week has been a *little* crazy, and every time I sit down to write a new post, I end up either falling asleep or staring at a blank Word document for ten minutes before realizing I’m late for another meeting. Basically I am the living embodiment of both “White People Problems” and “Twenty-something Problems,” and because of that, I haven’t had the time, energy, attention span or inspiration to write a full blog post.

Sometimes life feels like this hilarious carousel, where you cycle round and round without ever seeing a brass ring, and then when the ring finally appears after eons of waiting, it falls to the ground, or that asshole kid who won’t stop standing up grabs it from you just as you’re lifting your hands in victory. These days I don’t mind it as much as I used to, the cycle and the ebbs and flows, but it does make it difficult to keep up with everything in times like this, defined by travel and weddings and holidays and work. I can feel 2015 finally starting to wind down, all the ambitions of this time last year finally coming to fruition in ways we may or may not have realized, the dust settling from a year of all the changes. it makes for wonderful reflections on things I’ve written, wanted to write, hoped to write, but it doesn’t make for great motivation to collect all of my thoughts in a semi-cohesive format that people aside from R, C and my mother would read.

I’m going to take this last quarter moon tomorrow the way it’s meant to be lived. By winding down and not pushing myself. I need a few more days where I’m reading the Bhagavhad Gita with a cup of tea instead of racking my brain for another poorly-written metaphor about how hard life is and growing up. I need a weekend with my twin sister and my soul sister where I’m not writing down thoughts and memories as they happen to blog about later instead of enjoying each moment as it happens, rare as these Northeast reunions are about to become. So instead of a well-composed entry about how amazing it was to be surrounded by love and no open container laws this past weekend, celebrating two people that are so much more than family to me, I’m writing an entry to complain about my not-so-difficult life, and how I need a few more days to live it, and not just to Chronicle it.

In which I proselytize about yoga and life.

“You use the wall for strength. You don’t use it for balance.”

Last Saturday morning, I made my way to the Upper East Side for a yoga workshop with the incomparable Kerri Verna. I last took a workshop with her in February (if you recall), and wouldn’t have passed up an opportunity to practice with her again. Admittedly this workshop was not quite as evocative, physically nor emotionally, as the February one, but I think some of that was my own fault: I set my expectations very high, now that my inversions are nine months more practiced and advanced, and like all good lessons learned from the mat, my expectations were shattered, as the majority of workshop attendees were super new to any inversions, so we spent more time on fundamentals than the mid-room inversion practice I’d been hoping for. When we did finally start reviewing handstands, Kerri said the above line to the room, and I felt my face go beet red, because that’s exactly what I’ve been doing at home to practice handstands.

I walked away from the class slightly disappointed: it ran way over and I had to leave early to catch a train, leading me to miss savasana and the chance to spend time with her one-on-one, and my ego was a little frustrated that we hadn’t worked on the more advanced postures, despite taking valuable lessons in fundamentals away from the session. On the long train ride back to Connecticut, I decided to pull out the tiny notebook I keep in my purse for emergency inspiration and began writing. I journaled a stream-of-consciousness more than anything, trying to keep my handwriting steady as the train rocked left, right, but when I stepped back after 30 minutes of furious scribbling, the words from Kerri above are what stood out the most.

As the thought rolled around in my head, I started to relate it to a lot that’s been happening lately in life, and not just my own but in the lives around me as well. I see it in everyone that’s gotten married or will get married this year, and I see it in the sad moments, like walking into my childhood home on Saturday, only to run upstairs and burst into tears, because for the first time in eight years, the half-golden, half-Rottweiler welcome committee wasn’t there to guide me in the house before tackling me in slobbery kisses. There are these waves of life, new beginnings with endings, sad stories with a happy ending, which can all come back to something as simple as a handstand against a wall: the wall is for strength, not balance. What you choose to fall back on in life is for strength, but not for balance. The people in our lives that support us are for strength so we can pull ourselves out, but balance is something only we can achieve.

Balance is such an interesting and fragile concept, like balancing a needle on a thread, as someone important once told me. There’s the physical aspect of balancing, but on a higher level, balance is something we’re all desperately seeking in our lives. There’s the ever-difficult quest for a work-life balance and learning how to juggle responsibilities at home and to yourself, with the constant pull for happy hours and 4am nights in the city. As I thought this weekend about balance, and the walls I’ve been using to keep me upright, I thought about how the biggest balancing act I’ve had to manage in the past six months is between the strength I’ve gained from being on my own for two years, and the balance I’m chasing between the many selves, from the 23 year old party girl, to the brokenhearted 25 year old, to the 27 year old almost-yogi I can feel still present in the LB typing this entry now.

Probably the biggest thing I took away from the class on Saturday was the ability to reassess my life right now, and decide to take a step back from handstand practice. I may have the strength to hold myself up, but in the past two weeks things have felt so off balance, it’s no wonder I’d been leaning on the wall to keep me grounded. I walked away from a workshop feeling disappointed I couldn’t push myself into a pose, but in that disappointment I’ve found a calm peace of mind. We forget sometimes that the mind and body are intrinsically connected in ways we’ll never understand. Sometimes it takes a few weeks of getting back to the fundamentals before we can push ourselves away from our support systems, and find a balance on our own two feet – or in my case, hands.

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.

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.

Friendly Conversations: Cuatro

I’m dedicating this to my parents, because the below is solid proof that I was raised without any form of a filter. Now please enjoy another snapshot of your average, everyday friendly conversations.

On conditional love
Mama B: Babe I’ll support you no matter what you do.
Me: I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that, I was so nervous to tell you about…
Mama B: EXCEPT IF YOU GET MORE TATTOOS.

On crowning achievements
Friend: So…. until recently,  you were a white girl that did not like rose?
Me: Yep.
Friend: Lifetime should do a biopic about you.

On accessorizing
Me: I’m so glad we got the belt for my maid-of-honor dress, it needed a little sparkle.
Mama B: I think my dress needs something too, but not a belt. Maybe like a pin or something?
Papa B: You should wear the Star Wars federation badge.
Mama B: OMG! Perfect. Will you buy it for me??

On conditional love (Pt. 2)
Mama B: But seriously no more tattoos.
Me: There’s more coming, it’s fine, you’ll get used to it.
Mama B: Please don’t get another visible one.
Me: What’s the point of spending all that money if no one can see them?
Mama B: FLOWERS BELONG IN A VASE NOT ON YOUR RIBS.

On wedding events
Twinster: I want all my shower presents pre-opened so we can get through that shit quickly. Like, paper ripped, ribbons cut..
Mama B: Don’t break the ribbons!!! There’s an old Irish saying that you’ll have a child for every one that breaks.
Me: If the ribbon breaks?
Twinster: Mmmm sorry Mom, I think you’re referring to condoms.

On weekends at home
Family friend: Alright girl, your mom and I are on a mission to set you up. Really quick name three physical qualities you like in a guy GO!
Me: Uhhhh beard, tattoos and a man bun.
Mama B: Like his butt?!
Me: Omg Mom like the hairstyle.
Mama B: You have weird taste in men maybe that’s why you’re single.

On conditional love (Pt. 3)
Mama B: What are they going to look like when you’re older?!?!?
Me: MAHM. We’re done talking about my tattoos, present and future.
Mama B: You weren’t serious about getting more though, right?
Me: This conversation is over.
Mama B: I HATE THEM SO MUCH.