Quick thoughts: Perfect

Perfect is a relative term. Nothing is ever perfect, but sometimes there’s a simple perfection to the imperfect nature of things, and perfect becomes exactly what’s happening in those moments.

It’s not perfect when it’s a million degrees outside plus humidity, and I forget all my good makeup in NYC for a wedding in Connecticut, and we leave for Norway in less than a week and I have to teach two classes and there is no time for anything. It’s not perfect when A is in pain because of his back and I’m not going to see him till we’re at the airport on Friday and I forgot my work laptop at home this morning and my 6:30am Uber driver won’t stop talking on the ride from Forest Hills to Washington Heights and all I want to do is sleep. It’s not perfect when I’m about to leave my cat and my new job and my everything except for A for 11 days and I’m so terrified and anxious about it.

But it’s all perfect. It was perfect to watch my oldest friend marry his soul mate, even in the million degree heat, even without my good makeup. It’s perfect that after two months of barely seeing each other because life is so busy that A and I get almost two full weeks with just each other. It’s perfect that I’m teaching classes this week before I leave because that’s something that makes me happier than just about everything, and it’s perfect.

It’s perfect. It’s perfect just because it is. Because we are. Because you are. It’s all relative. But it’s all perfect too.

Really, really, ridiculously

Sometimes things aren’t going well, and sometimes that’s where inspiration flows. For me it’s as simple as a bad commute, a bad practice in the morning, an exhausting day at work, and all of a sudden I can hyper-focus on all the terrible things I’ve ever done in my life and I have entries coming out of my brain like a typewriter ribbon, click click of the keyboard and I’ve got enough inspiration to last me a month. Some people only write in that world of inspiration, and I can understand why. It’s easy to create relatable material to the bad days, because we all have them. Some people like to live in that sphere of bad days, woe is me, everything is wrong; tragedy is inspiration and it would be meta-tragic to lose that muse.

Not today for me though. Not after this past week, this past weekend, the past month, hell, the entirety of 2016. It hit me recently that I’m really, really ridiculously happy. After minor freak-outs last week about things like “why is it so freaking hot in this subway station” and “what the fuck was I thinking leaving a job I loved?” the past five days have been, in one (non-existent) word, cra-mazing. As in Crazy. And also Amazing.

Life is crazy. I switched jobs. I’m staring down the likely barrel that I need to start planning when and how I’ll pack up my apartment after four years of living in the Heights, even though this is the time where I thought I’d be in the home stretch till moving to Texas. I’m trying to figure out if and how I can make it as a yogi in this concrete jungle I’m lucky enough to call home. My grandmother is in the hospital again. One month from tomorrow A and I leave for a two-week adventure around Norway and this summer feels like it’s already slipping away. I’ve put on ten pounds. My best friends moved to Vietnam. I haven’t seen my other best friends in months. Because life is crazy. Life is insane, life is can’t-stop-won’t-stop crazy.

But my word, life is amazing. Life is really, really, ridiculously good looking amazing. Tonight I have the summer party for my new agency, a chance, I hope, to keep getting to know this wacky group of people I’m already excited to call coworkers. This Tuesday I have dinner with my sorority big, and we haven’t caught up in way too god damn long. This Wednesday A and I are going to a concert in Forest Hills because why not, it’s summer! This Friday we’re watching D&D’s pit bull, which means a weekend in the Upper East Side, and on Saturday we have plans with R and H that have been on the calendar since May. May!! That is just the next week of my life and every piece of it makes me so excited and happy to be here, exactly here, in this moment, in this city, in this life.

And every day there’s A. Every day there’s someone who texts me “good morning” and “good night” and all day in between; every day there’s someone who tells me everything is going to be okay and brings me peanut butter pretzels from Trader Joe’s after I cry on the phone telling him I don’t think it will be. Every day there’s someone in my life who is really, really ridiculously good looking and smart and sweet and kind, and this past weekend we danced like nerds together at a bar with no walls while the summer rain raged outside, and I stopped for a minute to stare at him, because I realized he picked me and that thought took my breath away. Every day there’s someone who tells me “I love you” and it’s like the first time I’ve heard those words from anyone, and I feel like I can do anything. Maybe even fly. (okay maybe not literally but it’s pretty sweet hearing those words all the same).

Life is crazy. Life is amazing. Life is cra-mazing. Life will go back to the ebbs and flows, the ups and downs, the inspiration in the bad days or the slow churn of monotony, but man, I wanted to remember how crazy, amazing and really, really, ridiculously wonderful it is right now.

Seemingly Random Specific Occurrences

I don’t believe in coincidence all the time. Sometimes sure, things are just so wonky you chalk it up to coincidence, but a lot of the time I find something that feels like a coincidence is just a precursor before everything else falls into place.

Like today, for instance. This morning was a calm morning like any other, I was checking the news before the day’s tasks picked up. I reached for the coffee I’d brought from home and warmed (excessively) in the microwave without looking (how hard is it for an adult to pick up a cup, right?) and I watched the next ten seconds in slow motion: a loud CLINK of ceramic on fake wood desk, the coffee loping over the fallen edge and all over my sweater and jeans before I could even say “Uh oh.” Barely 9am and not only am I pretty sure I’m burned from my stomach to the top of my thigh, but I’m now facing a full day of sitting in coffee-stained clothing, or popping to Anthropologie at the Market to spend way too much on clothing I don’t need. Great choices, right? As I took a deep breath and tried to figure out next steps, I realized last week I left a bag of clothes here, the infamous bag that had my keys at one point too. A dress and a denim jacket that miraculously match the shoes I put on this morning. Problem solved.

Tuesday I was scrolling through old entries. I came across A Story, One Year Later, and read through it a few times for a few reasons. Tuesday was two years since a day that was supposed to be a date turned into a Saturday Funday, as Facebook reminded me via a picture I still remember C taking of me, R and H at Boat Basin on a beautiful May afternoon. I reminisced about reading magazines over and over on the subway and realized I haven’t been reading the same way since I stopped getting those magazines, and then I tried to remember the last time I went anywhere without my headphones, and honestly, I can’t. I chalked it up to a weird coincidence, that I would find that entry on that exact day, and moved on with my day, hoping to get out a few minutes early to rush through a Whole Foods run before finally, blissfully, heading home alone.

It’s exhausting to think about signs everywhere, that nothing is a coincidence because “everything happens for a reason” and all that. Sometimes it’s really nice to think something is a coincidence because coincidences are easy to comprehend, they’re just random things that happen and make you go “huh” and then you move on. Sometimes I drive myself crazy trying to understand random things that happen, like how I can feel the shift of energy as the new moon approaches this weekend, and there’s a planet of healing turning retrograde this month that’s making me think about starting over. A thinks I’m crazy when I start going on about the planetary movements, and okay, I definitely am. Sometimes things are really just coincidences. Other times it feels like there’s more behind the random coincidences, and I need a reason to pay attention to them, especially when they pile up like they have been the past few weeks.

Back to Tuesday, it was a late night in the office, which I haven’t had in quite a long time. I tried to let myself skip grocery shopping but I’m sick of buying lunch and coffee every day, so I sucked up my last bit of energy and made my way to the Whole Foods by Columbus Circle, a pit stop on the way back to the Heights. I realized while shopping around that I didn’t have pockets for my phone, so as I checked out I tucked my phone and headphones into my backpack, a foreign motion for me. As I walked out the glass doors and towards the subway, I thought that moment, sans headphones, would be a funny moment to run into someone I knew. And not ten seconds later, I saw R walking towards me about 10 feet away. I was so shocked that I just stared at her for a minute with a huge smile, and then shouted her name like a crazy person. She looked equally as shocked to see me – turns out she’d seen one of the “If you see something, say something” signs a few minutes before, and nearly sent me a note. We could chalk all that up to a big coincidence – and there’s of course no denying it was! But in a moment where I was missing a friend and in need of a good way to end a long evening, I may have to chalk that up to a little push from the universe. Everything does happen for a reason, after all.

Retrograde

We’re goin’ hippie on the Chronicle again! Please feel free to tune out if you’re not into planetary motions and cosmic energy and come back later this week when I have another entry up (probably). I have a post I’ve been working on all week that I was hoping to have up today but just can’t seem to finish it, and then today happened and all I can think about is retrogrades and how they’re fucking with my life right now.

Even if you don’t believe in hippie mumbo-jumbo, you have to admit there’s something to be said about how the cosmos affects our tiny beings. The moon rules the tides, the ebbs and flows of the ocean, the motions of time. The planets all revolve around a single entity, held together by an energy that everyone accepts but doesn’t understand; we’re all ruled by the same cosmic matter and energy that creates the planets, a solar system, the trees in Central Park and the desk I’m writing this entry on. Is it so crazy to think that planetary movements, therefore, govern things that we can’t explain but accept as truth?

It is? Okay fine. Again, I invite you to stop reading now and come back later this week for more of my normal rambling.

Made it this far? Great. Mercury is currently in retrograde (looks like it’s moving backwards in the sky) and has been since late April. Mercury rules communication and technology, which is why when things are going haywire in our lives, people will jokingly blame Mercury retrograde. Retrogrades aren’t necessarily meant to be bad times actually – it’s just that the planet’s energies are expressed differently, more inward than outward. So yes, when technology goes haywire you can blame the retrograde, but this particularly long retrograde I’ve taken the opportunity to turn inwards on my own communication and goals to try and find growth in a period of backtracking. I’ve come to a lot of really interesting conclusions, meditating on all this, but there’s one really, really big one that I can’t run away from anymore, even though I’ve been trying to for a long time.

I really, really, really miss my best friend.

This is expressed for me in a million different ways right now for a lot of different people, but the one taking center stage is M. I miss M with my whole being. Literally every part of me aches every time I pass their old apartment or when I see that I’ve missed another text or a FaceTime from her, a product of backwards communication during this time. Everything reminds me of the past five years where she was my rock, the only one who could keep me sane, and for some reason this past week has been the hardest since she left, because we’re somehow talking more and saying less and I just want to walk the three blocks to her old apartment where she’s waiting for me with a glass of wine and an open ear.

And I miss the rest of my friends. H and I tried to plan a time where he and R and me and A could all get together and we’re not free at the same time till nearly August. C and I fortunately have a set date for a rooftop movie next week where I’ll finally be able to give her the birthday present I got for her birthday in February. S and I just laugh when we try to plan anything lately because we’re literally on opposite schedules. I’m so lucky to have A and his friends on a similar schedule, and they’re all wonderful, but except for K they’re not my people, not yet. Lately I feel like I’m floating in this weird bubble of life: this was supposed to be the countdown to my move, the countdown to a new beginning, the last weeks to see everyone; now I’m stuck and it’s hard not to feel alone.

Anyway. My whole life feels like a retrograde right now, moving backwards because none of us are where we thought we’d be at this point in our lives. This particular retrograde is ending on Sunday, and things will start to even out; things will start to move forward again. Energies will stabilize, and life will come together. I suppose that’s the best I can hope for, that things stabilize slowly in the next few days.

Either way, we’ll all adjust to the changes, the retrogrades, the new lives. We always do.

Page One

My final wedding of the year took place in New Jersey last Friday night, for a girl that I suppose I have to describe as a “work friend,” but truly she’s so much more. We worked together while I was at my last firm, and we’ve stayed close – she always joked I’d be invited to the wedding, but it was still a(n awesome) surprise to receive the official invite in the mail a few months back. I mean, she easily could have given the invite to another distant family member, another friend of her husband’s, but she chose to have me there, and I couldn’t have been more honored. Terrified, to be fair, as I made my way down the hotel elevator to the shuttle bus alone, feeling the full weight of knowing not a single soul at that wedding, but honored and excited all the same.

My fears of basically crashing a wedding with an invitation were totally unfounded, and within three minutes of sitting on the bus, I’d made a friend, and I kept meeting awesome, fun, wonderful new people all night, who embraced me as their own and did their best to make sure I had fun. I looked around at one point at the afterparty, and realized it felt almost comfortable. It felt like I was supposed to be there, like I’d known everyone there for years and maybe it wouldn’t have been the same if I weren’t there. I’m sure it would have been – or perhaps everyone was just blinded by my sequined pants. But it felt that way nonetheless.

Two days later, in an attempt to sweat out the rest of my hangover from the most aggressive partying I’ve done since my very early single days (#jersey), I went to a Bikram yoga class in Harlem and found myself meditating on the fact that I hadn’t felt that in a really long time, like maybe it would have been different if I weren’t there. It’s a hard feeling to explain – it’s not that I’m linking that statement to a particular occasion or even group of friends or family. But to be so wholly embraced by these strangers as a friend, to have the bride single me out in a wedding of nearly 200 people for a dance and many selfies, just to feel like I was with a group of people that were so happy I was there, it all felt foreign, in a great and terrible way.

Replaceable. We replace our dishes, we replace our clothes, we replace our apartments and we replace our friends. Sometimes we grow out of things or we break them, sometimes things outgrow us or walk away. Everything, mostly, is replaceable, whether we want to believe that or not; it’s nice to think we’re all going to live in the same place forever and we’re going to work the same job forever and we’re going to be best friends forever, but when you account for all the growing up we do in such short periods of time, it makes sense that sometimes we just need to move on. Imagine reading the same book over, and over, and over, doing the same thing over, and over, and over. Eventually it’s time for a new book, because the old one is worn out or you don’t like it anymore. Lately I’ve felt like that book, worn out and no longer relevant. Replaceable, if you will.

I stopped by to see my M&N, the newlyweds, after work this week so I could catch them up on the juicy wedding details, and she made a comment that’s stuck with me. After I mentioned how much fun I’d truly had, despite not knowing anyone, she laughed and said “of course you did! It was the first wedding this year where you could basically just turn up and say I’M HERE!” She meant it more like I wasn’t on bridesmaid/maid-of-honor duty for the first time, but I heard it on a different level. The wedding was a blank slate. I was a blank slate, page one of a new book. All the bullshit of the past six months, two years, five years, ten years, no one knew any of it. No one knew who I used to be, no one knew what it took me to become this person.

They just knew me as me. The Me now, this me that I’m carrying with me into 2016. It was a new page in the Book of LB, a blank slate, replacing the prejudices of the past two, five, seven years and starting over. And it felt nice to be on Page One of something again. In fact, I’d say that feeling is irreplaceable.

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.

PLD Montage Vol. 2.3: Pre-Wedding Wedding Edition (Pt. Twinster)

To say my life has been taken over by weddings this year is a massive understatement. In the full volume of people that I hold dear to my heart, there are only two other single people, with everyone else now either engaged or married – and most of them are getting married this year. Though we planned an amazing weekend bachelorette/bridal shower combo for my partner-in-crime R back in June, this last weekend was a much bigger undertaking, wherein I needed to plan a bridal shower and bachelorette weekend for my twin sister. And truly, the weekend went better than I could have imagined, and at the end of the day, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Well.. okay. Maybe I would have *tweaked* just a few moments….

I give you: PLD Montage, Vol. 2.3: Pre-Wedding Wedding Edition (Pt. Twinster)

  • We had a full house at my parents’ the night before the wedding, with myself, my lovely friend M, T, three of her friends, my parents and my sister’s almost-in-laws. The original plan for the night was for all of us to enjoy a nice, relaxing dinner together, and then M and I would head to a dear family friend’s house, where the shower was being held the next day, so we would each have a bed for the night and then could be there early for set-up. M and I both had stressful Fridays – she was coming in from NYC and her plans changed abruptly two hours before her train left, where I mismanaged my time and was somehow running errands from 9am till 430pm – so when the wine came out for dinner, we gratefully accepted. And accepted… and accepted….
    Lesson learned: If you don’t pace yourself with alcohol on a night you’re supposed to drive to sleep somewhere else, you end up sleeping on the floor of the house family room, where the calming noise of crashing dishes being washed at 5:30am will wake you from a Merlot-fueled restless sleep.
  • We all woke up bright and early the next morning (yours truly at the aforementioned 5:30am), shared coffee and breakfast on the deck in the beautiful weather, and planned to get to the shower location by around 10am for last minute set-up and to heat up the food. I was starting to get somewhat eager/anxious for the rest of the weekend, so my usual two-to-three cups of coffee somehow turned into four and a half. Then I had to get in a convertible and drive the 10 minutes to the shower location with my recently-done hair and flowers picked from the garden, all while in a black dress in the sunshine.
    Lesson learned: Coffee makes you sweaty and shaky, which doesn’t help when you’re driving a convertible with sun beating down on your black dress, which in turn makes you more sweaty, and also convertibles mess up hair. TL;DR: No part of my morning was well thought-out or planned.
  • Set-up actually went incredibly smoothly, and we had popped the first bottle of champagne by 11am, drinking slowly to savor the last few minutes of calm before the 40+ guests arrived. The main event of the shower, the CREPE TRUCK, was running late, but eventually made it, and I was really looking forward to a ham and cheese crepe, as I hadn’t eaten much that morning due to nerves and too much coffee. Then crepe truck man proceeds to tell us that he has: forgotten ice, forgotten all of the savory ingredients, brought one can of whipped cream for 40 people, informed us that setting up the stand was going to take 40 minutes, oh, and he let it slip that he may have been “a little hungover.”
    Lesson learned: Always trust and emulate your mother – not only had Mama B planned ahead and made enough quiche and salad to feed an army (“just in case people don’t want crepes!”), but after exchanging a few words Idiot Crepe Boy, she got them to waive the fee for the truck and send us an IOU for our next party. She’s the best.
  • A few weeks before the shower, T and I were texting and she sent the most bridezilla thing that’s come out of her mouth since getting engaged: “Dude, I’m at a shower and we’ve been sitting in the sun for almost two hours watching someone open presents. If we don’t set a record for gift-opening since you’ll be pre-opening everything for me, you’re fired as my maid of honor,.” Challenge accepted.
    Lesson learned: With a joint effort between the bridesmaids, we had every damn gift opened, cataloged and stored for the taking in under 45 minutes. BOOM.
  • I woke up the next morning after the Moulin Rouge themed bachelorette party that followed the shower, and sighed loudly. M and I had shared the futon in the office for the night, and as it was 7:30am, I inched my way out of the bed so as not to wake her so I could survey the damage in the house and start cleaning before everyone else woke up for breakfast. In walking into the kitchen, the sun was just starting to peek over the treetops in the backyard, calling us to the deck for a slow morning with good friends and laughs about the night before. The house was already clean, a joint effort from all the girls there, and as everyone slowly emerged from the various sleeping locations around the house, we all had laughs and good memories from the two parties the day before. The one thing that was missing? Almost no one took pictures from the bachelorette.
    Lesson learned: Maybe it sucks when you can’t Instagram all of the decorations and hard work that you put into a bachelorette party for your twin sister, but when everyone is having too much fun to stop and stare at a cell phone, you know it’s been a hell of a night.

Two wedding shower/bachelorette weekends down, one to go – next up, H and R’s wedding!!

Friendsgiving: A Recipe for Success

For my American readers, this time of year is the magical time where excessive food and alcohol consumption is encouraged and we all pretend the calories don’t count. I’m not referring to Thanksgiving quite yet, however – this past weekend for many of us was the new-ish magical time known as Friendsgiving. For those who aren’t familiar, here’s a recipe to make your get-together as successful as ours was this past weekend.

Friendsgiving Recipe (Serves as many people as you invite)
YOU WILL NEED:

One (1) Nickname Posse (or whatever variation you have)
One (1) group email
One (1) group text
Eleven (11) bottles of wine
One (1) pitcher of homemade pear/rosemary cocktails
Two (2) pies of your making
Three (3) cheeses
One (1) trip to Whole Foods

TO MAKE YOUR FRIENDSGIVING PERFECT(ish):

  1. Start a group email chain about a month out with your Nickname Posse. Make sure that very little actual information is included, and use it more as a sounding board to annoy each other and plan other weekend activities.
  2. Decide against a potluck dinner because it’s complicated and the group is lazy, and instead order a fully-cooked meal from Whole Foods. Congratulate each other on fantastic planning.
  3. Two days prior, realize no one has confirmed important things like time of arrival and semi-formal dress code so send a group text with details.
  4. Allow group text to delineate into discussions of who’s showing up naked and who’s bringing assless chaps.
  5. Attempt to make pies the night before. Forget crucial ingredients, say “screw it” and drink wine with lovely friend and her boyfriend instead. Plan on making pies in the morning.
  6. Burn pie crust in the morning. Curse poor planning.
  7. Start drinking at 11 a.m. Someone has to test the cocktails, natch.
  8. Everyone shows up on time. Turn on football and hope the turkey will fit in the oven.
  9. Make adorable labels for all the food and somehow get everything in and out of the oven with a level of grace and decorum. Serve food to happy crowds.
  10. Realize by 4 p.m. everyone is pretty drunk and REAL full. Decide to take a walk around the Heights with the dogs. Neglect to tell a certain fashionista that it will be a legitimate “walk” so she’s forced to wander in stilettos. Find yourself impressed when she doesn’t complain.
  11. Eat pies upon return from walk. Eat too much. Like, way too much.
  12. Everyone falls asleep on the couch by 7 p.m.
  13. Everyone leaves full, happy and very tired by 7:30 p.m.
  14. Everyone promises to do this again next year by 7:45 p.m.
  15. Fall asleep by 9 p.m. following a very satisfying weekend.

I’ll list out things I’m thankful for later this week, but for now, let me just say a quick “toast”: To old friends, new friends, and to the family we choose. To my Nickname Posse, I love you all so dearly. And to Friendsgiving in 2015, where one hopes we’ll have learned self-restraint in the face of too many desserts.

Quick Thoughts: Milestones

“I just can’t believe she’s getting married! When did we all grow up?!”

My beautiful, wonderful, inspiring childhood friend said Yes this weekend. She wore a lovely white dress, walked down the aisle of the chapel at her alma mater and took everyone’s breath away, her husband’s most of all. I was thinking about it the previous Thursday at work, as I sorted through logistics of getting back to CT the next day, getting to my goofball J’s place pre-wedding, and most importantly, deciding what I was going to wear. I peeked at her wedding website to confirm exactly when everything would start, and found myself completely overwhelmed with the emotion of the situation ahead, seeing her for the first time in a year, finally meeting her fiance, watching her get married, watching them say yes, and nearly started to cry at my desk.

I signed into Gchat and sent a note to J telling him to prepare himself for some serious waterworks, since I was already teary and have a tendency to cry at weddings for people I love. He made me laugh, like he always does, and I nearly started to cry again, thinking that his own nuptials are likely to happen in the very near future. And my twinster, my T, is setting a date this week, the official date. And all of a sudden it hit me, the sheer volume of all the milestones coming up for my family, my friends, in the next year: graduations, major birthdays, anniversaries, engagements and weddings.

It’s strange, sometimes, knowing I’m the only one in that group, and near the only one in any of my groups, that doesn’t have a milestone of my own to look forward to in the next year. But then again, with all the big moments and overwhelming emotions I’m sure to face in supporting everyone around me, I think it’s plenty enough to be happy for everyone else for now.

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!