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.

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This is my white flag.

Everyone has bad days, personally, professionally, because of strangers, or lovers, or partners, or friends. We all have our ebbs and flows, we have the days where you’re flying and the days where you’re drowning, and that’s not what I’m here to talk about. This isn’t another post about the bad days, and how I know things are going to get better, because if this was a post about the bad days I would already know that. This is a post that simply has one message: I surrender.

The chaotic monotony of life has been building me up and breaking me down lately, and walking out of the office 2 hours after I’d first packed up to leave last night was the icing on a really fucked cake. I’m exhausted. Stressful weeks mean I’m abusing the chocolate drawer, and all that sugar in my system has aggravated the anxiety that hasn’t flared up since before I did the Whole30 in April. All I wanted was to get to a yoga class, and once again that was taken from me; all I wanted was to get to my mat at home but I couldn’t even have that to look forward to, because I had to stop at my lovely friend M’s to pick up my dress for R’s wedding, and then I had to feed myself, and I needed to clean, and shower, somewhere in there I suppose I’ll have to sleep before going back into work forever; and everywhere in there I’m still covered in poison ivy, which has a real way of making you feel life a fucking rockstar. When my head hit the pillow last night, I let the tears frame the sides of my face as they streamed down, down, and found a new mantra to guide me to a restless sleep: deep inhale, deep exhale: I surrender.

I surrender. I’ve been so fortunate for the past few weeks that things have been fantastically wonderful in my life, with positive thinking and attitudes, but something snapped in me this week and I don’t have it in me to fight anymore. Last night when I got to M and N’s place, I started talking about my day, as they are the most amazing listeners and let me complain whenever I need to, and about two minutes into my frustrated lamentations, M walked over to me from where she was sitting on the couch and without missing a beat pulled me into a hug. The second my head hit her shoulder in a grateful release from the tense nature of feeling overwhelmed at life, I started to cry, the first time that night that I felt like I couldn’t push through. It was just a few minutes where she let me cry on her shoulder, shoulders shaking with the tiny sobs of someone who doesn’t have it in her to fight any longer, and the rest of the night before my head hit the pillow, I was trying to figure out where my fight went, and why I surrender felt so good to repeat over and over, before falling into a dreamless sleep.

I’m a fighter by nature. I fight back bad moods, I fight back at stress, I push through the bad days and I don’t let people walk over me; it took me years to find my voice and I will be damned if anyone tries to mute it again. I make mistakes because I’m human, but I fight to grow from those mistakes instead of letting them define me. But I’m waving the white flag on this week. I can’t fight anymore. Last night I felt defeated, like I’d run a race as the leader until the last three steps, where I fell and watched everyone else sprint past. I was supposed to have a Summer Friday today but I’ll likely be here late, pushing to get things done on time, even though it won’t matter, and next week everything will still be crazy. Monotony, circles, running around like my job matters in the largest grand scheme of things, like the world might stop turning unless I get that email out in the next five minutes.

This morning I woke up early and sighed, deeply, the kind of sigh that speaks to a long week and the optimism that ran out by Wednesday. I stared at my yoga mat and heard the little voice in the back of my head saying that it would be okay to surrender back to sleep and stretch tomorrow. But I didn’t. Instead I worked through a really easy, basic flow, whatever came to mind, while keeping I surrender top-of-mind. And it started to take a new meaning. I surrender to the bad days and the bad moods. I surrender to being crazy at work. I surrender to the limitations of being human – maybe I’m cranky and upset today, but by the time tomorrow comes around, it’s a new day, with new challenges, and eventually it’s going to be okay. So this is my white flag to this week, where I’m going to let everything just happen now, and I’m going to try my best to trust that things will work out the way they need to. I surrender to the weekend and to what I hope will be a learning experience, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the fighter comes back next week.

Quick Thoughts: Coping

Things I’ve done this week to cope with the raging hurricane that’s fucking with my professional and personal lives (life? whatever, I’m too tired to care):

  • Drank a whole bottle of wine while ugly-crying to old episodes of Grey’s Anatomy (RIP DENNY FOREVER IN OUR HEARTS)
  • Stress-ate an entire sleeve of Rolos and a pack of gummy fruits I may or may not have taken from my boss’s desk when he wasn’t looking as “lunch”
  • Went for a run in the rain thinking it would “relieve tension” and ended up stressing myself out about falling in one of the nasty NYC garbage puddles
  • Played Taylor Swift for five straight days at my desk until someone actually asked me to stop (NEVER)
  • Decided to walk to and from work in my new mirrored heels to break them in (“I can totally rock heels around the city at 7:30 a.m.!”) and only mostly narrowly managed not to break my ankle when running to catch a departing subway train
  • Tried to cuddle with little miss while sad and her response was to scratch my face
  • Wore a white dress on a rainy day

At least it’s Friday.

hallelo