And then? Brunch.

You know how I’ve been bemoaning about how uninteresting my life has been lately? I was looking back on old entries, not just before YTT but going back to early 2015, and my word life has changed so much. All of the changes have been wonderful and positive, and I suppose most of the changes are what people refer to when they talk about growing up, but part of me missed that carefree LB. I missed reliving the ridiculous moments on the weekends, fueled by champagne and perfect weather, and I miss waking up to photos in my phone that I don’t remember taking, someone else’s selfies and kisses on cheeks as we fall down on the bar couch. I don’t want to go back to those times, but I did miss them for just a little while. And then this weekend happened. Or more specifically: and then? Brunch.

M’s sister was in town for the weekend, my first weekend after training, and we’d decided weeks ago that Sunday would involve the three of us and A getting together for brunch at Paradou, a tiny restaurant not too far from my office in the Meatpacking that offers what else? Unlimited champagne brunch. A and I had a perfectly lazy Saturday, dumplings in Williamsburg on Saturday afternoon followed by binge watching Amazon Prime on his couch in Queens, the lovely kind of nothing you don’t realize you miss until you go without for six weeks. Like the super-cool couple we are, we were dead asleep by 10:30 on Saturday, and up early in time for a long walk through Queens before we met M and her sister for the aforementioned brunch. I had grand plans to dedicate the afternoon to cleaning my apartment, grocery shopping, and generally being a productive member of society. And then? Brunch.

A. I haven’t mentioned him yet, have I? A is the person that I never saw coming, to say the very least. My 2016 had grand plans to continue the year of LB, a year for big life changes and life lessons and learnings, but never in there did I expect, anticipate or plan for A to crash into my life and change everything. We’ve been seeing each other for a while now, and to his enormous credit I have NOT made it easy on him. A few weeks after we met I was starting a Whole30, and then a few weeks after that YTT started, plus we live quite literally on opposite ends of the city. Rather than the typical “meet for drinks” getting-to-know-you dating that’s standard for New York City singles, our relationship has been yoga dates, cooking for each other, lazy nights on someone’s couch and weekends apart while I spent time in the studio. Actually, aside from the wedding where we met a few months back, he hadn’t really experienced drunk LB in her full glory, despite our dating for a few months now. And then? Brunch.

We all woke up in a daze on Monday morning, after brunch turned into the Standard Biergarten turned into a series of ridiculous happenings, like how M and I had to climb up her downstairs neighbors’ fire escape after locking ourselves out of her apartment and I almost lost my phone and keys in an Uber I don’t remember taking. A and I had talked about hanging out last night and quickly quashed those plans in favor of going to our respective apartments and crashing immediately; I don’t even know how I made it through an entire day in the office without throwing up in or around something. When I initially woke up I felt like such ass that I almost started to berate myself, talking down on my actions and decisions like scolding a child, trying to make hungover LB feel terrible enough that drunk LB would go back into hiding forever.

But the more events from the afternoon started coming out, the funnier everything became. There are videos on my phone that show the four of us heavily-lidded and laughing hysterically, a series of photos with A and I where we start off making joke faces and end up with these perfect smiles, a little reminder of how happy I’ve been since he swooped into my life and changed everything. We were all acting like the person that I was for so long and the one I missed a little bit; the hangover reminded me that I don’t actually miss her all that much, but I love the memories I have of that time. It’s easy to see life for all the changes at times, especially when they’re chronicled so neatly in a place like this. It’s easy to think you’ve grown past making some of those poor life decisions or bemoan that you’ll never be “that” person again. And then? Brunch.

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Just Because

This morning while getting coffee at the office Keurig, one of the VPs stopped in and we started chatting. Since it’s going to be 80 degrees today and I’m not seeing clients, I left my arms bare, trying to avoid the inevitable pit stains that form while standing in the West 4th station at the end of the day, humidity and heat having stewed in the tunnels for hours. He noticed the tattoo on my arm and complimented the piece, asking “What made you get the skyline there?” I thought for a moment, cycling through the normal responses of “I have a tattoo for each place I’ve lived after high school,” or “I went through some big moments in the fall and wanted to commemorate making it through,” but eventually I just smiled and told him “Just because.”

In mid-December this past year, I walked into my go-to Upper East salon, determined to do something different with the same old bleach-blonde highlighted locks I’d been sporting since my teenage years, dyeing (lol puns) for something different to match my new single status. The stylist did a great job, but it wasn’t the change I wanted. The edge of my typical white-blonde had been softened, for sure, but I kept thinking it’d be fun to take it a step further, get just a little crazier, make it just a little different. Over Easter weekend, I talked to the stylist I’ve been seeing for a decade and we decided to go for it, choosing a fiery red ombre, a color that made my eyes pop and made me noticeable from a mile away. My mother was shocked when she saw me step out of the chair, a huge smile spreading across her face as she surveyed the final product. She touched the locks gently and said “I love it! It’s so different! What made you choose the red?” and I smiled and said “Just because.”

I make a lot of big decisions, good and bad, impulsive and well-thought out. I can talk through my logic for many of them, why I got my various tattoos and what they mean, why I love living in Washington Heights, why I’m still so in love with my job four months into the new place. I can reason why things were so crazy for so long, I can explain the funk I was in for a few weeks with a few words. I can rationalize lots of things that I’ve done and lots of decisions I’ve made, but every once in a while it’s nice to do something and have something for no reason at all. It’s enjoying the moment in the purest form, taking a step back from rationalizing and ranting and explaining every step to enjoy the big picture that is life at this moment, because honestly? It’s pretty freaking great.

I walked into the office this morning after the perfect three day weekend: relaxing at my parent’s on Friday, playing with D&D’s dogs on Saturday followed by the housewarming party for my partner-in-crime R and her Scot H, all ending with a lazy, greasy, bacon-and-burgers Sunday brunch with AZ. I chatted with coworkers as we all dug through our weekend emails, they complimented my hair and I complimented their sundresses. We all laughed at how restorative this weekend was, all of us completely burnt out by the few weeks of insanity and relieved to be moving forward into the rest of the summer. I went back to my desk with a smile on my face, reminiscing about the small changes in just a few days, when my boss walked past and asked “Why the big smile LB?”

I’m just really happy, boss. Just because.