Do It Anyway

Lazy weekends are just the best, aren’t they? Two days where you can sit and watch Netflix for hours, where you can eat leftover fried rice for breakfast and stay in sweatpants all day. I had a weekend like that this past weekend, one of my last remaining weekends before yoga training starts and I basically hibernate into the studio for six weeks straight. I spent most of this weekend relaxing or doing yoga, a vinyasa date on Saturday followed by impulse-shopping at Lululemon (came home with a leotard…) and then a night with M and N’s dog watching Netflix while they were out of town; in the spirit of a lazy weekend I was in bed by 9:30pm, snuggled with the dog and dead to the world for nine blissful hours. In fact, the only almost-stress I had for the weekend came when trying to decide what to do on my Sunday afternoon: should I stay home, meal prep for Whole30 and clean my apartment (aka be responsible) or head out to Queens for the evening (aka be impulsive)?

I’m sure this will come as HUGE shock to literally no one, but responsibility and I are not on great terms. Last week I accidentally forgot to send my rent check until it was pushing past due for no other reason that I forgot it was still in my purse, I triple-booked myself on Sunday afternoon because apparently I can’t read my own calendar, and did I mention I impulse-purchased a LEOTARD for yoga this weekend? In normal circumstances it’d be funny how little I think ahead sometimes, and okay it’s pretty funny I now own (and stand by) a leotard as an adult, but in the context of the big plans for this year, I know I need to start reigning myself in from the wild child that’s been running around for the past five years and start planning like a functional adult.

But then again, that sounds terrible. I mean, okay, obviously I’m a functioning adult, in that I am over the age of 18, I work and pay taxes and eat vegetables and lots of the other things adults do. I’m thinking more from the day-to-day aspect; I don’t want to have an exciting thought and then train myself at the end of it all to pull back from what brought me joy or happiness or anticipation because it may not be the “right” thing to do. I wear these small metal bands every day, Mantrabands they’re called, each with a small saying to bring me whatever I need in the moment: inspiration, positivity, courage. None of them are there to remind me to be responsible; there’s no mantra for “hold yourself back” or “think this through carefully.” They’re there to remind me that spontaneous is good for the soul, and that to hold myself back from anything, especially now, would be the worst thing. Yet still, it’s an internal battle. When do you let the planner win, and when do you say “fuck it” and have fun?

Yesterday afternoon I stopped in to see M when she got back in town, and on the walk to her apartment, I found myself weighing pros and cons of staying home versus heading out. I wanted to go, I knew I wanted to go, but I could feel the responsible person in my head pulling me back from falling into the mindset of DO IT! with gentle reminders of “Whole30 takes planning!” and “You have work you should do tonight.” Usually I look to M as my moral compass; she’s the most responsible person I know and she usually steers me in the right direction when I’m fighting my always-impulsive nature with the need to be an adult. I explained the options I had in front of me: be responsible in Washington Heights, or go chase happiness in an evening in Queens, and I have to admit, I did not see her response coming: “I say go for it!” she said. “This is the second-to-last weekend before you’re in training till March. Who cares if it’s not the responsible thing to do. Go be happy.”

I walked out the door with a smile on my face, and as I threw my coat on in a frenzy to get back to my apartment to pack a few things quickly and start the long trek to the outer borough, I knocked one of my bracelets askew. I shook my wrist a bit to put the bracelet back on right, and smiled as I quickly looked to see which one had been disrupted in the first place: Do It Anyway. Those words have become some of my favorites in the last month, where all of my careful planning for the big change this year has imploded under the weight of something new and unexpected; the words were exactly what I needed to see yesterday in the midst of the internal battle between responsible and happy. I know responsibility is gunning for me right now, and I’m probably looking at a serious bite in the ass at some point very soon for being such an impulsive 27-year-old child. But at least for now, I’m riding the wave of spontaneity and the last week of freedom before training, saying yes to everything and nothing, and repeating that it doesn’t matter if it’s the irresponsible or reckless path to take: sometimes that path is the most beautiful, and hell, even if it isn’t: do it anyway.

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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.

Choose Love

“I know girl. But if the only way to avoid the lows is to avoid the highs too, it’s not worth it.”

This past weekend was one of those perfect, lazy city weekends. Despite an initial prediction of 90% chance of rain on Friday, the weather was clear and sunny, just hot enough to feel like summer and not too hot that having a picnic in Central Park after work is uncomfortable. The Nickname Posse minus C had plans to do exactly that once we realized the weather would hold, and M prepared us all a feast, cheese and meats and olives and more; the night that we all thought would end early instead found us in the Park till 10:30, laughing, finishing the last bits of sangria, and willing the bugs away so we could savor the final few moments of a perfect night. The next day evolved slowly and easily, brunch with my dearest K and M turned into drinks back at his place, turned into a walk in the parks of the Heights, summer sun and the bouncing Lakeland running ahead of us keeping the smiles that started on Friday on our faces. Sunday I finally made it back to the mat, with an early Bikram yoga class to sweat out everything from the past few weeks and rehab my back a little, and when I crawled into bed later that night, exhausted and wishing for one more day like the past few, I had to laugh a little before sighing deeply. Life is good right now, I found myself saying, just before my tired eyes shut for the night.

These types of weekends aren’t rarities, but they aren’t commonplace anymore either. Life is evolving quickly here these days, the rush of the summer’s end calling attention to some big changes in everyone’s lives, weddings, birthdays, more. It makes the next part of this year like this huge, scary unknown, like we know exactly what’s going to happen yet the situation is completely out of our control. Then again, now that it’s officially four weeks out till my birthday, maybe I’m just reacting to being in what feels like the same exact position as last year while officially entering my late 20s. These questions were on my mind last night for a while as I settled in my chair with a cup of tea and Netflix, trying to make sense of these big questions where I’m not even sure I want an answer.

Something I’ve been doing in yoga lately is switching up my usual mantra to one that carries a meaning I struggle to embrace: Choose love. This doesn’t mean dating or family or really any kind of love in particular. It’s just a reminder to choose to focus on the good things. Choose what gives back love and smiles instead of choosing to dwell on the negative; in the context of this weekend it mostly meant I needed to focus on the benefits of Bikram practice instead of how badly I wanted to pass out during the standing postures, but it has wider implications for the weeks to come (or at least I think it might). 

I was texting my soul sister E in the midst of the aforementioned Netflix-ing and contemplating, and she mentioned those words at the top, which were exactly what I needed to hear after a weekend like this one. I won’t go into the context – it’s of little consequence, really – but it started to make sense on a number of levels, and I had to write it down before I forgot. Why is it so hard to choose the positive? When the focus is avoiding what could hurt or what could be difficult, it’s too easy to miss that without the low moments, there’s nothing to make the high points that much better. It’s not a matter of seeking out the low moments to experience the high, but a reminder not to give them the attention they crave. I have a feeling in the next few months there’s going to be a lot of low moments, after a spring and a summer filled with highs, but I think in the end that’s okay. Because I also have a feeling that I can choose to look at the low moments not as things to break me down, but as teaching moments in looking to always, always choose love.

Gumshoe

There’s nothing like a mid-morning walk through Chelsea during the week. The city in general has a different vibe during the workday, somehow more and less panicked, panicked tourists trying to find their way around but no panicked workers trying to navigate the throngs of aforementioned tourists and fellow commuters. Yesterday I was heading up to 30th and 7th around 11am, and while I’d originally planned to take the subway up from my office on 15th and 9th, it was such a nice day outside that I wanted to walk. The walk itself was so relaxing, exactly what I needed despite only being three hours into the work week; the sunshine made me smile for summer and I had happy music in my earbuds providing a soundtrack to a precious few moments alone. And then I noticed my sandal sticking while I bobbed and weaved through aforementioned packs of panicked tourists – because of course, on today of all days, I stepped in gum.

I should elaborate on why exactly I was walking 15 blocks up into midtown on a Tuesday morning after a holiday weekend. To get there though, we need to back it up a few days to the perfect, sunny magic of Memorial Day Weekend.

The chance to do Sunday brunch with the people I love the most is an opportunity I wouldn’t ever pass up, so when my fashionista C sent out an email to the group a few weeks back about the rooftop at Hotel Chantelle for $8 pitchers and live jazz for Memorial Day Sunday, I couldn’t reply fast enough. I wore my favorite summer dress, switched to my weekend purse and took a million photos, most of which will never see the light of Instagram, and had a perfect, perfect day. The weather felt like a present after so many months of winter and cold, and there was no question that we would spend the after-brunch hours on my partner-in-crime R and H the Scot’s rooftop. Where the questions start popping up is after about 9pm, after we migrated downstairs to R and H’s apartment with two New Zealanders we found on the roof and their German friend. A great time was had by all, but for all my bemoaning a few weeks back that I was becoming boring, let’s just say Sunday had enough PLDs to last me through R’s wedding at the end of the summer.

Monday morning I awoke slightly disoriented and very thirsty. I patted myself on the back as I started mustering the energy to roll from my bed to the La-Z Boy chair in the other room, because not only had I washed off my makeup, I’d remembered to take out my contacts and brush my teeth. Adulthood! I lazed around on the chair for a minute and then decided to play everyone’s favorite post-night-out game of “How much money did I spend last night?” I reached for my purse to pull out what I assumed would be a stack of receipts from aforementioned poor decision making, and found…. nothing. Not like, there were no receipts, or no hints as to how much I’d spent. I mean literally nothing. My wallet was fucking gone.

I’ve had a hard time assimilating my body to life after Whole30. On the one hand, it’s awesome to have the freedom of food rules, and not having to check labels obsessively or ask a waitress for seven thousand substitutions makes life a lot easier. On the other, I’m physically reacting to things in ways I haven’t before. Foods I used to love give me headaches, and after a particularly motivated food binge a few weeks back, I thought someone was twisting hot knives into my intestines for three days straight. Maybe these symptoms were there before and I’m just aware of them now, but alcohol is another story. I don’t know if I still haven’t figured out how my tolerance has changed, or if I’m processing booze differently now, but I go from zero to fuzzy to TANKED in the span of one drink. It’s never the same drink: once it was the second margarita, once it was the third glass of wine, and okay Sunday night may have involved tequila shots (or so I’ve been told), but I’m noticing that I’ll feel fine, fine, fine and then all of a sudden I’m a little bit tipsy and then I’m fine no more. I’m not an irresponsible person, not even usually while drunk (*unless I’ve been drinking vodka which I strategically avoided Sunday #justsaying), so I knew the moment I looked in that empty purse that my wallet was not going to be there. It put me in a mood for a little while on Memorial Day, while I cancelled credit cards en masse and borrowed a MetroCard so I didn’t miss C’s rooftop barbecue, and I spent most of the day thinking the same thing over and over: “What is wrong with you, LB.”

Which brings us back to Tuesday morning, walking through Chelsea to the DMV license center to find out what I could do to get a new photo ID, and hopefully switch my residency to New York officially. Turns out it’s a fairly complicated process when you don’t have your old license, so as I walked I was trying my hardest to smile and accept that I probably won’t have a license for six weeks when I stepped in gum with 10 blocks to go. I pushed through the anger and frustration of a lost wallet and gum on my shoe until I got back to the office, naturally just in time for things to get crazy and throw my emotions into haywire. Much as I wanted to collapse on my chair when I got home and do nothing, I forced myself to put on my favorite leggings and pull out my mat, the first time I’ve practiced in a week after injuring my shoulder last Wednesday. Yoga really has this way of making me feel everything, in this case all the frustration and stress from overdoing it on Sunday and all the emotions around losing my wallet, and I had a moment after sitting in a hip-opening pose (remember: negative emotions are stored in the hips) where I felt an emotion start to bubble up from deep inside. I couldn’t tell if I was about to laugh or cry, but I could feel that something was going to happen and it was going to be big. And all of a sudden, it hit me that I didn’t need to brace myself, or wait for something to happen: I had the choice to lay down on my mat in frustration and anger, and cry and feel sorry for myself; or I could just start laughing.

So I laughed. I laughed a little at first, and then once I started I couldn’t stop. I laughed so hard tears ran down my face, I grabbed the cat and we danced around the apartment while I laughed and she squirmed to go free. I mean, the whole situation is pretty ridiculous. Who loses their ENTIRE wallet?!? Credit cards left at bars fine, phones left in friends’s apartments okay, but losing a FULL wallet? It’s a skill. And it’s nothing worth crying over, because at the end of the day, it’s all going to be okay. I’ll get a new ID eventually, I cancelled all my cards and only one card had a $65 charge to Boost Mobile that definitely wasn’t me. I’ll find a pretty new wallet and use my passport at bars like a weirdo in the meantime. It was a weekend of detective work to find a missing thing that ended with a gumshoe and me laughing like a crazy person alone in my apartment. People always tell you “Everything happens for a reason” when things happen we can’t fix, and maybe I don’t know the reason for all this wallet craziness quite yet, but maybe I do – because if all that comes from this situation is my new-found knowledge of DMV and social security card locations around the city, sticky stranger germs on my favorite sandals, and the ability to laugh at the little things instead of crying and making them big, it’s a pretty successful lesson from a big ol’ PLD.

Gavel Smash

I walked up the five flights of stairs to my apartment early Sunday evening carrying two overfilled Costco bags and a Lululemon tote stuffed with my clothes from the weekend away, exhausted, sweaty, and ready to be home. Finally ascending the last few stairs, I got really excited and then really annoyed as I saw what was waiting for me. Outside my door was something I’ve been eagerly awaiting (a diffuser for my doTerra oils #nerdalert), but the packaging had been torn open. I peeked inside quickly and saw nothing but bubble wrap, and in an instant was furious. “Are you fucking kidding me?” I said aloud, angrily kicking the empty box into my apartment while struggling to fit all the bags in the door. Look, there are a lot of stereotypes out there about Washington Heights, but my neighbors have never been nothing but helpful and nice (if *too* nice at times), and ending an otherwise fantastic weekend by coming home to a stolen package frankly, well, sucked. I spent the next half hour slowly unpacking while quieting the white rage bubbling in my stomach, trying to focus on the positives from the past few days and redirecting my thoughts away from judging my neighbors for who was the “most likely” culprit for diffuser-gate 2015.

This weekend was an amazing mix of highs and lows, starting with something I’ve known about for a few weeks and been anticipating for a few years. Friday night my lovely friend M and her N made the forever promise on a beautiful spring evening and returned home to a surprise party for M celebrating their engagement organized by N and yours truly; we had a blast and a half but between the adrenaline, nerves, anxiety/eagerness for the party, and the lack of a proper dinner between the half bottle of champagne and being spoon-fed Jell-O shots by my fashionista C, I was down for the count by 9:30, passed out in M and N’s bed by 10, and in a cab to the Upper East around midnight, feeling awful from an impending hangover and the idea that I’d ruined their party. The low continued into the morning, where I thought I could make it through a simple walk around the block with the dogs without throwing up (spoiler alert: the walk ends with me throwing up bile next to a tree while a family looked on horrified), but carried into the high of my Twinster visiting, a rare treat that I cherish, and somehow between essential oils, egg sandwich delivery, a 9 a.m. nap and a run with the pit bull, I managed to kill the miserable hangover for at least a few hours. The high of a twin visit lasted through the aforementioned Sunday homecoming surprise, which made me realize how much I’d judged strangers and friends, and felt judged by the same people that weekend on a number of different levels.

I judge people. There, I said it. I don’t mean that I spend my days passing assumptions on everyone who comes near me, and I certainly don’t take pleasure from making assumptions, but sometimes it’s just a reflex to make a judgmental thought. It’s almost never entirely intentional, but it happens – I’ll walk behind someone at 7:30 in the morning already puffing away on a cigarette and think how much it sucks to start my morning in a cloud of smoke, and I get sad when I see parents feeding McDonald’s to children, whether they’re overweight or not. I’m blessed to have experienced a lot of privilege in my life, and that privilege likely contributes to the somewhat automatic thoughts of “gross” when I accidentally walk onto an empty subway car, or the look down my nose at the thought of doing my own laundry in the city. I’m not perfect, and I don’t want to pretend that I’m sitting on a high horse judging everyone, but there are moments where I see something, or where I experience something, and I can’t help but let a judgmental thought run through my brain.

I would probably feel worse about my auto-judging tendencies if I didn’t also feel that on a regular basis from fellow strangers as well. I am the only white girl in my building and on my block in The Heights, and I’ve had everyone from old women to small children make comments along the lines of “Is she lost?” and “Damn white girl, thinking she belongs here,” usually in Spanish since they assume a white girl can’t speak the language fluently. Then there’s a particular look that a certain generation gets when they get a glimpse of me on the subway if I’m holding the pole with my left arm up, because who is this girl with a nose ring and a ridiculous tattoo riding on a train dressed like she’s going to a real job? I’ll feel it on the weekends like this past one, where I got to watch D&D’s pups, the sweetest girls in the world; it’s hard to miss when people with small dogs, or even with no dogs, cross the street when the get a glimpse of a pit bull walking their way. And it’s not limited to strangers, of course. I love my family and my friends with all my heart and soul, but there’s a reaction they give you when you make the comment that by the end of the year, all your friends save for two will be engaged or married. It’s a “you’re next!” sentiment, a “he’s out there for you!” comment that makes me feel like I’m supposed to be upset that all the people I love are celebrating love this year, or feel like I’m missing out on something because M is my wedding date for probably the next two years.

Maybe I was just extra sensitive from a few embarrassing moments over the weekend or maybe I was just coming down from a crazy high of so many wonderful things in just 48 hours, but I let that empty box sit in my foyer for a few hours while I unpacked everything else and took a minute to enjoy my brand-new loveseat that had been delivered while I was gone that weekend. It felt like a gavel smash to a crazy weekend, that my neighbors had finally done something to feed into the stereotype that I’ve been insisting is overblown ever since I moved up there in 2013. I finally calmed down and took a minute to appreciate that if that was the worst thing that’d happened to me all weekend (or at least tied with throwing up on the streets of the Upper East Side at 8:30 in the morning), then I have a pretty good life. I sighed, grabbed the box to put in my recycling pile when all of a sudden I started laughing hysterically. A quick peek and a judgment about the meaning of a ripped-open had hidden the fact that my little diffuser was still there, entirely obscured from view by too many packing bubbles, perfectly in tact and not, in fact, stolen. Apparently my things aren’t cool enough for the neighbors to take, if that was ever the intention at all. It’s a nice reminder that people and times can still surprise you every once in a while, blasting the tendency to judge before thinking, and reshaping memories that felt like judgments into funny moments with friends or a caring word from a family member. I mean, speaking honestly, I guarantee this weekend was not the last time that I’ll pass judgment mistakenly or otherwise, and it won’t be the last time I feel judged by those around me. As a tiny reminder that life can still surprise you, though, I’d rule this weekend a rousing success.

A Weekend, in Parts

As I’m writing Part One of this post, it’s Saturday night, and I stopped counting how many hours I’d worked since Monday after it passed 70. I’ve never in my life finished a Venti coffee from Starbucks, and this week I had one every morning, plus another cup mid-afternoon at the office. I’m tired in a way that I’ve never experienced before, and little miss won’t let me have two minutes to myself to pee because she’s so desperate for attention after being stuck alone most of the week. And yet, I’m so, so happy right now. I’ve had some great times with my team at work, both professionally and personally. I managed to fit in at least a little yoga every day, and now I have a glass of wine and Sleeping Beauty on TV. There have been highs and low in the past seven days of long-expected crazy, but even though things aren’t necessarily calming down anytime soon, I can’t say that I’m in a bad mood. There’s a part of me that’s expecting to start feeling something negative: maybe I’m supposed to be angry, or upset, or annoyed, or whatever; but instead, I feel like it’s the perfect Saturday night to unwind a little before picking up first thing tomorrow.

As I’m writing Part Two of this post, it’s Sunday morning, and my chance to sleep in was interrupted by something I needed to do for work. I have no coffee in my apartment, and I can’t get in touch with my coworker to confirm she’s online so I can run out to Starbucks before this caffeine headache gets any worse. It’s a sunny, beautiful spring day, and I’m inside all day on my computer. And yet, I’m really, really happy right now. I have a built-in excuse to stay inside and do nothing, since it turns out it’s pretty cold outside anyway. It’s nice to lay on my couch in the sunshine that streams through the windows, illuminating the bright walls. I can roll out my mat this afternoon and practice on my own time, eventually seeing tangible progress in something I’ve been working on for months. There’s something about having a Sunday to myself again that makes the past week of crazy all worth it. Sure, I didn’t have my normal Sunday of yoga and Whole Foods, but somehow I’m feeling as refreshed sitting on my couch after a day of work as I normally do on productive Sundays around the city.

As I’m writing Part Three of this post, it’s Sunday night and I’m watching terrible television while eating a chicken Caesar salad and onion rings from my favorite deli down the street. My computer is open, but it’s been quiet, finally, after another busy day. I know I should go to bed soon, get a good night’s sleep and get to yoga in the morning, but there’s something so tempting about staying up just a little bit longer to watch that final episode of Intervention taking up space in my DVR. I can’t believe another week has already passed, and I think that I think we’re out of the crazy. I’ve been writing in fragmented thoughts all day, getting snippets of inspiration for new posts, writing this one in pieces, work punctured with blogging punctured by starting to sequence out new things for yoga, getting an early taste for what it will be like when I’m teaching in the future. This has been the longest two weeks of my professional life, even counting the time three months into my career when I was told I had to fly to Orlando and run the client booth at a conference by myself less than 24 hours before my flight took off. It’s been exhausting and stressful and yet so, so satisfying. We made it through the craziness and my team still has smiles on their faces. Celebrating success as a group feels almost as great as the extra hour of sleep I would have gotten had I not decided to stay up just a little longer, to savor the end of the longest week of my professional life.

As I’m writing the end of this post, it’s Monday morning and I’m back at my desk. I’m one Venti coffee in and I still need to put in my hours for last week, which means I’ll finally see the past week’s insanity laid out in a series of codes and numbers. I’ve had to pee for the past twenty minutes but I keep finding myself distracted by emails that need to be answered and tasks that need to be attended to, plus I’m desperate to finish this post to jump-start blogging again. I’m stress eating almonds because I just found out it’s going to be another late night here, and now I need another coffee just to keep me going. But looking back on the past week, I’ve had a series of ups and downs, crazy with calm, cranky with a ton of fun, and everything in between, and it’s been one of the most rewarding weeks of my life. I think I can manage another five days before crashing SO HARD on Friday night, a much-needed rest ahead of my partner-in-crime R’s birthday bash this weekend. I’ve learned over and over again that there’s no such thing as “back to normal” in my life, whether speaking professionally or personally, so much as I hope things will actually calm down by the end of the week, I’m expecting the unexpected. Maybe that’s my new normal now, waiting for things to change as soon as they’ve started. And even if it is, I’m finishing one week and starting another feeling accomplished, proud and ambitious for more. I can get used to normalizing all of that.