the latest, Uncategorized

nobody ever told me i couldn’t be whatever i wanted

America’s recent presidential election has sparked a number of discussions about race, gender, class, and privilege across the United States. Like any other country, ours has its flaws. As a woman in the United States, I will receive an unfairly short maternity leave when I decide to have babies. I will never make as much money as a man who does the same job as me. I will be scared to walk home alone at night regardless of how safe my neighborhood is. I will go to professional meetings where men will look at my breasts when they speak to me. I will be “asking for it” if I wear a short dress. I will be “hormonal” if something upsets me.

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I am not pretending that my life has been filled with hardship. I was lucky that my parents started saving money for my college tuition the day I was born. I was lucky that I grew up in a place where you don’t have to lock your doors. And I was lucky that nobody EVER told me that I couldn’t grow up to do or be whatever I wanted to.

To my parents, my sister and I are exempt from every negative thing you hear in the media about being female. To them, there is nothing we cannot do, even though we are women and will have to work twice as hard, look over our shoulders when we walk home at night, and be belittled over the course of our lives.

Because of this, they have no understanding of how terrified I am that someone accused of multiple sexual assaults has been elected president of a country I have loved and been proud of my entire life. Because of how hard they have worked, they believe that nothing bad will ever happen to us–and I am not allowed to be a victim. I am not allowed to talk about how many times things happened to me that I didn’t consent to; how many times my feelings were brushed aside; how many times I felt ashamed to be a woman.

I don’t consider myself a political person (and this blog is not a place for politics) but as someone who hopes to one day live in a peaceful world, it’s hard to remain silent.

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the latest

a surefire sign of adulthood: getting real with your eating habits

It hit me the other day when I was checking out at Trader Joe’s that I eat like a five-year-old. I always have mini pizza bites and Morningstar buffalo wings in my freezer, and regularly eat a bowl of plain rice, polenta, or cereal for dinner. I drink apple juice out of boxes marketed for schoolchildren, and my favorite lunch is grilled cheese and tomato soup.

It’s weird because sometimes I feel like I come off as someone who’s all about organic food, loves to try new vegetables, and shops at farmer’s markets. All of these things are mostly true–but I also realized I’ve gotten to the point where I’m realistic about how and what I eat. Like when I make a salad at work–a year ago I would have loaded it up with a little bit of everything, and then ended up picking around certain things. I like the idea of tomatoes, but I’m not one to pop cherry tomatoes for a snack. And I’m probably only going to want one slice of cucumber. AND I’ll probably avoid that hard-boiled egg.

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This mentality of having an internal discussion about what I’m actually going to eat has translated to grocery shopping. You know those cardboard cartons of soup? I’m not gonna finish that before it expires. I’ll probably heat up one bowl, and then forget about it in the back of the fridge. Bagged lettuce? No way am I going to eat all that before it starts turning brown and squelchy. (Wow, for a food writer, these descriptions are on freaking point.)

I deeply believe that life is all about balance. Sure, I’ll have Kraft mac & cheese for dinner every once in a while, but I also eat a banana for breakfast everyday. I ate a donut yesterday, but I also spent 45 minutes in a cycling class. So even though, @TraderJoesCashier, the only things in my shopping basket the other day were cookie butter, Gouda cheese, avocados, yogurt, and fruit leather, I PROMISE you I bought a salad for lunch every day this week.

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Uncategorized

5 things i learned after 5 months of freelancing

Even though I have a regular 9-5 job working at a magazine I’ve always admired, my side hustle has been especially lucrative lately. I’ve been doing a lot of freelance writing, simultaneously bulking up my portfolio as a writer and making some extra spending money. There’s something wonderfully appealing about freelancing…you can work from home (or anywhere in the world with an Internet connection), have flexibility with deadlines, and get to write about things that interest you.

I know some people do this full time–I’m not sure I ever could, since the money varies month to month, but so far it’s been a great way for me to profit from something I’m passionate about–and something I’d literally be doing for free, anyway (cue: this blog). Here are five things I’ve learned since stepping up my freelance game in June.

1. It will take forever to get paid.

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Between waiting for invoices to be approved and checks to go in the mail, expect to wait a month until you see payment for your story.

2. Keep track of EVERYTHING.

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I write for multiple sites, and it quickly became difficult to keep track of who had paid me and who I still needed to send invoices to. I use Google Sheets to keep track of every story I sell, and note within this document which pieces have been invoiced and paid.

3. Follow up.

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Editors are busy–you’re probably one of many writers they deal with, so if you don’t hear back for a few days, don’t take it personally. Don’t be afraid to follow up…especially if they owe you money.

4. Use a dedicated workspace.

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Some people are good at working from home, and while I like the idea very much, I’m not one of them–though that may change once it gets colder and I don’t want to leave my apartment. If I have an overwhelming amount of work to do, I take my laptop to a local coffee shop and stay there until the battery dies.

5. Pitch as many ideas as you have.

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I send dozens of pitches a week, knowing that only a handful will get picked up. I’ve learned that I have a better chance of getting more stories picked up if I pitch more in the first place!

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the latest, Uncategorized

i’m not sorry

I’ve recently noticed a lot of Internet literature (like this and this) regarding the habit of over-apologizing that plagues millennial women. I’d always thought that in addition to being used for a formal apology, saying “sorry” was just a polite thing to do, even if you haven’t done anything wrong.

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I say sorry when I feel like I’m bothering my boss too much via email, when I really just want to make sure I’m doing things correctly. I say sorry when I ask the cashier to pack my groceries in a reusable shopping bag. I say sorry when a waiter brings me a regular Coke instead of diet, even though I know I ordered correctly. In reality, I shouldn’t be sorry for any of these things–my existence and my preferences aren’t an inconvenience.

“I think along with ‘I’m sorry’ comes the fluttering eyes and bad posture and maybe the raised shoulder as if to protect yourself from what’s coming. I’m asking women to own up to that, to stop saying they’re sorry, and to stand up straight and to look at people in the eye and be cool! Just be cool with yourself.” -Mika Brzezinski

I recently resolved to reduce the amount of airtime I give the word “sorry.” It’s been a difficult task–I usually don’t even realize when I say it, so I made sure to consciously avoid apologizing (unless, of course, I was in the wrong). Someone knocks on the bathroom door while you’re using it? There’s no need to apologize for occupying it. Don’t want to get drinks with a guy who keeps badgering you? You shouldn’t be sorry for not wanting to waste your time.

Here are some more things to stop apologizing for:

  1. Asking someone to clarify something.
  2. Someone else’s mistake…it’s not your fault if the barista at Starbucks gives you whole milk instead of skim, even if she makes it seem like it’s a major inconvenience.
  3.  Declining an invitation somewhere. Say “no, thank you” instead.
  4. Leaving work early or calling out sick (as long as you’re actually sick).
  5. Not knowing the answer to something.
  6. Asking someone to move over on the train so they only take up one seat instead of two, so you can sit down.

blair waldorf gif from giphy.

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pin-spiration, Uncategorized

pin-spiration: new england

You may know that I’m a New England native–I grew up in a super small town outside of Boston, right on the beach. Newburyport is incredibly beautiful, and is the ultimate in quintessential, colonial New England. Cobblestone streets, beaches lined with hydrangea bushes, and houses built in the 18th century.

People were surprised that I wanted to go to school so far away, and as I continue to build my life in NYC it’s bittersweet to realize that my idea of “home” is changing. When I go visit my parents in Newburyport for the weekend, do I still say that I’m “going home?” It’s kind of funny that I still consider this place to be my home even though I only spend a handful of weeks there every year. There are a lot of things I miss about Massachusetts, and these pins are some of them–though I’ll never miss the snow.

all photos sourced from pinterest

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Uncategorized

things that make me feel like an adult vs. things that make me feel 5

As I continue to live more independently, I’ve been noticing that certain parts of my lifestyle reflect that of a toddler, and others reflect my attempts to be a functioning adult. Whether it’s my diet or how I spend my limited free time, it’s making me feel like a hot mess.

child at heart

exhibit no.1: I regularly pack PB&J for lunch (though I do this in an attempt to be mature and not drop $10 on a salad).

exhibit no.2: Whenever I go home, I bring a bag of laundry with me. Number one on my NYC apartment wish list? In-unit washer and dryer.

exhibit no.3: My favorite dinner is Kraft mac & cheese and a diet Coke. I’ll probably die at 50.

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vs. adult AF

exhibit no.1: My work-out of choice is cycling class. I was eating frozen yogurt outside my spin studio the other day and felt majorly like a yoga mom. Didn’t hate it.

exhibit no.2: I go to bed at 10pm. I’m just not myself without ten hours of sleep.

exhibit no.3: I have a job! Something about spending the majority of your time in an office just makes me feel like a real person.

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places, Uncategorized

death by apartment hunting

I think it was Carrie Bradshaw who said that everyone in New York is always looking for either a job, a boyfriend, or an apartment. Or something like that. You all know I’ve been looking for a boyfriend, but my most recent crisis is finding a new place to live. The lease is up on my Bronx college apartment next month, so I’m frantically searching for something that lives up to my (way too high) expectations. After four years of living with roommates, I was hoping to be able to find an affordable studio apartment so I could fly solo, but that doesn’t seem to be happening. How TF did Carrie do it?

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Most of my classmates are from the tri-state area, so they’re able to move back home and commute to NYC. Unfortunately, I don’t have that option–this is the only time I’ll ever regret not being from New Jersey. To make matters worse, many of the places I’ve found are only available for the rest of the summer, and since I need a July move-in date, I’m feeling pretty screwed. And what is with people having cats? I’m super allergic (plus terrified of litter boxes), and every other apartment listing on Craigslist says “must love cats.” If it’s not a cat, it’s a fourth floor walk-up. Or a $100 credit check. Or a 15% broker fee.

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Like, I’ve given up on having an exposed brick wall and a walk-in closet–but why is it so difficult to find a room big enough for my twin-sized bed and bureau without borrowing money from my parents? If you have any tips or need a roommate (I cook! I bake! I make great cocktails! I always have wine!) hit me up ASAP.

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