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why my phone makes me smile for 2 seconds every day

I’ve been having a very bittersweet couple of months. My work life has been fantastic, and I feel that I’ve had some incredible opportunities as a writer and a professional. I moved to a new apartment in a new neighborhood, which has been really great. I had two weeks off at the holidays to spend time with my family and hometown friends. I also got to visit my college BFF in Austin, a city I’d been dying to go to.

Conversely, some not-so-good things have taken place. My grandmother passed away a week before Christmas, so it was a hard time for my family. I’ve had dozens of job interviews, but haven’t received any offers (note: I’m quite happy at my current position, but am always looking for the next best thing). I’ve also been struggling to come to terms with parts of my personal/dating life–more on that here.

I make a conscious effort to be a happy person. I exercise primarily for the endorphins. I eat food that I like. I watch TV shows that make me laugh. I write about my feelings, both on this blog and in a journal. But all of my negative, depressing feelings surfaced the other day when I was sitting at my desk at work. My heart started beating super fast, and I felt panicked and overwhelmed–by existence as an adult, my quickly approaching first solo trip, the guy who won’t text me back, my constant questioning of past life choices. I texted my mom and she told me to go outside, get some fresh air, and stretch my legs. Combined with an iced coffee, her remedy worked.

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Later that day, I decided that I needed some kind of mental sticky note–something to remind me to be positive, that I am great, that everything is ok. While I was setting the alarm on my phone for the next morning, I had an idea to set a kind of self love reminder. I set it for 11:30am, on vibrate, labeled “You deserve the world. Everything is going to be ok.” It makes me smile everyday, and reminds me that focusing on myself is the most important thing I can do right now.

Follow new york is my boyfriend on instagram.

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being your own best friend

While recently watching Eat, Pray, Love (not of my own free will) I watched Julia Roberts stuff her face with spaghetti in Rome, by herself. She wanders through India, by herself. I came to the realization that there is a difference between being alone and being lonely.

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taking a romantic walk on the beach, by myself

When deciding where to study abroad, I chose Amsterdam in part because none of my friends were studying here, nor was anybody from my college. I wanted to be enveloped in a totally new experience, thrust into a foreign land where I’d have to fend for myself. And I have. I didn’t hit it off with any of the American students in my program. While I’m invited for drinks or coffee, I will not be extending wedding invites to these people.

This is a similar experience to my freshman year of college–I found it difficult to be myself around people, worrying they wouldn’t like me. While that isn’t an issue now, since I’ve realized I have a kick-ass sense of humor and know how to have a good time, I don’t see the point in wasting energy on temporary friendships. Meanwhile, my closest friends from high school went down their own paths at different schools. Many became part of the world of Greek life, a concept which is lost on me. One of the reasons I was attracted to Fordham was its lack of Greek life; in this or any universe, I am not a sorority girl. And while my friends seem to have made wonderful new friends, I don’t fit into that part of their lives, and they have changed in ways I have not.

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I have become newly grateful for my willingness to be alone. I enjoy going to museums alone, I cook dinner for one, and I am becoming less bothered by eating in a restaurant by myself, or going to a bar alone. I contemplated buying a cheap flight to Milan, since nobody else was interested, and spending the weekend there by myself. I didn’t, mostly to avoid giving my mother a heart attack–a well traveled woman herself, yet she seems to think a serial killer/sex trafficker/radical terrorist is waiting for me in each new city I visit. When my flight was delayed, I sat at the airport bar and ordered a Heineken. I don’t feel like there is something missing–except the bullshit that comes with forced conversations with mere acquaintances.

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On the five hour bike ride I embarked upon today (more on that later), I had a lot of time to think. I’m grateful that I have friends at all…it’s amazing that people can tolerate me for ten minutes, let alone ten years (thanks, Klaud), let alone my entire life (perks of having a sister). While I will probably never fall in love in Bali, shout out to Julia Roberts/Liz Gilbert for assisting me on my journey to total enlightenment. Namaste.

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