Monday, August 31, 2009

The First Days of Solitude

I am returning to a place I’ve known with new eyes. Something I asked for, but I didn’t expect this to be the crime scene I’d be surveying. I’m still making sense of what exactly happened to me in the last two years. Often, I’ve felt like Alice falling down a rabbit hole. I’ve been lost. In love, but completely undone, and not in a good way.

Now, I am free, but not yet found.

It’s almost incomprehensible to me that I neglected my own needs for as long as I did. I am starting to see a pattern, one that’s hard to admit to myself, let alone out here in public.

What I am coming around to is recognizing what I can’t do next time, the boys not yet men who are wrong for me. Not because they don’t have a world of potential, but because I am ready to be with someone who doesn’t need a hand.

When I was in college, I remember talking with a very good friend and telling her that I wanted to find a man who wants me, not needs me. What happened to that girl?

Beautiful New York, in its overwhelming, disorienting splendor can certainly take some credit. When I arrived here, I thought I knew everything. Well, almost everything. I quickly (in a matter of days, not years) realized that I knew a lot about a little and needed to learn a lot more.

In the haze of fresh insecurity, I pursued, in some cases, and gave in, in others, to three consecutive and (too) serious relationships. I am only now, minus a handful of months between each, coming up for air on my own.

Five years later and finally alone in New York, I have figured out the professional labyrinth, a source of satisfaction and security that I am especially thankful for right now, but need to return to looking inward.

I am sure I will not like everything I see and that is certainly a part of what’s led me to search hungrily for distraction, but if not now when? This is my time.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

In search of JOY.

A good friend of mine challenged me to ‘uncover’ the things in life that bring me JOY (ALL CAPS emphasis his, not mine) and pursue those. Ok then…

I won’t do what my inner critic is calling for, which is to get tripped up on where and why I lost my joy along the way. The fact is I’ve lost it. What’s left is a daily exercise in responsibility, commitment and discipline and finally waking up to the fact that I have been undergoing intensive training for the Boredom Olympics for over a year. Inspiration has left the building.

Here’s what brings me joy:

  1. Photos – my dad’s, my own, old ones, new ones, artistic ones, collages, Flickr, Polaroid’s…and on….and on…
  2. Poetry – writing and reading it. The New Yorker poems are the first thing I read in the magazine
  3. Dialectic arguments with passionate conversationalists.
  4. Coffee
  5. Sunday brunch
  6. Fall in New York
  7. Tex Mex food
  8. Singing, which I never do anymore. But you know what? I love to.
  9. Dogs – all types, shapes, sizes. They are bundles of love.
  10. Spending time with my cousins – Michael, Kathryn, Jack, Jeffrey, and Jake.
  11. Reckoner off Radiohead’s In Rainbows album – I never tire of this song. Every time I hear it, I get an overwhelming sense of rebirth, possibility and a clean slate within my grasp.
  12. Anais Nin and Henry Miller’s ménage à trios love story
  13. Rainer Maria Rilke’s work
  14. Early Conor Oberst lyrics
  15. Reminiscing on childhood road trips with my Dad and completely butchering Hank Williams’ ‘Hey, Good Looking’ lyrics to “How's about cookin' somethin' up with cheeeeese?”
  16. Bob Dylan
  17. The second part to Martin Scorsese’s No Direction Home documentary
  18. Driving upstate while listening to Kamikaze Hearts’ Weekend in Western New York (more precisely, riding and looking out the window at the pastures and horses and cows and rolling hills while someone else drives me)
  19. Running with head phones and a great playlist
  20. Spicy buffalo wings with lots of ranch
  21. Cherry Limeades and tater tots with cheese from Sonic Drive In.
  22. Finding appropriate times to say, 'right so'.
  23. Christmas lights
  24. Flea markets

Just the beginning—the list must grow. I’ll be chasing these and adding more. Stay tuned…

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Weight and waffle machines

No matter how hard I try, I can’t stop metaphorically picking scabs – reading old letters, looking at photos, thinking about how I might’ve limited things by choosing one course over another.

No choice is ever clean and I am an idealist, so I feel burned by everything. Life is a cold day when the very breath I take burns my chest as it’s inhaled, lung-heavy. Melodrama, I know, but this is my curse: I can’t stop looking back.

The moment is forever elusive. When today passes, I will long for it, though I can’t for the life of me feel good where I stand, this minute.

And even though experience continues to persistently chip away at my edges, I still remain stubbornly angular. I am not soft, and that makes my life more difficult than it has to be quite often.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Self-abusively is not a word.

OK, per last post, self-abusively is not a word, but I liked it too much to use another and so I let it go and now, when I look back, I feel shame. What is that about?

I am in the office and debating next steps tonight. I need to grocery shop and install my AC unit, but errands hardly sound useful at the end of a 12-hour work day. I am staring down the barrel of a hellacious week at the office, all in prep for a vacation next week...

River rafting in Colorado! Private tour guide (friend of a friend), 3-day course, camping on the river bank, no FUCKING (pardon me) blackberry, best friend and boy toy (I kid) in tow--group of 16 total. This is the stuff that dreams are made of...

You better expect photos. Unfortunately, despite my premature commitment on this blog a few months back (come to think of it, premature commitment seems to be a general theme for me...), I haven't shelled out for the fancy camera yet, so these will just be those regular-type vacation shots. I'll let you know if I get anything good.

What else? I miss my family. I really, really miss my family. Like, forgetting who I am miss. I love NYC and my job and my life here, but damn if I don't feel afloat for the better part of my days. I need an anchor. The last one I found wasn't strong enough to tie me down. I need to remind myself how to be my own anchor. I used to do that so well.

What is happening out there? I feel out of touch. Way out of touch.

Friday, May 30, 2008


Did some house cleaning of the online kind today and was amazed at how liberating it felt. I am a masochist, so I still had old photos waaay too handy and accounts linked to mutual friends allowing me to self-abusively peer into new lifestyles and witness new loves with mixed feelings of, “I’m glad he’s happy” and “wow, that sucks.” So, there it goes: today, I am removing the impulse to do things that are not constructive, even if you squint. I never did shy away from learning life’s lessons the hard way, but some things are just unnecessary. So! Goodbye, JB. You are special but, at least for now, you are also behind me.

And what’s in front? An afternoon poolside in Austin with my true soul mate Sara and then an evening celebrating my best friend Crystal’s birthday, complete with mini-sombrero’s and fake mustaches. You see? Boys, they come and go, but good friends are the smartest investment a girl will ever make.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Goodnight, Moon

Hello, stranger.

I neglect. Outside of the office walls, it’s what I do. Don’t take it personally. I’m no more attentive to myself these days than anyone else. But. Shall I indulgently profess this time will be different? The words will now come with regularity? Why don’t we just ‘wait and see.’

The good news is I’ve been thinking more. Road to recovery? Perhaps. Let’s hope.

Just spent an amazing weekend in Newport, where I learned to sail and steered the 12-footer for a good half-hour all on my own! I felt triumphant and a little tense at first, but I let the water’s rhythm ease my nerves (enter cradle metaphor) and enjoyed the frosty breeze. Dare I say I felt purged, somehow?

Thoughts from the road:
[Subtitle: Changes must follow]

* Hello, stranger (sound familiar?). Enter New York, lose self. If you knew this black hole was what you’d meet, would you do it all over again? Yes. Why? Lessons. I was never as close as I thought I was anyway. I was only comfortable.

* Lately, I’ve been wishing to turn back clocks and learn more from the ones I’ve left or lost.

* Let go. Stop trying to write your story and learn something unexpected from life.

Goodnight, moon.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Up, up, up!

It’s Friday and, for that, I am supremely happy. I am also hungry, but spending my precious lunch minutes on this blog instead. Why? Because sometimes words are all you need.

This weekend will be fun. Tonight is a farewell party on the LES for one of my favorite reporters. Thankfully, she’s sticking with the paper, but is moving to hold down the fort as our Peru Correspondent. Tear.

Saturday, I’m seeing Jens Lekman at Webster Hall and am really looking forward to it. Silliness should be dripping from the chandeliers. I need more of that kind of levity in my life.