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This is a long overdue post that people seemed very interested in. I was so busy in April that I kept putting it off, but it turns out the gap between gauging my followers' interest in a 'things I never do on Instagram' post and actually writing it gave me a chance to reflect on an idea that I'm trying to bring into every part of my life this year (and not just social).
This post kicks off my Just One More Thing series, where I’ll be talking about one more thing I think everyone needs in their lives — all things I love completely and totally. No exceptions.
Last weekend I had my bi-annual closet clean out. You know, the thing where you begin by dumping everything you've ever owned (and some things you're fairly certain you've never really owned, but there they are anyway) on the ground, determined to go through it all and get rid of the stuff you don't use. It's also the thing where you eventually end up laying like a starfish on a four-foot tall pile of clothing in the middle of your room with zero desire to finish what you started. I love this kind of closet clean-out, but since we've moved to our new apartment, it's been harder than ever to make peace with my closet.
Have you ever found yourself in the middle of the English countryside, slightly tipsy from wine, sobbing hysterically, having accidentally locked yourself out of your iPhone and having to delete all 40,000 photos on your phone in order to get yourself back in? No? Just me. OK, that's fair. But that moment was, weirdly, unexpectedly the moment that defined my slightly messy April.
One of the most bizarre things about losing someone close to you is that it simultaneously touches nothing and everything. Beautiful things may seem different after, but they're still beautiful. Funny things are, horrifyingly, still funny. Joy is still out there, wrapping its fingers around all the same things it used to. When one of my best friends died suddenly in November 2017, I felt the weight of this idea instantly. Every time the grief bulldozed over me, there was also the realization that one day I would feel happy again.
March was one of the best months I've had in a long, long time. But to be honest, even coming off of a good February, this surprised me. I wasn't expecting it mainly because my 25th birthday was in March, and birthdays (especially "big" ones) always makes me kind of emotional, leaving me with a week or two of that childhood day-after-Christmas feeling. Birthdays force you to reflect on the passing of time in a very real way. Most years, I've spent the weeks after my birthday reflecting on the inevitability of not achieving certain goals. The weight I didn't lose, the workouts I missed, the money I didn't save, the trips I was supposed to plan but didn't. But this year was markedly different. I was different.
When I was a sophomore in college, I logged off of all social media for a month. Looking back, I honestly struggle to figure out exactly how I managed this. Was I OK? Had my study abroad months filled with 1 euro beers and eating my first meal of the day at 3 p.m. driven me mad? Probably yes. But also, social media wasn't necessary for me then — at least not in in the way it is for me now. Do I have to have Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter as someone who works in media? No, not technically. Would it make my job and life significantly harder without them? Yes. Still, though, going from college student who enjoyed social media to adult-with-a-job who needs social media presented the same problem: Very often, it all still made me feel bad.
Living in New York means (unless you are very rich) living small. Sure, there are exceptions — but in general, apartments are small, overpriced, and basically never include a washer/dryer in the unit. (Side note: If you are one of the people who does have a washer/dryer in your apartment, please never speak to me again.)
For most of my life, I never considered myself to be someone with a huge imagination. Sure, I've always been creative to some extent. And, yes, I have a general inclination towards daydreaming, and a love for story-telling that stretches from Little Women to Black Mirror to that one particularly great season of Real Housewives Of New Jersey where Theresa flips the table (*chefs kiss*). Still, though, for a long time, if you would have asked me to describe myself, imaginative is not a word that would have come out of my mouth.
Truthfully, I can almost gauge how I'm doing mentally and emotionally by how much time I spend on my nightly routine. If I'm cutting out steps and ignoring the skin care rituals I've come to love, something is almost always off with me. Usually this means I'm feeling anxious, down, or distracted. Forcing myself to get back into the routine ultimately helps me focus on myself, feel good, and take time to pamper myself a little. We all need that.
For as long as I can remember, I've been thinking about food.
These thoughts have ranged from your standard, "My God, is there anything better than a warm bread basket?" (no, obviously not) to more complicated notions, like the never-ending belief that an extra indulgent weekend of eating needed to result in diving into a diet on Monday — a constant game of addition and subtraction in my head. A ceaseless series of "if, then" negotiations in my brain regarding what I ate, and how much I ate, and how I would respond to all of those choices after.
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