Movie Night

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It’s summer, and I still live at

home. As we roll and rattle down the

Mass Pike, in a car older than any of its

three passengers 150 miles from my own

suburbia, I watch as the tops of the trees

engulf the sky in the low dusk light

like stagnant black smoke, and I think

about how much bigger the sky looks here.

 

I’m listening to your laughter bounce from

the windshield to the backseat and back

again, and as per usual I don’t know what

you two find so funny but I can say with

absolute certainty all I want is to bottle your

giggles, film you cackling so hard there are

delicate lines of mascara tracing trails down

your cheeks, and to watch you both catch

moonlight between your fingertips forever.

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Goodnight

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It was there I

almost cried.

Barefoot

in the driveway

as always,

standing on just

my inner

six toes

so I could

kiss you

goodnight

through

the sticky

July air, my

arms wrapped

fully over your

neck, my calves

over-stretched

enough so

that six toes

became four,

then two, and

it was there

that you

told me you

loved me.

Commute

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I never

look up

on my walk

to work,

but today I

counted windows,

rolled my

fingertips over

crumbling bricks,

stared down

the scaffolding,

and took just

a moment

for the

cloudless Tuesday

morning sky.

Birkenau, 2017

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Ankles loose

on damaged

tracks,

I walked

right out

looking back.

For I was

empowered

and I am

free;

my choice

to leave was

made by

me.

Beacon

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For once,
I looked at
the tower
whose lights
had guided me
home
so many times,
as the
bitter wind
tore at
the cuts
on my face,
without
one ounce of
pain or
a single
rouge tear.
Instead,
I fixed my
gaze upon
the very
topmost
light of the
sky-piercing
spiral and
declared
it was over
because
there is
a whole world
out there
beyond
its shine.

Hangover

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I’m half-awake
blinking
blurry-eyed at
the ceiling fan
listening to
your breath
as it grows
shallow.
Your knees
are pressed
into my
left hip.
Our heads
keep lazily
rolling
off the mountain
of pillows
falling inwards
tangled
in hair
and charging
cords.
I’m afraid to
wake you.

Lonely

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I lay
in bed
that night
counting
slivers of
light painted
across my
bedroom wall,
tears dropping
off the
very end of
my nose,
for my
heart
was
so full
but only
in my mind.

A 2016 Recap

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  1. Wow.

I’ve never done one of these before, but I felt like I couldn’t let the year make an exit without saying my piece. I’m putting the state of the world aside on this one, because I think if I opened that can of worms I’d be writing this blog post until 2018. I’m going to keep it personal here.

It’s been much harder for me to find the motivation to write. I feel as though I started 2016 on a roll: I completed my final semester of my undergraduate degree and had a lot of fun while doing so, then I graduated and started a full-time job. When the excitement slowed, I began to sort of half-ass basically everything.  I stopped pushing myself; instead I just settled and chose going through the motions because it was less work. I let anxiety and complacency take over because I adopted the attitude of “what’s the point?”

When I sat down to write this, I thought about one night during my last semester of university. One of my best friends and I decided to have a movie night. We watched “Inside Out,” which I had never seen before (I don’t really watch movies, I have too short of an attention span!). If you’ve never seen it, the main characters are the five emotions who live inside the brain of the primary human character. We began to assign the emotions to our friends. She felt she related best to Disgust.  We chose Fear for one of our friends, and Anger for another. I told her I’d maybe choose Sadness, who is largely negative but also adorable, to which she gave me the most dramatic eye roll of all time and told me “You idiot, you’re definitely Joy!”

Originally, I was irritated by that. Joy is relentlessly bubbly all the time, often to the point of annoyance. Being moderately dismal was so much cooler.  It took the whole movie for me to finally agree on my friend’s decision.

To this day, I actually love that people think I’m made of sunshine. I want to have that kind of impact on people’s lives every single day. Happiness in infectious. What the hell am I doing pretending that my life is a saddening shade of dark blue? Sure, not all of it is bright yellow, but why give in to that?

joy

I do not make New Year’s Resolutions. I feel like those are literally always doomed to fail. I am making a choice for 2017, though. I’m choosing to be me – unapologetically authentic and joyful, because life is so much fuller that way.

Cheers to a better, richer, happier 2017, friends. Let’s make it amazing.

Other People’s Picks

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Usually I’m not a huge fan of people who make better recommendations than I do, but this pick was just too good.

My friend decided that we were venturing out of Manhattan for dinner, and led me to Surf Bar. It’s quite literally a hole in the wall in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, graffitied with stickers. Once you slip inside the tiny doorway, you are greeted by tiki lights and a sand-covered floor, suitable for removing your shoes and digging your toes into (I’m pretty sure actually removing your shoes is a no-go, but you get the point. Wear sandals if you’re really feeling it- I was!).

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Obsessed.

Drinks were first priority. I went with a regular mojito, while my friend got his blended. His was bright green, giving the illusion that he was drinking a green smoothie of sorts. Thumbs up from both of us, although I never got to taste his- he liked it so much he wasn’t down to share.

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And while you’re pretending that you’re knee-deep in the water somewhere, you’re good to go with any of their tropical dishes. All are (shockingly) reasonably priced. The fish burrito, though not quite picture-worthy, is the perfect complement to the over-sized mojito, as was my friend’s Mahi Mahi burger. The standout are the yucca fries (most of which I stole off of my friend’s plate). I’m still not clear on what yucca is, but when fried it tastes like giant steak fries. They are a must.

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Pre-me eating almost ALL of those fries that weren’t even technically mine…

Williamsburg may be home to every cool, Instagram-worthy hole-in-the-wall on the planet, but I will readily get behind a place that puts you on island time in the middle of the busiest city in the world. The place was eclectic, the food was quality, and I can’t afford to just jet off to the Caribbean as of yet, and this more than filled the void. Go.


Surf Bar

139 N. 6th St.

Brooklyn, NY 11222

http://brooklynsurfbar.com/

 

Feel The Fear, And Do It Anyway

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^ A little life advice I try to give myself on the daily.

I think it’s a good little anecdote to live by (And not just because one of my friends bought me this book for my birthday). As a young girl, I just about avoided this concept like the plague. I severely lacked a reckless abandon. I was not the eight year old girl running completely naked across the beach before throwing herself into the water to play in the waves with her equally-as-naked twin brother. I was the eight year old who would watch from a safe 15 feet back, fully covered in a rash guard, thoroughly convinced that I might drown or be eaten by some aquatic animal should I set foot in the water. And then I would cry on the car ride home because I didn’t get to play in the ocean.

In fact, I was that eight year old in almost every aspect of my life until I was sixteen years old. At sixteen, my high school offered a one week trip to Spain with the Spanish Language department. I was one of the first people offered a spot. After days of crying over it, I fearfully turned it down, and instantly regretted the decision.

You know those people who have theories about the universe and its connectivity and everything happening for a reason and whatnot? I am one of those people. This made me one of those really annoying kids who always needed to know why or how everything happened. This now makes me a moderately nosy adult who asks lots of questions. This also explains why I was given another chance to go on the trip when someone dropped out just weeks before departure.

The universe aside, this was a really big move for very fearful me. More details on my trip to Spain here, but in short, the trip was the very first thing I ever did to push myself out of my tightly-compacted comfort zone. Yes, I was terrified, but I realized there were ways to expand my horizons at my own pace, which was way better than not doing it at all.

I moved to New York City. I traveled some more, and booked adventures all on my own. I revisited an incredible city. I moved to another state for an entire summer. And now, I’m looking at trips that involve climbing bridges and learning to surf, and I’m looking to move again for real.

Every once in a while, I’ll have a really pivotal look-back moment while doing something not at all revolutionary. Going out with friends or taking a bus somewhere else for the weekend is hardly groundbreaking. But sometimes, I’ll sit there proudly and think about eight year old or sixteen year old me. I bet she never knew what a little fear and an airplane ticket would do for her.

This doesn’t mean I am fearless. I am not going skydiving anytime soon. I still cried on my flight to Austin because I was going to miss my family. I gracefully bowed out of holding an alligator in Florida because the gator seemed rather angry. I still can’t wrap my head around eating snails because it reminds me of Ron Weasley throwing up slugs in the second Harry Potter movie. I haven’t acquired the same reckless abandon as my skinny-dipping friend, but there is something to be said for her tenacity. Her curiosity. Her thirst for all the wonderful things the waves, and life, has to offer.

That’s what I have acquired: by taking my fear, acknowledging it, and politely asking it to step aside for now, because I want to play in the ocean, too.