Yesterday I came to the realization that I make horrific running faces. Nose scrunched, puckered lips, snorting… It’s all wrong. But it’s pure and real. Running is raw. I began to laugh at my own expense. So now I’m running and laughing. Probably looking crazy. I began to daydream…
Does anyone look like this?
And as I mentally wandered off I began to think about my physicality and my insecurities. I began to examine my personal gains in confidence which have stemmed from running. Who told us that when women work out we look flawless? And even when we sweat, our sweat falls as perfect little beads that drip in sex appeal? Is this the ideal? Because i’m being honest with myself and all of you wonderful people,I love to sweat it out, and I don’t mind not looking like I just walked off the cover of Self Magazine. I will leave you will some ads of wisdom courtesy of Nike.
One year ago, at this time, I laid in bed in total darkness. Terrified.
I am excellent at dwelling on the petty, nonsensical aspects of life. When it comes to big ticket things, such as Hurricane Sandy, I prefer to move on and forget the past. When people would speak about the storm I felt myself get tense, I would roll my eyes and think, let’s talk about
something anything else. In truth, it’s a discomfort with the uncomfortable. I’ve always been pretty good at some kind of running.
My point is- I didn’t want to write about Sandy tonight, but I feel as though I can’t ignore it. Part of my discomfort in discussing the storm is my feelings on how it affected people- I was affected by the storm, as were many other people. I will never utter the words, I completely understand where you’re coming from, because in truth, I can never understand what any person feels, even if our situations are similar. In some ways I may have even experienced survivor’s guilt- I would constantly rationalize to myself, it could have been worse. Be thankful. I’m not going to talk about personal loss. I just want to share images taken in the weeks following the storm.
This year I witnessed some things that were truly frightening- Marshall Law was declared on my city and a curfew was put in place. The kindest and most wonderful people posted signs outside of their homes, looters will be shot. People did take, and steal, and lie. I saw soccer moms fight while waiting in gas lines that stretched for hours, but what else was there to do but wait? Yes, there were selfish and shocking things occurring, but I also saw some of the most beautiful acts of kindness.
An entire high school football team, despite their own losses, went door to door to help gut the homes of those affected. A family took in another family of complete strangers after learning that the wife was five months pregnant and had already gone days without basic amenities. A friend who just got married lost her entire apartment in the storm. Friends and family reached out and were able to put together donations that would help her and her husband rebuild their lives. John and I were continuously offered a warm bed to sleep in, a hot shower, and a meal from co-workers, family, and friends. Groups of people from all over the United States traveled here for the sole purpose to help. The good far outweighed the bad. These are the memories that will stick out to me – people came together in a time of need.
Tonight after work I came home and went for a run. I finished in my best time, slightly over 18:00 for two miles. As I ran the boardwalk I acknowledged the beauty of rebuilding. It’s a process to rebuild- one that takes longer than one year, but it’s this gradual progress that exhibits strength. It warms my entire heart that I am part of a community that continues to stick together, a community that has not lost their pride, a community that continues to strive for the betterment of all.
Four days ago the boardwalk was finished in it’s entirety.
Halloween has always been my favorite day of the year starting all the way back to when I was just a wee little lass. It is a day that allows us to use our imagination- how often do you get to do that?! Not only do I love it for those reasons, but due to a birthday in close proximity, I get a little more festive than usual.
As a child, I always had a desire to be adorable in some way on Halloween.
Adorable Prima ballerina. Check.
Adorable Black cat. Check.
Adorable Dalmatian. Check.
Around the age of nine I realized my love of all things tomboy and words such as cute, adorable, and pretty did not fit into my m.o. This translated into my everyday attire and my halloween attire.
Scary gothic girl Check.
Scary gothic girl again. Check.
Scary gothic girl again, again. Check.
Thankfully, for my mom, this was a short lived phase (I really enjoy being a female) but some aspects of no longer needing to be a girly-girl remained intact. As a teenager I wanted to be funny. If the guys could wear funny costumes, girls should too. I wanted to black my teeth out, roll in grass, and come to school as a farmer. One year my friends and I were Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. I was grumpy. Obviously.
Unfortunately, most costumes targeted towards females are, and I don’t use this word lightly, skanky. College is the place where innocent Disney characters by day become scantily clad members of society by night. And it turns out, you can make anything provocative. If you can make a creature that lives in a dumpster sexy, the possibilities are endless. Nothing is off limits.
This never really appealed to me, but I can’t say I was never Harry Potter in a skirt. Or Where’s Waldo. In a skirt. And the older I got the more ridiculous these costumes became to me. I wanted to go back to the classics or at least costumes that I would:
a) be warm in
b) did not need to wear heels for
Give me combat boots and a wig. Hit Girl. Give me a witch hat. White makeup and a teddy bear, I’m a creepy dead child. Warmth granted and heels not required.
This year I forgot about Halloween. How it happened, I don’t know. It was not on my radar at all and as a result John and I did not plan for costumes. Which is why makeup is the best costume of all. After some debate I bought way too much black and white makeup. No plan really. Figured you can do a lot with those two colors. John bought an “inmate” costume and figured he would channel his inner felon. We are also very into the Walking Dead. He was going to be a felonious zombie.
I mentioned last weekend that I’ve been trying to shake a cold… It will not be shaken! When I get sick for an extended amount of time I begin to think that my innocent cold is my not so innocent other friend sneaking up on me. If you have lupus you may know this fear and it’s semi-paralyzing because I don’t want to do anything that may wake the sleeping giant. It’s challenging to explain to a person that does not have lupus how this affects a person with lupus. Having a flare is TERRIBLE, and if I sense one coming on my life will get put on pause until my body feels “right.” In an effort to stave off any serious problems I have made rest a priority.
My week nights thus far has been spent on a couch. Again. Thursday night at 4 p.m. I was sound asleep. Last night, 9:30, done for. The last thing I remember was trying to get falafel from the fork into my mouth… Didn’t happen. This then led to my decision that the food should be put away, I dropped the tzatiki sauce all over the kitchen floor. Damn you, NyQuil!
On the other side of the coin, I’m now up at 7 a.m. on a Saturday! And, I feel refreshed. As miserable as that may sound to you, I don’t mind it. If I could, I would like to ease into every day with a nice cup of coffee and some light reading. This luxury doesn’t happen frequently, but when it does I enjoy clearing my mind on the internet. This week seemed to give an additional need to escape the real world.
An open letter to facebook:
I want to say I loath your existence, but I don’t. You have kept me entertained for countless hours when I needed you most. I would specifically like to thank my facebook friends for some perusing material that I will now share with you all.
On to the posts:
1. I enjoyed this one for it’s idea. As much as I hate my phone, and my friends know this because I am always cellularly out of touch, I have been just as guilty of this crime. In the 21st century we love our technology and we love to distract ourselves with it in public. I think it’s a nervous habit that I’ve developed. Now I’m realizing that I have stopped biting my nails… It’s making so much sense. Regardless, playing on our phones is r-u-d-e, rude!
Also, if you have not watched Louie C.K. discuss his disdain for cell phones, watch this. There is something so freeing about giving up your technology.
2. My first job was in a coffee shop. Despite sucking at that job, I still have a deep rooted caffeine addiction. How did I suck at it? Besides never remembering how to make any of the drinks I also broke the frappuccino machine. You know, the one that looks like a giant slurpy machine. I let go of the handle too fast and it flung up and shattered. Frappuccino went everywhere. I then experienced the wrath of my furious Egyptian boss (I only mention that so you can imagine is accent as he was yelling at me). I then also learned the power a young female has when she hyperventilates while crying. I kept the job.
Coffee always seems to be a source of controversy. In fact, this year the DSM-V mentioned caffeine usage as a disorder (click here). So be it! I have a caffeine disorder. Well, good ol’ huffpo recently wrote about the positive side of coffee. I like to imagine this is how a nicotine addict reacts to news on cigarettes.
well, this article says it kills you, but this article suggests that it makes you look cooler than people who do not smoke
When it comes to caffeine I only trust the news that says it’s good for you anyways. The articles that say it is damaging just don’t know what they are talking about. Seriously, every other day eggs can kill you or make you magically gain 10 years on your life.
Read this coffee lovers! huffpo coffee tawk
3. My final post for the day is just photos. This is for those of you that are like, I just read two articles and your blog, I ain’t reading no mo’
This is AMAZING. I love creative people that think to do funny things to their babies. Isn’t this why people have babies?! Click on the photo below for the link and more importantly, cute baby!
1. My weekend consisted of getting over a cold- on Friday I forced myself to stay in and not run. It turns out I get a little pissy when I don’t run now. I tried to take it easy, which is never easy. I did run yesterday and today, but running with a cold is no bueno. I felt like I needed it though. It’s as though running has given me additional energy that I never had previously, but now that energy needs to be burned off somehow during my day. If I don’t burn it off I get a little scary.
2. Extreme couponing- how is it even possible?! There are people out there that go food shopping with coupons. Their bills total out to over $1,000- they use their binder full of coupons and wind up spending a penny. John and I watched an episode and he immediately ran outside to check the mail…no coupons. We then went food shopping where we attempted to make educated choices. We spent $80.
3. Food festivals are a-mazing. Just got home from Oyster Fest in Oyster Bay. Despite eating what seemed like everything but oysters, I feel very sated. We also purchased three prints from these guys:
http://metalboxdesign.com/ their stuff is great.
4. There is a massive, orange, full moon looming over the ocean. Go take a nighttime stroll.
Have a great Sunday. To those of you that watch the Walking Dead, have a wonderful Sunday!
Today was the day I took all of my beautiful and bright summer clothes and traded them in for my heavy, dark, fall clothes. sigh. Today was judgement day- judgement day for all of the clothes I own. Young and old alike. It was the day where only the best were chosen, the worst were thrown to the depths of my garbage, and the others were passed on. This is a particularly difficult day for me, as I struggle with clothing attachment.
Clothing Attachment: A predicament many face when cleaning out their closet. Usually occurring in women, though not exclusive to the gender. May lead to confusion, anger, rationalizing, and self-negotiations.
When it comes to helping others on their personal judgement day, I have no problem. I can toss anyone’s clothing without blinking my eyes. I did this last summer as I helped a friend move- she begged and pleaded to keep those Mary-Janes, telling me, but what if I need them for a flapper costume. I said no- ruthless. It was only one month later and she was invited to a 1920s themed party.
So as I sat on the floor of my closet staring at the clothes and shoes that I forgot existed I realized that I was about to begin my greatest purge yet.
Shirts with is that mustard?
A skirt with a hole right on the butt.
Shoes I can’t walk in.
Clothes for when I lose weight.
Clothes for when I gain weight.
A shirt I bought from a thrift store for maybe $5.
One question- Why? Why did I own this? Why did I wear this? Why was this sold?
I’m really upset at myself for owning these army pants for about 10 years. Also, I now realize that I paired it with my gun/coffee shirt for this picture, which is terrifying.
Things I still refuse to part with, but should:
The dress I wore on the night of my college graduation. It’s excellent for summer outdoor parties.
Those jeans from the Gap my grandparents got me in sixth grade that were definitely for adults and definitely did not fit me until I was an adult.
Oh, my sweatshirt from my sixteenth birthday that Sugar Cult signed. I mean, I already dumped the Etnies. Don’t make me get rid of both.
A sweatshirt with my dog spray painted on it- I will be buried in this.
Hats. Lots of hats.
I have a lot of theories as to how I own so much, but feel as though I own so little. These theories include:
My hatred of ironing. If I have to iron an article of clothing, I will look at it and decide if it’s worth ironing or not. Usually it is not- back in the closet until the next time this debate resumes.
Bad lighting and poor usage of space- Mariah Carey doesn’t have these problems.
Hangers- I either have too many or I have too little. Where do they go?!
Colorful clothes, impulse shopping, trends, and things you can wear once and never again- Because you realize your purchase is hideous, but you feel guilty about throwing it out.
And my personal favorite reason for why I own so much, but feel as though I own so little- I’m a woman.
Next season I’m doing all black. Can’t go wrong.
And on a positive note- Many things given to an excellent person who lives right across the hall- so I know my clothes are in good hands and will be loved. John and I filled two large bags to be donated of very nice things that just were no longer of use to us. I’m feeling a little lighter.
A girls only art party? I’m in! Thursday night was “ladies night” at a new art studio in the area. Fortunately, I have a friend who is an amazing planner and therefore, gets us to do random things- because it would not have been me to set this up. I’m more of a last minute, fly by the seat of my pants (resulting in everyone doing nothing) sort of person. Five of us headed over for a night of quality time, snacks, and vino.
If you read about the art class I took this summer then you already know of my artistic apprehensions. I love any artistic expression, but it is nerve racking! When I paint, I tend to over think the whole process… What if I make a mistake?! The rational person in me says, exactly, so what, who cares. The real me is a control freak- ugh. So, last night I was forced to face my inner perfectionist demon once again.
The project we were working on was a self portrait- How many self portraits can I make? John is already freaked out by my other one… (see here) We were told to bring a black and white image and any other materials we wanted to use. I printed out the boardwalk photo seen here and rushed out of my apartment grabbing a magazine and photo booth picture of me and John from the fridge. Always prepared.
Thankfully this place is more prepared than my crew- they had maps, magazines, music sheets, old books, sewing material, you name it…you could use it. We could glue, paint, sew, get wild all over our art. All of these choices became my challenge. I deliberated over what materials to use, what medium to use, what picture to use, should it be horizontal or vertical? My friends on the other hand were fabulous and amazing and just going for it. Oh, to be neurotic. Finally, I made peace with my decisions, held my breath, and went at it.
Once I let go it was amazing. I’ve said it before, but painting is therapy.
I’m pretty sure I lost a solid two hours of my life from zoning out… I don’t even know what happened.
When I came to my senses I had included anything I would want in a “self-portrait.” the color blue, water, a changing sky, love, summer, whispy, musical, slightly macabre (that may be a dead bird…), it’s me.
As I looked around the art studio I noticed many works that have been created by children. They are fearless, their brush strokes are uninhibited, their color choices are non-sensical. Their work is beutiful. When do we lose our daring artistic sides? Picasso once said,
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.
My friends and I spent the night laughing at our work- Beth joked that there was a nice spot for her art in the garage. What are we even creating? On the car ride home Jess and I discussed art. Who determines what beauty is, and what is and is not art. One time John and I went to the Met to see the Matisse exhibit- John looked at me and said, THIS is art? I’ve seen 8th graders create better stuff than this guy. But that’s what I adore about Matisse- he challenged what was acceptable and typical.
I guess what I’m trying to say is- I had a blast. Whatever I did create, I did it next to my favorite people. I had an amazing night. I blew off some steam. I expressed myself. I felt good. I want to remain an artist as I grow up- I’m not ready to lose that piece of me yet, or ever. We all have that in us- remember when you were a kid and you never challenged yourself or your talents? You just painted- with your hands, and your fingers, and you made a mess, and you had fun.
In the words of Bob Marley, one good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain. That is one good thing- but music is everything. In fact, when people say, I’m not a music person, I don’t exactly understand the kind of person they are at all.
Do you ever wake up on the wrong side of the bed, get into your car to drive to work, and playing on the radio is your jam? Your day just got instantaneously better. That’s the power of music.
Music is a holder of memories and it can be the source of both happiness and in some cases, moments we wish to forget.
Music is the nostalgia of your first love- it’s your first song, or the song that was playing on the radio as you were breaking up.
When I was diagnosed with lupus I drowned myself in music. At that time I had just discovered Modest Mouse and I could listen to their CD, Good News for People who Love Bad News, on repeat. I was a wallowing teenager who wanted to be swallowed by the unidentifiable sounds and instruments of a band that told me we’ll all float on, alright when I needed to hear it the most.
At times, music has consumed my whole being, and it’s as though I can feel it reverberating off of my bones and become absorbed into my soul. I believe that’s what Bob Marley meant when he said that it hits you.
When I’m feeling as though, today, I just can’t run, I give myself a simple reminder…
Ten good songs will get you through two miles.
And the next thing I know I’m out there running.
Maybe you need to cleanse your mind so you listen to Jack Johnson.
You want to go harder? Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Feel good and fun? Matt & Kim.
Music is limitless. It allows us to connect on a deeper level with ourselves. And in ten songs, you have just completed two miles – and maybe even skipped a song if you got bored.