Marmalade Skies

Why is it so challenging to capture a beautiful sunset?10982850_10101804355414242_7238045040149848758_nThe kind of sunset that made beach goers and volleyball players pause their games to watch the sky light up in bubble gum pink, fuchsia, and gold. Last night I wrote about the connection between those that go to Bikram yoga, despite whatever difference we have on the surface. When we stand under the same sky, as the sun sets over the seemingly endless ocean, I love the light in peoples eyes. It’s the same wonder we all once had as children.

Smile, Beautiful

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Just loading that imagine onto this page scared the be-Jesus out of me. But that’s pretty much how I looked as I crawled out of bed in an effort to transition into what the clock called 5:30 and my body called 4:30.

I dragged myself into my living room and for the first time ever did some morning yoga postures, stretching out my tense running legs. I was surprisingly surprised to find that a few stretches (plus the smell of brewing coffee) helped make me more alert. I decided in that moment that our life is the mindset we create- it’s the intention we set for ourselves. I began to think about last Friday and the negativity I was holding on my shoulders as I mustered false smiles and insincere laughter. I have this little pet peeve- I hate insincerity. I hate falsifying anything, let alone my happiness. What kind of crap is that! And with that, I looked to change my perspective for this week.

This morning, I got up, I was a character from The Ring, I completed some yoga stretches, and something clicked. Maybe it was that much needed Saturday dose of vitamin D hitting me, but I knew today was going to be good.

It was an ordinary day, I worked, in fact I put in a 10.5 hour day, I got home with enough time to change only to run out the door to go to yoga. I got home, ate leftovers (ridiculously delicious leftovers…), and now I’m writing. There was nothing unique or special about today. But I smiled all day and I caught myself hysterically laughing on multiple occasions. And today I felt my happiness emanating from my whole being. There was nothing notable, remarkable, or outstanding about today. It was a Monday. But I was smiling, and it was genuine.

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Making Faces

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?

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And by this, I mean a perfect gazelle?!

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.

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Love yourself. Be yourself. Even if you resemble Gizmo after snacking past midnight while running.

Lawng-I-land.

I want to play a game.  It’s like two truths and a lie, but it’s called:

(3) THINGS I SWORE I WOULD NEVER SAY, AND (4) THINGS I WILL (still) NEVER SAY:

  1. Yes, the pâté was made from scratch. 
  2. It’s Chanel.  
  3. And that’s how I trained for my first 5K.
  4. And that’s how I trained for my first marathon. 
  5. I voted for a Republican.
  6. I am dating a Republican. 
  7. I live on Long Island.

Let’s talk about #7 on the list, good old Long Island.

My perception of Long Island was largely (and unfairly) created by the root of all evil, the media.  It was because of this devil that I learned to believe that Long Island looked more like an episode of The Daily Show (click here for a laugh) than this:

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It was through my television that I met the Long Island Medium’s, the J-Wows and the Princesses of Long Island.  It was the designer bags, the hair, and the accents that deterred me from seeing a future here.  I had even spent my college years in a school that was 60% Long Island at the height of the blow-out.  I mean, wasn’t Long Island the place where oompa loompas (click here) go to die?

It was the summer of 2010 that changed my life for the better.  I was 22 when I was given the opportunity of a lifetime and the chance to land my dream job… in dun dun dun… Long Island. The place I swore I would never live, the place I genuinely detested for all that it represented- in the media. Then again, how do you say no to your dream job?  It could have been in a one stop-light town and I probably would have said yes and made the move. Twenty-two years old with nothing to lose and a way too much to gain. I did it. I packed my bags and drove 5 hours south to start my adult life.

long-island-mapAnd start my life is exactly what I have done here.

Friday is possibly my least favorite night of the week when it comes to motivation and doing anything that requires movement. When John and I discussed to run or not to run, it really was the question.  We both realized that the answer was:  get it over with.  It was one of those nights that started off challenging, probably because I was in a poor frame of mind from the get-go.  My legs felt 50lbs each, and with every step I took I felt the weight of my week-

Monday. I hate running.

Tuesday. Why did I make a blog about running.

Wednesday. My nose is stuffy.

Thursday. I am exhausted.

Despite pushing myself through, I had this deep unease that could not be silenced.  I just wanted to go home and quit.

As we hit the one mile mark the sun began to set.  It was the most phenomenal sunset I have ever seen. The clouds hugged the sun like a child, allowing it to peak out and break through their grasp.  I needed to stop- and not for the wrong reasons.  John and I stopped to take the night in and to regain ourselves.  I always say this, but it really is OK to take a break.  Life is not a race, life should not be timed.  I needed to appreciate my home the place where I have now started my life.  The place where I learned a little more about who I am and who I am becoming.

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As the sun drove further towards the ocean it dipped below the clouds.  We decide to run another mile east and let it hit our backs. At the two-mile mark we stopped again to watch it reflect against the water, the boardwalk, our faces.  A white building was shaded in a variety of monochromatic pink tones. The orange and red sphere morphed into the Atlantic and appeared to melt as it hit the cool blue horizon.  I felt entirely at peace with my life and I knew in that moment that this world is whatever we make of it.

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John and I allowed the sun to have its final moments alone as we descended down the boardwalk.  A couple ran up the boardwalk past us to exist in its final moments for the day.  We walked the rest of the way home holding hands with the sun still at our backs.  I paused a few times to take pictures of a stray cat and some power lines.  When life is perfect even power lines can look beautiful.

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It is possible that I should be thanking the media for this bad press- there are too many people on this tiny little Island, and the rent is too damn high!  So stay off my Island and keep watch reality T.V.

Laser skin Removal

Oh, I’m sorry… Did I say skin? Yes. I did.

They say pain is beauty, and as women, it can be. We tweeze, wax, wear heels, and modify our bodies continuously in a quest for some perfection that we as a society have created ourselves. I said we because I am absolutely a part of this quest and the truth is, I love things that are “beautiful”. I enjoy clothes, and makeup, and hair, and all things shiny and pretty. But at what expense people?!

As much as I love being a girl there are some greatnesses of manhood. No makeup. No tweezing. No real beautification. Any shaving a man does cannot match the length of two legs and whatever else we as women are expected to maintain.

This past year I looked into laser hair removal because I am lazy and if I never have to shave my legs again, good riddance. I met with a representative at Ideal Image and asked every question I could think of. There was no way I was walking out of there with something signed. I like to know what I’m getting myself into. I decided to wait it out because the cost was very pricey and I also wondered if I could swindle them down a bit. A few weeks later, and numerous phone calls from their reps (very obnoxious) they lowered the cost by 10% if I signed “right now”! I am such a sucker. Either way I did the math and figured that it would pay itself off by the time I reach 88, a little incentive to live a little longer? I rushed in and signed my name on the dotted line. And again. And again. And again. And don’t forget this line over here too. Was I selling my soul to the devil for this?

Since the goal of this post is to discuss my fifth appointment, I will answer the two questions that I believe are pertinent to this post.

but what’s your pain tolerance? you may be thinking, I’ve had kids! I can take on any amount of pain!
I have a very high pain tolerance for real pain. Low tolerance for things like paper cuts and bee stings. If I am truly in pain I suck it up and deal with it. Laser hair bring it on.

so, does it hurt?
Yes. Do not let the cute sales representative fool you. I never screamed, twitched, or cried on the table, but it hurts. If you have ever had a tattoo, imagine that, but worse. If you have never had a tattoo go watch someone getting a tattoo, imagine it’s worse. One nurse did tell me that a young girls mother had to “hold her down” while she was getting it done. Which I cannot imagine being legal on many levels.

So let me take you to Wednesday, September 18 at approximately 4:20 pm. This is my fifth appointment. The people are friendly and welcoming. I have a bottle of water in one hand and a coffee in the other by the time I sit down. Which I do drink. Gotta get my money’s worth out of these people. I am greeted by an awesome boho-esque nurse who introduces herself to me and we hit it off right away. I like to talk to the nurses the whole time because it keeps me distracted from the extraordinary amounts of pain I am feeling. It’s the kind of pain that makes you sweat. I noticed it was painful, but I just told myself to be quiet, suck it up, it’s almost over. Which I did. Until the car ride home.

I knew it was bad immediately because I called Danielle and told her I was dying. Yes, I know I can be a little melodramatic, but I needed to talk to someone.

me danielle, I think I am dying.

d since I don’t remember what she actually said I’m going to assume she scoffed at this because I say it a lot

me I’m so hot. I need to take my pants off.

d don’t take your pants off. Keep your pants on. You’re driving.

This conversation actually happened. By the time I got home my boots were in the passenger seat, my pants were rolled up to my knees, my button down was thrown in the backseat. I crawled through the front door of my place and laid on the kitchen floor because it was cold.

When I called Ideal Image their response was accusatory and not very helpful. They said that I must have been tanning. I explained that because of my lupus not only do I constantly wear sunblock, but I also avoid prolonged sun exposure. Well, you signed. You knew the risks associated with laser hair removal.

I passed out by 8 p.m. A full burn can really tire a person out. Have I run at all? No. Not at all. The pain makes walking difficult and even my legs touching the bed hurts. Forget wearing pants. maxi dresses all week it is. Needless to say, I am not too pleased.

The whole plan is paid for, no money back, no stopping treatments. I have already paid for 4 more sessions. Truth be told, I love the idea of laser hair removal. I love the ease that it brings to my life, but is it all worth it? No. Ladies, here is my warning. You heard it here. Not from someone getting paid to convince you it’s great. And gentlemen, remind your special woman, or woman of the future, how crazy we can be for the price of beauty but how you love us regardless.

Do you need more convincing.

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These pictures were just taken. 2 days later, 2 days of healing. They are currently scabs and blisters if you really want to know.