When people ask me how is the married life, I say one thing: Awesome.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Sunday, May 12, 2013
A month or two ago, a friend from home visited and we met up with a friend from college for a night of nostalgia, sushi, and beer. As when I get together with any other girlfriend, beauty under the guise of age always becomes a topic, but never in a celebratory manner, more in a self-deprecating manner. Who can top the group with the most outlandish metaphor for the tiny lines forming above their lip? Somewhere in between her showing me her loose belly skin left over from pregnancy and me pointing at what I consider to be my "advanced" crow's feet, I realized that we were doing it again. But unlike when we were 26 and complaining about gaining weight or 16 and folding our arms across our boobs, now we also joke about what procedures we are headed for as a way to test the waters among friends: is plastic surgery okay? What about botox? Do we look as awful as we think we do? Holy fuck, when did we start to care about aging?
We flipped through funny wedding pictures from her wedding six years ago and we oohed and ahhed over how young we all looked. We noticed if we were skinnier or heavier, our cheeks more plump, our faces more smoothed. I noticed my smooth forehead just as she mentioned, I think you are one of the few that still looks the same--- A compliment which I quickly deflect, because obviously, everyone can see these crevices stretching across the vast expanse of my forehead, right?
When I was 22, I worked with a woman who was 32 and for a another who was in her early 30s. I remember noticing the texture of their skin. They were youthful women, doing just what I was. But the texture of their skin looked different. They weren't old, and they weren't young. But they had experiences etched into tiny lines around the corners of their faces, lines like verses. They smiled a lot and laughed even more. They wore tennis shoes on set because it made sense and it didn't bother them when the director chose the young PA in cowboy boots as a sexy extra for the music video we were shooting because they knew better. Her day was going to suck more than theirs.
A friend recently sent me a birthday invitation for her 32nd birthday along with a link to an article about how women feel most attractive at 32. I only read the first couple stories, but it seemed that most women decidedly did NOT feel their most attractive at 32, they just felt themselves for the first time, and that made all the difference.
As we looked through those pictures, I couldn't help but think how good looking we all are. So many beautiful faces and yet on that day I remember being self conscious of my belly. Just like I am self conscious of it today and so is she. And yet, for 32, we look pretty damn good. When is the age when we greet each other with:
You look great!
Thanks! I know!
You look great!
(Simulate eye roll) Trying.
In the third grade, I remember the worst thing to be called was "conceited." A couple grades later it was a "nerd." And a couple grades later it was a "prude." What I would give to be conceited these days. How I wish I capitalized on my nerdiness! And oh, the shame I wish I could erase, in proving I wasn't a prude.
Botox makes it look so easy.
I have a friend of the distant kind, one I have known my whole life. She is a little older than me and has been a family friend I always looked up to because she was beautiful inside and out and unapologetic about it. Not only did she wear her beauty with confidence, she has made a business on that confidence and style and gives inspiration to women all over the world just for being her fabulous self. A friend once asked me, is there someone who inspires you to be in your beautiful self? I thought of her. Recently she wrote an honest post about aging and how she was possibly considering Botox. If she was considering Botox, there was no hope for me. But when she decided ultimately it was not for her and she would instead try to embrace her age and do so with grace, I saw clear as day the missing piece for me and my age-old self-esteem vanities. Nothing is as horrible and scary as it seems when you have acceptance. Rather than continually chasing after this body, this face, this image of me that will forever remain just that, I could spend more energy in acceptance. Rather than getting together with my girlfriends and complaining about how not eating bread for a week doesn't drop the weight like it used to, maybe I can focus on how I can finally wear sexy adult clothes and feel like I've earned the cut. Maybe I can focus on all the delicious food I have been so fortunate to have experienced here in New York City and actually be grateful for that well earned tummy. Or see my freckles and sun spots and crow's feet as markers of that tough soccer tournament played in Phoenix, that time I tried surfing in Mexico, or one of the many San Fernando Valley summers I spent trying to work up the nerve to do a front flip into my Aunt Gail's pool. Maybe one day, when my girlfriends and I get together, we will talk about how aging with face has made us more beautiful and graceful than we ever could have imagined.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Can you tell what kind of morning I'm having? Here we go, New York....
1. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DO NOT FLOSS ON THE SUBWAY. As if the smell of wet bodies, a humid car, and coffee breath weren't enough for this rainy morning commute, dodging flecks of your breakfast is two steps away from inspiring a Stand By Me complete and total barf-o-rama.
2. Do not clip your nails. Seriously? When did the subway car become your bathroom trash can?
3. On Eating... Eating in moving confined spaces is never okay. Nothing makes the stench of a stale subway ride worse than your egg salad sandwich.
4. The volume of your voice and your cell phone. They can't hear you not because you are not being loud enough but because there is NO SERVICE in the belly of underground New York City. And on that note, I care not to hear your shitty cell phone speakers blast the Harlem Shake at 7:45 a.m.
5. Applying make-up. And yes, I have done this before and felt how totally obnoxious it is. Even though we like to think powder stays only in the spot it's brushed upon, it turns out those specks of glitter have a pretty far reach and no, I am not calm as you wield that mascara wand dangerously close to my white pants. We are both one harsh subway stop away from a stain with no return or in your case, blindness.
6. Fighting with your boyfriend. No one wants to hear about how his farting in bed makes you feel disrespected.
7. Making Out. Especially in a busy car. My elbow takes precedence over your hickey-in-process, any day.
8. Putting your bag next to you on the seat. Duh. You can also take that eyeroll with you when I ask you if I can please sit down in your gym bag's place.
9. When a pregnant woman or the elderly or a nurse enters the car, give up your seat. It is just the decent thing to do. What is happening to manners?
10. Wearing your backpack on a crowded train. Take it off and make room for another straphanger. We all have somewhere we need to be.
I love you, New York.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
friend just asked me "how is your writing going?" and added that she missed me on the blogs. Indeed, I have taken a large hiatus and just yesterday I was thinking, there is nothing in me that wants to go back to blogging. But I realize this is what happens in the spring. Spring is my favorite season! And spring in New York is one of my favorite things ever! I just want to be outside and away from the lonely computer clicking away. I want to be smelling flowers and sneaking in as many walks outside as I can during the work day. But this spring, something else happened. Instead of visiting LA, or checking out the Outer Banks, or finding mental clarity in Colorado, I decided to stay right where I was for a week off in Brooklyn...and I revisited this little memoir I've been writing for two years. In all fairness, I have not worked on it since last summer because I found it impossible to write about the dissolution of my parents' divorce while planning my wedding. And the memoir isn't so much about that, as it is about the year 2010, when a sudden family tragedy challenged the narrative I had been telling myself my whole life and my family history began to rewrite itself. But to answer my friend's question, the writing has been going!...just not on the blog. Blogging and writing are different beasts. And that's not to say that blogging isn't writing. It's just different writing. I love blogging because it's compact and digestible. It's funny and informal and can be inspiring, too. But I can't get away with my blogging voice in the memoir. I have to really sink into the feelings. I have to go back over the sentences and look for moments when I'm rushing through a scene because I'm afraid to remember, I'm afraid to visit my feelings. But, I've been taking this Zen Buddhism class (yep) and we read this essay on emotions and how emotions are energies that pass through us. Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. The moment we attach ourselves to an emotion and we identify with it - "I'm just sad..." I'm so pissed!" "I'm scared...." the emotion cannot pass through or we use them to keep away other feelings. Anger is most often caused by hurt. Take it or leave it, but just being present to these feelings and recognizing them as energies that will come and go, has helped me sit a little bit longer with my writing. After I have sufficiently avoided feeling anything after too many hours zoning out on the internet, I will finally admit what I am doing and open that terrifying word document. Sometimes I will just need to sit and stare for a little bit. Sometimes I will type a word and I will feel that energy (that sometimes is happiness, too!) and I try to let them pass...and then continue writing...one word at a time.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
There is a reference to this idea in the book, The Color Purple. It is hard to see the beautiful in this world after the events in Boston. Maybe impossible. It is hard to look at the society we live in and not feel frightened. It is hard to turn off the television and give the victims and their families some dignity. It is more than hard to understand and impossible to comprehend the hate that is everywhere.
But for today, I choose to see the love. For today, I choose to welcome purple and pink buds. For today, I choose to pay attention to the people helping, as Mr. Rogers once pointed out. For today, I choose to see a big light on BAM that professes New York's love for Boston. For today, I choose to count my blessings and be grateful for this life. For today, I choose to love, to the best of my ability, in all things I do.
Friday, April 12, 2013
That woman followed up her statement with liking people is an action of the emotions. For the first time, I understood what my friend had said to me almost six years ago. Love is not about taking care of someone, although sometimes it can mean that. I don't have to like someone to love them. But I can act on account of my soul as opposed to my mind. I can be kind, even towards the people who are rude to me or I feel don't deserve it. And I can get there if I take some of those actions for myself, too, like maybe an overdo haircut, or a walk through Prospect Park, or five minutes during my day where I sit in silence and just listen. The more love I give to myself, the more I don't need the ego. The more I nourish this body, this mind, this soul, the more free I become to move through the world leading with soul and not my story- the story that I tell myself of who I am.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
1. A groundhog knows nothing about how long a fucking winter is going to be. 60 degrees and flats yesterday, 40 degrees and wool coat today.
2. I really need to learn from my own mistakes and so does everyone else. Advice is futile.
3. My happiness directly correlates with how quickly I can accept uncertainty in life and how deftly I adapt to change.
4. A cheese and olive plate will always feel like a special treat.
5. We should all do one thing of service to others and one thing of service to ourselves everyday. It could be as easy as offering up a subway seat in the morning and flossing your teeth at night.
6. It is important to unplug. It is important to be out of touch to get back in touch and re-engage with the world on life's terms, not mine.
It's been a nice break! Happy Almost Spring! (Mother Nature, you tease.)