5.30.2011

5 years!

People, this is what a crazy busy weekend I had. I forgot my blog's FIVE YEAR ANNIVERSARY! I just realized it as I was pulling laundry out of the dryer; this very day, my blog turned 5. 

I love this blog. I love the way it helps me to connect with people I rarely see (or have ever seen or met!). I love that I can make semesters for myself and use it as a platform to do so. I also really love writing on this blog, real writing that doesn't result in a photo and a quote from the latest Oprah show. Those posts are okay too, but I treasure the fact that I have a medium through which I can explore and advance my feelings and instincts on life stuff.

This morning, for example, I was supposed to run my second 10k ever. I had a couple too many drinks at a birthday party last night and forgot to eat dinner. We came home around 10pm and got ready to pack our things for our super-early trip to New Jersey and I had a mini melt-down. I was not ready! I didn't even have clean running clothes! I hadn't made potato salad for the post-race BBQ and I certainly wasn't thinking about how I would accomplish my first race without a running buddy.

So I lay awake half the night. Pissed at myself and falling somewhere between goading myself into getting up and running the damn thing and forgiving myself for being a human and not being perfect. I bailed this morning at 6am when it was thunderstorming in Brooklyn and I couldn't imagine running it in the rain on top of the 90 degree heat.

I beat myself up about it for half the day. And then I made potato salad and we drove across the GW bridge to New Jersey and we spent an awesome afternoon eating hot dogs among friends. My friend Rich even said he was proud of me for skipping it (and expected that next time I'd better call from jail to cancel on a race or something more scandalous) and that made me laugh.

No one held a grudge against me for not meeting my goal today. I think that's a useful reminder of how I should think about the readers of this blog too. There is so much guilt (ahhh the guilt!) that lives out there when you don't post for a while or if you don't post photos that match your words. What if you write too much about your cats? Or not enough about your job or the city you live in? What ever happened to the online cooking school? A blog is an endless string of beginning storylines that, depending on a blogger's free time, may go nowhere and may go everywhere. It can be a lot of pressure.

At the end of the day, this blog will be one representation of the life I've lived over the past five years. There are others. A history of the books I've checked out of the library is another representation. So are all of my Flickr sets. There's no way to record every move and every aspect of a person's life, try as technology might.

And so we'll let the blog posts fall as they may. Five years in, that's what I'm finally at peace with. Sometimes you'll get thoughtfulness and sometimes you'll get cat pictures and sometimes you'll get posts in which I spout off about the importance of something that's bothering me.

But no matter what, I can promise that you'll always get me.

5.26.2011

From Oprah's last show.

Recent blooms in our living room.
"What I knew for sure from this experience with you is that we are all called. Everybody has a calling, and your real job in life is to figure out what that is and get about the business of doing it...[A calling] lights you up and it lets you know that you are exactly where you're supposed to be, doing exactly what you're supposed to be doing. And that is what I want for all of you and hope that you will take from this show. To live from the heart of yourself. You have to make a living; I understand that. But you also have to know what sparks the light in you so that you, in your own way, can illuminate the world."


Full text from her inspiring finale speech here.

5.25.2011

Shots of NY: New York Road Runner's club



If you ever register for a race with the New York Road Runners, you'll need to pick up your race bib at the headquarters. These people are OR.GAN.IZED, let me tell you. They have a two-story building on 89th Street, which was named after Fred Lebow, the president of NYRR for 20 years and the founder of the New York Marathon.

Looking for a good documentary for this upcoming long weekend? Check out Run For your Life, which tells the story of the NY Marathon. I dare you not to cry!

5.24.2011

Reporting from a Brooklyn apartment near you.

I feel like I need to write this post so that I can report lots of news and clear the air for new random posts that I've been thinking about. (Sometimes when I write sentences like that, I think "WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? A post about NEWS about you?? Who cares?!" I'm telling that voice to kindly shut it for now).

Breaking News: I did not go to the library thing.
But it's not why you think! It's because, as the week progressed, I got sicker and sicker. I had a fever and then I felt like I was swallowing glass shards and then I went to the doctor and he gave me antibiotics on Friday. So... infecting 499 others in the NYPL was not in the cards, nor was staying up all night. I am pretty bummed out about it (especially since Meg and Maddy were so motivational in the comments of my last post) and have avoided reading anything about the night.

But you know what? I'm going to have other amazing opportunities in my life and there's no sense beating myself up for getting sick.


Breaking News: My shower was freakin' awesome.
I will write a separate post about this, but my shower was so lovely. In fact, it was so lovely that I almost passed out while opening gifts! (That may or may not have had something to do with being on antibiotics... or feeling overwhelmed as the center of attention).

It also made me think a lot about a secret fear I have, which is that people will not show up for me. When it comes down to it, I realized that I'm really afraid that coming to my shower or my birthday party or another event that focuses on ME, is too big of an ask for people. I'm still struggling with this, but am so very appreciative to the friends that made it to the shower. You guys proved my inner critic wrong.



Breaking News: I ran a 10k.
What?! How have I not posted about this? Two weeks ago, we spent the weekend in DC. First we helped my sister move to Baltimore and then, early Sunday morning, I met Moriah (an old M'berg friend) near Union Station to run 6.2 miles! We had the best cheering section there and made it through the miles fairly easily. I'm running another 10k on Memorial Day and haven't been running so much since I was sick, so here's hoping that goes just as well!



Breaking News: 2011 Goals are happening!
You may remember that I posted these three goals for this year in my first post of 2011:

1. Get our finances organized.
2. Run a 10k.
3. Speak at a public event for work.

And here's how they're shaping up:
1. Chris and I met with a financial advisor this afternoon. I guess we're really adults now. She reassured us that we're actually fairly organized compared to other people our age and she's going to help us make a strategy to meet short, intermediate and long-term goals. Deep breath, we're on a good track.

2. Um... done!

3. It has really been a crazy day. This afternoon I got an email letting me know that my proposal to the Web 2.0 conference was accepted... so I'll be speaking at the conference in New York this fall! All I can say about this is YOWZA. I'm so proud that I stuck to my guns and submitted a proposal, though I'm admittedly a little nervous when I think about actually getting up and speaking in front of all those people.

Breaking News Finale: Snuggling Cats Alert.

All my dreams are coming true. Fin.

5.18.2011

When social anxiety rears its ugly head.

The truth of it is, I'm very nervous about the Find the Future adventure game on Friday night. Here's why:
1. I have to stay awake. ALL NIGHT. I normally get 8 hours of sleep.
2. My bridal shower is the next day.
3. I have to work all day on Friday.
4. I'm.... scared of the social dynamic.

What! Yes. I am. I know some of you might find this hard to believe, but ever since I heard that the teams are not organized by the leaders of the game, but rather by people getting into teams themselves, I've been feeling very nervous. What if I don't get picked? What if no one likes me? What if I'm on a team with horrible people?

Yesterday I came down with a cold, the same cold that my brother had last weekend in DC. And though I had registered to run a 5k at Wall Street last night, I bailed on it last minute. It made me feel terrible, like I'd failed my running and my bib number and my training plan... but in another way, it felt so good to bail. Suddenly I had a free evening. Granted, I mostly just sat around taking Advil and sniffing, but it felt so good to relieve my calendar.

In some ways, I've been thinking about bailing on Friday night's amazing event in the library. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? It's the experience of a lifetime, I get to write a book with other awesome people, and I might even get to meet Allez, Allie (she, too, is playing!). I just get these weak moments where I think "Well, you are sick, and your shower is the next day, and it does sound like an intense night." Poor baby.

This afternoon I thought about ways to bully myself into not bailing on the library. Writing on this blog came to mind. I started thinking about how uncomfortable this whole experience was making me feel and then it smacked me across the face. DISCOMFORT? I nailed that last semester! Or, at least, I learned how to nail it.

So I started deconstructing what made me feel anxious. I researched the train times to get to my parents' house the next morning so I knew that I would have plenty of time to get to the shower and even take a nap. I went on the Find the Future Facebook page and admitted how nervous I was about staying up so late. Finally, I read through the guidelines that the game leader posted so I knew exactly how the night would go.

Aren't things so much more scary when you don't know the details?

I'm feeling better about it and I'm most likely going to go. But I wanted to share this on the blog because it's one of my weaker moments lately and I think those are just as important to share as race victories and successful dinners. Everyone has a version of themselves that is anxious and afraid of being left out. Myself included.

5.16.2011

Kick in the ass, #865.

"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast." - E. Hemingway

I finished Hemingway's A Moveable Feast last week; it was my third time reading it. The first time through it made me return to the English department and declare a major. The second time I read it, I made a promise to myself that I would live in Paris while I was young, at least for a little while.

No life-changing revelations this time through. Other than, you know, I guess I really need to write a damn book.

Shots of NY: Madison Square Park and Grand Central


I went to Eataly last week to have dinner with some college friends (BTW, DELICIOUS) and found myself in front of Madison Square Park on 23rd Street. It's most famous for the Shake Shack (confession: I've never been!), but it's also a lovely little green park where you can sit and read a book or watch dogs in the dog run.



And then, a few nights later, we met up with my friend Jay from High School. He's one of my oldest friends and lives in San Francisco with his wife... but is moving to Connecticut at the end of the month! Here we are in Grand Central after dinner (he's the one with the sketch-tastic moustache). I go through Grand Central every morning on my way to work and though it's always busy as hell, there's something majestic and inspiring about the place.

Pro tip: Explore the whispering walls outside the Oyster Bar restaurant. Just don't let any secrets slip!

P.S. It's pretty crazy how this NY semester is making me take more photos. I forget how often I'm in special or historical places and this project is making me think about the spaces around me more.

5.11.2011

May Madness

Hi there. I'm still here, treading water. I felt bad that the last post was up there for so long. A bunch of people have called or emailed, all concerned, and I wondered "why do people think that I've got issues lately?" Then I realized what I'd last written and it was not - shall we say? - the most uplifting of messages.

So! I'm here, very busy, and not weeping in a corner. I promise! Look, for example, here I am smiling at the bridal shower over the weekend:

SUCH lovely, lovely girls.

And last night we were at a surprise birthday party and the night before that I was eating pizza and pasta with my Mberg girls at Eataly. And tonight we're having dinner with an old friend who has awesome, exciting life news. See? Good things!

Just too many of them. Last week I ran twice and this week I haven't run at all and that's all due to the excessive social schedule happening around here lately. I need to be smarter and better about protecting my weeknights from this. (And now the longtime readers of this blog smack their heads and say EPTING, HAVEN'T YOU LEARNED ANYTHING??? Apparently I haven't.)

So I'm taking a big, deep breath. The next few weeks promise to be more of the same, but I keep coming back to Matt Long's refrain of setting a goal, committing to it, and sacrificing for it. The goal here is to keep sane and find balanced. So now I'm committing to it and soon I might have to sacrifice for it.

Commitment #1: no matter what, exercise is happening after dinner tonight. I don't care if I have to use the cats as dumbbells, some level of exercise will be happening.

P.S. When I signed up for that online cooking course, I had the option of 3 months or 1 year. Aren't we glad I chose the year-long option? That's called Le Planning Ahead or Le Prediction of Le Realistic Amount of Free Time. Nailed it. For once.

5.07.2011

Untethered.

This morning, 10am. I'm in a Barnes and Noble headed to the subway, headed to the Path, headed to New Jersey, headed to a bridal shower in Philly. I've already bought a recipe holder stand off the registry, and have decided to compliment it with a cookbook. That's how I find myself in the cookbook aisle, poking ambivalently through the vegetarian section.

A sweet friend of mine is getting married. I haven't seen her in several years and even back when we did see each other regularly, I don't think I ever knew what she liked to eat.

The cookbook suddenly seems a poor idea.

I'm in a foul mood. Lack of sleep because the cats were on a rampage, lack of excitement for the bridal shower because I'm mourning the dying marriages of other friends. This week we had a cancer diagnosis in the family, I missed all but one workout and shit, isn't it Mother's Day soon?

The cookbook certainly seems like a poor idea.

What is certain in our lives? If vows aren't certain and health isn't certain and even the weather can't seem to warm up in time for late spring, I feel very untethered to the map.

I decide the only thing that's certain is poetry and I leave the vegan soup books for the sleek paperbacks filled with rhythmed words. I buy her a book of poetry.

Because even if this bridal shower gives way to a rough road ahead, she can always order takeout. Nourishment from poems, from wading through the complexities of life revealed through words, is maybe the only thing that will comfort her.

It is, indeed, the only thing that comforted me this morning.

5.06.2011

Shots of NY: The New York Public Library


Last night we went to hear the last interview Elizabeth Gilbert plans to give about Eat, Pray Love at the NYPL. As always, she was amazingly wise and full of magic. There isn't anyone I'd rather sit in a room with and listen to. She's seriously inspiring.

The library is celebrating its 100th anniversary in the next few weeks and I found out recently that I was picked for Find The Future. I'll be one of 500 people who get to stay overnight at the library on May 20, hunt for clues and write a book together. I'm still pinching myself with disbelief...


5.04.2011

The Misters.

Ollie


Oscar