My happy place.

The other day, I was walking home to my new apartment and couldn’t help but think that I am so much happier with my life right now than I was a few months ago.

It’s not that I hated living in Long Island. I definitely made good friends that I will cherish forever and continue to keep in touch with. And, yeah, living 15 minutes from the beach didn’t suck in the summer. But…

You know how in movies, there will be a character who just doesn’t fit in and doesn’t fit in and doesn’t fit in no matter how much she tries? And then, one magic day, she finds out — surprise! — she’s an alien. And then it makes so much sense and the audience is like, “Oh duh! Of course you couldn’t fit in — you weren’t meant to!”

I sort of felt like I spent the last three years waiting for that moment.

Except, instead of finding out I was an alien, I just kept being reminded (over and over and over again) that I just was not a Long Islander. In three years, I found only a handful of people who thought about things the way I did, who had the priorities I did, and who cared about the things I did. I felt like I spent a lot of my day trying to react to things accordingly, because if I didn’t — and if the other person didn’t like my reaction — I would feel the wrath. Or, rather, the cold, cold chill of being iced out for not being exactly how other people wanted you to be.

And so, after one-too-many nights of breaking down sobbing in our car to Joey because I just couldn’t figure out how to be or act to fit in, the decision to leave had basically made itself.

But wait! This isn’t a sad story! Please push the image of me teary-eyed in a Civic out of your minds.

The point is, while I’m sure Long Island is a great place for some people, it just wasn’t my jam. And now that I’m living in the city, I actually enjoy the city again. You know, instead of spending just enough time there to hate it.

Now, I’m actually doing fun things. I’m eating and drinking at cool places. I’m living in New York instead of just working there.

Screen shot 2013-05-22 at 5.59.02 PM

Which leads me to the point of this post: Even though lately I feel like I’m doing more fun things and experiencing more than I have in a while, my blogging has really fallen by the wayside. And since the “point” of this blog is to serve as a pseudo diary of my life, those seem like the types of experiences I should be recording for posterity.

Screen shot 2013-05-22 at 5.59.51 PM

That’s why I’ve decided to share more. More reviews of things, more photos, more snapshots of my life now, in this moment.

Screen shot 2013-05-22 at 5.59.13 PM

Plus, some of my oldest friends are coming to visit this weekend! Which makes the next few days rife with possibilities for photo opps. And I shall take all those opps, thank you very much.

Screen shot 2013-05-22 at 5.58.44 PM

Because things are going pretty great. And that’s how I want to remember everything.

Advertisements

Shower on the love.

And that’s how I wound up naked in a building in the middle of Manhattan.

Hmm? What’s that? You find my Tarantino-start-at-the-end-and-work-your-way-back-to-the-beginning-style of writing alarming?

Well, DEAL WITH IT. It’s called a hook. Consider yourself hooked.

Anyway. Though it ends with me in the buff, this is a story that starts with trying to get buff.

As I may have mentioned, I recently joined a gym near my office. It’s a bit pricier than any other gym I’ve ever paid for (in my life), but it’s actually moderately priced for the area thanks to an employee discount I get through work, and it’s so dang convenient that I can’t even get home without passing it. Which, as we learned from my Brooklyn Y experience, help ensure I actually go on a regular basis.

For the last couple of years, I have been a staunch evening exerciser. While I would prefer to start my day with a trip to the gym, my crazy-long commute prevented that from being a viable possibility. (Unless I wanted to get up before 5 a.m. Or die at the hands of a (possibly) homicidal homeless man.)

Thanks to our recent move, however, my commute is much, much shorter, meaning I don’t have to wake up as early unless I want to work out.

I think you can imagine where this is going.

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been telling myself that it would be a good idea to wake up earlier, go to the gym before work, shower there, and then walk the four blocks to my office. I’ve been telling myself this, but had yet to actually act on it.

UNTIL THE FATEFUL MORNING I DID. Also known as…this morning.

For the record, it had always been part of the plan that I would shower at the gym. And this is not the first time I’ve showered at a gym. It had just been a really long time, and I had completely forgotten how unbelievable awkward it is.

To be perfectly honest, I rarely even change at the gym. I’ll usually change my clothes at the office, in the privacy of the spacious handicap bathroom stall, before making my merry way to work out.

I mean, on one hand, I know I’m being silly. I know pretty much everyone averts their eyes awkwardly just like I do when I see someone half- to fully naked in the locker room. But I just…I don’t know. Nakedness. In front of people. Ehh.

I’m a prude, is what I’m saying.

Today, though, it just had to be done. Lest I want to become known as the “sweaty girl” in the office. (Not a very clever nickname, but it still stings.)

So after working out, I stripped down only to discover that…

1. …GOOD LORD those towels they provide are tiny. Who are they made for? Toddlers? I normal-sized woman can barely keep her dignity in one of those.

2. …few things make you feel less like a grown-up than showering in flip-flops. Though I was grateful I remembered to pack them.

3. …those hairdryers you’ve been seeing in the locker room for weeks and telling yourself “are so convenient!” because now you don’t have to pack your own? They suck. You still have to pack your own.

4. …showering at the gym is not your favorite thing.

Plus, as we covered in the first sentence, there’s something about being naked in the middle of the city that just makes you feel more…exposed.

So! My fellow morning gym-goers. How do you survive showering at the gym? Do you skip it? Do you bring fancy shampoo to make yourself feel more human? Tell me your secrets!

 

Sometimes I get to do cool things.

It’s no secret that there are times I do not heart NY. Sometimes I down-right hate it. And sometimes it hates me back.

But then there are those beautiful moments that make me love it all over again. Like when I get to be a part of exciting things. And when I get to experience things like this:

IMG_3782

YES THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE.

I was casually perusing Twitter today when I saw that someone I followed had posted a photo of the banana stand. I gasped audibly, and when my manager saw what I was freaking out about, she looked at me and was like, “Just go! Go now!”

She actually told me to “just run there!” So I did. (JK, I got a cab. But still.)

And it was everything I hoped it would be.

So, fine, point New York.

Another apartment update.

Man, radio silence on the blog, amiright?

I promise, I have not forsaken you. I’ve just been busting my behind trying to get another corner of the apartment presentable to show you.

Here’s some of the progress we made last week:

1. Emptying TONS of boxes. Seriously, folks. We’re down to the last 11, and I have high hopes that we’ll get down to two or three by the end of next weekend. (Joey is out of town, which means I can spend all my time organizing.)(Is it weird that that thrills me?)

2. Ordered a couch! We finally made it out to IKEA and ordered this little baby:

Screen shot 2013-04-29 at 8.56.38 AM

He’ll arrive in about two weeks. At which point we will stop sitting on the floor. For the most part.

3. Built a kitchen pantry. I really should have take a picture of this, but the kitchen is still a bit too cluttered to show off. But the pantry is awesome. So much storage space!

4. Organized the bar area:

IMG_3731

Priorities, people.

5. Added a bar to Joey’s closet so he can finally hang up his clothes, along with a slew of other bedroom organization.

6. Emptied my closet of a few more things I never wear.

7. Started hanging pictures! Here’s our new baby gallery wall:

IMG_3732

I’m sure there were a few more little things along the way, but those are the ones I’m most excited about.

I CAN SEE THE LIGHT AT THE END, YOU GUYS.

Plus, I’m still in love with our neighborhood and have been exploring it more and more. Look how pretty it looks in the sunshine:

IMG_3727

Ok, so maybe it’s still a lot of concrete. But the trees are finally getting green!

So this was a boring post unless you’re as excited about my home as I am. What did YOU do this weekend?

Worry.

On my way to work each morning, I pass three elementary schools. Invariably, I end up crossing paths with parents dropping their children off in the morning.

Without making it too creepy, I always try to catch a snippet of what they’re talking about. I feel like you can tell a lot about a person and their family based on what they decide is the most important thing to leave their child with before dropping them off for the day.

Sometimes I hear an older dad sharing an odd bit of trivia. Sometimes it’s a young mother repeating, “You know Mommy loves you very, very much…”

I’ve been thinking a lot about having children lately. (As a concept…still not pregnant, sorry.) Several of my friends have had babies in the last year, and the topic seems to keep coming up even amongst my childless friends. (Sure sign that I’m getting old.)

The scariest part of having kids to me is the pressure. I feel like there is just so much to teach and pass on — it’s completely my fault if my kid turns out ignorant or a psychopath or awesome, right? (Okay, probably not right, but you know what I mean.)

Even aside from the “what kind of person will he or she be?” bigger issues, sometimes I get overwhelmed thinking about all the knowledge little kids have to learn. How can I make sure they learn about the water cycle? Or different kinds of dinosaurs? Or what the largest land mammal is? Or long division? I mean, sure, okay, they’ll go to school, but what about all the little bits you pick up along the way? That’s up to me, right?

Obviously I’m stressing out a bit (okay, a lot) preemptively. And getting sympathetically stressed out for all those parents on the sidewalk isn’t helping.

But I can’t help but wonder: If you only had a 20-minute walk to share something with your kid, what would you say?

The worst thing in the world.

I’m going to start this story at the end and work my way back. Everyone ready? Here’s how it ends:

I saw a 3-inch cockroach in the ladies’ room at work on Tuesday. On the sink.

Now, I know you’re probably busy and may have read that quickly without really think about it, so I’m going to need you to back up for a second and really dwell. A cockroach. The size of a deck of cards.

On the bathroom sink that you use multiple times a day and have done so for almost nine months.

Is your face contorted in disgust and horror? Ok, now we can proceed.

I’ve mentioned before that cockroaches are my greatest phobia, but I feel like you probably thought I was kidding around. I mean, sure, no one loves cockroaches or spiders or camel crickets or what have you. It’s not that big of a deal.

You guys. It’s a very big deal.

It had been a long time since I’d seen a roach, and I’d kind of started to think I was a little bit over it. I would mentally imagine what I would do when I found one, and I would genuinely think, “Ok, it would suck. But you would handle it. I mean, you handled the centipedes. You would figure it out.”

Well, if Tuesday’s experience taught me anything, it’s that I am not equipped to handle it.

I literally froze and gasped when I first saw the semi-sized bug crawling near the faucet. Then I simply fled. I may have blacked out for a second.

As I made my shaky way to two of my coworkers, one of them went, “You look really rattled, are you okay?”

Nope. No, I was not.

I explained what happened the best I could, but I could barely put the words together. They heard “cockroach that is three inches long,” though, and quickly jumped into action.

I kept trying to explain why I was freaking out so much, but then promptly burst into tears. While still laughing about it at the same time.

If I’d committed a crime right then, I’m pretty sure I could have gotten of with an insanity plea.

Anyway. My coworkers apparently got someone I take care of it. I left work partly because it was about time to go, and partly because there was no way I was getting anything accomplished at that point.

Now I just can’t use that bathroom without feeling deeply uncomfortable and trying to check every corner, surface, nook and cranny while simultaneously, you know, using the bathroom. (I tried yesterday…it didn’t go we’ll.)

When I got home from work, I told Joey the worst thing in the world had happened to me that day.

Without missing a beat, he went, “Oh, you saw a cockroach?”

That’s why I love him.

So there you have it. I am not over it. And I may actually have to burn my apartment to the ground if I ever find a cockroach in it.

Please tell me you also have bizarre phobias I make myself feel better?

Phew.

I have to admit, I was starting to wonder if we’d make it through March.

Between moving, pioneering, extra meetings, and continuing to work full-time at busy jobs, Joey and I were stretched pretty thin.

And I’ll be honest — we didn’t always handle the stress well. What I’m saying is, March was not out best month.

But April, man. April is looking good.

We’re in the new place! And I actually love it more after seeing it in person than I did from the photos. Sure, the “craftsmanship” is still pretty cheap, but the rooms are pretty spacious and we have quite a few closets for storage.

I’m approaching unpacking the same way I did moving into a 4th-floor walk-up (yup, you read that right…more on that in a minute) — one step at a time. It will all get done, and fortunately we’ve already tossed a lot of the clutter, so that should (hopefully) make unpacking easier.

Anyway. BOUT THAT FOURTH-FLOOR WALK-UP.

You guys. What were we thinking? More importantly, what were our friends who offered to help us move in thinking? Because, seriously, it ain’t no joke.

Speaking of which, HUGE shout-out to Phil and Brett (who carried our couch up four flights and then back down again when it wouldn’t fit through the door…sorry again), Eric, Shawn, Dana, Chris, and above all else, my father-in-law (who helped us pack/move for three days despite suffering from a cold and bad knees) for all your help lugging our crap up those stairs. We seriously couldn’t have done it without you, and you’re all my heroes. I promise to never move again or, if I do, get movers.

Joey and I did most of the heavy lifting ourselves last night, and we’re both crazy sore. At least we don’t have to worry about finding a gym for a week or so, right?

Oh, and, yeah, you read right: the couch wouldn’t fit through the door. D’oh. Which means two things. First, the bad news: We have to sell the couch. Which, I mean, whatever. I just hope we find a buyer really soon because it’s hard to store a sectional.

But the good news is that we can get a new couch! So that’s kind of fun. We’ll probably hold off until we can at least clear enough boxes to make room for a couch, but I’ll let you know when we buy one.

I wish I had thought to take a picture of all the boxes to show you what we’re dealing with. I’ll take some tonight so you can see what everything looked like before it was decorated. Everyone loves a before-and-after makeover, right?

Ok. So this post is all over the place. But there’s a lot going on. The point is, it’s April 1st, which means we’re at our official 2-month countdown to our first guests (the lovely Annie and Al) for Memorial Day, which means I have that much time to turn our crazy mess of boxes into a home. Wish me luck.