On Saying Yes

There have been a number of instances over the past few months when I’ve really thought long and hard about throwing in the towel. Not on life, obviously, but very truthfully on New York. I’ve never been too shy or modest to say that this city will eat you up if you let it. And sometimes, even for the most enthusiastic of its fans (i.e. myself), surly New York can get pretty darn close to taking a big bite of your confidence. Her sharp, pearly whites are constantly chomping at the bit of your dreams. If you’re lucky, she’ll rip you up and spit you out. But preferably, she’ll swallow you whole…

But then you’re walking home from an after-work yoga class, and due to forgetting proper footwear, you have to do the 50 minute commute home in dressy boots, a long overcoat, short gym shorts and an oversized tee. You resemble what could only be described as an out-of-shape, disheveled, and just overall bad, masculine prostitute, when you run into someone on the street looking 11 shades worse, and who is very much rocking it on purpose.

Or you’re heading to a friend’s apartment after a long day to work on a project and you, like any annoying, yet serious-about-her-career New Yorker, need caffeine. You stop at the local coffee shop on the way to the E and the Barista says, “Hey, this one’s on me.” It was probably because you’re so sleep deprived you look like you could murder four puppies without blinking and he’s frightened, but you know, in a world of jerks, it’s a win.

And then you have a Monday — a figurative AND literal Monday at work — and due to a swirl of irony and happenstance, you make one of your favorite comedians laugh. A silly face, some dumb accent. It very well could have been a pity laugh, but if he felt compelled enough to fake it, at least you must have been true-to-form: awkward and hopefully, likable.

This city isn’t for the faint of heart. It isn’t for the half-assers, the get-embarassed-easilyers, or the try-it-once-but-then-I’m-done-ers either. And contrary to popular belief, it isn’t even for the dreamers. It’s for the doers. The open-minded, hard-working, inadequate humans who fail SO much and HATE it — but aren’t afraid to keep failing. To keep improving. To keep trying. To keep saying yes. The kind of people who say “Yes” are not the kind of people who succeed in New York, but rather are the kind of people who survive here.

Maybe it’s not even specific to New York. In light of taking an improv workshop with Second City through my job and re-reading Tina Fey’ Bossypants, I feel enlightened and compelled to keep saying “Yes” to life. I haven’t finished meeting these insane and wonderful people harboring vast and unique experiences only New Yorkers can offer. I’m not over chasing my dreams. I’m not done with New York, and I don’t think New York is done with me. I have more to do here — more to experience, more to lean — and I’m excited and ready for whatever that may entail.

YES_NY

Have you said “Yes” today? Or walked by someone wearing fishnets, black spandex and a cowboy hat out in public? If so, where do you live? And why?

The F*cket List

I’ve been avoiding this “Oh hey, I’m back from that weirdly long vacation I never told any of you I was taking from the blog” post for quite some time–a month and 21 days to be precise. I knew it had to be an epic return, so it took me a hot second to find something inspiring enough to blog about. A few days ago my good friend BreexyK this random person whose blog I happen to follow wrote about her “F*cket List.” Which as she so beautifully explains:

Instead of stressing out and feeling bad about ourselves, why not just make a list of  all the things that society tries to force upon us that piss us off, and vow to simply not give a f*ck about them?

If I lived in Canada, I SWEAR I would “accidentally” bump into her at so many places we would be besties. Anyways, onto my very own the F*cket List!

These are the f*cks I no longer vow to give:

  • That red meat is bad for you. WHATEVER I hardly eat meat as it is. When I indulge, I go by the “go big or go home” philosophy. Do you really think a cutlet of grilled chicken satisfies ANYONE’S meat cravings EVER? C’mon–fork over the filet/ribs/cheeseburger.
  • How big your GD uterus looks at 4, 5, 6 (…etc.) months pregnant. I mean, seriously. SERIOUSLY. Stop with the Facebook pictures. Why does anyone care how fat pregnant you are? It is gross, no one cares but you, and whatever happened to PRIVACY?! 95% of people I am “friends” with on Facebook I haven’t talked to in over a year–so why would they care about how many centimeters I’m dilated? AND WHY WOULD I WANT THEM TO KNOW? Consider yourself “defriended” if any more of that ish happens on my newsfeed.
  • Saving money. Stupid. Just like sleep, I’ll open that Roth IRA when I’m dead, thanks.
  • Your Instagram username. I like Instagraming photos of myself duck-facing in the mirror and my steak caesar salad I ate for lunch as much as the next guy, but unlike most, I know that no one else needs/cares/wants to see it. Privacy settings exist for a reason, “friends.”
  • Taking vitamins. Meh.
  • Light beer. Because I am no longer a college student. And I mean, it tastes like piss, no?
  • Reading “50 Shades of Grey.” Sorry, but I can’t get onboard with reading a phenomenon that was started by a Twilight fanfic. I’d rather spend the money on handcuffs and stilettos. Like, #amIright?
  • Running a marathon before you die. A) I f*cking hate running with a malicious passion. B) Running a marathon is actually HORRIBLE for your joints (and I am an old wench battered-ex dancer at heart), and C) That does just not sound like fun in any degree for someone who does not regularly enjoy running. More power to you, if you think so (some of the bloggers I religiously follow have run multiple marathons–but it’s just something I don’t think the light-hearted not-exercise-obsessed would want to do).

But really, who is with me? What is on your “F*cket List”??

20 Things to do in your 20’s

If you actually talk to me on a regular basis in real life (as opposed to internet life), then we’ve most likely had the “the year after college is the craziest year everrr” conversation. If not, then let me tell you–the first year after you graduate college really is a pivotal year in your life. You’re going to find out a lot about who you are and what you want out of life. Many people move back in with their parents and realize they are comfortable with the life they have lead in their respective hometown and plan to stay there for a while. Others get married and begin to share a life with someone else. Some people move as far away from home as they possibly can, and begin to really explore being independent. Many people will realize they hate what they went to school for and want to pursue another degree in something different. For others, their life will become their job. For some, their relationship will become their life. There are many things I’m leaving out, but you get the point–you begin to really explore who you are outside of the planned comfort of what was to be your life up until this age. The rest is what you make it.

I’ve compiled a list (can you tell I like making lists?) of 20 things I think every 20-something should do during this decade of life (IMO). I think it’s actually really good, so you should probably do them all.

  1. Learn how to live by yourself. Learn how to run a dishwasher, change the oil in your car, and assemble a bed frame from Ikea. You don’t actually have to live by yourself to do this, but there’s a good chance that sometime in the next 70 years of your life you will in fact be living by yourself, and I think it’s more socially acceptable to accidentally add bleach to your red load at 23 than at 83.
  2. Move somewhere that you haven’t lived yet. This could be drastic or not. You could move to a different city or country–or you could move out from your parents’ basement. You learn a lot about yourself by getting out of your comfort zone.
  3. Learn how to change a spare tire. That is, if you live somewhere you drive a car. If not, learn how to shoot a gun. If not that either, I don’t know, learn how to change a diaper. Basically, just learn how to do something that will feed your confidence and make you feel a little more self-sufficient.
  4. Stay awake all night & watch the sunrise. Self-explanatory, no?
  5. Learn how to be financially independent. Because there is no greater feeling in the world than being able to support yourself.
  6. Know how to stick to a budget. Create a monthly budget and stick to it. Know where your money is going, and if there are any things you can cut out of your day-to-day life (so you can start saving).
  7. Start saving, if you can. This is apparently important down the road. If you have the resources, open that 401k now. It’s an investment in your future (so I’m told).
  8. Make peace with old feuds from your past. It can be done verbally, or just in your own mind. Moving on comes with maturity, and now is the time to forgive and forget the things that typically don’t matter anymore in your present life.
  9. Appreciate your family. This is imperative. Look back on all of the times your parents were right–it was all the time. No one has as much of a vested interest in you as your parents (usually), so listen to their advice. They raised you, so they know how to do at least one thing right (usually).
  10. Be in a real relationship. Introduce someone to your parents. Sleep over at his or her house/apartment for days on end. Pick fights about money and have amazing makeup sex. Learn the feeling of committing yourself to one person, and maybe the feeling of getting your heart broken–or breaking someone else’s.
  11. Go on lots of dates. Go on all of those really fun, exciting dates that no one would be caught dead on after they’re 30.
  12. Have a lot of sex. Buy a position-a-day calendar and actually do it. Have hate sex, breakup sex, ‘I love you’ sex, ‘thanks for buying me chocolate ice cream’ sex, drunken sex, morning sex, phone sex, reunion sex, maybe even some bad sex. Have one partner or many (just use protection!). Also (yes, I’m going to say it), have an orgasm. I’m talking to you, ladies. ‘Nuff said.
  13. Think about settling down. You don’t have to do it! But think about it. Think about the characteristics you want in a partner. Write them down and settle for no less. You shouldn’t be forced into settling for anything less than what you want/deserve, especially when it comes to matters as permanent as marriage and kids. But, start to know what you’re looking for so when you find it, you can actively pursue.
  14. Know that trial and error in the job world is a valid strategy. If you hate what you’re doing, do something else. Lather, rinse, repeat.
  15. Put yourself out there at least once a day. Ask someone on a date. Take charge of a project at work. Ask for a raise. You never get ahead in the game without challenging yourself, and you never know if you don’t ask.
  16. Continue your education. Maybe this means going to college, trade school, grad school or medical school. Maybe this means reading the paper each morning. Whatever your personal take, never use “but I’ve already graduated high school/college/etc.” as an excuse to stop learning.
  17. Keep in touch with your friends. It’s really hard when your friends are spread out throughout the United States, but strive to do this. If my grandma kept in touch with a friend who lived 6 states away her entire life without the help of texting or the internet, there’s really no excuse that we can’t stay in touch in 2012.
  18. Figure out exactly what you believe in and practice that faith. Do some online research. Read the Bible. Read the Qur’an. Go to Temple. Go to Mass. Sooner or later, your grandparents are going to get sick, and having a solid backing of faith really will put your mind at ease.
  19. Appreciate your body. It might not be perfect, but your body isn’t going to get any better than what it is right now, so why not enjoy it?
  20. Be happy. Everyday, just do whatever it is that makes you happy. Because life is too short to be anything else