Conversations Over Coffee, Vol. 3

Testing? Hello? 1, 2, 3, testing?

I know, I'm being dramatic. It hasn't been that long, but long enough that I feel like I'm doing what I set out to do, which is give myself a break from feeling obligated to blog. I gave myself a break from a lot of things lately, but we'll get to that. First, let's find a seat now that we have our monthly coffees—I'm finally getting mine iced, though the weather here in New York is still pretty up and down. We had a 90+ weekend and we're hovering in the 60s this week, low enough to be cold with a breeze. When did May become March?

Hoo, boy. There's a lot of ground to cover on the "what's new with me" front, so I'm going to dive right in. Here are the basics for my current status: life is good, I am so much happier than I had been for a long time, and I am still/again job-hunting, kinda.

Let's start with all the good.
This is one of my absolute favorite times of year. The first few weeks of spring make me come alive. The thawing of my bones makes me eager again to move, run, be wild and feel free. The blink-and-you-miss-it budding greens, then furiously blooming flowers that give way to a more semi-permanent green. It's beautiful alone, and even more so in context—that being compared to how gray, barren, and cold the winter looks and feels. I am rejuvenated, outside is forever beckoning, the sun warms me to my core, and every which way I look is beauty.

One thing I love about New York in spring and fall is the surprise around every corner. I feel like I've mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. When you think of New York City, you probably think of Midtown, the concrete jungle of skyscrapers and neon. But my neighborhood (and many others) is so much greener than you would think, and even though I know that, I delight in every sidewalk flowerbed, every random patch of grass or tiny but purposeful park, the greenstreets on Riverside Drive. I love green, and I love the city, and that I have both when rhetoric often makes you think you must choose one or the other? I just think that's delightful.
February, March, and the beginning of April were hard. I was thrown out of routine thanks to a combination of moving, losing a relative in NJ, and a circumstantial-seasonal depression. After weeks of yelling at myself in the pages of my journal, I finally took action and started putting pieces back together one at a time. I started doing daily yoga at home again, which I haven't done in years. I prefer studio practices, but I had no drive to get to the studio for too long. I reignited my practice that way and eventually allowed myself to peter back out to a 3-4 times per week routine, which is my ideal amount of practice.

I took a lot of time off running. About 8 weeks, from the beginning of March to the end of April. At first it was another way I was letting myself down, failing. And then I just sort of accepted that I didn't want to run right now, and that honestly, I had been wanting to take a real break for a year. I put running out of my mind for a few weeks and focused on rebuilding my yoga practice. When I felt comfortable and ready, just like I did when I went running for the very first time back on December 26, 2013, I went running. I didn't go far or fast and I took walk breaks because hey, I'm out of shape. But I finally went running because I was choosing to, because I wanted to, because I felt like it, rather than because I had to or was supposed to. And that alone was enough to make me so happy to run. As I get back into shape I'm going to keep on running whenever and however I want, which was the plan from the start. And it's finally a thing that's making me happy again, rather than I thing I'm torturing myself with.
I got a job...but it didn't last. Bless the concept of trial periods. It was a mismatch and a ticking time bomb from go. I don't want to put all the gory details on the internet, but here are some basics I learned from the experience: I need to get better at asserting myself to people of authority when they have made a mistake or been irresponsible with respect to something I am the only advocate for (i.e. myself); I need to more carefully listen to the signs and signals a place or population gives me and weigh all of this input carefully before making decisions; and I will never regret trusting my instincts, going with what my gut says, and making sure I am being treated fairly.

Where I am now, professionally speaking, is a stable but incomplete place. As one door closed another opened and I secured another PT freelance editing contract to add to the others I've held onto, and some yoga teaching, so I'm better off than I was 2 months ago, if not exactly where I planned or hoped to be. But along the way, I've learned a lot (still more, there's always more) about myself and what I'm willing to accept, what I'm willing to fight for, and how I want to feel about my life and my choices and my involvements with others.
There's lighter stuff to talk about too. We celebrated my 28th birthday in March and David's 30th in May. We moseyed through Central Park on one of the first brilliantly beautiful spring days and stumbled on Shakespeare Garden, which I didn't previously know existed. I spent 3 Sundays in a row in New Jersey, for Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday, and a birthday brunch with some of David's family, marking more time I've spent in the state in months and the first return since my grandfather's funeral. Michael took me to see a band I've loved for a decade, Explosions in the Sky, for the first time in both of our lives. I started watching Grey's Anatomy and am completely obsessed, thank you Shonda Rhimes. David and I are celebrating a year together this week, which is weird because I can't tell if a year is a very short or a very long period of time. I got a new deep frying pan, which sounds trivial but trust me is amazing and life-changing. I've cut back on my caffeine, sticking to just one mug per day when I used to drink a minimum of two. I finally learned how to French braid my own hair, and it's not great yet, but I'm practicing every day.
All in all, things are looking and feeling so much better than they were the day I wrote this. Not everything is perfect, but when was it ever, and why would I ever expect that it would be? After a challenging couple of months, I feel lighter, and to me, that's a win. I needed to give myself room to breathe, permission to do only what I needed to do and what I truly wanted to do, as I cut out the faux obligations and self-imposed responsibilities. I just needed to quiet the noise.
What's new with you, friend?

Linking up with Kristen.

Oh, and P.S....


"There's a place in Riverside Park where the path curves, and there's a garden." If this looks familiar, it's because that's where Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan and Brinkley meet at the end of You've Got Mail. This may seem silly, but I love that movie, and for months I was running and walking past this garden, thinking to myself how beautiful it would become in mid-spring. I got back there just in the nick of time, and it didn't disappoint.

Comments

  1. I'm glad to hear that you're starting to feel better & lighter! All of those pictures are amazing. For the most part I really love the weather in TX so much more than that of up north, but I do miss northern spring & fall.

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  2. Ohhh I love all the photos in this post! I am tempted to steal them, print them off, and put them in front of me at work. (I might just have to keep coming back to look at them here :)) So springy and gorgeous!!! Wow congrats on the one year with David! That is wonderful!! So sorry the past few months have had a few ups and downs but I love that you are highlighting the positives and what you have learned from it all. Also so happy to hear that you found some freelancing and a place to teach - I'm sure that has been so nice for you to return to that!!

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  3. Ahhhhhh the scene from You've Got Mail!!! Seriously one of my favorite movies!!! And the picture of those flowers???? Gorgeous!

    So, I have to tell you that I have been a position before where everything was screaming at me that it was wrong and I ended up leaving before some bad stuff happened....so most certainly listen to your gut. At least you learn, gain strength and move on, right? Happy Birthday to you and David! And congrats on the year mark. How exciting!

    Grey's is one of my most favorite shows and I look forward to it every week. Glad you are in deep with it now too! What kind of frying pan did you get? Isn't it insane how adult you feel when you make claims like that?

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  4. There's a lot going on in your world - I'm glad there's some good sprinkled in there. We need that balance. I'm sorry about the job stuff; that's really disappointing. And I totally agree with you about New York and the weather/flower situation right now; clearly if you follow me on IG you see I can't get enough. Here's hoping you have more good/positive/happy moments coming!

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  5. Sounds like some good changes are happening in your life, and it's the perfect season for it too! I love all of your photos from Riverside park, they make me miss living in Harlem.

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  6. so many good things! yay for running when you choose to, and not because you feel like you have to. and all the other good things. can't believe you guys have been together for a year, it feels like it went by super fast but also like you've always been together.
    like you said, you'll never regret listening to your instincts. make yourself happy. all the cliche sayings are true for a reason.
    also, the deep frying pan is legit the best purchase we ever made. it's SO FUN. and awesome. we have other frying pans that we neglect now because why would i use them when i have the fancy deep one?!

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  7. The pictures of NYC are wonderful! I've only been in the middle of winter and I'm dying to visit in Fall or Spring!

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  8. I just love your city pics- definitely a change up from the regular skyline/skyscraper ones that generally portray NYC. Love that you're on the Grey's train! I started late too (like, last year?) but am all caught up now. I'm so sorry to hear that the job didn't work out, but so happy to hear that you are feeling less overwhelmed and better about life in general :) Is it odd that I want to know more about this deep frying pan? Like, what are you making in it and more specifically do I need one?!

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  9. Heart eyes for the second to the last photo.

    Some people never learn to listen to their gut and advocate for themselves, that leaving "stable" situations for the unknown actually is sometimes a better choice. Good for you for not being in the wrong place for longer than you needed to be.

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  10. Your photos are beautiful! Good luck on the job thing. It's always hard to find the right thing but worth it not to have to be somewhere that doesn't fit.

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  11. In a very long Lyft ride from the financial district into midtown and not knowing at all where you live, I totally wondered if any of the runners I passed by were you! I'm so bummed we didn't get to hang out but there will be other trips in my future, for sure. I'm so happy you're feeling settled and figuring out what you need - that is really the best place to be.

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  12. I got to the last photo and was like "OMG YOU'VE GOT MAIL!" Your pictures are stunning... I've always wanted to go to New York and this just made that desire even stronger! It's good to read that you've been feeling better and I love that you're running because you WANT to not because you HAVE to.

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