Archives for category: Deep Breath
Edith Piaf (left) and my tattoo (right)

Edith Piaf (left) and my tattoo (right)

Strangers have told me that I could/should model since age sixteen. I take the compliment with a smile, a quick thanks, and wrap it up with a short statement to prove they’re wrong. I’m actually not the “size” of a model. You’ve been tricked. My height has convinced you that I’m a size six (this was before agencies had plus divisions). Now I change the topic.

Modeling would be a waste of time (ignoring those who have used modeling to become activists and affect real change). I have a purpose. A career. My current occupation is inventory planning. I’m responsible for ordering not too much and not too little inventory. Goldie Locks is my muse. Now I realize I’m not doing much of anything. My job doesn’t matter in the scheme of things. So why shouldn’t I model? I had a superiority complex. When it came to my work I was busy-very busy (we convince ourselves that it means important things are getting done). A one-upper. The person who meets your level of misery and raises you a car accident plus a dead dog.

In a few weeks I’ll turn 26-years-old. Not a significant birthday, but it coincides with a recent dose of clarity. I can’t lay it out on the table for you. I poked my head out of the cave and I have no idea what I’m looking at. When I moved to New York four years ago I was just happy/miserable to be here. My apartment was undesirable, job unchallenging and low paying, and I had two friends in the city. Now I make a comfortable salary, live in a sought-after apartment, and can bribe at least ten friends to help celebrate my birthday. I’m grateful that I’m swimming along just fine. Now where am I headed?

I’m returning to my home state on my legal birthday to renew my license. Many New Yorkers renew theirs in the city regardless of their origin. It’s convenient. I have the urge to be a New Yorker-someone who can give subway directions and restaurant recommendations while hailing a cab, but I want to maintain my legal identity as a citizen of Massachusetts.

One day I’ll fly away back to the land of trees, fresh air, and manners. Not yet. I’m not done with you New York. It’s time for round two. Whether that means modeling, pursuing a masters degree, or staying in my current job and shifting my perspective… Je ne sais pas mais non, je ne regrette rien. Merci Edith Piaf. Joyeux anniversaire à moi.


I recently met someone who spends 80% of her time staring at a glass half empty. There are days I see it too, but let’s say I see it that way 20% of the time just to make it an even 100%. Part of my day job is calculating promotional retail pricing and I would prefer if this metaphor made sense mathematically. A well-known 80/20 split is Pareto’s Principle: you should focus 80% of your time on the 20% that matters. If you spend 80% of your time dwelling on the 20% that doesn’t matter-you’re not living. Eff the pain and let the joy define you.

One of my close friends discovered her boyfriend was trying to focus 80% of his time on her and the remaining 20% on a long distance relationship with another woman. He tried it both ways actually, when he told her they should “take a break” in January (so he could visit and focus 80% on the other woman in his life). He had trouble figuring out his 80/20s. By failing to identify which woman was more important to him, he demonstrated that neither deserved his respect. Or maybe combined, he spent 80% of his time on the two women who deserved 20% of his respect? Eff that.

Her trust has been shattered. She is a beautiful, kind, smart, and sarcastic son-of-a-gun who always gives any task in front of her 100% (like the time she ran around the city looking for a Carvel cake for me on my birthday). Did I mention she does it with a smile? She sees the glass as half full 90% of the time because she breaks the mold.

Right now she is standing strong. There is a lot of pain. I can only hope that this is her last heartbreak and she remains positive. I felt like crap when I was feeding my emotional pain back in January. One week after this post I met a man that makes me happy. Our situations are not the same, but heartbreak is heartbreak so I bought her chocolate whoopie pies the other day. Heartbreak hotel. Sing it Whitney.

MIlton Glaser's classic logo

Milton Glaser’s classic logo

My commute to and from work is seventy-five minutes of swimming upstream. I’ve been doing the opposite commute for a little over three years. Most days I don’t pay attention to the small annoyances as I power walk through the NYC crowds (initially, it was sensory overload and I couldn’t handle the aggression). Other days, I’m exhausted before I reach my desk. My best commuting days are when I’m in cruise-control. My eyes are glazed over, stride powerful, ipod loud, and I’m watching the body language of the next five people headed my way in anticipation of pedestrians stopping short, swerving into my path, or my favorite, the person who gets so nervous that they half-stop to let you pass, but they don’t surrender the space to do so (mostly tourists).

I’m proud of my ability to swerve through a crowd of commuters/locusts swarming in opposite directions. It’s a small win for the day if I can maintain my speed without bumping into anyone: I’m invincible. The days when I’m tired/hungry/both, miss my connecting train by one minute, wish I could get back into the city in time for yoga/happy hour, have trouble navigating pedestrians, wear shoes that slow me down, and sweat through my clothes en route to work in 90 degree heat-those are rough days. Commuting is an effing sport.

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I’m addicted to a bad relationship. I wanted to avoid writing about it so badly that I decided to write about beets. I researched some recipes, discovered that it’s a Jewish tradition to eat beets at Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year), and warned my roommates that I would be baking the chocolate beet cake for a second time. I wasn’t jazzed about the post. I had a feeling it wouldn’t top my kale post. It sounded really insincere so I decided to eff it.

Hi, my name is eff the funk and I have been addicted to a bad relationship for three years. I was sure I loved him the first year… then I’m not sure what I told myself the remainder of our on-again, off-again time together. He never promised me the moon, but I wanted to hold on anyways. We have strong chemistry and I was addicted to his attention when he chased me and my suffering when he didn’t. It’s romantic in a twisted way.  Read the rest of this entry »

At a younger age when my hormones were out of whack, classmates were mean to each other for negligible reasons, and I lacked the ability to defend myself, I would come home from school and cry. A lot. The emotional turmoil and the act of crying would exhaust me so I would fall asleep on my bed, always shaken awake by my mother when dinner was ready. The drama du jour seemed less traumatic after a nap.

I don’t face drama on-the-reg anymore (middle school was the effing worst). I try to steer clear of it, but occasionally I have the burning desire to tell people about themselves. Most people don’t want to hear it. They already know 90% of what I want to say, but they choose to ignore it.

Sometimes I reach my limit. If you are over the age of eighteen and you whine a lot, I will tell you about yourself. If you act in a way that creates large hurdles for others, I will tell you about yourself. You get the idea. Those are behaviors that other people would also discourage so I don’t feel too crazy-cat-lady-yelling-at-birds-in-the-park when I broach the subject that someone needs to check themselves before they wreck themselves (and others).  Read the rest of this entry »

The neighbor who lives below my apartment is filled with rage. He carries anger like it’s a luxury handbag, waving it around whenever the opportunity arises. The smallest thing will set him off. A week ago my roommate dropped her laptop on the floor in her bedroom. Two minutes later she heard a loud banging on our door. She answered and standing there, flaring at the nostrils, was our downstairs neighbor. He started yelling, “What are you guys doing up here? What was that noise?”

My roommate, wearing her pajamas and holding a toothbrush in one hand replied, “Nothing, we’re getting ready for bed. I accidentally dropped my laptop.”

He yelled, “You broke four light bulbs in my apartment. They could have fallen on me.”

Pause. Where is this conversation going? I think it’s clear she didn’t drop her laptop on the floor on purpose.

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I’m a desk jockey and I have a naturally tight lower back so my job is essentially painful (bad joke). Vinyasa yoga has helped me alleviate this pain. If you aren’t ready to dive into a yoga class, I’ve enlisted Tina, Vinyasa yoga teacher extraordinaire, to prescribe a few poses that will help you loosen up. It’s ideal to stretch right before bed so you can literally shake off the day, but feel free to do these whenever you’re feelin’ funky. Eff the 9-to-5-sitting-at-a-desk funk and move around!

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One of my close friends recently purchased an apartment in the West Village. I won’t give you her address, but let’s just say it’s likely she’ll run into SJP and kids-in-tow on her way out the door. After seeing her block the first thing I said was, “You’re really in the sweet spot.” If you like downtown Manhattan, it’s hard to find a better area. She worked hard and waited a long time to find and secure the right place. This is one situation where she was not willing to make many concessions. It makes sense, right? If you’re going to make a large purchase then it should be exactly what you want.

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“… loneliness allows us to look honestly and without aggression at our own minds. We can gradually drop our ideals of who we think we ought to be, or who we think we want to be, or who we think other people think we want to be or ought to be. We give it up and just look directly with compassion and humor at who we are. Then loneliness is no threat and heartache, no punishment.” -Pema Chodron

A man asked me to go on a second date with him and I politely declined. His response via text message was comical but it came from a place of loneliness. Our first date involved a few casual drinks and the need-to-know details. “Guy from Queens” was kind and straight-forward, things I admire, but I saw a few warning signs in the details he chose to share about his life. He mentioned that he recently broke up with his live-in girlfriend of five years. Then quickly added that it had been ten months… He was now living with his uncle, an intense divorcé and wanted to move out but he didn’t mention an action plan. I don’t fault him for it, but I sensed during our first date that he was already hoping I might be the person he would be moving in with. It’s nice to want to fall in love and you should go into any relationship with an open mind but you also need to be aware that things can get messy FAST. Trust your instincts because loneliness will not lead you to the best decisions. Eff the funk and make peace with being lonely.

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The uncomfortable, sticky feeling you have at the end of the day? I don’t know if your parents told you… but it’s dirt, oil, and dead skin. Naturally, you’ll take a bath to wash it away. I hope.

Similarly, your mindset is often shrouded with negative emotions by the end of the day. Do you actively wash them away or do you go to bed in a funk? Suggestions for temporarily alleviating the funk: meditate, exercise, journal, talk it out, create art…

Here is a short video interview with a nontraditional group of people who are mindful about washing away negativity. Their methods may not entice you, but their end goal is aspirational: eff the funk and push away negativity.